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Bible-based toys may go mainstream

July 16, 2008 at 7:28 PM

ORLANDO, Fla., July 16 (UPI) -- The creator of G.I. Joe said in Orlando, Fla., that more of his toy creations, action figures based on Bible figures, may be on their way to mainstream stores.

Don Levine, 80, who is credited with inventing the action figure with the first G.I. Joe 45 years ago, said his line of Bible-based Almighty Heroes toys -- including likenesses of King David, Queen Esther, Samson and Jonah -- have been hot sellers at Christian bookstores and other specialty stores, the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel reported Wednesday.

He said at the International Christian Retail Show in Orlando that mainstream retailers are now expressing an interest in the Almighty Heroes.

"We're working on our first order for Wal-Mart," Levine said. "We're also working with Target, Walgreens and others."

Levine, a Korean War veteran, said that while he created G.I. Joe to honor his fellow servicemen and veterans, it was a less altruistic revelation that led him to create the Almighty Heroes -- there are an estimated 2 billion Christians in the world.

"Donald Levine, being in the marketing business, likes a niche market like that," said Levine, who is Jewish.

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