Back when Mohammed Dressup was just a twinkle in my eye, even then I knew they’d be a tough sell. I’d already experienced first hand the hurdles of Jesus Dressup. Stores probably won’t carry them, any help with promotions is almost impossible, and even other atheists choose to sidestep the topic. They’re a hot potato item to say the least! But goddammit if I was going to let that stop me!
Finding myself now, as a struggling, independent artist with the burden of moving the unmovable, I’ve had to be extremely proactive, and creative. So today I decided to take a trip down the street to the Shopping Mecca of the World – Times Square! It was time to pop my head into some of the most popular game & toy stores and see just how things were done, and what I could do to aid in the sales of my cute little dress up game.
Working my way north on Broadway the first place I came across was Toys R Us. The Times Square Toys R Us is a gargantuan five level mega-store, crammed to the brink of fire code violation with shoppers from all over the world! There’s even a ferris wheel inside towering up to the ceiling. Then, turning the corner towards their puzzles dept, what do I see? My sweet Mohammed magnets on prominent display! There they were immediately adjacent to their Disney & Winnie The Poo puzzle games, I can’t tell you how elated I was! For way too long there’s been such a stigma attached to showing Mohammed The Prophet’s image in any context. Seeing him now, with my own eyes, here next to Poo-bear, I couldn’t help but reflect on the progress we’ve made. The walls we’ve torn down.
With a new spring in my step I made my way towards another part of the store. I was shocked a second time to spot them in their Baby’s R Us section among other games and puzzles. “How far we’ve come!” I thought to myself as I strutted onto the street, to which I directed my attention to the next destination. “How far we’ve come indeed.”
Next on my list, just a couple blocks north on B-way was the Disney Store! “What are the chances,” I thought, “that Disney will have opened up their mind to take a chance on a guy like me?” The Disney Store in Times Square is smaller than you might expect. There’s a long escalator ride up to the main floor, but surprisingly little retail space to browse. I was sure I wouldn’t be so lucky as to score space here.
As I browsed my way through their magical kingdom towards Aladdin’s Castle, my inner genie whispered that another wish might soon be granted. And wouldn’t you know it, there directly under the Jasmine Princess dresses and dolls were even more of my beautiful Prophet’s magnet games on sale… at The Freaking Disney Store! It is a small, small world after all.
Last but not least, I made my way up to M&M’s World, pressing my luck as to just how fortunate I could be in one day. So much candy and toys for little girls and boys, and M&M’s in every direction! But would they make room for the Greatest M of them all? Answer: Yes! There amongst the USA cups and mugs sat a pile of M’s to top all M’s! Even here they were on display front and center where anyone could to snap a picture with their phone and post it on the web.
I never thought I’d say this, but our War on Terror has opened up the hearts and minds of corporations and the American public alike! If you would have told me ten years ago that my fridge magnets of the Prophet Mohammed would be on sale at the 3 largest toy stores in Times Square, I would have called you infidel and stoned you to death.