The Ideal Toy Company was founded by Morris and Rose Michtom on the success of the first Teddy Bear. They had a string of hits from Betsy Wetsy to the Rubik’s Cube, but in 1958, they released their biggest flop.
The Baby Jesus Doll was allegedly inspired by a visit to see the pope, and had the blessing of the Catholic Church. As the Michtom’s daughter explained to the New York Post in 2002, “Being Jewish, [the family] didn’t understand that no one was going to buy the toy. No one was going to have their children playing with the Christ child.”
What a sad fate for the “first unbreakable vinyl replica of the Infant Jesus” which was also “produced under the direction and guidance of church authorities,” complete with simulated straw and satin.