A Playmboil figure of famed Reformer Martin Luther has become not just the company's bestselling toy in its history, but has now been animated in a video telling the story of the Reformation.
Created as a souvenir ahead of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, the Luther figure was a huge hit, having sold more than half a million units since it launched in 2015. It became Playmobil's fastest-selling and best-selling product in its history, a fact the manuacturers admitted was a 'huge surprise'.
Now a stop-motion animation crafted by Go Chatter, a ministry of the Christian resources company 10ofthose, telling the story of Luther's life (in Playmobil form) has earned more than 15,000 views after just over a week online.
The video was created by compiling more than 5,000 photographs into an animated 4-minute film, narrated by theologian Mike Reeves, as 10ofthose CEO Jonathan Carswell, told Evangelical Focus. At the heart of the project was 10ofthose's 'digital evangelist' Dan Rackham, who was responsible for meticulously crafting the piece: collecting the figures, handmaking the sets and sequencing them into a film.
'Knowing the 500th anniversary of the Reformation was coming up we wanted to create something that not only told the story of Luther and the Reformation but also the good news of Jesus. With all the hype around the Playmobil character, Dan thought a stop motion movie might be a fun way to do it... and so he got to work!'
The video colourfully narrates Luther's life, his theological journey, and its impact on the world. Narrator Mike Reeves concludes: 'Today, 500 years on, the truths of the Bible that Luther knew continue to impact millions of people.
People who have come to know God personally, knowing the peace and forgiveness Jesus offers us.'
Carswell is hoping the video will be shared widely, and can both encourage Christians and introduce non-Christians to the message of the gospel.
Carswell described the vision of Go Chatter: 'We wanted to provide a place where people could discover some of the best evangelistic videos around, made by multiple groups of people. We have deliberately made it free so that anyone can use it. We also wanted to allow people to download the videos so that it wasn't just a case of having to play it online.
'Our whole passion at Go Chatter and indeed 10ofthose, which funds it, is to provide a one-stop-shop of the best resources around, that point to Jesus - at low or no cost. Our prayer is this will happen and as a result more people will fall in love with Jesus!'