A figurine of a Protestant Reformation minister has become the fastest selling Playmobil toy of all time.
The unexpectedly popular Martin Luther figure, equipped with quill and German-language bible, sold out its first edition run of 34,000 within 72 hours, confounding the toymaker.
“That absolutely the fastest we’ve ever experienced,” spokesperson Anna Ermann told DW.
Martin Luther, credited as the founding father of Germany’s Protestant Church, challenged the authority of the Roman Catholic Church when he translated the bible from the traditional Latin to German.
The educational toy is being sold in the run-up to the 500 anniversary of the Protestant Reformation next year.
“I’m very happy with the news”, Astid Mühlmann, director of the German governmental office organising events around the anniversary, told Newsweek.
Created for the German and Nuremberg tourist boards and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bavaria, approximately 95 per cent of the “Little Luthers” sold have been within Germany.
The strong demand for the toy – the only comparable was a model of German painter and artist Albrecht Düreranother, which sold 80,000 figures over three days – shows there’s still a huge interest in the period claims Ms Mühlmann.
“On the one hand, Martin Luther was a totally normal person in the 16th century who believed in demons and witches and was afraid of them. He shared the belief of the majority of the people of the time,” Ms Mühlmann continued.
“On the other hand he had very modern ideas. He believed every person had the right to an education, including women and girls. In this aspect, he was a very 21st century man.”