Remember Ghee Happy? This was Pixar illustrator Sanjay Patel’s take on the Hindu Pantheon, done in a drawing style that was hipster crossed with the Powerpuff girls.
At the time, Manish observed that
… any kid-safe interpretation of Kali is bound to cross the line into kitsch. [Link]
Sanjay is now going from 2-D to 3-D. He has a mockup of a plush Kali doll [via BB], and is in the process of looking for a manufacturer. Presumably, he’s looking to market this as a children’s toy, although somehow I suspect it will end up in more hipster cribs than kiddy cribs.
This is where my intuitions fail me. The book and prints and apparel all seemed like things that might be purchased by (some) ABD Hindus. Certainly the remarks in the comments of the original post were pretty positive about Sanjay’s renderings.
Would the same be true about the plushy doll? If not, why not? Here, the fact that I’m not a Hindu gets in the way of my ability to imagine people’s reactions. Is there a difference between a children’s t-shirt and a doll? Hindu iconography has long been used for commercial purposes, is this any different? Is this something that you would buy?