I religiously avoid discussing two subjects on Thingamababy — religion and politics. Oh, but I can’t help myself today.

Photos of the front and back of the Barack-in-a-Box. A smiling Obama in a suit is shown popped out of the box.

Pop Art Creations is a small family-owned business that makes customized handmade jack-in-the-boxes. Really, it’s one woman, Heather Courtney, who takes 3 days to 2 weeks to finish one box per your specifications.

This year she gambled on her first mass-produced-in-China toy, Hillary-in-a-Box. She and her husband emptied their 401Ks to finance the production of 1,200 Hillaries. The first shipment arrived three days before Senator Clinton suspended her presidential campaign. Oops! Still, 600 Hillaries have sold since.

Undaunted, her new project is a limited run of 1,200 Barack-in-a-Boxes. Barack Obama pops out to the tune of Hail to the Chief.

The toy is “a light-hearted celebration of the man and his historic candidacy.” Each side of the box has a drawing of Obama in Americana scenes: Mount Rushmore, Barack and his wife in the famous painting American Gothic, and Obama-as-George Washington next to a cherry tree. It retails for $30.

Heather also created a handmade Barack-in-a-Box, donated to, which reportedly sold on eBay for $900.

First, plaudits for the product name. I appreciate clever word play.

Second, who the heck would buy a presidential candidate (or even elected president) as a jack-in-the-box?

Actually, I can think of three types of people.

#1 Political fanatics.

#2 Collectors of campaign paraphernalia (irrespective of political party).

#3 Parents who buy campaign shirts for their young children. We have one such set of friends whose 3-year-old wears Obama shirts.

Oh, and parents who film Obama baby video clips. I almost wrote an article about the Youtube phenomenon, but very few of those type of videos are actually amusing to people who don’t know the kids involved, and I couldn’t balance an equal presentation of Obama-Clinton-McCain videos (Hillary having the sparsest representation).

In the interest of equal time, if someone knows of a toy McCain Plane, I’ll write about it. (Sorry, dolls don’t count because they’ve been made in the three anointed candidate’s likenesses.)

There is something about saying the word “Obama” that toddlers seem to love, just a funny sounding word.

Between those three groups can Heather sell 1,200 Barack-in-a-boxes? We’ll see. The first shipment arrives shortly before election day.

Photos of the side views of the Barack-in-a-Box.

Photo of the Barack-in-a-Box in its closed state.


10 Responses to “Barack-in-a-Box”

  1. John says:

    I think I just threw up a little in my mouth.
    Please stick to your rule, no politics.

    October 10th, 2008 at 11:41 am

  2. Groovymarlin says:

    I think it’s kind of adorable, and I’m going to buy one for my husband for Xmas (he’s a political and collectible junkie). Thanks for the heads-up!

    October 10th, 2008 at 11:57 am

  3. RobMonroe says:

    That’s awesome. I like that they took the time to make sure the song is HttC instead of the Jack-in-the-Box song.

    You can blog politics if you want – it’s your joint, not mine!

    October 10th, 2008 at 12:00 pm

  4. Stephanie says:

    Too funny…. (and yeah, this is YOUR blog…do with it what you will.)

    And if anyone complains, tell them to go get a Sarah Palin action figure. After awhile it really isn’t about politics, it’s about funny toys for your desk.

    October 10th, 2008 at 12:21 pm

  5. Mark says:

    I’m bad, the first thing I thought of when I saw this was that Saturday Night Live skit/song with Justin Timberlake about…ummm…well, let’s just say it’s something else in a box, I’m sure you’re trying to keep your comment thread PG-13. :)

    October 10th, 2008 at 3:47 pm

  6. molly says:

    Have you seen those presidential paper dolls at Dover Publishing as well? Lots of fun stuff this year for political fanatics! Thanks for sharing — this one is especially fun(ny).

    October 10th, 2008 at 3:59 pm

  7. Marcy says:

    Too funny- we are totally going to get one. I collect political goodies and have lots of stuff from 60-70 years ago! This will be a fun addition.

    And if you seriously offend people by posting this then they need to read another blog. What if I thought that the “Baby Bum” kit was obscene? (I dont) but if I did I could just as well complain to you about it! Sheesh!

    Keep up the good work!

    October 10th, 2008 at 7:46 pm

  8. Kathleen says:

    Ha! This is great!!!! I will have to consider this idea for my father-in-law for Christmas…he is a political NUT!!!

    Thanks :)

    October 13th, 2008 at 6:30 am

  9. says:

    Any chance she can throw together a Stephen Harper in the box for us Canadians? I suspect she’ll sell out in minutes if she bundles them with sticks for beating.

    October 14th, 2008 at 7:18 pm

  10. Nancy Jo says:

    I bought mine a month ago, issue #2, and love it so much, wish I had 2 or 3. How many Issue 2′s were produced?

    February 21st, 2009 at 12:45 pm