Friday, October 10th, 2008
I religiously avoid discussing two subjects on Thingamababy â€” religion and politics. Oh, but I can’t help myself today.
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.
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.