It's not surprising that creators of novelty toys and comic books find inspiration in the political realm, given how easily politicians can come off as cartoonish caricatures. This election season offers up plenty of wacky, if not necessarily tasteful, gift choices for political enthusiasts of all stripes. Here, some of the more eyebrow-raising examples:
The name may sound partisan, but this toy — a "marshmallow shooter" that looks like something out of Ghostbusters — is "designed to lighten up this year's serious midterm congressional election," according to the Dallas Morning News. Its manufacturer, Dallas-based Marshmallow Fun Co., has distributed Filiblasters to high-profile figures ranging from President Obama to Glenn Beck. Available in red or blue, for obvious reasons.
Sarah Palin's Talking Cojones
When Sarah Palin recently remarked that President Obama didn't have "the cojones" to handle illegal immigration, a lightbulb went off for Connecticut toymaker Emil Vacale. He created a "cute and cuddly portable sack" of pink plush material that, when squeezed, plays a recording of Palin's "infamous" quote. Vacale is also responsible for "a Tony Hayward 'inaction' figure," notes Katia McGlynn at The Huffington Post, a comment of sorts on the widely criticized former CEO of BP.
An Alvin Greene action figure (of sorts)
Greene, the oddball Democratic senate candidate in South Carolina (trailing Sen. Jim DeMint by 47 percent in a recent poll) once proposed an action figure of himself as a way to stimulate the economy. A local Charleston baseball team approximated the concept by attaching a photo of Greene to a "male statue of Liberty," reports Dan Amira at New York. Sure, these promotional items are not exactly the real thing, but "all dreams have to start somewhere."
The Aqua Buddha
In Kentucky's bitter Senate race, Democrat Jack Conway has been running controversial ads alleging that his opponent, Republican Rand Paul, worshipped at the altar of a "false idol" known as "Aqua Buddha" during college. And now, a real "Buddha water globe" can be yours for the low price of $40. "If you are like me and asking yourself, 'Just what should I buy Rand Paul for Christmas?'" says Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic, "I have found the answer."
A Michelle Bachmann comic book
The latest issue of "False Witness," a satirical comic book series produced by "local [Minnesota] detractors of the reigning Congresswoman of the Tea Party right" apparently dramatizes how Bachman "has built and mobilized her support base by fear-mongering against various groups and issues." Hmm, says Eric Kleefeld of Talking Points Memo. "The most intriguing thing about the Bachmann comic... is that it exists at all."