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Obamabilia: Royalty-free "Kind Eyes" Already Stimulating the Economy

BY FC Expert Blogger Lynette ChiangWed Jan 21, 2009
This blog is written by a member of our expert blogging community and expresses that expert's views alone.

YOU SHOW me yours, and I'll show mine. My Obamabilia, that is.

I just watched a CNN story on the Mt McKinley-sized dune of opportunistic landfill featuring Obama's face, "with kind eyes," according to an ad for ornamental plates.

I love to mock those portrait platters with the gold trim that will blow up your microwave. And aren't I a fabulous nobody for doing so  -  apparently the manufacturer has sold a staggering 700,000 at $19.95.

Obama is already working his economic stimulus magic and he hasn't even uncapped his pen (or turned off his Barackberry).

By allowing his face to be printed, stamped, molded, frosted and die cut on everything edible and inedible to man - sans royalty - he's making a ton of small businesses a small fortune.

But could he, should he, take a royalty, and direct it towards his economic stimulus efforts? That is, put proceeds from the sale of goods bearing his or his family's image in a "Recession Recovery Fund," to be smartly and honestly managed by these people?

Imagine the kudos if he'd announced he was cutting the Inauguration Gala Fund in half and putting it towards the economy, and the gala events became a cheerful cook-out on the White House lawn ...

I bought my Obamabilia right after Nov 5. I paid $10 for a reprint of the 75 cent Chicago Tribune, after hearing that the New York Times' first edition was going for $400 on Ebay – and also discovering the Times site logjammed by orders for its $14.95 reprint.

I bought it because Obama is from Chicago. He lives in Chicago. He was in Chicago when he was proclaimed president-elect. I made this little clip with my camera poking out of a New York City window but I wished I was in Chicago.  Surely, my Chicago Obamabilia is better than your Obamabilia?

Here's a sweet little morsel of Obamabilia: loitering with intent in a bakery in Manhattan Chelsea Market I saw these Obama-themed cupcakes and cookies (see photo). I'm not sure about ingesting color copied icing, but they were impressive. When I took out my camera the assistant behind the counter held up her hand. "No photos."

When I took out my camera the assistant behind the counter held up her hand. "No photos." I never understand "no photos". I don't recall Jackson Pollock sending the paintball police around when he came out with "Blue Poles" and he made a lot of money. Some ideas - like Obamacakes - are pointless protecting. Just be the first and make sure everyone including your friendly customer evangelist know it. There's great currency in being - or being seen as - the first. The guy who invented those raised dots for the road isn't suffering. (And then, after you become famous and make a pile, go a step further and destroy your fame and start again, like Banksy could).

Back to my Obamabilia: I confess I bought a couple of those silly Chicago Tribune "press plates" for $25 each and I have no idea why.  It's a piece of aluminum with the front page printed on it in plain black type with two holes drilled at the top. I think it's a nod to some old offset printing method, but that's where the usefulness ends. It's got sharp edges, be careful. They've gone into overtime churning them out.

The Obamabilia curator at the Smithsonian sardonically informs us (while turning over an Obama shot glass in a surgically-gloved hand) that "the very definition of collectible means that it's not." Ah, maybe I can use my press plate as a Wobble Board – an Australian piece of "Rolfabilia" – and sing for my stimulus package.

Yep, I'm a sucker too - but hey, I'm stimulating the economy.

The Galfromdownunder would like a decal or skin for her Pearl – who's going to be first to invent it?  Here's how her customers celebrated in DC and in Jakarta. And pictured: a picture of a picture of the Obama cupcake, from a poster at Eleni's cake shop, which I hereby mention even though I was told "No Photos." Ah, must be those "kind eyes."


Work/Life, inauguration, Evangelist, customer, obama, obamabilia, Barack Obama, Chicago, Economic Stimulus, Domestic Policy, Economic Policy

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