It's a Bird, It's a Plane... Nope, A Presidential Candidate

Wednesday, June 25th 2008, 4:47 pm
By: News 9

By Karin Caifa in Washington

Robert Downey, Jr., as Iron Man. Edward Norton as the Incredible Hulk. Barack Obama as Superman?

In a summer dominated by superhero blockbusters, actor Dennis Quaid submitted another name for your consideration: Barack Obama. Last night at Obama's premiere Hollywood fundraiser, Quaid called the Democrats' presumptive presidential nominee, "Superman for everyone."

So like every superhero worth his -- or her, thank you very much -- salt, Obama has his very own action figure. The brainchild of New York's Jailbreak Toys, the figure stands just 6 inches tall, a perfect pocket-sized companion for political canvassing, rallying, or debate-watching. Plus he's got bendable limbs that allow him to switch positions - er, poses.

The figure's description on the Jailbreak Toys website even sounds like a movie trailer. "In a time when America so desperately needed a hero, it reads, "along came a man to show us a brand new vision of what America and the world could be in the 21st century."

And Jailbreak Toys president Jason Feinberg wanted it that way. "For my generation, superheroes had action figures," he explained from Jailbreak's headquarters Wednesday afternoon. "What I was trying to do was capture that whole superhero feeling. I do honestly believe there is something to that in this whole campaign."

Feinberg says early on he hesitated to add Obama to his roster of pint-sized likenesses of famous figures like Gandhi, Beethoven, Picasso and Freud. Not because he's not an ardent fan of the senator from Illinois, because he is (and he'll donate a dollar from each action figure sold to the Democrat's campaign.) "I saw Obama and I was like, I'm amazed by this man," he says.

But Feinberg says he's never picked a political winner. "You have to, in terms of production time, choose well in advance," he explains of his sculptures. Given that, he was worried he'd be left with a whole lot of figures and not a lot of buyers if Obama lost the primary fight.

When Obama clinched the Iowa caucuses in January, Feinberg started moving forward. In addition to the action figure, Obama fans can also snag a t-shirt featuring a graphic likeness of the candidate/action hero, with that edgy, comic book feel.

In the interest of fairness, I asked Feinberg if Jailbreak has a John McCain action figure in the pipeline.

He paused. "There actually is a McCain," the Obama fan admitted. He expects the GOP action figure to be ready to go mid-August, just in time for the party conventions, and for the ultimate political superhero fight - Election Day.

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