What’s six inches tall, made of phthalate-free PVC plastic, and said to be powerful enough to transform a nation? It’s the Barack Obama action figure created and manufactured by Brooklyn-based Jailbreak Toys. “I decided that whatever I put out, it has to be more than just a product for product’s sake,” says Jason Feinberg, 31, who launched the company three years ago after spending a number of years working various odd jobs.
From the start, Feinberg made action figures favoring historical icons who have contributed positive changes to our world, such as “The Oddfellows” line, which includes Malcolm X, Mahatma Gandhi and Che Guevara. In January of this year, he decided to add an Obama figure, with movable arms and extended index figure, in true Obama leadership form.
“I was looking at what was going on with his campaign,” says Feinberg. “I was like, ‘Wow, this guy is for real.’ He could be the first president who is a part of the post-Vietnam generation. After the last eight years, I wasn’t expecting to have a candidate who thinks like us, talks like us and cares about all the things that my generation cares about. He’s become a symbol of our time.”
Orders have been coming in from all over the country. This month alone, Jailbreak Toys took in 20,000 requests for the Obama action figure. Wholesalers like Urban Outfitters have partnered with Feinberg to distribute the novelties, but many of the individual sales are coming from campaign field organizers who use the figure as a motivational tool to remind people of his message. To support the cause, Jailbreak Toys donates one dollar to the Obama campaign for every figure sold on the company’s Web site. (You can get your own presidential hopeful for $12.99, plus shipping charges, at Jailbreaktoys.com.)
“Those of us from Generation X remember all of our fictional heroes like Batman and Superman,” says Feinberg. “It’s so fulfilling having a hero based on a real man with real accomplishments.”
Credit: Courtesy of Jailbreaktoys.com