Connecticut company unveils Michele Bachmann action figureby Madeleine Baran, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Rep. Michele Bachmann has attracted national media attention for her denunciation of ACORN and for suggesting that President Obama might be "anti-American," but on Friday she achieved a new level of celebrity status -- in the form of her own action figure.
The Connecticut-based toy company Herobuilders plans to release the doll today on its website.
The $39.95 Bachmann action figure will share the catalog with Rod Blagojevich, (a $149.95 limited edition figure), Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (sporting a t-shirt that reads "Let them eat yellow cake"), Joe the Plumber (with his own custom-made crow bar), and a talking Joe Wilson, among others.
Emil Vicale, CEO of Herobuilders, said that choosing who gets to be an action figure can be difficult.
"There's a lot of thought that goes into that," he said. "Sometimes it's just very easy, like Joe Wilson when he called Obama a liar. I mean you have to be an action figure then. Sarah Palin, that was pretty obvious."
"I think you just have to strike my fancy, I guess."
When asked what aspects of Bachmann "struck his fancy," Vicale said, "She's hot. Did I say that out loud? Yeah, I guess I did."
Bachmann will be dressed in a business suit. Vicale said he originally thought about having her hold a gun, "but I'm thinking 'no' this time."
"We're not going to do anything over the top," he said. "I think she'll look good in a nice tailored business suit."
Dave Dziok, a spokesperson for Bachmann, said the Congresswoman hadn't heard about the action figure. "That's pretty cool," he said.
Herobuilders started in 2002, when it released a President George Bush action figure, after Vicale was inspired by President Bush's appearance at Ground Zero.
But Vicale said that Sarah Palin and Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf, the former Iraqi Information Minister, have been the most popular.
He declined to provide specific sales figures, other than to say that he once sold 20,000 al-Sahhaf action figures in 24 hours, when the minister gained the nickname "Baghdad Bob" for his bizarre statements during the Iraq War.
Vicale has considered and rejected several action figure candidates, including Rep. Ron Paul, whose denunciation of the Federal Reserve has attracted national attention.
"I've been asked that before," he said, speaking about Paul. "He doesn't look like an action figure at all, does he?"
Vicale said his company, despite designing sometimes outrageous figures, is a business like any other.
"We're really trying to sell product," he said. "So you really have to look at the broad base and the appeal of the person first, and then what it would look like as an action figure second, and will someone buy it. Will an adult actually want this as a collectible?"
The Bachmann action figure, manufactured in Oxford, Connecticut, will be limited to 250 figures, although Vicale said more could be produced if demand is high.