With the election just three months and change away, voters can take part in an informal poll and collect a likeness of their favorite (or least favorite) candidate for president, by purchasing a 12-inch toy of Joe Biden or Donald Trump from New England Toy, a company based in Simsbury.
The dolls are likenesses of the two major party candidates, and are being produced on a limited run. More than 6,000 have been ordered through the website, www.plushiepresident2020.com, which also tracks the numbers of toys sold, both nationwide and in each state, with the results on an interactive map. Purchasers can help turn their state from red to blue, or vice versa, by placing an order.
Josh Livingston, owner of New England Toy, came up with the idea, after toys of Dr. Anthony Fauci were a hot seller earlier this year.
“We had some fun and decent success with the Dr. Fauci [toy], and we were looking for something to keep our company busy during the slowdown in the economy — trying to keep our workers busy and the supplemental companies we work with, like warehouses and designers — keep them earning an income.”
Livingston said the likenesses of the two candidates were kept simple, and not meant to be caricatures. Both come with removable face masks.
“We wanted to do them in a way that was not to make fun of them,” Livingston said. “We wanted to make them collectable. We wanted to make it as true to life as we could, in a stuffed toy.”
The online poll and map, he said, may also be skewed, as many people are ordering both toys, and some may be purchasing the candidate they don’t support, for other reasons.
“Everyone’s been really positive about whether they want to order one for themselves as a collectible, or their least-favorite nominee and give it to their dog to chew on,” Livingston said. “Some people just want to take a picture of a dog chewing on one of them.”
New England Toy primarily creates custom stuffed animals, including mascots and characters for companies, for marketing, giveaways and sales. The Dr. Fauci plush toy was the company’s first item sold directly to customers.
The dolls sell for $25 apiece and will be delivered by September.
For more information, visit www.plushiepresident2020.com.
©2020 The Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn.)
Visit The Hartford Courant (Hartford, Conn.) at www.courant.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.