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Campaign Collectibles & Even More Campaign Collectibles

by Sandra Lee Stuart (09/22/08).

It should come as no surprise high on the list of hot collectibles are presidential campaign related. Action figures, masks, comic books and of course, bobbleheads have hit the market. Coming soon if you’re not politically inclined? Seats from the to-be-demolished home of the New York Mets, Shea Stadium, and items from the House that Ruth Built, Yankee Stadium.

What’s the difference between a Hockey Mom and an Action Figure?

Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin has been immortalized in witty plastic. Custom action-figure maker HeroBuilders.com is already offering three models of the 12-inch-tall Palin action figure.

She’s available in a standard black pantsuit. But you can upgrade to the superaction-hero version that comes with a cutaway black trench coat that reveals a white miniskirt and weaponry. Or, you can indulge in a bizarre School Girl Sarah clad in a supershort plaid skirt and revealing top—something that never would’ve made it onto a Dick Cheney action figure. Each model sells for $29.95.

Collectors may differ over whether the figures resemble Palin in the slightest. But prices are rising as fast as her popularity. More than a dozen figures are listed on eBay for up to $59.95 apiece.

Herobuilders.com also offers an unnaturally buff Barack Obama in volleyball togs called Beach Blanket Barack and an equally (and oddly) muscular John McCain action figure that bears a strong resemblance to the Mr. Clean kitchen cleaner logo.

If you like your politicians tarnished, the catalog offers former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer (in a “No. 9 Customer” T-shirt) and John Edwards (in a “Rogue” T-shirt).

More campaign collectibles

Hispanic Business reports that on October 8, presidential comics of John McCain and Barack Obama will be available from IDW Publishing. IDW is taking pre-orders through its Web site. The comic books feature art by J. Scott Campbell.

With Halloween approaching, BuyCostumes.com is offering paper masks of Barack Obama and Joe Biden. They won’t be as vampy as the Palin Schoolgirl action figure, but more affordable at 99 cents apiece.

GOP trick-or-treaters can wear a McCain paper mask or upgrade to a choice of full over-the-head rubber masks for $14.99. Conservative couples may opt for the George and Laura Bush rubber-mask set, and there’s always the Mitt Romney or the Rudy Guiliani mask, both for $13.99.

Let us not forget bobbleheads, those little plastic toys with big heads that move when shaken.

“Captain Obama” is a 6-inch talking bobblehead with a superhero theme that retails for $14.99. It comes sealed in campaign-related red-white-and-blue packaging that should add to its value in the future.

A McCain bobblehead in navy dress whites at $49.99 is on back order.

Another McCain bobblehead is available for $19.95 as part of a large, but rather haphazard series of American political figures that includes Obama, the Clintons, the Bushes and even Ulysses S. Grant.

Wrecking-ball update

The clock is ticking on old seats in New York City’s aging ballparks. Both Yankee Stadium and Shea will be dismantled beginning this winter with new baseball-only stadiums ready for opening day next April.

Mets owners already have announced that fans can purchase a pair of the Queens ballpark’s 55,300 seats for $869 per pair—presumably in November after the Mets complete their expected postseason run, not discounting the possibility of another historic September collapse. Given that Shea is perhaps the nation’s ugliest ballpark, collectibles seekers will probably be limited.

The Yankees won’t advance to the playoffs, but the city generously has given baseball’s richest team until February 28 to vacate its home since 1924.

A slow, two-year demolition is scheduled around the removal of asbestos in nearly 100,000 square feet of roofing and floor tiles, reports the New York Post.

Parts of the House that Ruth Built that can be resold to collectors will be salvaged by May. Some large architectural features are more likely to be reinstalled in Heritage Field to be built near the old stadium’s site.

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