Saturday, November 29, 2008

Much of Obama memorabilia on the market these days is not worth the price

I’m trying to figure out what kind of person is going to shell out good money for dishes with Barack Obama’s picture emblazoned on them.

Or what about those Obama coins being sold through television advertising? How many people are going to spend legitimate money for phony currency?

THEN, THERE’S ALL the other assorted junk being peddled these days with the Obama visage. Where does it stop?

Now, I’m not talking about the merchandise being sold by the Obama campaign, which mostly consists of campaign buttons and assorted sport shirts and t-shirts, all of which have the campaign logo – the red, white and blue “O” that sort of resembles a rising sun.

We’re talking about all the petty junk that’s being sold to suckers with assorted rhetoric implying that they’re buying “limited edition” items that will have monetary (as well as historic) value in future years.

Both sides of a campaign mailing that wants us to think Barack Obama kills children. It is one mailing I will keep as an example of how ugly Campaign '08 became at times. Illustration provided by
How many people are buying this junk thinking they’re ensuring they will have an inheritance to pass along to their children (or something they can sell for “big bucks” in their graying years)?

NOW I WILL be the first to admit I am intrigued by the electoral process, and find displays of old memorabilia from past campaigns to be interesting. (Yes, I probably do need to get a life).

But it amazes me that people think this mass-produced pap is worth buying, or would ever have value. I can’t envision spending $34.95 (plus $5.99, shipping and handling) for an Obama dish that has (in my opinion) a horrid likeness of the man.

There’s also the fact that for anything like memorabilia to accumulate value, it has to be fairly old and scarce. The mass-produced stuff is never going to fall into that category.

In fact, I’m inclined to think that the Obama items that people received free-of-charge are the ones most likely to have some value, because they have the chance to be scarce and unique.

WHEN IT COMES to the Obama ’08 saga, there are three items I am going to hang on. Two are mailings put out by political people meant to influence the way people vote.

One is a mailing by the Illinois Democratic Party that is a glossy, multi-colored “palm card” featuring the Obama campaign logo, and informing us potential voters who they should vote for in the Feb. 5 primary.

The other is a glossy card printed in brown and white tones by the Black Republican political action committee, which tells us would-be voters that not only are one of 10 black babies aborted, it tells us, “That’s just fine with Barack Obama.”

Both of these items catch my attention because they show the tone of the campaign. It will be possible for some future generation to pick up these items (so long as they don’t manage to get destroyed while in my possession) and get a sense of the degree to which certain people supported Obama while others opposed him with hostile rhetoric.

THOSE, ALONG WITH some Obama items I have from his pre-presidential campaigns, are the things that might stand some chance of growing in value someday.

By comparison, the third item I have says nothing.

It is a roughly 7-inch-tall punching bag designed to sit on a desktop (there’s also a six-foot-tall version) that depicts “Bam Bam Obama.” It’s cute and colorful (and sits about five inches from my laptop).

It’s good for a quick chuckle when my mind gets hung up on how to phrase a thought while writing news or commentary.

BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, I only paid $2 for it – which is about $1.95 more than it will ever be worth.

At least I didn’t get ripped off as badly as people who are shelling out money for those plates (whose ads I see every time I turn on the television or pick up the newspaper)!

While I realize that some people (including my step-mother’s mother) like to collect plates (she keeps them on special wall-hangers in her dining area), there usually is a theme to those plates.

The most common one is to pick up a souvenir plate from a gift shop whenever someone happens to travel somewhere. The plates become a record, of sort, of places they have traveled to.

HOW DOES AN Obama plate fit into such a theme? For that matter, what kind of theme could an Obama plate ever fit into?

I can’t envision anyone would ever eat off such a plate, although I once stumbled across a website written by one of “those people” who is determined to believe Obama is a “Socialist” who said he’d never punish his cat by making it eat off an Obama plate.

If one really wants some sort of useless item for an Obama souvenir, I recommend a postage stamp. Admittedly, Obama won’t be eligible to appear on a U.S. stamp until at least one full year after he dies. But the African nations of Liberia and Chad beat his father’s homeland of Kenya to the punch, issuing an official stamp for sending mail within their boundaries. Those might wind up being some of the most intriguing Obama memorabilia to exist, even though most of them will wind up being saved by collectors - rather than ever being used to mail a letter.


EDITOR’S NOTES: Denver was a mecca for people wishing to buy all kinds of tacky items ( depicting Barack Obama’s picture.

Some people are still so bitter about the Election Day results that they are taking it out on the ( mass-produced, overpriced attempts at memorabilia.

Stamp collectors can get into the whole Obama-mania if they’re willing to purchase stamps ( from African nations.


Terry said...

I have sold Obama T-shirts and memorabilia since the spring and I have found that though there are better selling designs, people from all over the world have different tastes and want a large variety of designs and items. You would be amazed how many mousepads,clocks,mugs and such I have sold in Europe. You can check out my selections at

Anonymous said...

Just for fun, I started compiling images of Obama memorabilia, much of which seems to be getting marked down, post election.