[Web Special] Femi Oke Visits the Maker of the Michelle Obama Action Figure
Friday, November 20, 2009 - 02:38 AM
Femi Oke : News host and Reporter for The Takeaway
I am in Brooklyn spending my lunch hour with Michelle Obama, and we’ve just been evicted from Starbucks! The manager on duty obviously didn’t appreciate the First Lady’s warm grin, head that can rotate 360 degrees and powerful arms. Sadly the First Lady I’m spending time with is only six inches tall, so I dropped her into my bag and slunk out of the coffee shop. (...continue reading)
I am on assignment for “The Takeaway,” road-testing the first lady’s new action figure on the public. Wrapped in bubble wrap I have three "flavors" of Michelle Obama. There’s Michelle from her pre-election visit to “The View”, Michelle wearing her purple “fist-bump” dress from the Denver National Convention, and Michelle in the memorable red and black outfit she wore on election night.
What I find amazing is that the men and women I spoke to knew all the outfits and the occasions the First Lady wore them. Christine from Trinidad falls in love with the mini-Michelle, and casts an approving eye over her “simple” clothes sense. Errol Williamson examines the three figures carefully and then tells me with a serious face that the dresses need to be shorter. Most men I showed mini-Michelle to complained that the action figure looked too strong and powerful. Bert from Harlem wanted to cover up her arms -- arms that, according to Pete from Brooklyn, made her look like a “wrestler”. This makes me wonder if a fully grown man could really be in awe of a six inch model, even if it is of Michelle Obama.
The Michelle Obama Action Figure was designed by Jason Fineberg who owns Jailbreak Toys. Last year he started selling the Obama candidate figure, before the blitz of Obama merchandise. In this past year over 200,000 Obama dolls have been sold worldwide. This week the first run of 10,000 Michelle Obama action figures go on sale. The White House knows about the toy, but has yet to comment. The first lady already has two of Jason’s President Obama action figures. Jason found this out when he sent her one as a gift. Michelle Obama told her aide that she already had one at home. Now she will have to clear some space on her office shelf for three more -- Jason says he is sending her all three Michelle Action figures this week.
The new Michelle Obama action figure is available in stores and online for $12.99 at the Jailbreak Toys website.
Femi Oke is an international broadcaster and a correspondent for WNYC Radio’s national syndicated news show The Takeaway. Femi became known around the world for her reporting on Africa after joining CNN International in 1999. She also hosted CNN's award-winning African affairs program "Inside Africa". Her work has been recognized by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Communications Agency, InterAction, the Peabody Awards Committee.