Recession hits recession-proof industry

posted at 1:36 pm on September 29, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

The economy is worse than we thought.  Yes, we know mass layoffs have jumped upward, unemployment continues to rise, durable-goods orders fell significantly, and housing resales have slumped again, but now we have an even more shocking indicator of economic trouble.  Sales of Barack Obama-related merchandise have fallen through the floor, leaving distributors anxious about their future:

They cashed out retirement funds to build their business during the 2008 presidential campaign. Now they have 3,000 jack-in-the-boxes with smiling Barack Obama puppets inside — all sitting in a California warehouse, waiting to be sprung open for $29.95 apiece.

For Barack-in-the-Box creator Heather Courtney and her husband, David Manzo, the Obamamania that drove sales so fast they could barely keep up during the inauguration is over now. Sales have slowed to a “sporadic drizzle,” the 36-year-old artist said, in part because the president’s just not as popular.

On the other hand, perhaps they just missed the curve:

That’s been the biggest shift in Obama merchandising — the rise of anti-Obama sales in recent months.

Online retailer CafePress.com, where users can make and sell their own shirt designs, saw anti-Obama sales boom since June.

I’d call this a political indicator rather than an economic indicator, although the economy has plenty to do with it.  Perhaps America has gotten over the Obama fad and started recognizing that we elected a President who is in way over his head and floundering badly.

Besides, we have a better indicator of economic pessimism today:

Americans’ worries about job security flared up in September, causing a widely watched barometer of consumer confidence to dip unexpectedly and raising more concern about the upcoming holiday shopping season and the overall economic recovery.

The New York-based Conference Board, a private research group, said that its Consumer Confidence Index dipped to 53.1 in September, down from the revised 54.5 reading in August. Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected a reading of 57.

The index had enjoyed a three-month climb fueled by signs that the economy might be stabilizing. That followed a historic low in February of 25.3 and a bumpy road after June as rising unemployment has caught up with shoppers.

Small wonder people have begun to forsake their Obama souvenir shopping …


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I have a hint: paint joker faces over all of them and watch them sell like hotcakes.

I, for one, would love a joker-obama jack in the box. I’d give one to every liberal I know this Christmas.

WWS on September 29, 2009 at 1:42 PM

I actually took the time to google them and found a contact via a press release firm. So I filled out their query form and submitted your suggestion to them. Told them no offense, but here is a good idea to help them recoop their investment.

karenhasfreedom on September 29, 2009 at 2:28 PM

We are living in a very liberal area, with LOTS of Obama supporters. I mentioned it to my husband just last week that one doesn’t see so many Obama shirts around anymore. Bob Marley and Martin Luther King Jr shirts yes, but Obama shirts, not so much.
Interesting.

jjoyy on September 29, 2009 at 2:28 PM

Perhaps America has gotten over the Obama fad and started recognizing that we elected a President who is in way over his head and floundering badly hates America and wishes to see her laid low.

Fixed it for ya, Ed.

gryphon202 on September 29, 2009 at 2:29 PM

Are these trolls ever right?

Bleeds Blue on September 29, 2009 at 2:17 PM

Agnew resigned over tax evasion.

The income source was bribes from a Maryland highway construction firm. He did not put tha money in a freezer.

I can name oh, maybe, 200 democrats with worse sins.

Just as you worthies accuse or blame President Bush for everything, the right can dig into the Demoron party’s past for just about any outrage. And come out with corruption in spades.

IlikedAUH2O on September 29, 2009 at 2:31 PM

I rarely see the O bumperstickers anymore, and I’m in L.A.

John the Libertarian on September 29, 2009 at 1:40 PM

I still see the occasional kerry krackhead sticker. I want to pull them over and tell them to “get over it already.”

Mangy Scot on September 29, 2009 at 2:31 PM

Here in Ohio I see quite a few Obama t-shirts worn.

Tzetzes on September 29, 2009 at 2:33 PM

BAILOUT!!

Russ

russcote on September 29, 2009 at 2:33 PM

I hear that Obooba toilet paper is selling briskly.

Akzed on September 29, 2009 at 2:39 PM

Obviously the MSM is not beating Barry’s “Recovery” drum hard enough. Wait for the next pronouncement from Baghdad Bobby Gibbs “YOU PEOPLE AREN’T TRYING HARD ENOUGH!” Then the subsequent subservient response from the MSM “BUT WHAT MORE CAN WE DO?”

GarandFan on September 29, 2009 at 2:40 PM

Do I smell Bailout!?

rbj on September 29, 2009 at 1:46 PM

Great sense of smell!

Gang-of-One on September 29, 2009 at 2:40 PM

I hear that Obooba toilet paper is selling briskly.

Akzed on September 29, 2009 at 2:39 PM

No… I heard the newspapers were in decline.

LibTired on September 29, 2009 at 2:47 PM

That’s been the biggest shift in Obama merchandising — the rise of anti-Obama sales in recent months.

So, the ten-thousand dollar question is, “How do you cost effectively turn 3000 pro-Obama Jack-in-the-boxes into anti-Obama items?”

Count to 10 on September 29, 2009 at 2:49 PM

Paint the Joker face on them and sell them as anti-Obama merchandise.

Daggett on September 29, 2009 at 1:41 PM

Yeah, that might work.

Count to 10 on September 29, 2009 at 2:52 PM

I drive coast to coast in my state.. Nope. No Obama stickers on cars anymore.

Key West Reader on September 29, 2009 at 2:55 PM

Count to 10 on September 29, 2009 at 2:49 PM

This is easy to fix. Just put a sticker on the inside of the lid that says, “The joke’s on you!” Voila! Instant anti-Obama toy, which ought to sell like hotcakes.

Stickers? $20 for 1,000. Time to put them on? 10 seconds per piece. Watching your dopey hope-and-change inspired business go down the tubes? Priceless. What made them think that the world of Obama would be a good environment for entrepreneurs?

smellthecoffee on September 29, 2009 at 2:55 PM

So, the ten-thousand dollar question is, “How do you cost effectively turn 3000 pro-Obama Jack-in-the-boxes into anti-Obama items?”

Count to 10 on September 29, 2009 at 2:49 PM

Cross out “Jack” and replace with the word A$$-in-the-box. Then paint a little Dem Donkey on it. That’ll sell.

Key West Reader on September 29, 2009 at 2:56 PM

I knew things were looking up when I recently saw a young scraggly-headed San Diego surfer crusing the beach sporting his OBAMA IS A FRAUD tee.

Gang-of-One on September 29, 2009 at 2:56 PM

“How do you cost effectively turn 3000 pro-Obama Jack-in-the-boxes into anti-Obama items?”

Count to 10 on September 29, 2009 at 2:49 PM

By letting him be himself.

Schadenfreude on September 29, 2009 at 2:59 PM

“Perhaps America has gotten over the Obama fad and started recognizing that we elected a President who is in way over his head and floundering badly.”

Has anyone else noticed an increase in the theft of “Obama” stickers from their neighbor’s cars…?

… How else would you explain the disappearance of so many “I am an idiot” signs?

Seven Percent Solution on September 29, 2009 at 3:00 PM

What are the chances that the rubes who cashed out their retirement fund to start an Obama crap shop was a Dem? If so, further proof that Liberalism is bad for your financial health.

EMD on September 29, 2009 at 3:02 PM

Anti-Obama stuff began to spike in June, so people were getting frustrated in March/April and blew up in June.

Wow. Only 3 or 4 months and the Love Light was gone from Da One.

Sounds like an unhappy marriage. How do we get an annulment?

GunRunner on September 29, 2009 at 3:06 PM

Obama Idol Inc.- TOO BIG TO FAIL

Fletch54 on September 29, 2009 at 3:12 PM

The party is over Barry.

Just wait till the Dems shove the Public Option down our throats and up our arses.

You think anti Obama is bad now…you’ll remember these as the ‘good ole day’s very soon, my socialist freind.

DrW on September 29, 2009 at 3:13 PM

I hear that Obama toilet paper is selling briskly.

Copies of the Constitution?

Ohhh… you meant Obama-themed toilet paper.

benjamin on September 29, 2009 at 3:16 PM

hear that Obooba toilet paper is selling briskly.

Akzed on September 29, 2009 at 2:39 PM

yep, but you can only use one sheet at a time.

jbh45 on September 29, 2009 at 3:20 PM

At least my Obama commemorative coins pitched by Montel Williams have been going up in value!

PatMac on September 29, 2009 at 3:31 PM

Jack-A** in a box.

Susanboo on September 29, 2009 at 3:40 PM

However, there has been a significant up tick in Obama toilet paper sells.

TheSitRep on September 29, 2009 at 3:42 PM

I am unsure what would move someone to cash in their retirement fund to go into the Obama-in-the-Box industry.

Bleeds Blue on September 29, 2009 at 2:17 PM

Simple. Liberalism is a mental disease.

angryed on September 29, 2009 at 3:54 PM

I drive coast to coast in my state.. Nope. No Obama stickers on cars anymore.

Key West Reader on September 29, 2009 at 2:55 PM

Come on up to the “treasure coast” some time. We’ve still got plenty of empty-headed autobamatons left.

On the other hand, since the area is a red enclave, surrounded by deep blue, it may be less True Believers than ornery contrariness on their part. Like seeing “W: Still President” stickers in Detroit in 2005.

Blacksmith on September 29, 2009 at 4:01 PM

So, the ten-thousand dollar question is, “How do you cost effectively turn 3000 pro-Obama Jack-in-the-boxes into anti-Obama items?”

Count to 10 on September 29, 2009 at 2:49 PM

Just make it say “Pop goes the Weasel”

paragon27x on September 29, 2009 at 4:09 PM

Beauty may be skin deep, but stupid goes clear to the bone.

mojo on September 29, 2009 at 4:14 PM

The Anointed One is turning into the pink bunny; he’s going, going, going…

One hopes.

Dhuka on September 29, 2009 at 4:21 PM

I rarely see the O bumperstickers anymore, and I’m in L.A.

John the Libertarian on September 29, 2009 at 1:40 PM

They apparently have expiration dates, like all of his statements and positions.

TXUS on September 29, 2009 at 4:30 PM

It occurs to me that Obama is the perfect subject, if one was to be manufacturing “Jerk-in-the boxes”

VelvetElvis on September 29, 2009 at 5:06 PM

Maybe this is another symptom of over-exposure. If you see Obama on the tv all the time, you might not want toys around your house that constantly display the same smug look.

docdave on September 29, 2009 at 5:20 PM

They cashed out retirement funds to build their business during the 2008 presidential campaign. Now they have 3,000 jack-in-the-boxes with smiling Barack Obama puppets inside — all sitting in a California warehouse, waiting to be sprung open for $29.95 apiece.

I`m sure this has already been said, but is it wrong that I find that part extremely hilarious?

ThePrez on September 29, 2009 at 6:15 PM

“They cashed out retirement funds to build their business during the 2008 presidential campaign. Now they have 3,000 jack-in-the-boxes with smiling Barack Obama puppets inside — all sitting in a California warehouse, waiting to be sprung open for $29.95 apiece.”

Apply for some stimulus money…

patch on September 29, 2009 at 6:38 PM

I got caught up in the Obama craze back in February. My wife was sick, I went in to a Walgreen’s to get her some meds, there it was, I had to have one, the Chia Obama, I bought one to celebrate our new savior, my Conservative friends were jealous, my liberal ones, oh wait, I have none. Anyway, it was a big hit.

A Barrack-in-a-box will be bought immediately with the Joker face, perhaps someone should let the makers know, of course they’ll be arrested and water boarded by the “civilian security force”. We don’t water board terrorist’s, discenters…?

M-14 2go on September 29, 2009 at 7:51 PM

Ask the Mayor of the United States. Thats all he is. The man can’t even think a sentence more than 3 words at a time.
Small small thinker.

johnnyU on September 29, 2009 at 8:05 PM

My favorite is the Obama Joker Mask!

swanzoid on September 29, 2009 at 8:21 PM

Where’s all the idiots that sent their nickels and dimes via PayPal to this guy last year? Don’t tell me that they are, a. broke, b. disenchanted, or c. there really aren’t as many as we thought in the first place?

Dr. ZhivBlago on September 29, 2009 at 9:19 PM

What song was played when you cranked the Jack-n-the box?

jpmn on September 29, 2009 at 9:37 PM

We need an “Obama merchandise czar”.

darwin-t on September 29, 2009 at 11:24 PM

I want to make this into a bumper sticker

darwin-t on September 29, 2009 at 11:33 PM

hear that Obooba toilet paper is selling briskly.

Akzed on September 29, 2009 at 2:39 PM

They should change the product line: punching bags, dart boards or pin the tail on the donkey (for the kids), they’d be rolling in the dough.

njpat on September 30, 2009 at 7:16 AM

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