We Asked 24,000 Bernie Sanders Supporters If We Should Make A Trump Action Figure. Here’s What They Said.
Last month, we shipped out about 27,000 Bernie Sanders Action Figures to about 24,000 Bernie Sanders supporters. In every package, we included a card inviting our Bernie customers to help us decide whether we should make a Donald Trump Action Figure, an Elizabeth Warren Action Figure, or both.
The results are in and, as could be expected with all things Donald, they are polarized. Let’s dive into the data.
Question #1: Who would you like to see turned into an action figure next?
Interesting, right? At first blush, it’s clear that the majority wants us to make Elizabeth Warren into a toy. All in all, 77% of voters. Even clearer though, statistically, is that basically everybody wants us to make at least one of these political action figures, as only 2% of voters said “neither”. That’s great news for us!
But what to make of the Trump numbers? Only 45% of respondents wanted a Trump Action Figure. Not an overwhelming endorsement, but if you consider that we’re talking about an audience made up entirely of ardent Bernie Sanders supporters then that number is actually shockingly high. Nearly half of them want us to make Trump?
Interesting. Let’s dig a little deeper.
Question #2: How excited would you be for a Liz Warren Action Figure?
To give it some context, let’s look at that next to the same question for Trump…
Question #3: How would you feel about a Trump Action Figure?
This is where it gets fascinating for us. If you look at the averages on a 10-scale, Liz crushes Trump with 7.52 to his 5.34 in terms of excitement. But if you dig deeper, something interesting emerges.
The top answer for Liz was a perfect 10 out of 10. For Donald, it was the exact opposite – a perfectly miserable 1 out 10. But when you look at the second most popular answer for Liz, it’s a respectable 8 while Donald somehow jumps up to 10! In fact, he has nearly as many 10’s as he does 1’s! Look at his graph – it’s basically a dumbbell (no pun intended) – weighted at both ends.
As product designers, what are we to make of that?
What we’re aiming for, first and foremost, when we create any product is a strong emotional response. At the end of the day, we’re selling tiny sculptures and the reason people buy them is that it makes them feel something. If that little bit of magic doesn’t happen as a creator then you’re stuck in the Land of Meh.
So rather than focus on the overall average, or just the positive scores, we added together the extreme scores for each candidate to get an Emotional Index. America, guess who won.
45% + 12% = 57% Emotional Index
35% + 27% = 62% Emotional Index
They both look pretty good and, based on what we’re seeing, we’d like to move forward with both figures, but we feel a little safer with Trump. All in all, the impression we have is that he’d be like the Darth Vader in our collection whereas Elizabeth Warren would be something more along the lines of a Lando Calrissian. (Either you get that analogy or you don’t!)
The Wisdom of The Crowd
One of our most favorite things to do is to get our community involved in our creative process. It’s about the funnest way ever to answer those tough little questions that inevitably come up during the product design and brand creation process. Nine times out of ten, we will go with the crowd’s answer on this stuff because it’s the closest things there is to a “right answer”.
Question #4: If we make Liz, what color should her blazer be?
Question #5: If we make Trump, which face should he have?
Question #6: And which hand size; tiny or regular?
Ha. This turned out to be the closest we got to a unanimous response on the whole survey!
Ease our Guilty Conscience
We can’t lie – the question of whether or not to make Trump has been incredibly tough for us. We really are the starry-eyed idealists that we’ve portrayed ourselves as in our Kickstarter campaigns. A big part of what makes life at FCTRY so much fun is that we get to feel like we’re doing a little good when we make our stuff. The possibility of making Trump makes us uncomfortable because he is literally the antithesis of all the things we support.
But at the same time… we just know that he’d make such a funny little toy! And everyone knows that villains are the best characters. So there’s that.
Our solution to this dilemma is that if we make the Trump Action Figure, instead of donating to his campaign as we did with both Bernie and Hillary, we will donate to the Un-Trumpiest cause we can find.
Once again, we turned to our Bernie backers and asked them the following…
If we make Trump we’ll make a donation to a really un-Trumpy cause every time we sell one. Any suggestions?
Here are some of the answers that appeared most frequently:
*turns out this one wasn’t real
Where Do We Go Now?
Armed with all the feedback from the poll, we went back to Mike Leavitt, the man who makes the magic happen, and asked him to sculpt prototypes of both Trump and Warren. We’re not going to lie; he hated working on Trump, but that did not stop him from knocking it out of the park on a technical level. You can see for yourself below; he nailed it with both Trump and Warren.
If you ever wondered what Trump would look like without his trademark
helmet hair, wonder no more!
All that’s left now is to cross that chasm from art to mass production. Fortunately, that’s our specialty. We haven’t fully decided if and how we’re going to bring these guys to market just yet. But stay tuned. We are hoping to have some fun news on that front pretty soon.