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Product Design

The Vote Is In

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?

Screenshot 2016-08-11 16.17.23

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?

Screenshot 2016-08-11 16.42.18

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?

Screenshot 2016-08-11 16.46.50

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.

Elizabeth Warren

 45% + 12% = 57% Emotional Index

Donald Trump

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?

Screenshot 2016-08-12 10.38.30

Question #5: If we make Trump, which face should he have?

Screenshot 2016-08-12 10.47.44

Screenshot 2016-08-12 10.44.12

Question #6: And which hand size; tiny or regular?

Screenshot 2016-08-12 10.52.32

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.

Screenshot 2016-08-12 16.04.20

If you ever wondered what Trump would look like without his trademark helmet hair, wonder no more!

Screenshot 2016-08-12 16.10.33

Showtime

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.

96 replies on “The Vote Is In”

I don’t like Donald trump or anything that he stands for. With that being said I am glad that you’ve decided to make him. I’ve purchased Obama, Hillary and Bernie. Donald trump will be a great addition to my collection. it will remind me of the good and the bad that ran for president of the United States. I really would like to know what the Donald trump package will look like and what will be printed on the package. I think it would’ve been great if you let us vote on that as well.

I think people want a Trump figure so they can break it. but I donlike the notion of giving money to the most unTrumpy org out there (even if it can’t be United Muslim Lesbians of Mexico).

but more importantly, how about a Joe B. figure? Ladies Love Joe B.

The fact that they don’t have a Joe Biden action figure is, to quote the man himself, “a bunch of malarkey!”

So, even as all of these Clinton revelations continue to pour in, the LAMBS LIE DOWN! I bought the Bernie doll (at full price, mind you; no discount) because he represented what is good about politicians. There is very little good in HC! She is so tainted, that only the blind see the “good” in her! There is a meme of your HC doll which I love to share on FB, with her painted in orange and wearing cuffs! How completely ignorant of the facts can you be? How about a Huma and Weiner doll? The Weiner doll would be cheap, only needs underwear!

The Elizabeth Warren figure looks great. I look forward to seeing both Warren and Trump. Trump if anything Id like to have as a voodoo doll, lmao.

I purchased Obama, Clinton, and Sanders. I love them, I showed them to my co-workers snd they all asked me where was Trump? I second the voodoo Trump. Can it come with pins to stick in as an accessory?

I have purchased Obama, Hillary and Bernie…. I have been using the tiniest yellow haired troll doll with swooped around do….
Believe it or not it works, but with that said I would like to add Drumpf to my collection as well as Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden ( probably very unlikely he will be up for sale)
I am taking them traveling with me to our Union convention, they should be a big hit!!

I love the Elizabeth Warren figure. And yes, I want a Trump figure. I am going to give my Hlllary, Obama, and Bernie figures little light sabres, and … Well, you can imagine the rest! If Elizabeth Warren is Lando, will I need to make her a cape?

Make both and I will buy both. I love what you’re doing and my Bernie, Hilary and Obama figures are great additions to my collection. As Franklin Roosevelt once said: “Shut up and take my money

I have purchased Obama, Hillary and Bernie. I would like to add Trump, Warren & Biden to my collection. But just regular (Trump)… I don’t care about all your political BS… just the dolls.

I didn’t receive the card with my Kickstarter order. I would definitely have voted ‘no’ for a Trump figure. Think about it – Obama, HRC, Bernie, Elizabeth, and…Trump?

Liberal assholes. You have nothing but positive things to say about Hillary and Bernie, and you make really nice figures of both people. I thought it was fantastic, even though I despise both of them and their policies.

But now you decide to finally come out with a Trump figure, and you choose to go with a mocking sculpt. Absolutely incredible! Instead of doing that, why not, as a company, treat them all the same? You made a fabulous figure for both Hillary and Bernie, so why not do the same for Trump? You do realize that he has tens of millions of supporters, right? It’s asinine to make a sculpt that mocks him….from a business standpoint alone.

Thanks for making my decision very easy…..ill be staying the hell away from these figures, as well as ANY products that you company markets.

Srsly, Derwin, I think we’re all just having a bit of fun. I feel badly that you have to take this doll-making thing so to heart. There was a time when I might have been called a moderate Republican. There are definitely some things on the platform that I agree with. That said, I do feel that this sort of “I’m taking my ball and going home.” kind of childishness on the Republican side for the last 8 years merely because Obama was HALF black only served to hurt our country. We’ve never been so polarized, but I, for one, would like to see us all come back together as Americans first, political parties second.

Because that is the look he is most often presenting to the world — negative. Either he just got something he wanted and he’s looking out at the crowd like they’re POS’s because he’s already tired of what he wanted, or he failed to get what he wanted, and he looks pouty, like he’s about to throw a tantrum…but they both look kind of like that. Sorry if he’s your guy, but this is not a regular election — it is appalling that our process is so broken that someone so ill-prepared has made it so far. The whole world is laughing at us.

I agree with you Lori. My friend from Orléans France regularly sends political cartoons about Drumph. My favorite one was when Drumph was talking about building a wall between the US & Mexico. It was an image of a mason building a brick wall around him -fuming.

I have Hillary, Bernie and Obama… I definitely want Elizabeth and will also buy a Trump. Because I am no fan of The Donald plan to buy tiny doll dresses or make them if I must for a fun Donald Trump photo shoot. Excited!

At some point we will end up with all the figures involved in this mess of an election. Johnson, Putin ,Assange, Thiel, Manafort, Stein, Khan, …

Amen to that, Bonnie! I thought these people would put their partisan beliefs aside in regards to this business. If they gave the Trump figure the same treatment as the Bernie figure, I dare say they would have made millions from Trump supporters. Heck, I would have purchased a few dozen myself! They made a terrible mistake by being partisan here, just as you said.

Oh please. We’ve all said we’re going to buy them. Who cares what Trump supporters would buy? This clearly is not the place for them.

Well, Garp, you are 100% correct about that! This is certainly NOT THE PLACE for Trump supporters, and I’m happy you pointed that out!

its good to know that the people at FCTRY aren’t concerned about sales, but instead concerned only with pushing their political agenda. Silly me for thinking otherwise.

Some motivations lie deeper than the simplistic and childish motivations such as yourself or much like Drumpf. (I’m sorry I just can’t say his name.) Don’t you understand what it means to stand for what you believe? You could waste your life away worrying about people like this, on sites like these. Isn’t there some Drumpf message board you should be on? I’m sure there are plenty of them! Why don’t they make a doll?

Ha! I find it so “rich”, Dslgrl, that you accuse me of “childish” talk in the same sentence you are making fun of a persons name! Our name is “Beushausen”, but it wasn’t that before my family came to America from Germany. It was changed slightly when converted to the English language, and even the pronunciation changed. But, yeah, keep those “childish” accusations coming while you put on display the irony of that.

As for me being on this site…. I’m here because I loved the Hillary and Bernie figures, and just assumed they would create another incredible figure of Trump. I didn’t realize I was on a site that had a political motivation behind it. Excuse me. But I do understand it now.

Giving action figure life to a Trump persona is validating him, very disappointed in this news. Not on the same level as Bernie or Hillary at all but I’m sure Trump will be thrilled. I guess he’ll be the figure minus the action as he’s complete BS. Sell out, I’m sure you’ll make bank though. Sad but predictable.

I have Sanders, Clinton, and Obama at my desk at work. We are a bunch of policy wonks in DC, and everyone who saw them loved them. And they loved the idea of Elizabeth Warren AND Trump – especially when I told them that he’d have tiny hands. They, like I, think of it as the Darth Vader/Skeletor action figure. If you’re going to play with dolls, you have to have an antagonist to go along with your protagonist(s). Who better than Tiny Hands Trump?

How about a purple blazer for Elizabeth? Ya know, red and blue TOGETHER. If it has to be blue or red, though, I like the red. I must have an Elizabeth Warren action figure, but if you make Trump, I’ll get him too. I’m keeping my Bernie mint-in-the-box. So I think I need another one to play with.

I agree. (As much as I detest him), you have to have a Trump figure to complete this election series. I would buy one, but I would love to see a Liz Warren action figure as well!
All of these sculpts have been amazing. Kudos to Mike Leavitt!

Just a thought: Would Trump make a good beanbag? Anyone with a little black magic and a few stickpins could spend a few evenings. . .

I would definitely buy an Elizabeth Warren figure and a Joe figure-love that idea!
Trump? Hmmm, I’d hate to spend money on a figure I’d melt down. Wait, I think he’s doing that anyway, so I wouldn’t have to melt it down and could keep it as a reminder of all things incredibly stupid and evil.

I am such an impatient person. Please work overtime to get both Elizabeth Warren and Donald Trump action figures out before election 2016. You guys are the very best!

I would suggest a page where people could post pics of what they would like to do to Trump. See the PEEPS experiments pages for ideas.

Trump as a voodoo doll !!
Best idea.
Also, without the hair I don’t think it’s a seller. He looks more like Jesse V.

Definitely include pins (a la voodoo) as a Trump accessory. I’d use them. Also, don’t forget his orangey spray tan! How about dividing the donation between the progressive candidates that Bernie Sanders has been supporting? That would be as anti-trump as you can get while also giving Bernie, Liz, and Hillary a boost once the elections are over by having progressives (assuming they win) back in the House and Senate to help them fix the crap the Republicans have broken.

Love the tiny hands. I think Elizabeth Warren is the most realistic doll, yet. Do add Emily’s List to unTrump causes. In fact Planned Parenthood and Emily’s List would both get my vote. Go women! Go women’s health! Emily’s List supports women candidates from President to Governors to Senate to House of Representatives, Democrats all. MoveOn.org and Black Lives Matter would fall into my next two votes.

I would much rather have an Elizabeth Warren figure. I don’t want that Trump voodoo in my home.

On another topic, could you please take another pass at Obama. I have to say that I thought you could’ve done a bit better with him. I don’t think you quite did him justice.

I will buy both dolls, I would also love to see a doll for Joe Biden, Michelle Obama, Bill Clinton & Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

Hi, FCTRY,
OMG, I am literally crying/laughing. Yes, definitely make Trump–with the Voodoo pins of course! Where to donate? Oh WHERE to donate from the Trump doll…Border Angels is, of course, the obvious choice, but Black Lives Matter is of utmost importance, too. Frankly, it’s a tough decision. For me, if there was an End Citizens United group of lawyers that did nothing but work on ending Citizens United, that would be the best of all because I believe the only reason Trump got the nomination is because he could afford to dump endless billions into his campaign. Nope, don’t envy your decision on that one. Guess if I got Bernie and Obama, I’m going to have to get Hillary and Trump…What’s next, Hitler? Sieg Heil!

I adore my Bernie action figure as he watches over the news cycle from his position by my big screen TV. I’m hooked, so I’ll probably end up buying Trump and–hopefully–adding whoever you decide to depict next. Love them!

It’s about having all the cast of characters in the drama of this year’s political scene, or at least the main characters! I’m a Hillary supporter (must be that the one time I mistakenly clicked on voting for Bernie instead of Hillary you picked me up as a Bernie supporter). I have the Hillary and Bernie action figures. The set isn’t complete without Trump! And I think I’ll order Obama, too. I miss him already. Actually, Phillip’s ideas for Joe, Michelle, and BILL sound great. Thanks for the fun. I’m going to start taking them with me wherever I go for the photo ops.

So glad you’re going forward with a Trump figure, and equally glad to hear what you’re doing with your donation. I previously purchased Barack and Michelle Obama and John McCain figures, and was wishing you’d come out with a Trump figure – not because I like him, but I’m OCD enough to want a complete set of nominees. You can count on me buying one, for sure!

I’m not buying the labored reasoning here. The top Trump response was “not feeling it,” and the top Warren response was “super psyched.”

And from that you draw the conclusion that Trump generates a stronger emotional response? “Not feeling it” doesn’t sound more emotional than “super psyched” to me.

Please don’t treat us like idiots. It’s insulting. Just say you’re making a Trump figure because you think it’ll sell well. There’s no need to feed us unsupported conclusions from survey responses.

My “vote” is for either Border Angels or the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Right Project’s unaccompanied minors program (which visits minors held in ICE custodial “resettlement” facilities, conducts “know your rights” presentations, and either represents minors in (immigration) court or refers their cases to pro bono attorneys).

And I have a small, creative note for Mike Leavitt about the Donald’s hands. Trump has this really odd move he does with his right hand and arm, where his (tiny) hand forms kind of an “okay” sign and he swings his hand up and down, bending at the elbow. I know its not my place to coach Leavitt’s artistic genius, but I’d love Donald to have an elbow that was rotatable outward (and right hand in that okay sign) so I can put him in that pose.

Dang, I knew I should have voted, right when I received the message!
Warren all the way! & no trump because trump would like it — can that megalomaniacal ego get any bigger? I don’t want to know!
Seconded for Biden, the notorious RBG, Michelle, Bill, …Jill Stein & her veep? Dang, I guess we left out Hillary’s veep. Eh.
Bernie’s down-ballot picks, ACLU, Electronic Frontier Foundation, historically black colleges & universities, …hey, is there an org for the orphaned Hispanic and/or Latino kids who fled here after our miserable “drug war” chased the drug lords and growers out of Columbia and into Central America, bringing their violence with them? That would be a good one. Or, whomever is leading the legal battle against Citizens United? Or, if you wanted it to be trump-adjacent at all, send it to Appalachia via J. D. Vance. But I would think Bernie’s picks would be the most timely, targeted, and easily agreed upon cause.

How about you scrap Trump and do one of the Khan’s, or their son?

Oh and a quick comment about Trump’s hair. Instead of either bald or his hair being a sculpted part of his head, what about gluing on some orange “troll” hair that’s combed into place but we can flip around if we want to.

Okay, I’ll mind my own business. Mike Leavitt is a fantastic artist and I’m sure anything he comes up with will be great.

I can hardly wait to get a Trump figure. But he does definitely need hair. Another nice touch would be to have his tie flipped up a little, or folded over, so we could see a tiny “Made in China” label on the back. Or some tiny Chinese
characters (letters).

I buy from partisan companies as often as possible. Don’t mind the haters who try to give you business advice. That’s exactly the point, isn’t it! The trump doll should stay bald, but come with a little package with a trump toupee that fits on his head. And I think the hands should be even smaller 🙂

I don’t think wanting a figure to add as a protagonist or antagonist to this amazing collection, represents political support of either. It just offers more diversity in the fun scenarios they can be posed in. That being said, and considering nature with which the Obama, Hillary, and Bernie were made, it would make perfect sense to make any donation related to a Trump purchase, to the same progressive efforts, the donations have been made to in the past…. People love the the 3 figures you have made. They want more; I want more. Make them, and they will buy.

I really look forward to seeing a Trump and Elizabeth figure happening.

I’ve collected figures of all kinds for years and you have to have a “bad guy”. I’m sure no one at Kenner had second thoughts over at Kenner when they had to do Darth Vader, or when ToyBiz made Doctor Doom, Magneto and other villains who are essential to those mythologies. 100% Trump all the way, and the photos you’ve shown of the work in progress are stunning. Kudos to the creative staff!

To make it simple as to why Bernie supporters were willing to say we need a Trump action figure, it is pretty simple. GI Joe figures would have been pretty boring to play with without Cobra to defeat. Every hero needs a villain. Besides, just imagine the instagram posts that can be made with a Trump figure.

A wee correction of your assumption that you “asked Bernie supporters” whether to make Donald or Elizabeth. I anawered that poll and I am (and always was) a Hillary supporter. You’ve nailed the Warren figure; it’s perfect. Donald needs some work.
You all must be having so much fun.

Please don’t give trump the satisfaction of yet another, attention-getting-attraction, by making a figure of him.
He certainly doesn’t deserve it, not even if it’s making fun of him…. It’s really not a joke anymore.

The only way you should make a trump figure is if you make it a humiliating utility like a butt plug. I don’t give a ____ about playing with it these are not toys they are symbols. The Donald is the most dangerous symbol of real societal evil that has ever made it this far in US politics. Don’t give him any more space in our minds, don’t even let him think he is being faltered for a second.

I love my Bernie! Great job on the new Liz. Please do include some voodoo pins for the Trump doll; red, white, and blue pinheads would be perfect 🙂

I bought the Bernie figure. Well done!
As for Warren, why? She has no skin in this game! She was not even close to becoming a contender. If anyone, consider Johnson. He is a contender. Albeit, with slim chances.

Trump is the GOP candidate, as an enterprise, why would you let your business model suffer monetary loss? Principles, you say?

Are those the same principles demonstrated by the Clinton foundation?

Doubtful!

I agree. No reason for Warren. Wait until she runs. Johnson, on the other hand, is popular enough for media to pay attention. Jill Stein to a degree as well. But she’s a bit wacky. So I guess my question is, where do you draw the line?

While Liz has certainly done some good things, she chose not to run, so Bernie stepped up and got squashed by the corrupt DNC. Liz stood by, never endorsed Bernie. No real reason to make a doll of her. On the other hand, the closest thing to Bernie is Gary Johnson. The antithesis of Hillary and Trump. Please make a doll of him. He’s actually running for President, and he has a chance, slim though it may be.

I love watching the politics over in the US, it always seems much more bitchy haha.

Health care, military, secrets plots its all so exciting!

Can you use any sort of recycled plastic for those action figures?

It’s important we keep our planet healthy.

Thanks
Alex

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