Move over Barbie, Obama Doll is here!

Last Updated: Thu, Jun 12, 2008 05:15 hrs

Berlin: It was tricky to get the skin tone correct, but it is now done. A German toymaker has prepared a collector's doll resembling US presidential hopeful Barack Obama.

Marcel Offermann, who has earlier taken inspiration from German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Pope Benedict XVI, the Dalai Lama and Lady Diana, is offering the Barack Obama doll in a limited edition of 999, costing euro 139 ($216), the online edition of the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel reported.

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The 36-centimetre doll sports a black suit, complete with a stars-and-stripes lapel pin, a white shirt and Obama's trademark sky-blue tie. It is also available for purchase online on the website ( since Monday.

Offermann, who runs a ‘doll hospital' in the western German city of Neuss near DÃŒsseldorf, explained that he chose the sky-blue tie because Obama wears it at 80 percent of his campaign appearances.

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“We originally wanted the doll to have rolled-up shirt sleeves but that wasn't practical,” he told Spiegel Online this week.

However, it was difficult to replicate the attention to detail given to the clothing when it came to the doll's head.

Offermann - a “personal fan” of Obama - explained that he was forced to adapt an off-the-shelf black doll's head for his tribute to the presidential hopeful - his first attempt at making a black doll.

He did, however, lighten the standard skin colour of the doll's head.

“We tried to make it even lighter so that it would look more like Obama, but then it didn't look so good,” he was quoted as saying. “So we said, let's stick with this skin tone.”

The expert toymaker admitted the physical resemblance to Obama could have been closer. He said while 90 per cent of the feedback so far was positive, “10 per cent of people said the doll doesn't look like Obama.

“The doll works more on a symbolic level. It's a symbiosis of the clothing and the fact that it's a black doll.”

Explaining his choice, Offermann said he wanted to make the doll out of respect for the charismatic politician. “I find it sensational that a black person is this close to becoming US president,” he said.

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