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Bernie Sanders action toy slouches, points — and raises lots of cash

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Orders for a Bernie Sanders action figure, complete with the U.S. Democratic presidential hopeful’s signature slouch, open mouth and accusatory pointed finger, were flooding in from fans on Thursday, months ahead of the toy’s delivery date in July.

Brooklyn product design company FCTRY created a prototype for the 6-inch (15-cm) tall plastic version of the Vermont senator and started a Kickstarter campaign with a goal of raising $15,000 to fund production.

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Within 24 hours of the campaign’s debut on Wednesday, FCTRY had raised about $40,000 from fans snapping up various deals, including a sold-out $20 offer for a single Bernie Sanders action figure called “The Early Bern Special #1.”

The company has also sold 20,000 Hillary Clinton action figures depicting the former secretary of state and Democratic presidential hopeful in a sky blue pant suit.

It previously sold 200,000 President Barack Obama action figures, said FCTRY Chief Executive Jason Feinberg.

“If you buy one of our action figures, whether it’s Hillary or now Bernie, we’ll donate $1 from that sale online to their actual campaign,” Feinberg said. “The idea is to have a way where regular people can sort of easily participate in campaign donations through a small business.”

A prototype of the Bernie Sanders action figure was created by Seattle pop-artist Mike Leavitt and will be mass produced overseas, Feinberg said. The figures are expected to be ready in July, the same month as the 2016 Democratic National Convention, when Clinton and Sanders face off as the party chooses its nominee for U.S. president and vice president for the November national election.

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The company has no plans to turn New York real estate developer Donald Trump, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida or any of the other Republican White House contenders into toys.

“In 2008, we were sort of compelled to make a (Senator John) McCain and it’s something I’ve always regretted so there were no Republicans this time,” Feinberg said.

Among the pre-order deals available online is “The Full Ticket,” which includes a single Bernie Sanders action figure plus a single Hillary Clinton action figure.

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“We’re just sayin. Crazier things have happened,” the Kickstarter site notes.

A Sanders spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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(This version of the story was refiled to add dropped letter to company name, FCTRY, in paragraph three.)

(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg; Editing by Scott Malone and Steve Orlofsky)


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After Trump: No free pass for Republicans — they own this nightmare

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With the impeachment inquiry leveling up this month as public hearings begin, and with an election that might actually be the end of Donald Trump now less than a year away, the campaign to let Trump's Republican allies — even the most villainous offenders — move on and pretend this never happened is already underway.

This article first appeared in Salon.

Sadly, the clearest articulation of the let-bygones-be-bygones mentality has come from a Democrat — unsurprisingly, former Vice President Joe Biden.Biden, who is still, somehow, the frontrunner in Democratic primary polling, spoke at a chi-chi fundraiser on Wednesday, and dropped this pearl of wisdom: "With Donald Trump out of the way, you’re going to see a number of my Republican colleagues have an epiphany."

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As climate crisis-fueled fires rage, fears grow of an ‘uninhabitable’ California

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As activist Bill McKibben put it, "We've simply got to slow down the climate crisis."

With wildfires raging across California on Wednesday—and with portions of the state living under an unprecedented "Extreme Red Flag Warning" issued by the National Weather Service due to the severe conditions—some climate experts are openly wondering if this kind of harrowing "new normal" brought on by the climate crisis could make vast regions of the country entirely uninhabitable.

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Elections 2016

‘A profound emoluments clause violation’: Andrew Napolitano slams Trump’s hosting the G7 at Doral

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In the wake of acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney's announcement this Thursday that next year's G7 summit will be hosted at President Trump's Doral golf club, Fox News senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano pointed out that Trump would be violating the emoluments clause if he were to go through with the move.

At the outset of the segment, Fox Business Network anchor Neil Cavuto said that the announcement is "effectively saying the president has given himself this contract."

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