Crowd-sourced Election 2008

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These Obama-faced maracas sprang into being after a four-year-old (a friend of AssociaDirect, a Chicago-based marketing agency and Barackas creator) mispronounced the rhumba shakers at a street fair. Thus, a slip of the tongue begot political party favors. Denver Olé!

Designer Buttons
Unsatisfied with the campaign gear on offer, design duo Various Projects, aka Brian Janusiak and Elizabeth Beer, decided to make their own well-designed Obama buttons, a nod to both classic political garb and punk chic. After the first few batches flew out of their hands, the couple enlisted designers like Pentagram's Christian Marc Schmidt and illustrators Gluekit, and the Obama Button Project was born.

McCain Condoms
The Straight Talk Express might just talk your clothes off, especially if you're blond and look like his wife. So, for those warm campaign moments, there are McCain condoms: old, but not expired.

With this campaign cuddly, Obama joins the likes of Chancellor Angela Merkel, Pope Benedict XVI and the Dalai Lama—other political figures that have been memorialized as German-made dolls. Marcel Offermann of Die Puppenklinik Offermann (translation: doll and teddy bear hospital) is producing 999 Obama dolls for about $260 each. While the doll has been criticized for not resembling the charismatic Illinois senator, all Offermann's dolls have the same head from a 60-year-old mold, he says; all he can do is change the hair and skin color.

Gum Blonde LIII
Yes, Hillary's no longer in the race but, as she'll tell you, 18 million votes just don't disappear. Her spirited fight has earned her an indelible position in American politics and also some wall space at LE Gallery, Toronto this past June: Canadian artist Jason Kronenwald featured Hillary as "Gum Blonde LIII" in his series of portraits made entirely out of chewed bubblegum smeared onto plywood. "I keep running into Hillary Clinton on TV, on the internet and in every tabloid at the grocery store check-out," Kronenwald says. "This U.S. presidential race is a key moment in history and turning Hillary into a Gum Blonde is just my way of reflecting the world around me."

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