Ahem. Sorry for the ALL FUCKING CAPS header, but really, can you blame me for wanting one of these?
Hair parted down the middle, big smile, merry eyes, and the index finger pointing forward are some characteristics of “Evo Presidente”, the first of the dolls from the collection by Suri Electronics, which took advantage of the popularity of the Bolivian presidento to export the product to the US and Spain.
“Analyzing all the international selection of bobblehead dolls, we saw that almost all the important personages of the world had their dolls…Our country is at the stage of making things that there already are all over the world. What better than to start with a personage whom everyone on the planet knows?” said the proprietor of Suri Electronics, Gyula Pareja, one of the designers of the satirical figure of Morales, which went on the market in Bolivia a month ago.
The 24-year-old from La Paz started the project with three other partners in June of last year, when they began a series of tests to make the “Evo Presidentes” out of potter’s clay. Now, the products are made from a polyglycine base (a mixture of porcelain and plastic).
“Because we wanted it to come out perfect and with all the details, we worked on the figure for three months. Later we looked for some artisans who could do the job; however, we couldn’t find anyone in Bolivia who could make the quantities we were asking for. That’s why we ordered the doll to be made in China,” where its fabrication took two more months, said the businessman.
The dolls are made by hand thanks to the moldable polyglycine. “Each one of them has small variations which are imperceptible to the naked eye, and they’re painted by hand,” Pareja said.
10,000 exemplars were made, of which 70% are for exportation and 30% for domestic sale. The US and Spain are there is the most demand for these products. Already 1,100 have been sold in Bolivia. “We are patenting the doll, and we are the only producers,” said Pareja, Who added that Suri is now negotiating the exportation of “Evo Presidente” to Argentina.
“We found more acceptance in the international market. Here,” in Bolivia, their sales “are still seen as a political action…we want to emphasize that we are not playing politics, we only want to give the people a bit of humor, and what better way to do it than with a personage so well known in the land?”
Each one is about 20 centimetres (8 inches) high, weighs roughly 250 grams (half a pound) and costs 140 bolivianos locally (a little over $20 US). “75% of that price covers the investment in each doll, and the rest is our profit.” With current sales, the company is “just one step away from recovering what was invested in the entire project.”
Suri Electronics is looking into the possibility of creating a new figure of the president, but in another facet of his life. “We are looking through his childhood photos to copy them and create his caricature,” Pareja added.
Soccer players, artists and this or that other politician, all on the national level, will be sources of inspiration for the next designs. “The international market has gigures of many artists, but none from here. We’re looking at ways of making dolls of artists, but we won’t make them on a large scale, because it would be more difficult to sell them,” said Pareja. He added that the local music group, Awatiñas, is interested in being immortalized. Their interest is still under consideration.
Russian president Vladimir Putin might be interested in Suri Electronics designing a doll after him, said Pareja. “Language is a problem for us. Communicating is complicated, but we are making contact amid our possibilities, and we will do it,” he said.
Srsly, this thing is right up there with the Chavecito doll on the list of Things I Will NEVER Get Too Old For. And it’s a great likeness, too. Right down to the dimples.
Now, where the hell do I go to buy one? I’m Canadian, I’m good for it! Just take my damn money, already.