Trump Bobblehead: Yours for $20,000
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – For sale: One slightly used and modestly traveled Donald J. Trump bobblehead, two years old, 3-D printed from fiberglass-reinforced sand and plastic, coated in aluminum. Free shipping is available for buyers in the continental United States.
Oh, and it’s seven feet tall and weighs 300 pounds — so it’s definitely not suitable for mounting on the car dashboard.
The bobblehead of then-presidential candidate Trump, which was displayed at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, was listed on eBay three days ago. With an initial bid price of $20,000, the life-size figure is being offered for sale through 2:33 p.m. Tuesday.
The figure is listed as used, “only because it has been on display,” the listing said. “Condition is pristine, ready for gallery or home display,” it continued.
The Soap Gallery listed the bobblehead on behalf of the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber, which commissioned Freshmade 3D to produce it for display in the Alliance of American Manufacturers tent outside Quicken Loans Arena, where the GOP convention was held.
“Our goal was to turn that into $500,000 of earned media from coverage about additive manufacturing,” said Guy Coviello, vice president of government affairs for the regional chamber.
The chamber estimated it received about triple that – $1.5 million – in coverage from organizations hailing from seven different countries and in six different languages, he continued.
“So we were very happy with what we originally set out to achieve,” he said.
The gallery has had the Trump figure – as well as a companion statue of 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton – on display about nine months, Soap Gallery co-owner Stephen Poullas said.
As for the asking price, another Trump statue – one that wasn’t 3-D printed – sold for $60,000, Poullas said.
“The chamber is trying to make back what it invested in it,” as well as give something to the gallery for handling the sale and storing the two figures, said Bill O’Rly, another Soap Gallery co-owner.
Poullas envisions it being bought by “either someone who really, really likes Trump or someone who really, really doesn’t like him,” he said.
The eBay listing for the bobblehead will remain open through Tuesday afternoon.
“It could be an institution. It could be someone that’s into political memorabilia,” O’Rly added. “Whether you’re for or against Trump, it’s a fantastic piece.”
Another reason for placing the item for sale on eBay is to see what kind of media attention and “positive publicity about additive manufacturing in Youngstown,” it might draw, without a specific goal in mind, Coviello said.
“It’s been a while since these things have been in the news,” he said. “We can generate a lot more positive coverage about Youngstown and its place in the Tech Belt region through this, just like we did two years ago.”
Poullas also acknowledged the White House or the Trump Organization could possibly be interested in the piece. He said he planned to reach out to U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-6 Ohio, to see if he has any contacts with individuals who might be interested.
Mark Munroe, chairman of the Mahoning County Republican Party, acknowledged that the figure would draw interest but “the sheer logistics” of getting it and the price point likely would deter most people.
“The $20,000 starting price is a little bit scary,” he said.
The bobblehead was on display for a time at the Mahoning County GOP headquarters, between when it was manufactured and when it was shipped to Cleveland for the convention, he said.
The party would welcome having the figure return to the headquarters, he said, though it didn’t sound like he was ready to spend $20,000 for the privilege.
The Clinton bobblehead also is destined for eBay, although when is “yet to be determined,” Poullas said.
“We’ll see how this one goes,” he said.
Copyright 2023 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.