NEW YORK First comes the sex scandal. Then comes the opportunity to make money off it.
An "adults only" replica doll of U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner has become the most popular item sold by HeroBuilders.com, a Connecticut-based toy company, while others have come up with T-shirts, replica boxer briefs and condoms to satirize the New York Democrat.
HeroBuilders is marketing two types of Weiner dolls wearing gym clothes, each with shorts reading "Tweet this." One model of the action figure runs for $39.95 and resembles G.I. Joe beneath his underpants. The "adults only" doll with representation of his manhood has a price tag of $49.95.
"No one is buying the one without the penis," HeroBuilders President Emil Vicale said of the "added enhancement." He expects to sell more than 1,000 dolls by the end of the week.
A pair of grey "Weinergate" replica underwear was on sale for $499.99 with a starting bid of $0.99 on EBay, the online auction and shopping site. There were no bids by the time limit on Monday afternoon.
Zazzle.com has been selling Weiner T-shirts with tag lines such as "Tweet your meat, lose your seat."
The congressman has been embroiled in an online sex scandal that involved him sending lewd photos and messages to women through the social networking site Twitter.
His actions have Democratic Party leaders calling for his resignation. President Barack Obama has added to the pressure, saying, "If it was me, I would resign."
Weiner is on a leave of absence from Congress as he seeks professional treatment.
Practisesafepolicy.com has sold more than 6,000 Weiner condoms, with his picture on the wrapper, since they went on sale June 7.
Benjamin Sherman started the company three years earlier selling the Obama and Sarah Palin condoms, his top sellers.
"It's all about having fun," Sherman said. "The French love our products. They are fascinated with our political scandals."
The New York Congressman was re-elected to his seventh term last November with 61 percent of the vote. While admitting his actions were wrong, Weiner has refused to resign, saying he did not violate any laws.
"With no resignation, we expect strong sales for the rest of June," Sherman said.
(Reporting by Paula Rogo, editing by Daniel Trotta)