Toronto Mayor Rob Ford bobblehead becomes instant collector's item

TORONTO Tue Nov 12, 2013 5:51pm EST

1 of 2. Toronto Mayor Rob Ford shows off his bobblehead doll at City Hall in Toronto November 12, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Aaron Harris

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TORONTO (Reuters) - Hundreds of people lined up at Toronto City Hall on Tuesday to buy a limited-edition bobblehead doll of embattled Mayor Rob Ford, which quickly sold out and began popping up on eBay for as much as 15 times its purchase price.

Ford, who insists he will not step down, was on hand to sign the figurines.

The sale of 1,000 "Robbie Bobbies" was conceived before Ford admitted last week that he had smoked crack cocaine in "one of my drunken stupors." But the furor did not mute demand for the little statuettes - a recreation of Ford's head on a springy neck - with lines that stretched around the cavernous City Hall lobby.

The 6-inch-high dolls cost C$20 ($19) with proceeds going to the United Way charity. By late afternoon, at least six were available on eBay, with two of them bid at $300.

Ford told reporters after the dolls had sold out that the United Way campaign will continue on Wednesday with a T-shirt sale and that he planned to order more bobbleheads.

"It's going to take another three or four weeks to order more bobbleheads," he said. "The phones have been ringing off the hook. We weren't quite sure how it was going to work out."

Jay White told the Toronto Star he lined up at City Hall more than three hours early to get a Ford bobblehead.

"We're living in crazy times and it's probably going to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience to have a time stamp of a guy that smokes crack as a mayor," he said.

Ford's admission that he smoked crack came six months after the Star and media blog Gawker said they had seen a video of the mayor smoking crack and a few days after Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair confirmed the video existed.

Last week, the Star bought a separate video that showed Ford in an expletive-laden rant, making unspecified threats and pounding his hands together. Ford apologized and admitted he was "extremely inebriated."

Ford has faced increasing calls to resign or take a break in the wake of the drug admission. On Wednesday, city council will consider a non-binding motion urging him to take a leave of absence.

Asked how he was going to convince the council he shouldn't take a leave, Ford told reporters on Tuesday he was elected to cut costs at City Hall.

"I've saved more money than any mayor in Toronto's history and that's what I'm going to continue to do tomorrow," he said.

($1 = 1.0493 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by Cameron French; Editing by Janet Guttsman and Bill Trott)

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Comments (1)
rblivingston wrote:
Prior to the police announcing that they had obtained possession of the video, and Ford’s practiced contrition (without making any honorable concessions or sacrifice), the establishment media appeared to be falling over itself trying to rehabilitate the mayor’s reputation so that he could be re-elected.

Even now, the tragedy of a human trainwreck which undoubtedly fueled civic hypocrisy and irresponsibility in Toronto is softened with a warm and fuzzy story about a bobblehead toy. Perhaps it really does symbolize our times when everything has a price and is for sale, when politicians are packaged to carry water for “downtown interests” who inflict austerity on working people even as they reduce taxes and responsibility on themselves.

For the hard-nosed, Rob Ford’s only crime was “getting caught”– but perhaps that will be no great consequence when bobbleheads are more valuable than the destroyed communities in which we find we are living.

Except for being caught, and being a quintessential and cartoonish slob, I see Ford’s casebook sociopathology as being very little different from his more handsome analogues elsewhere: San Francisco’s former mayor Gavin Newsom (kicked upstairs to become California’s Lt. Governor), or even Barack Obama (the United State’s meteoric Rorschach president). Each are practiced in slick diversion and feigning that they are one with the people.

Nov 13, 2013 8:53am EST  --  Report as abuse
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