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Obama kitsch thrills marketers

WASHINGTON, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- Merchandisers say the economy may be tanking but the market is hot for commemorative kitsch celebrating U.S. President-elect Barack Obama.

Obama's election has created an industry worth hundreds of millions of dollars in collectibles, including T-shirts, coffee cups, underwear, skateboards and even ice cream, The Times of London reported Saturday.

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Ben & Jerry's ice cream is marketing "Yes Pecan" ice cream, a takeoff on Obama's campaign motto of "Yes. We can."

A skateboard adorned with photos of a young Obama is selling for $77 while Obama Victory Plates are being advertised as "priceless" works of art for $19.99, the Times reported.

Jim Warlick, who started out selling Jimmy Carter buttons 28 years ago in Washington, claims the Obama kitsch has made him a millionaire.

"You can't give Bush stuff away at the moment but anything with Obama's picture on it is walking out of the store," said Warlick, who plans to open three more temporary sites next week for the inauguration.

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