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Feel the Bern with the Bernie Sanders Action Figure

After giving the world a Hillary Clinton action figure last year, the team at the Brooklyn-based design company FCTRY began to receive requests from friends and family members to do a follow-up figure for presidential hopeful Senator Bernie Sanders. The designers obliged and, along with sculptor Mike Leavitt, created the action figure and launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for production. It has already surpassed its goal by over $30,000, and that number will continue to climb until the campaign ends in 33 days.

The interesting thing about FCTRY's campaign is the way the team plans to sell the Bernie action figure now that the project is funded. For each sale made, a dollar will be donated in support of the Bernie Sanders campaign (they have also been donating a dollar for each Hillary Clinton figure sold). "We're hoping our '$1 per toy' model can serve as an innovative, accessible model for grass-roots campaign finance reform," FCTRY states on the Kickstarter page. "What we've got in mind is not unlike what Tom's Shoes does, but for political campaigns... a way for small businesses and regular people to team up and take on a big issue."

A pledge of $20 guarantees you a Bernie figure, but the campaign also accepts $1 support pledges and considers them to be "a vote against Trump." For $5000, Mike Leavitt will actually turn you (or someone you love) into an action figure. Watch the campaign video above, and click through to Kickstarter for all the details.

Banner image via FCTRY on Kickstarter

[h/t Toy News]

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By Ben Wittick (1845–1903) - Brian Lebel's Old West Show and Auction, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons
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History
Photo of Billy the Kid and Pat Garrett, Purchased for $10, Could Be Worth Millions
By Ben Wittick (1845–1903) - Brian Lebel's Old West Show and Auction, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons
By Ben Wittick (1845–1903) - Brian Lebel's Old West Show and Auction, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Several years ago, Randy Guijarro paid $2 for a few old photographs he found in an antiques shop in Fresno, California. In 2015, it was determined that one of those photos—said to be the second verified picture ever found of Billy the Kid—could fetch the lucky thrifter as much as $5 million. That story now sounds familiar to Frank Abrams, a lawyer from North Carolina who purchased his own photo of the legendary outlaw at a flea market in 2011. It turns out that the tintype, which he paid $10 for, is thought to be an image of Billy and Pat Garrett (the sheriff who would eventually kill him) taken in 1880. Like Guijarro’s find, experts say Abrams’s photo could be worth millions.

The discovery is as much a surprise to Abrams as anyone. As The New York Times reports, what drew Abrams to the photo was the fact that it was a tintype, a metal photographic image that was popular in the Wild West. Abrams didn’t recognize any of the men in the image, but he liked it and hung it on a wall in his home, which is where it was when an Airbnb guest joked that it might be a photo of Jesse James. He wasn’t too far off.

Using Google as his main research tool, Abrams attempted to find out if there was any famous face in that photo, and quickly realized that it was Pat Garrett. According to The New York Times:

Then, Mr. Abrams began to wonder about the man in the back with the prominent Adam’s apple. He eventually showed the tintype to Robert Stahl, a retired professor at Arizona State University and an expert on Billy the Kid.

Mr. Stahl encouraged Mr. Abrams to show the image to experts.

William Dunniway, a tintype expert, said the photograph was almost certainly taken between 1875 and 1880. “Everything matches: the plate, the clothing, the firearm,” he said in a phone interview. Mr. Dunniway worked with a forensics expert, Kent Gibson, to conclude that Billy the Kid and Mr. Garrett were indeed pictured.

Abrams, who is a criminal defense lawyer, described the process of investigating the history of the photo as akin to “taking on the biggest case you could ever imagine.” And while he’s thrilled that his epic flea market find could produce a major monetary windfall, don’t expect to see the image hitting the auction block any time soon. 

"Other people, they want to speculate from here to kingdom come,” Abrams told The New York Times of how much the photo, which he has not yet had valuated, might be worth. “I don’t know what it’s worth. I love history. It’s a privilege to have something like this.”

[h/t: The New York Times]

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