Thu | Nov 26, 2020

Japanese company cashes in on Joe Biden rubber masks

Published:Sunday | November 15, 2020 | 12:09 AM
An employee adds details to rubber masks depicting President-elect Joe Biden at the Ogawa Studios in Saitama, north of Tokyo.
An employee adds details to rubber masks depicting President-elect Joe Biden at the Ogawa Studios in Saitama, north of Tokyo.
A mold base for rubber masks depicting President-elect Joe Biden is placed on a production line at the Ogawa Studios in Saitama, north of Tokyo.
A mold base for rubber masks depicting President-elect Joe Biden is placed on a production line at the Ogawa Studios in Saitama, north of Tokyo.

An employee adds details to rubber masks depicting President-elect Joe Biden at the Ogawa Studios in Saitama, north of Tokyo, Wednesday, November 11, 2020. Ogawa Studios, a Japanese manufacturer, started making the masks since the middle of October, ahead
An employee adds details to rubber masks depicting President-elect Joe Biden at the Ogawa Studios in Saitama, north of Tokyo, Wednesday, November 11, 2020. Ogawa Studios, a Japanese manufacturer, started making the masks since the middle of October, ahead of last week’s election.
An employee holds a mold base to make rubber masks depicting President-elect Joe Biden on a production line at the Ogawa Studios in Saitama, north of Tokyo.
An employee holds a mold base to make rubber masks depicting President-elect Joe Biden on a production line at the Ogawa Studios in Saitama, north of Tokyo.
An employee holds a mold base to make rubber masks depicting President-elect Joe Biden on a production line at the Ogawa Studios in Saitama, north of Tokyo.
An employee holds a mold base to make rubber masks depicting President-elect Joe Biden on a production line at the Ogawa Studios in Saitama, north of Tokyo.
Near the finished products of rubber masks depicting President-elect Joe Biden and President Donald Trump, an employee adds details to the rubber masks at the Ogawa Studios in Saitama, north of Tokyo.
Near the finished products of rubber masks depicting President-elect Joe Biden and President Donald Trump, an employee adds details to the rubber masks at the Ogawa Studios in Saitama, north of Tokyo.
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SAITAMA, Japan (AP):

While surgical masks have been highly sought after this year, Joe Biden rubber masks are also seeing some demand.

Ogawa Studios, a Japanese manufacturer, began producing masks resembling the US president-elect in the middle of October, ahead of last week’s election.

Workers in Saitama, a city north of Tokyo, mould rubber to form a likeness of Biden’s face while features, including his pearly white teeth and blue eyes, are hand-painted.

“Biden’s keywords are dialogue and healing, so we created it with the image of a gentle expression,” said Kouki Takahashi, from the administration department of Ogawa Studios.

SALES total

So far, approximately 1,000 masks have been sold.

The same manufacturer was flooded with orders for Trump masks before Trump’s inauguration as president four years ago.

While sales of Trump and Biden masks were about the same last month, Takahashi said they are seeing more sales in November for the president-elect.

The manufacturer said making politicians’ masks is good for business.

“Compared to character products, politicians are in office for a long time, so their total sales tend to grow significantly as their popularity continues to grow,” Takahashi said.

Trump and Biden masks are both sold for 2,400 yen ($23) apiece in Japan.