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Skewered by a Nose: Pinnochio and Politics July 15, 2009

Posted by leskanturek in 3-D work, Analogy, Pinocchio, Political and Social Art, Toys.
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Pinocchio and politics are not strange bedfellows. Carlo Collodi (the pen name of Carlo Lorenzini) was very much a a product of tumultuous political times in 19th century Italy when  he wrote Pinnocchio in  1881. Situations that occur in The Adventures of Pinocchio in many ways reflect Italy’s  social policy towards children at the time  (see Carl Ipsen’s book ” Italy in the Age of Pinocchio: Children and Danger in the Liberal Era“).  Over the years the image of a visibly growing nose to illustrate political lying has become as iconic (and sometimes cliché) as pinoke himself.

7208cover_s(above) Fold out cover of the August 1972, (No. 29) National Lampoon. Nixon as Pinocchio with Henry Kissinger as Jiminy Cricket. Illustration by Robert Grossman

326_Dusseldorf_Pinocchio(above) President George Bush as Pinocchio in Germany, Feb.  2004.   (Photo by Ina Fassbender)

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Burris Pinocchio Doll top(above) The  Chicago Tribune offered a fold-up version of Illinois state Senator Roland Burris as Pinocchio.

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(above) Protesters wearing (german politican) Roland Koch-pinocchio masks in Frankfurt  January  2008.

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PolitPinokeGridDemocrats, Republicans, liberals, conservatives everyone lies at some point or another  (At least so the other side claims). Death isn’t the great equalizer, Pinocchio is.  In some cases all you need is some basic photoshop skills and you too can perform a political rhinoplasty.


pinocchio G8(above) G8 leaders



(above)  “Bianocchio” or Politichio,   A comment on  Taiwanese politician and former President of the Republic of China, Chen Shui Bian.   by Taiwan’s Phalanx Studio


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Toys and Tootsie Pops! February 20, 2009

Posted by leskanturek in 3-D work, Student Post, Toys.
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tootsie10by Naomi L. Koffman

On Sunday February 15, 2009, I attended the American International Toy Fair. The fair was in Manhattan at the Javits Center. The show was packed with all sorts of new playthings for little kids and big kids alike. I was especially drawn to the section for Designer Art Toys. There I found a product that really caught my eye.

Do you remember the old Tootsie Roll Pop commercials that asked, “How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop?” Well, a company by the name of Super Rad Toys remembers and is releasing vinyl figures based on the characters in the commercial. The figures being produced include the boy, the turtle and the owl. I always enjoyed the illustrations of these characters and I was so glad to see someone reproducing them as figures. These characters are a real piece of pop-culture nostalgia.


I believe there could be a very large market for these toys. People like to hold on to pieces of their past, and  remember the pleasant moments in their youth or childhood. Tootsie Roll Pop commercials could very well be one of those happy memories for many young and old adults.

According to vinylpulse.com, the figures will be sold in sets of two. Each set will include the boy with either Mr. Owl or Mr. Turtle. The estimated retail price for a two-figure set is between $30 and $40. That seems to be a rather affordable price point.

I couldn’t get too much information about the Tootsie Roll line at the Toy Fair but I did find an article about them at http://www.wizarduniverse.com/050708tootsie.html that explains the concept and the figures in much more detail.

The website for Super Rad Toys is currently under construction, however they do have a myspace page that displays their illustrative toys. (http://www.myspace.com/superradtoys)

Images courtesy of http://www.wizarduniverse.com