MICHELE NORRIS, Host:
As we just heard, the Toy Fair is in New York City, a place where there are plenty of people who would like to get their hands on the disgraced financier Bernie Madoff and perhaps bop him upside the head. Madoff's victims, after all, have lost billions of dollars through his investment company. He's accused of running a huge Ponzi scheme.
Well, now, anyone can get a hold of Bernie Madoff - if they're willing to fork over $99.95, plus shipping and handling. Well, what they actually get their hands on is a Smash-Me Bernie doll, a miniature Madoff look-a-like made by the Mini-Me ModelWorks Company. And that Smash-Me Bernie doll has been, well, a smash at the Toy Fair. And that's where we caught up with the president of ModelWorks, Graeme Warring.
Welcome to the program, Mr. Warring.
NORRIS: Thank you so much.
NORRIS: Where did you get the idea for this Smash-Me Bernie doll?
NORRIS: Well, it's a rather unfortunate way to come up with an idea, but a friend of mine from Australia, who had invested some money in a fund that had subsequently invested with one of the Madoff organization funds, lost some money - and quite a bit of money, at that - and I made him a little Bernie Madoff Mini-Me doll with a devil body on it. And I sent it to him, but what I did is, I included a hammer in the package.
I said listen, mate, when you get this, I want you to just beat the daylights out of it. Well, he thought it was hilarious. So then, he told a bunch of his mates and suddenly, orders started pouring in. And, you know, it's sort of taken a life of its own since then.
NORRIS: Could you describe the doll for us? You say it's dressed in a devil costume?
NORRIS: Yeah. Well, what I did is - you know, when you think about what Bernie's done to these people, it's really nothing short of devilish. And so, what I did is, I dressed him in a little red suit, and he's holding a three- pronged pitchfork.
And the little figure's made out of resin. It's about 7 inches tall. And it's a little caricature. You can see it online at the Web site.
NORRIS: Now, the people who might be most interested in the Bernie Madoff doll have already lost a lot of money. You really think that a lot of these people are going to fork over another $100 to work out their aggression?
NORRIS: Well, listen, if we sold two of these, we sold one more than I expected we would sell. You know, I imagine that people are buying them as gifts for other people to try and cheer them up a little bit. So perhaps it's not the person that has lost the money that's going to be purchasing, but their friends and concerned relatives.
NORRIS: Graeme Warring is the president of ModelWorks. He joined us from the 2009 American International Toy Fair at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City.
Mr. Warring, thanks so much.
NORRIS: Thank you so much for having me.
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