The early runner for the hottest toy of the Christmas season — at least for Toronto holiday shoppers — could be the Rob Ford bobblehead doll.
About 300 people arrived early and stood in long lines at city hall on Tuesday morning, the first day the dolls depicting Toronto's embattled mayor were available for sale.
Ford even came out to autograph the dolls — meeting the public and shaking hands after having charged through a gauntlet of reporters gathered on the upper floor. He spent almost five hours signing the dolls before they sold out.
The dolls were sold for $20, with proceeds going to the United Way. With demand outstripping supply, one Kijiji ad posted Tuesday had the doll on sale for a $500 asking price. Another was listed on eBay and as of 12 noon on Tuesday, had 21 bids and had reached a price US$177, not including shipping.
As long lines formed, there was also talk of a one-bobble-head-per-person limit.
Among those hoping to get their hands on a bobblehead was the mayor's brother Coun. Doug Ford, who joked that due to the high demand, he was only allowed one of the figures.
"It speaks volumes by the amount of people that are downstairs (lining up)," Doug Ford said. "I don't think there's a politician in the country, including the prime minister, that could have bobblehead dolls and have them line up around the corner."
Late Tuesday afternoon, Ford said he was ordering more bobbleheads and that they will be available for sale in about three or four weeks. He said he also plans to sell T-shirts starting Wednesday.
The Rob Ford bobbleheads hit the market one day before Ford faces a council motion requesting that he step aside after admitting last week that he smoked crack cocaine about a year ago.
The dolls were scheduled to go on sale at 9 a.m. Boxes of the dolls didn't arrive until 10:30.
The #robbiebobbie hash tag also became popular on Twitter early Tuesday.
One couple, Philip and Michelle Wilson, arrived at 7:30 a.m. to be among the first to get their hands on a Ford bobblehead. After buying their dolls, they took their pictures with them in front of the mayor's office.
As if there was any doubt, Ford bobblehead already listed on on Kijiji for $500. I'm sure if sold, that money will go to United Way. Right?— Jamie Strashin (@StrashinCBC) November 12, 2013