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Sunday, November 9, 2003 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Plastic rap: Ann Coulter talking doll has lots to say

Los Angeles Times

If Barbie mated with Rush Limbaugh, the offspring would probably look like the new Ann Coulter doll from the Irvine, Calif.-based toy company Talking Presidents.

Push the button and the miniskirted plastic commentator utters such trademark Coulterisms as: "Why not go to war just for oil? We need oil. What do Hollywood celebrities imagine fuels their private jets? How do they think their cocaine is delivered to them?"

The Coulter action figure, which costs $30 at www.talkingpresidents.com, is the latest creation from the company that brought us talking figurines of President Bush ("You're working hard to put food on your family"), President Clinton ("It depends upon what the meaning of the word 'is' is"), Donald Rumsfeld ("I believe what I said yesterday — I don't know what I said, but I know what I think and I assume that's what I said") and Dennis Miller ("That's the news and I am outta here").

Each action figure contains a voice chip with 14 to 28 sayings.

The Coulter doll's storehouse of quotes includes such remarks as "At least when right-wingers rant, there's a point" and "Swing voters are more appropriately known as the 'idiot voters' because they have no set of philosophical principles. By the age of 14, you're either a conservative or a liberal if you have an IQ above a toaster."

Why make a Coulter doll?

"Why not?" replies Talking Presidents President John Warnock, who used to remodel expensive garages. "It's funny."

Coulter told The New York Daily News she wishes she'd had the doll when she was little. "I think it's terrific! This action figure can talk, wear different outfits and hairstyles. It also kills terrorist leaders and converts their followers to Christianity."

Warnock entered the doll business last fall. "I've always been kinda into politics, and I really like toys," he explains. After he took the concept for a Bush doll to his father-in-law, Jim Wessling, an importer, they formed Talking Presidents and ordered a shipment of 14,000.

With a plug from Matt Drudge's Web site, the dolls "sold out before we even got them," Warnock says.

Next came the Clinton action figure, with such sayings as "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky."

Unlike most of the company's action figures, the Coulter doll is licensed, which means the conservative commentator had a lot of input on how the doll looks, what it says and how the packaging is designed.

"It's much funnier to do unlicensed ones," Warnock adds.

Coming soon: a Ronald Reagan doll, also licensed.

Copyright © 2003 The Seattle Times Company

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