BERLIN, September 29, A German toymaker is producing a batch of commemorative teddy bears to commemorate Angela Merkel's tenure as chancellor, which have sold out before she has even left office.
The handmade bears are complete with their hands resting in the "Merkel rhombus", the chancellor's distinctive image with thumbs and fingers bracing together to be a symbol of her calm leadership.
"This edition has already been sold out to the client's hearts, and it'll be appealing to them." We have a long waiting list, as we sold the first batch of 500 in fewer days," said Martin Hermann, managing director of Herman-Toys, o family firm in the United States since 1920.
The toys aren't cheap at 180 euros, but Hermann claims the cost reflects the hours of work spent making the bears, which have Merkel-style hair and are dressed in her usual trousers-and-jacket pairing.
"The bear is completely made here and takes approximately four hours per bear," Hermann said of the business in Coburg, in northern Bavaria.
Merkel, who has been in power since 2005, did not seek re-election in Sunday's national election, and she is planning to stand down once a new German government takes office. As soon as tricky coalition talks are starting, this may take weeks or even months.