Obama Merchandise Swells Following Historic Election

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Barack Obama proved an expert at marketing himself as the candidate of change. But two, or rather thousands, can play at that game.

Now that Obama has made history as the first black president-elect, enterprising vendors are marketing him, and cashing in -- with a tidal wave of post-election merchandise ranging from buttons to commemorative coins to novelty mugs.

Obama memorabilia has been popular throughout the presidential race, and his achievement on Election Day only amplified the demand for all things Barack.

"The climate's very hot," said AJ Khubani, founder and president of TeleBrands, which is marketing an Obama collector's plate. "People want to collect a piece of history."

Khubani said his company designed its "Historic Victory Plate" -- a porcelain plate with 22K gold trim and a "Change has Come" inscription -- the day after Election Day, and then shot the commercial for it by the end of the week. Khubani said he's ordered 1 million plates and plans to stock the shelves at major retail outlets over the next month.

"You need to react quickly to this kind of thing, because it's probably going to be relatively short-lived," he said. "We think shortly after inauguration, the hype will drop down."

Until then, individual vendors and small businesses especially are seeing dollar signs.

On merchandise sites like CafePress.com, there are 95,600 Obama-related designs and more than 2.9 million Obama-related products listed for sale.

Since Election Day, the dominant slogan on campaign paraphernalia has switched from "Yes We Can" to "Yes We Did."

Among the myriad post-election items are: a sticker that says, "Joe-the-Plumber ... meet Barack-the-President"; a black-and-white button that says, "I Was There! Obama Victory Night" (Dateline -- Grant Park, Chicago); a T-Shirt that says, "We Made History"; and, already, a sticker that declares, "Impeach Obama."

On eBay, periodical-hoarding sellers are trying to unload their Nov. 5 newspapers that declare Obama the winner of the historic election. (Were we the only ones who had trouble finding Washington Posts and New York Times last Wednesday?) One seller is listing a "MINT" Chicago Tribune edition for $16. Another is bundling election-edition newspapers and magazines together as the "Collectors Dream Package" for just over $95.

The New England Mint has also released the "limited edition" Obama Inaugural Dollar.

"Yes You Can ... Get Your Piece of History Today," their Web site declares.

According to the trade magazine Publishers Weekly, holiday shoppers are about to see a preponderance of Obama books as well.

Though a number of Obama books were published during the campaign, Publishers Weekly listed at least nine post-election titles in the works, and another three just on Michelle Obama.

They include an Obama recipe book and something called "The 2008 Presidential Race in Rhyme," which is marketed as "the definitive epic narrative poem on the 2008 presidential election."

But some of the merchandisers -- those who are selling items with images of Obama next to images of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. -- may have stepped over the line.

Isaac Newton Farris Jr., King's nephew and head of the nonprofit King Center in Atlanta, now says the estate is entitled to hundreds of thousands of dollars in licensing fees - maybe even millions.

"Some of this is probably putting food on people's plates. We're not trying to stop anybody from legitimately supporting themselves," he said, "but we cannot allow our brand to be abused."

Because Obama is an elected official, his words and image are in the public domain and can be used without permission. But King's writings, likeness and voice are considered intellectual property, and almost any use -- from graduate thesis papers to TV documentaries -- are subject to approval by his estate.

However, policing King's image and actually collecting any fees could prove to be a legal nightmare because of the proliferation of unauthorized King-Obama paraphernalia, much of it sold by street vendors.

FOXNews.com's Judson Berger and The Associated Press contributed to this report.