Want a Steve Jobs doll? Buyer beware
Illustrator Karen Caldicott created a portrait of Steve Jobs in her trademark clay style for Fortune Magazine in 2007. Imagine her surprise when she recently found her image being used to advertise a Jobs figure for sale on eBay: one which bears little resemblance to her original
Caldicott is well-known for her portraits in clay – her work has regularly appeared in New York magazine and Time as well as Fortune (we wrote about her here). It seems as though someone in Hong Kong is also a fan. They have used Caldicott's image (above left) on their eBay page to advertise a "Steve Jobs Handmade 10CM Clay Figure Doll" (above right) for $113. Click through to the full page description however and the photos of the actual doll in question reveal a rather more crude attempt at a likeness.
Another figure from the same seller also uses Caldicott's image to lure punters in. This one is more Alan Yentob than Steve Jobs perhaps.
Unsurprisingly, Caldicott finds the whole thing "disturbing".
Just as disturbing is the idea of anyone wantig to buy a Steve Jobs action figure/doll in the first place and yet, since Jobs' death last year, a number have been offered for sale online.
This bizarre effort is available from eCrater
While MIC came up with this one.
And Hong Kong-based In Icons perhaps offered the most realistic likeness with this.
After pressure from Apple's lawyers, the latter two have now been withdrawn from sale (though there are plenty more available on eBay). Perhaps in years to come archeologists of the future will discover unsold cases of the creepy figures while excavating an old landfill site and determine that Jobs was some kind of 21st century deity, worshipped at shrines around the world. They wouldn't be far wrong.
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I'm not convinced that Steve would have condoned any of them. No matter who made them.
Steve would have thought this was hilarious!
Putting the weirdness aside, there is nothing unique about Karen Caldicott's style. So other people made steve Jobs out of clay, big deal. This is not news worthy. Of course the E-bay seller should not have used Karen's image.
One could argue that it is similar to the cover of Newsweek as well, and if that's the case, then it's two different people making sculptures of the same model. However, it's probably not the case, and hope something is done about it.
I've sculpted Steve Jobs using a portrait as a model. Hopefully in a year from now, people don't give me a hard time about modeling it after a portrait of his.
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