SAITAMA, Japan — While surgical masks have been highly sought after this year, Joe Biden rubber masks are also seeing some demand.
Ogawa Studios, a Japanese manufacturer, began producing masks resembling the U.S. president-elect in the middle of October, ahead of last week’s election.
Workers in Saitama, a city north of Tokyo, mold rubber to form a likeness of Biden’s face, while features including his pearly white teeth and blue eyes are hand-painted.
“Biden’s keywords are dialogue and healing, so we created it with the image of a gentle expression,” said Kouki Takahashi, from the administration department of Ogawa Studios.
So far, around 1,000 masks have been sold.
The same manufacturer was flooded with orders for Trump masks before Trump’s inauguration as president four years ago.
While sales of Trump and Biden masks were about the same last month, Takahashi said they are seeing more sales in November for the president-elect.
The manufacturer said making politicians’ masks is good for business.
“Compared to character products, politicians are in office for a long time, so their total sales tend to grow significantly as their popularity continues to grow,” Takahashi said.
Trump and Biden masks are both sold for 2,400 yen ($23) apiece in Japan.