GI Joe and Barbie, meet Menachem Begin and Golda Meir

Asaf Harari, an Israeli graphic designer from Yavne, has introduced a new line of historical action figures from Zionist lore.

July 3, 2014 14:59
1 minute read.
Moshe Dayan

Moshe Dayan action figure. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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Look out, GI Joe. Watch your back, Barbie.

Now, there are other action figures vying for the affection of collectors – Moshe Dayan, David Ben-Gurion, Theodor Herzl, Golda Meir, and Menachem Begin.

Asaf Harari, an Israeli graphic designer from Yavne, has introduced a new line of historical action figures from Zionist lore.

Harari and his wife, Naama, opened up Piece of History, a studio that offers a range of Jewish and Zionist-themed collectible items.

"The idea first came up four years ago, while I was a student in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem," Harari told The Jerusalem Post. "It is in Jerusalem that it first occurred to me that the Israeli souvenir market needs to be thoroughly revamped, and that there’s room for more updated souvenirs besides archaic Judaica products that flooding Israel's streets for decades. My love of design, especially for pop-art and vinyl figures, together with my love of Israel, led me to start designing souvenirs with a more contemporary feel."

Harari touts "the first Israeli action figures ever made" as well as other items, including an "Orthodox series," contemporary art posters, and T-shirts.

"In the United States, every gift shop sells figurines of movie stars, cartoon characters, athletes and politicians such as President Obama," Harari said. "There are collectors who are willing to pay a lot for a figurine. The whole culture of action figures and vinyl figures is part of United States art folklore and the country's identity."

"I thought that the time has come for Israel to develop its own action figure and vinyl figure culture," he said. "I believe that souvenirs and collectibles are part of the any country's showcase and identity, and I wanted to affect it in a positive way - bringing modern style to the historic culture of Israel, Judaism and Zionism."

Harari said he is working on a specially designed figure of Revisionist founder Ze'ev Jabotinsky as well as a new "Kings" series, featuring porcelain figurines depicting King Solomon, King Saul, and King David.

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