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Ollie North Doll Will Be Recast as a Gorbachev

December 16, 1987|Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — An intrepid entrepreneur is out to see if General Secretary Mikhail S. Gorbachev can succeed where Marine Lt. Col. Oliver North failed.

John Lee Hudson and his wife, Shana, say they lost about $30,000 in an effort to market a foot-tall Ollie North doll, trying to capitalize on North's fame after he described his Iran-Contra exploits to a House-Senate committee last summer.

North's fame proved fleeting, and so did the Hudsons' prospects.

They ended up with a large inventory that they now plan to convert to a likeness of the Soviet leader, noting Gorbachev's good public image at the Washington summit meeting with President Reagan.

"What happened was that people were turned off to North," theorized Hudson. "I could have put Howdy Doody's head on there and sold more."

Hudson said his North dolls are sitting in a South Korean factory waiting to have their heads removed and replaced with a likeness of Gorbachev, complete with the strawberry birthmark on his scalp.

"It'll be tricky," Hudson said. "You don't want to make him look like a weirdo."

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