TORONTO — An Ontario man is serving up a triple treat ahead of the federal election with cereal boxes that poke fun at the main party leaders.
London, Ont., resident Jaime Christian has come up with "Harper Squares," "Trudeau O's" and "Mulcair's Lucky Charms" — boxes which will be available for purchase online starting Monday.
"We're just trying to bring some light-hearted fun to the federal election," he told The Canadian Press in an interview. "Everyone's laughed when they've seen the boxes, that's all I was really going for."
The 27-year-old — who used about $5,000 of his own savings to fund the project — said he'd been pondering the idea before the federal election campaign began and had been inspired by a similar gimmick south of the border during the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign.
In that case, online home rental company Airbnb came up with "Obama O's" and "Cap'n McCain's" which became hot collectors' items.
Christian hadn't heard of similar stunts in federal elections in Canada and decided to see what would happen when he started one.
Over the past few weeks he got graphic designers to create grinning cartoon images on the boxes, employed a composer to come up with jingles that will promote each box online and got a printing company in Ingersoll, Ont., to produce 1000 copies of each box — all of which still have to be fully assembled by hand before they are shipped to those who buy them.
"This is a new thing for me," said Christian, a property manager by day who has devoted his nights and weekends to the project recently.
He admitted he was nervous about how his venture would be received.
"I think we could either have people who love their candidate and party who want to keep them, or people who want to buy their nemesis," he said of the potential audience for the boxes.
The Liberal and NDP campaigns have already asked for a few boxes, although the Conservative camp hasn't expressed any interest just yet, he said.
Each box features a cartoon of the leader it gets its name from, is emblazoned with the party's colours and comes with a snazzy description.
Conservative Leader Stephen Harper's cereal, for instance, is described as one which "may not be the most exciting breakfast choice...but it sure gets the job done," while Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau's box comes with a caption that reads "Dated? Out of fashion? Maybe. But Trudeau O's have been making a comeback in the past couple of years."
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair's cereal is sold with a description that says "you might not have given it a try yet, but this is the century for Mulcair's Luckiest Charms to shine!"
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May isn't featured on a box yet, but Christian said if sales of the other boxes bring in enough funds, he plans to put "May's Miniwheats" on the market as well.
The venture isn't meant to be biased towards any particular party and takes jabs at each leader equally, Christian said.
"I try to keep them as neutral as possible."
While the boxes won't be stuffed with actual cereal — it was too expensive to work that out — they will be filled with something, although Christian isn't saying what.
The boxes will be available for sale on crowdfunding site Kickstarter and on Christian's website — www.polishtick.com — with part of the sales going to a non-profit organization in London, Ont.
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