We all knew it would happen. Within hours of former president Donald Trump’s surrender at a Georgia jail, the mug shot (captioned “Never surrender!”) was available on official campaign merch ranging from T-shirts to mugs and more. Sales of these items have reportedly netted millions, including more than $4 million on August 25 alone, which set a single-day fundraising record.

Donald Trump Jr. also jumped on the mug shot merch bandwagon, selling tees and posters branded with “Free Trump” to raise money for his father’s legal bills, as the elder Trump faces four indictments for various charges.

Others used the mug shot in more satirical ways, from Green Day’s “ultimate Nimrod” tee to raise money to help feed Maui wildfire survivors to various sellers on Etsy and similar platforms putting their own spin on the image – some cleverly combining this summer’s headlines with a design that evokes Taylor Swift concert merch – or offering custom individual decoration.

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While the Biden campaign isn’t making headlines that dominate the news cycle at the same frequency, it is making merch that plays on a pop culture trope. “Brandon” has a complicated history, but suffice it to say that what started as a coded insult to the current president was co-opted by his supporters and turned into “Dark Brandon” – a meme of a grinning Joe Biden featuring laser eyes.

Building on that momentum (meme-ntum?) the campaign – and Biden himself – embraced the idea and added “Dark Brandon” merch to its online store in April. The campaign says the “Dark Brandon” items account for more than half of its sales.

Of course, there are plenty of parody campaign shirts featuring movie characters, singers and other celebrities, like a “Rick Astley for President” tee listing “campaign promises” that he will never give you up, let you down, etc. And other actual candidates are selling their own merch, from Marianne Williamson’s “Peace. Justice. Love.” T-shirts to Nikki Haley’s “Women for Nikki” collection to (so far) wishful thinking like Liz Cheney ’24 tees on Zazzle.

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It remains to be seen which, if any, of these items will become campaign collectibles like buttons for FDR, JFK and even George Washington (the latter being the first American promo product on record), but promo items attract small donors who might not otherwise contribute, making them a significant revenue stream for campaigns of all sizes.