• REUTERS, AP

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For a mask producer in Japan, the transition from President Donald Trump to Joe Biden has been a smooth one, as it switches production to masks of the Democrat president-elect.

Ogawa Studios, a small producer in Saitama Prefecture, starting making rubber Biden masks earlier this year but has ramped up production since his election win.

In October alone, 1,000 Biden masks were sold for ¥2,400 ($22.81) each, and the company has set a goal of producing a further 25,000 by year’s end.

Meanwhile, the Trump masks, which cost the same, have been relegated to the bottom of the company’s product line.

Ogawa Studio manager Koki Takahashi said it was much easier to produce a caricature of Trump, whose mask appears to be shouting, than it was for Biden.

A mold base for rubber masks depicting U.S. President-elect Joe Biden is placed on a production line at Ogawa Studios in Saitama Prefecture on Wednesday. | AP
A mold base for rubber masks depicting U.S. President-elect Joe Biden is placed on a production line at Ogawa Studios in Saitama Prefecture on Wednesday. | AP

Biden’s caricature is much more low-key, with a gentle smile.

“We didn’t have any background information on Biden so it was hard to grasp his character,” said Takahashi.

“But we especially paid close attention to the corner of his eyes and his mouth to make it.”

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.

The real-life Biden continues to lay the groundwork for his administration, against the backdrop of a resurgence of COVID-19 cases across the United States, while Trump refuses to accept the election’s outcome.

Rubber masks depicting U.S. President Donald Trump and President-elect Joe Biden are placed on a table at Ogawa Studios in Saitama Prefecture on Wednesday. | AP
Rubber masks depicting U.S. President Donald Trump and President-elect Joe Biden are placed on a table at Ogawa Studios in Saitama Prefecture on Wednesday. | AP
An employee at Ogawa Studios, a mask and toy-making company, puts the final touches on a mask depicting U.S. President-elect Joe Biden at its studio in Saitama on Thursday. | REUTERS
An employee at Ogawa Studios, a mask and toy-making company, puts the final touches on a mask depicting U.S. President-elect Joe Biden at its studio in Saitama on Thursday. | REUTERS
An Ogawa Studios employee prepares to pack masks depicting U.S. President-elect Joe Biden at its studio in Saitama Prefecture on Thursday. | REUTERS
An Ogawa Studios employee prepares to pack masks depicting U.S. President-elect Joe Biden at its studio in Saitama Prefecture on Thursday. | REUTERS

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