WASHINGTON — U.S. intelligence leaker Edward Snowden has been hailed as a hero by many for disclosing details of mass surveillance programs conducted by the U.S. government. Now he has joined the ranks of fictional superheroes with the release of an action figure in his likeness.
The Oregon-based company ThatsMyFace.com this week announced that it is selling 12-inch (30-centimeter) action figures mounted with Snowden's lifelike head and will donate the proceeds to the Freedom of the Press Foundation, an American NGO established in 2012 to promote free speech and support whistle-blowing journalism.
Snowden was elected to the board of the organization last month.
The company is selling the made-to-order figurine for $99, though for $60 customers can purchase just the Snowden head, which can then be attached to the buyer's own action figure body.
Snowden, 30, fled the U.S. last year after leaking troves of documents related to U.S. surveillance programs to the media, and he has been living in Russia since last summer after receiving temporary asylum there.
Russia has repeatedly denied U.S. requests to expel Snowden to the U.S., where he faces charges of espionage and theft of government property. U.S. authorities have rejected claims that Snowden is a whistleblower, insisting that he committed crimes and should face a trial at home.
ThatsMyFace.com is offering a range of outfits for the Snowden figurine, including one modeled on swashbuckling fictional archeologist Indiana Jones of the Hollywood movie franchise, complete with a bullwhip and gun.
The company has issued a promotional video for the Snowden figurine that features an action figure in the likeness of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, whose whistle-blowing website became an enemy of the U.S. government in 2010 when it leaked hundreds of thousands of U.S. diplomatic cables.