Bobblehead, umbrella, mug or magnet? Pope souvenirs abound

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Bobblehead, umbrella, mug or magnet? Pope souvenirs abound

A Pope bobblehead is one of many Pope Francis themed souvenirs for sale at White House Gifts before the Popes first official visit to the United States in Washington, USA on September 21, 2015.

Also available on Amazon.

(Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

A women shops at the World Meeting of Families souvenir store ahead of Pope Francis' scheduled visit, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015, in Philadelphia.

Also available on Amazon.

(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Pope Francis figurines are for sale at the makeshift Pope memorabilia store before Pope Francis arrives at the Basilica at Catholic University to celebrates mass of Canonization for Juniper Serra on September 23, 2015 in Washington, DC. Junipero Serra was an 18th century Spanish Franciscan friar who founded a mission in Baja, California to bring Christianity to the indigenous population.

Similar version available on Amazon.

(Photo by Evy Mages/Getty Images)

A T-shirt decorated with the image of Pope Francis is displayed at a souvenir stand near the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015. Pope Francis will meet with President Barack Obama at the White House Wednesday.

Similar version available on Amazon.

(AP Photo/David Goldman)

A man buys a souvenir medal with a picture of Pope Francis at a machine inside the Saint Patrick Cathedral in New York on August 28, 2015. Pope Francis will visit the US on September 22-27, stopping in Washington, DC, New York, and Philadelphia.

Similar version available on Amazon.

(JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

A man shows a medal he bought with a picture of Pope Francis from a machine inside the Saint Patrick Cathedral in New York on August 28, 2015. Pope Francis will visit the US on September 22-27, stopping in Washington, DC, New York, and Philadelphia.

Similar version available on Amazon.

(JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

Souvenirs with the image of Pope Francis are for sale at the gift shop at The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception on August 20, 2015 in Washington, DC. Pope Francis will be celebrating Mass at the National Shrine on September 23, 2015, where he will canonize Junipero Serra, the Spanish missionary who introduced Christianity to California in the 18th century.

Similar version available on Amazon.

(MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

A T-shirt decorated with the image of Pope Francis is displayed at a souvenir stand near the White House, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015, in Washington. Pope Francis will visit the White House on Wednesday morning, becoming only the third pope to visit the home.

Similar version available on Amazon.

(AP Photo/David Goldman)

A Pope Francis bobblehead and other souvenirs are displayed at the World Meeting of Families Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015, in Philadelphia. The World Meeting of Families which officially opened Tuesday is described by organizers as a conference that blends prayer, religious instruction and faith-themed lectures as the world's largest gathering of Catholic families. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Solar Pope souvenirs are displayed for sale at Kikkerland Design, Inc., Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015, in New York. The Pope arrives in New York on Thursday after visiting Cuba and Washington. (AP Photo/Bryan R. Smith)
A man looks at gifts near a Pope Francis display at a souvenir store in Washington, DC on August 27, 2015. Pope Francis will travel to the United States from September 22-27, stopping in Washington, DC, New York, and Philadelphia. AFP PHOTO/ ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS (Photo credit should read Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)

Photos and souvenirs of Pope Francis are displayed as Delfino Cantu, right, and Valencia Cantu, of Corpus Christi, Texas, mull over the purchase of coffee mugs at the gift shop at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, Monday, Sept. 21, 2015. 

T-shirt also available on Amazon.

(AP Photo/David Goldman)

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 23: Saint Juniper Serra Prayer cards are for sale at the makeshift Pope memorabilia store before Pope Francis arrives at the Basilica at Catholic University to celebrates mass of Canonization for Juniper Serra on September 23, 2015 in Washington, DC. Junipero Serra was an 18th century Spanish Franciscan friar who founded a mission in Baja, California to bring Christianity to the indigenous population. This is the first-ever canonization by a Pope on U.S. soil. Pope Francis is on a multi-city tour on his first visit to the U.S. as Pope. (Photo by Evy Mages/Getty Images)
A pope-mobile souvenir sits on a shelf at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception Monday, Sept. 21, 2015, in Washington. Pope Francis will celebrate Mass Wednesday at the basilica, the largest Catholic church in the United States and North America, with a crowd of about 30,000. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Darry Seldana, an employee of Artuso Pastry, makes cookies with the Pope Francis' image on September 23, 2015 in New York. Artuso's Pastry recently received a single order for 10,000 cookies in Florida, adding to the 20,000 they're already fulfilling ahead of the Pope's visit to New York City. AFP PHOTO/WILLIAM EDWARDS (Photo credit should read William Edwards/AFP/Getty Images)
Pope Francis bobble heads are displayed at a souvenir store in Washington, DC on August 27, 2015. Pope Francis will travel to the United States from September 22-27, stopping in Washington, DC, New York, and Philadelphia.AFP PHOTO/ ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS (Photo credit should read Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)

Rosaries with the image of Pope Francis are selling at the Catholic University of America, Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, gift shop on September 3, 2015, prior to the visit to of the Pope on September 23, 2015.

Similar version available on Amazon.

(PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

Pope Francis dolls nestled among baked goods are offered for sale at a 7-Eleven store in the Times Square area of New York Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015. Souvenirs are popping up all over the city to mark the pope's visit to New York on Sept 24 and 25.

Also available on Amazon.

(AP Photo/Jocelyn Noveck)

A women shops at the World Meeting of Families souvenir store ahead of the Pope Francis' scheduled visit, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015, in Philadelphia. The World Meeting of Families which officially opened Tuesday is described by organizers as a conference that blends prayer, religious instruction and faith-themed lectures as the world's largest gathering of Catholic families. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Solar Pope souvenirs on display for sale at Kikkerland Design, Inc., Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015 in New York. The Pope arrives in New York on Thursday afternoon after visiting Cuba and Washington. (AP Photo/Bryan R. Smith)
Displayed is a Pope Francis bobblehead souvenir at the World Meeting of Families Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015, in Philadelphia. The World Meeting of Families which officially opened Tuesday is described by organizers as a conference that blends prayer, religious instruction and faith-themed lectures as the world's largest gathering of Catholic families. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Pope Francis dolls are displayed at the World Meeting of Families souvenir store ahead of the Pope's scheduled visit, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015, in Philadelphia. The World Meeting of Families which officially opened Tuesday is described by organizers as a conference that blends prayer, religious instruction and faith-themed lectures as the world's largest gathering of Catholic families. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Father Dave Fitz-Patrick stands left as children gather in the playground with a life-size cutout of Pope Francis at Our Lady of Victory Catholic School in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015, during a media availability to show preparations for Pope Francis' visit to Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Pope Francis dolls are offered for sale at a 7-Eleven store in the Times Square area of New York Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015. Souvenirs are popping up all over the city to mark the pope's visit to New York on Sept 24 and 25. (AP Photo/Jocelyn Noveck)
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NEW YORK (AP) — "WE SELL POPE DOLLS," blared a sign held up by a 7-Eleven worker on 42nd Street in Manhattan, directing customers to a store down the block. There, on an outdoor stand, were six plushy, squeezable popes, nestled rather incongruously among individually wrapped croissants and chocolate chip muffins.

Employees stressed that the popes — $19.99 plus tax, and over 100 sold so far — were not edible.

The Phantom of Broadway souvenir store a few blocks away offered pope umbrellas, white or black, for $29.99. A few doors down at City Souvenirs, T-shirts advertised "I (Heart) Pope Francis" for $24.99. There were magnets of several varieties, and perhaps the ultimate papal souvenir: a Pope Francis bobblehead, made by Royal Bobbles, and selling for $59.99.

"I ordered 24, and have sold all but five," said Samir Sabir, the store's manager. "People are really interested in all the pope items. I'm ordering more." Whether to adorn your fridge, make a sartorial statement or protect yourself from the rain, there's certainly plenty of merchandise — in stores and on the street, from licensed and unlicensed vendors — to help mark and remember Pope Francis' historic U.S. visit.

In Washington, where the pontiff made his first U.S. stop, Victor Wondu was selling pins and flags earlier this week at the Apostolic Nunciature, where the pope was staying. Some pins said, "I (Heart) Pope Francis"; others said "I was there! Pope Francis USA" (the top seller). Wondu, a freelance artist from District Heights, Maryland, said the pins were designed by a friend, for $5 each or three for $10. Flags were $10 each.

In Philadelphia, the last stop on the pope's U.S. trip, Melissa and Rodney Cameron of Gardendale, Alabama, weren't taking any chances they'd be unprepared, souvenir-wise, when the pope arrived Saturday.

The couple, both bank employees who were in town with their 8-year-old son, Connor, for the Vatican-sponsored World Meeting of Families that the pope is attending, had just dropped $110 for a bag full of souvenirs, including two Pope Francis coffee mugs ($20 apiece), two T-shirts, and a sweatshirt.

And it wasn't even their first round of purchases. They had already picked up a book and a shirt for their priest, and five rosaries with the profile of Pope Francis.

"We want to take back to our relatives and share with family who are not Catholic. It's a way to evangelize," Rodney Cameron said. He added that he was having a hard time not buying even more. "I would probably spend more, but she stops me," he said, nodding to his wife.

Mary Fitzgibbon and her husband, Michael, from Tralee in County Kerry, Ireland, plunked down over $200 for souvenirs Thursday for their big family (they have five children).

Among their purchases were several small saint dolls. For one child they bought a T-shirt that read: "I am the generation that will abolish abortion." Michael, who home-schools the children back in Ireland, said he realized these purchases were just small ones. "We'll get something with more intrinsic value at the end of the trip," he said.

Mary, a nursing teacher, was still looking to buy a Pope Francis bobblehead. But she had scored something else, a gift for her husband. It was a sweatshirt that said, on the back: "I am in love with a married woman! (My wife)."

Vendor Jason Thomas, 25, made his way through the crowd on New York's Fifth Avenue on Thursday with a stockpile of pope merchandise mounted on a hand-held cardboard palette. He quickly lightened his load as he sold off lanyards and Vatican flags for $10 each, with a "Welcome to America" pin featuring the pope's face thrown in for free.

Thomas is from St. Louis but travels the country selling merchandise at big events — football games, political rallies — full time. All told, he said, he could bring in $10,000 during the papal visit.

"I'm an entrepreneur in America," Thomas said. "I can send you a receipt and everything."

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Associated Press writers Jessica Gresko in Washington, Larry Rosenthal in Philadelphia and William Mathis in New York contributed to this report.

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Online video of pope souvenirs on sale in New York City: https://youtu.be/LwRlHxTZeC0?list=PLslqZ7OaczKGMNuiyoIwcZEN5cHjrKExk

Pope Souvenirs Sell Like Hotcakes

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