Taylor Swift is the gift that keeps on multiplying. While Tiger Woods’ merchandise empire shrinks with each new tabloid revelation, Swift’s is expanding as fast as Kanye West’s ego.
So pervasive is Swift’s retail reach that if you don’t have at least one of her trinkets or treasures under the tree this Christmas, you’ve got an actionable cause against Santa Claus.
Where do we start? There are the CDs and downloads, of course, in all their myriad editions. At least 10 million of us have those already. But what about the other merchandise — officially authorized or not — such as the Taylor Swift Italian charm watch, desktop calendar or “Kosher-certified” edible birthday cake image? They’re all out there waiting for you — just check Amazon.com (with four pages devoted to Swiftiana) or eBay (which, at last count, listed more than 7,000 items that bear her name and likeness).
Everything being marketed on her official Web site is the typical fare — clothing, CDs, songbooks, key chains, bracelets, guitar picks, etc. — that begins at a $5 price point. In fact, the only thing priced above $50 is the Taylor Swift model guitar, a miniature instrument built by the Taylor guitar company (no relation). Offered at $299, the list price is the same as the company assigns to similar guitar models that don’t have her signature and design silkscreened on the top.
Beyond that, it’s difficult to tell which items Swift has actually licensed and which are simply manifestations of someone else’s entrepreneurial spirit. Amazon has stricken the Taylor Swift mouse pad from its catalog, but you can still find it on eBay, where there is also a brisk business scalping tickets to Swift’s concerts.
There are at least three Taylor Swift biographies in circulation, none of which appear to have been authorized by their subject.
You say you want Taylor Swift pictures and posters? Well, they’re available both singly and in variety packs. The choices range from what is described as “the sultry schoolgirl pose” to one of her chastely kissing Twilight star Taylor Lautner.
Moving on in our Internet search, we pass displays of Taylor Swift dangle button earrings, address labels, bookmarks, karaoke renderings of Swift hits, pink bottle cap necklaces, tote bags, T-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies and jackets, two-sided Taylor Swift dog tags, a Taylor Swift country music game, pillows and throw pillow cases.
But wait! There’s more! There are “celebrity dollar bills” in which her face replaces that of George Washington, iron-on transfers of Swift’s picture, Taylor Swift shoes and a Scrabble tile pendant out of which beams her reassuringly sunny countenance.
There’s even a Taylor Swift Christmas stocking to hold these goodies.
In January, Amazon promises there will be a various artists tribute album to Swift. And early next year, American Greetings will roll out a collection of Swift penned and designed greeting cards, stationery and gift wrapping paper. By that time, she may also have secured naming rights to the moon.
Personally, all I’m looking for is a Taylor Swift magic wand that will reduce my senescent afflictions to a manageable teenage level.