In last Friday’s VARIETY, I caught the following headline and lead:
Silver Surfer U.S. quarter minted
Limited edition coin put into circulation
Hollywood really does mint money.
In an unprecedented marketing move, 20th Century Fox and the Franklin Mint have created a Silver Surfer U.S. quarter that has been put into limited circulation in advance of the release of “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.”
And it turns out they’re illegal. Even if they have to pay a fine, for Fox, this is great because it’s all kinds of free advertising. And people will go nuts for these hard-to-come-by coins.
They released about 40,000 quarters into general circulation, approximately 800 per state over Memorial Day weekend. Chances of any of these things landing L.A. aren’t too great, I’m guessing. If anyone does come upon one, I’d love to know how they got it.
I wanted one myself, but I’m not willing to fork over A HUNDRED + DOLLARS on eBay for something legally worth 25 cents.
UPDATE: I was looking for the follow-up article from VARIETY on this topic (the first article did not mention the illegality of the coins as that had not become apparent at that point). I haven’t seen it yet, however, I did notice that they removed a paragraph from the online story which was previously in the print version:
The U.S. Mint isn’t the only government agent getting into the movie marketing biz. Post offices across the country have begun displaying some 300 mailboxes made to look like “Star Wars” character R2-D2 as part of the 30th anniversary of the film franchise.
Of course this paragraph is inaccurate because as we know now, the U.S. Mint did not sanction the Silver Surfer promotion. And, as previously discussed on blogging.la regarding the Star Wars mailboxes, the USPS is “an independent establishment of the Executive Branch of the United States Government” (in other words, it’s not exactly a government agent).
Photo via AP Photo/20th Century Fox