It looks like 20th Century Fox should have done a little more research before releasing 40,000 Silver Surfer themed quarters into circulation over the Memorial Day weekend. Created by the Franklin Mint, the quarter violates federal law and the U.S. Mint isn’t happy.
The U.S. Mint said in a news release Friday that it learned of the promotional quarter this week and advised the studio and The Franklin Mint they were breaking the law. It is illegal to turn a coin into an advertising vehicle, and violators can face a fine.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The promotion is in no way approved, authorized, endorsed, or sponsored by the United States Mint, nor is it in any way associated or affiliated with the United States Mint,Ã¢â‚¬Â according to the release. The federal mint did not say whether the studio or the private Franklin Mint would face a penalty.
The altered coins are quarters honoring the state of California that entered circulation in 2005. They feature George Washington on the front, as usual, but a colorized version of the character on the back. All 40,000 are slated to be in circulation throughout the country by the end of Memorial Day weekend, and about 800 were released in each state.
In all likelihood, the studio knew exactly what they were doing, as did the Franklin Mint. What started out as a unique promotion is now national news. Since there’s no such thing as bad publicity, just add this law-breaking tactic to the list of promotions used by 20th Century Fox to increase visibility for Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.
If you’d like a Sliver Surfer quarter of your own, they are (of course) currently all over ebay.