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You Too Can Resemble The Jut-Jawed Detective

June 16, 1990

NEW YORK (AP) _ Crimestoppers Tip No. 134: If you’re paying $345 for a yellow overcoat, you’re being robbed.

But nobody held a gun on the shoppers who turned out at Manhattan stores Friday and kicked off the Dick Tracy paraphernalia onslaught by laying out cash for yellow fedoras ($30), Tracy towels ($20) and Tracy T-shirts ($14).

Want the great detective’s jutting jaw on your face? $50 for a mask. How about a denim jacket with his likeness across the back? $115. A leather bomber jacket with the omnipresent Tracy logo? $195. Or his trademark yellow trenchcoat? $345.

Believe it, sweetheart. And stores were giving customers the hard sell on these goods, which were generated by the superhyped Warren Beatty flick which opened at 12:01 a.m. Friday.

The second floor at Bloomingdale’s featured a stack of eight televisions running the movie’s trailer nonstop. In another section of The Dick Tracy Shop there, co-star Madonna belted out ″Vogue″ and songs from the film soundtrack over and over and over ...

″This is all for that movie?″ asked one woman as she handed over $28 for a pair of T-shirts. The Tracy togs were so prevalent that they displaced Bart Simpson and family from the top of the T-shirt racks.

″It’s great. My wife says they’re quite well made, not trashy,″ said Roger Dutton, a Melbourne, Australia, resident who was clutching a pair of towels. ″You pay premium for the premium goods, I guess.″

The trashy stuff was in another section of the store. Lacy bustiers, flapper dresses and other skin-flashing selections worn by Breathless Mahoney (Madonna) drew plenty of interest, but not as many buyers.

″If I could get away with this stuff in Kokomo, I’d wear it,″ said Linda Dechert, who was visiting from Indiana. ″I think this stuff will catch on with the younger crowd. Madonna’s so popular.″

The Breathless outfits actually aren’t as daring as the ones that cling to Madonna in the movie.

″Some of her gowns were slit down to the navel. We didn’t go quite that far,″ said Elaine Johnson of L.A. Glo, which is handling the clothes.

At Macy’s flagship store, the eighth floor was covered in Tracy yellow, with painted black silhouettes of Tracy and his nemeses Big Boy and Flattop.

″Calling All Crimestoppers to Herald Square″ read a Macy’s newspaper ad, and more people than that responded. Although store policy is not to release sales figures, things were going well on Day One of the Tracy explosion.

″Our shop is well-traveled, quite popular,″ said Barbara Lewinski, spokeswoman for the store. ″And once the film opens this weekend, it should get bigger.″

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