Foam Liberty Crown Hot Novelty Item
May. 27, 1986
NEW YORK (AP) _ America's love affair with the Statue of Liberty has spawned a new novelty craze - a foam version of Miss Liberty's crown.
At least three manufacturers are making copies of the spiked, green crown, hoping that their products will grace the heads of many tourists descending on New York for the Great Lady's 100th birthday.
The hottest copy on the market comes from Elizabeth Tyre, a 39-year-old advertising and marketing executive, who traces her love of the monument to ''a romantic day at the statue in 1978.''
''I invented the crown as a small token that I thought everybody could afford. I said to myself, let's spread the word of Liberty through the crown,'' she said last week.
Tyre's one-size-fits-all, seven-spiked tiara is the only version recognized by the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, which receives a percentage of her sales.
But the statue's form and likeness are in the public domain, and competing versions, all selling from $2.50 to $3.50, are on the market.
Despite an unsuccessful lawsuit in which Tyre claimed her design was unique, the other versions appear to be thriving, too.
David Dana of Dana International said his company was turning out 90,000 crowns a week and planned to double production beginning in June.
''Sales were low until about April, but now they have exploded and stores are stocking up for the Fourth of July celebration,'' he said. ''It will sell in the millions.''
Lyle Rose, president of The Lady & Associates, which was formed in September to market a crown and other Statue of Liberty products, said that between the Fourth of July ceremonies and the 100th anniversary of the statue in October, he expected sales in the 2 million to 3 million range.
Ms. Tyre said her company, Past Pluto Productions, has produced about half a million crowns to date and was ready to make a million on demand.
She formed Past Pluto in 1984 to make and market the crown.
''I've always said when something outlandish happened, 'Boy, that's past Pluto. Way out there 3/8''' she said.