The Beatles go collectibles
Over the years I’ve published a series of articles on how The Beatles can solve your Christmas gift dilemmas. It looks like all four Liverpudlians can still do it, all year round. Iconic animated film masterpiece by The Beatles in 1968, yellow submarineReceives a Series of Genuine Legal Tender Collector Coins from the Scottsdale, Arizona Company The Crown Mint.
I had a conversation with Steven Harris, director of Crown Mint. His company has been in business since 2008, initially as a design boutique. The company started making coin wrappers and eventually realized the business needed to move into making coins, “Like we could do it better.”
Once the company made that pivot, it changed again. From selling exclusively wholesale, they moved to almost every retail outlet, launching as the Crown Mint. Harris explained that their product had been lost on other retail sites, so the idea was to go it alone and directly to the consumer.
I probed company kingpins further, and Harris revealed that many retailers admitted their database was dying. They had the existential question “where is the market going?” The product (coin mechanism) is not intended for a younger clientele.
Indeed, nobody uses coins anymore, nobody has 82 cents in their pocket anymore.
Crown Mint’s scrutiny of the market began with Star Wars and then with Marvel. Harris said his company competed with governments over coins, “once we started licensing, everybody jumped on the bandwagon.”
“Maybe people never collected the coins, that would be a way in,” Harris observed of his licensing efforts. “With our past successes, I always wondered how we could get the Beatles.”
Apple Corps had repeatedly said “no” to others with a similar idea, so instead of a round coin, Harris said “our shape and packaging was so different and compelling.”
What Harris is looking for is a brand that stands the test of time.
As a kid, Harris devoured Marvel comics, and that seemed like a logical first step. “Old people remember comics, young kids devour movies,” Harris continued. “We won’t make a coin if we don’t like the brand. We have been contacted by many people. So far, our guesses have been pretty good.
I asked what it means for articles to be considered legal tender. “It could be used as legal tender, but it would be foolish to do so.” In other words, the face value of the coin is so much less than the value of the metal inside. You wouldn’t want to spend the designated denomination of a dollar on a candy bar if the value of the metal inside was worth $20. Therefore, the coins are considered “non-circulating legal tender”.
I asked what the future holds for Crown Mint. “We have more Beatles products in the works and other bands in discussion. Look for animated characters.
My prediction is that over 82% of buyers will not keep these Yellow Submarine coins in their pocket.