Last Friday, the Mint issued a release in which it said it had learned of the quarter, and the planned promotion, and advised the studio and The Franklin Mint that they were, in fact, breaking the law. As many Newsarama posters had pondered and posited, it’s illegal to turn US currency into an advertising vehicle. Violators can face a fine.
From the release:
"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."
This seemed fishy to me to begin with, but the Franklin Mint seems to carry a lot of credibility, so I think many probably just brushed it off and assumed it was all legit. The interesting part of this is how many have been distributed so far, and what will the value be if they are pulled? Did Marvel and/or Fox do this on purpose, knowing that is was illegal? Think about it, it is a little difficult to produce "viral marketing" on something as big as the Fantastic Four movie, so maybe they pulled this little stunt, leaked it to the U.S. Mint and got themselves some publicity.
On the day of their release I had one of the Fox reps come into my work with a bucket full of these quarters that they told him to go out and spend to get them in circulation. I saved several of the ones he spent in my store for myself of course P. Since these coins were given to me at the point of purchase from a Fox Rep himself I can say with 100% certainty that they are uncirculated and in mint condition, straight from the mint!"Bucket full"? That's alot of quarters, and you would think if they knew everything was on the up-and-up they wouldn't be taking bucketfuls of quarters to dealers and telling them to circulate them.