31
Oct

Calls For Tragic Death Of

Calls For Tragic Death Of Streisand

With sales of Princess Di memorabilia falling off sharply after a record
1997, collectible-plate-industry leaders Monday called for the tragic
death of beloved entertainer Barbra Streisand.

For the 1998 Christmas season to be anywhere near as successful as last
years, we need a heartbreaking, untimely end to a wonderful life that we
can commemorate with a series of limited-edition collectors plates, said
Franklin Mint president Jim Campion, who joined representatives from the
Bradford Exchange and Danbury Mint in a unified call for Streisands
tragic demise. The death of Barbra Streisand, with her upscale, intensely
devoted following, would be ideal.

Economists say the unexpected death of a star of Streisands magnitude
would translate to a 70 percent sales boost for the $1 billion
collectible-plate industry.

A Streisand death would probably outsell all other recent celebrity
deaths combined, including Princess Di and Frank Sinatra, said Andrew
Culpepper of The Wall Street Journal. I could easily see QVC moving
anywhere from 500,000 to a million units of Streisand memorabilia in the
first week alone. After all, were talking about the woman who sang
People, Evergreen and You Dont Bring Me Flowers.

Directly addressing the Funny Girl star, Campion urged Streisand to give
serious consideration to the collectible-plate-industrys request.

Ms. Streisand, you have lived a life of comfort and wealth, much of which
was made possible by the selling of collectibles and memorabilia bearing
your image. We feel it would be fair and honorable of you to give
something back, both to your fans and the collectibles industry, by
passing away in a manner that leaves the world stunned and deeply in want
of some tangible object commemorating your rare beauty and talent, an
object your fans can hold on to as a treasured keepsake and an assurance
that your spirit will always be with them.

Among the means of death recommended by collectible-plate-industry
leaders: car crash, helicopter crash, skiing accident, drowning,
accidental shooting, or a rare, degenerative disease that Streisand had
been bravely battling for years in secret. Surprisingly, they were also
open to the possibility of a sleeping-pill overdose.

While embarrassing and potentially tarnishing to a stars legacy, the
perennial success of Elvis Presley memorabilia proves that a drug-related
death does not necessarily hurt sales. In fact, in some cases it can
actually help, Campion said. We therefore wholeheartedly approve of this
mode of demise.

In anticipation of a possible Streisand death, plate-makers are busily
developing merchandise lines. The Bradford Exchange is planning The
Evergreen Collection, a line of premium, gold-inlaid plates depicting
Streisand in scenes from such cinematic triumphs as Yentl, Nuts and The
Mirror Has Two Faces. Additional plates commemorate such landmark moments
in Streisand history as her triumphant 1994 return concert at Madison
Square Garden, her 1981 Best Pop Duet Grammy for Guilty with Barry
Gibb, and her brief 1970s marriage to Elliott Gould.

Said Bradford Exchange vice-president of marketing Theodore Deele: Each
Evergreen Collection plate will be available for just two easy payments
of $49 plus shipping and handling, and will be limited to 200 firing
dates, virtually guaranteeing it to be a rare, sought-after collectible.
It will also come with a certificate of authenticity stating unequivocally
that this is indeed a plate with a picture of Barbra Streisand on it.

The Bradford Exchange is already accepting reservations for the plate,
promising customers an unconditional money-back guarantee should Streisand
decline to expire.

Numerous other industries have praised the collectible-plate
manufacturers call for Streisands death. Said Laura Samuelson, president
of the American Association of Florists: In September 1997, British
florists sold $11.5 million worth of Di-related bouquets, nearly half of
which were laid at the gates outside Buckingham Palace. Based on those
numbers, we are confident we could easily sell $20 million in flowers for
fans to lay in front of Streisands Brooklyn birthplace.

Also supporting Mondays call for an untimely death were the Home Shopping
Network, People magazine, and Columbia Records, which would stand to enjoy
a 300 percent surge in Streisand-back-catalog sales from such an event.
Beanie Babies manufacturer Ty has also expressed interest in producing a
limited-edition Barbra Bear. And close Streisand friend Marvin Hamlisch,
who wrote her 1973 hit The Way We Were, said he would record a new
version of the Grammy-winning song in her memory. The Way You Were
(1998) would hit stores the first Tuesday after her death, and would
likely become the best-selling single of all time.

According to collectible-plate-industry leaders, a number of other
celebrities were discussed as possible candidates for tragic death, but
Streisand ultimately emerged as the best choice. We talked about all
sorts of people — Bette Midler, Elton John, Oprah, Leonardo DiCaprio,
Celine Dion — the list goes on and on, Martin Krujczek of the Danbury
Mint said. But the more we talked, the more apparent it became that no
one could match the incomparable Barbra Streisand.

Buzzing over Mondays call for their idols death, Streisands famously
devoted fans are already eager to purchase something to remember her by.

I cant even tell you how crazy I am about Barbra — Ive seen A Star Is
Born at least 200 times, said Rick Childress, a Hermosa Beach, CA,
hairdresser. If she died, I would buy anything and everything thats even
remotely commemorative.

Theres nobody else like Barbra. Nobody, said Woodmere, NY, homemaker
Joan Kushner, whose 6,000-item Streisand collection includes an
autographed copy of My Name Is Barbra and the boxing gloves she wore in
the movie poster for The Main Event. God forbid anything should ever
happen to our Barbra. But if it must, let there be merchandise to help us
cope.

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