Death of bin Laden quickly spawns memorabilia business

Mon May 2, 2011 5:06pm EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Jonathan Allen

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The killing of Osama bin Laden quickly spawned a mini-industry of memorabilia, with street vendors and online stores busily peddling trinkets to celebrate and commemorate the moment.

Hastily designed mugs and T-shirts appeared for sale online, many with bin Laden's face, sometimes crassly doctored, with the word 'DEAD' scrawled in large letters.

"Sorry it took so long to get you a copy of my birth certificate. I was too busy killing Osama bin Laden," said one T-shirt for sale for $22 on the CafePress website that sells customized T-shirts, posters, mugs and gifts.

Another shirt depicted bin Laden with a bloody gunshot wound in his forehead, another showed a soldier carrying an American flag and the words "We Got Him," while another said, "Hey Osama, Tell Hitler We Said Hello."

On the more patriotic side, some designs featured an American flag and Sunday's date.

At Ground Zero, where the World Trade Center towers once stood, vendors rushed within hours of the news to sell small American flags, at $3 a piece, to members of the euphoric crowd cheering bin Laden's demise.

"As of this morning, the No. 1 search topic on our website is Osama bin Laden," said Joe Schmidt, head of consumer markets at San Francisco-based CafePress, which allows users to upload designs for shirts and bumper stickers.

More than a thousand bin Laden designs had been uploaded by users since midnight, he said.   Continued...