- The Washington Times - Monday, September 7, 2009

Jacko wigmaker sues

A famed English wigmaker is flipping its top over a New York company’s plans to hawk Michael Jackson costumes.

Century-old Smiffy’s sued the Queens-based Rubie’s Costume Co. in Manhattan Federal Court on Aug. 24, claiming it has the worldwide rights to sell King of Pop getups for years to come, the New York Daily News reports.

Smiffy’s, which was founded as a maker of powdered wigs for English judges, has successfully branched out into selling Jackson costumes.

Among its best-sellers are the single-gloved “Billie Jean” costume and the “Bad” costume with a flowing black wig, the Daily News said.

The venerable wigmaker says it owns the rights to the costumes and says Rubie’s already has cost it more than $250,000 in orders by making phony marketing pitches to potential customers.

Not so, says Rubie’s.

The company says the suit is totally “Off the Wall” and claims it obtained the Jackson costume rights from a California company.

“Rubie’s Officially is the Worldwide Licensee for Michael Jackson Costumes and Accessories,” Rubie’s Vice President Howard Beige wrote in an e-mail sent out last week, according to the lawsuit.

Rubie’s already has the rights to market Elvis Presley costumes and predicts Mr. Jackson will rival the swivel-hipped rocker in costume sales.

“He’s going to be an iconic figure, like Elvis and Marilyn Monroe, who will be a perennial seller,” Mr. Beige said.

They’ve got game

Think you know any and everything about the Beatles?

Die-hard fans of the Fab Four now have a chance to put that knowledge to the test with Trivial Pursuit: The Beatles Collector’s Edition, which bills itself as the “first-ever authorized trivia board game” about the iconic band.

Introduced last month and available at such retailers as JC Penney’s, Barnes & Noble, Borders and online retailer amazon.com, the board game (recommended for those 12 and older) features more than 2,500 trivia questions covering two decades of everything Beatles.

The edition — which offers zones named for some of the band’s biggest hits (“Come Together,” “Get Back,” “All You Need Is Love” and “Ticket to Ride” — lets fans test their Beatles knowledge with six fun categories of questions about their music, movies, their invasion of America and much more.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from staff, Web and wire reports

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