'Balloon boy' balloon turned into cards

July 26, 2012 at 1:48 PM

NEW YORK, July 26 (UPI) -- New York collectables company Topps said pieces of the flying saucer from the 2009 "balloon boy" hoax have been turned into trading cards.

Topps struck a deal with Michael Fruitman, who owns the balloon Fort Collins, Colo., residents Richard and Mayumi Heene falsely claimed carried their 5-year-old son away, to make individual trading cards from pieces of the Mylar saucer and include them in packs of the 2012 Topps Baseball Allen & Ginter Relics cards, The Loveland (Colo.) Reporter-Herald said Thursday.

"If this was the Mona Lisa I would not send it to them to be cut up, but I understand what this is," Fruitman said. "I figured this was a way that any number of people are able to own a piece of Colorado history."

Fruitman purchased the balloon for $2,502 at an auction last year. The Heenes, who were legally prohibited from profiting from their hoax, donated the money to charity.

The Heenes were ordered by a Colorado state court to pay $36,000 in restitution to the authorities who participated in the 60-mile chase.

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