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'Smurf' trots globe to sell costumes

NEWBURY, England, Oct. 23 (UPI) -- A Newbury, England, costume shop worker said his boss sent him on a 12,285-mile trek in a Smurf suit as a promotion to help sell the character costumes.

Ian Tomkins, 25, said he visited several famous landmarks around the world during his three week journey and took his blue Smurf costume off only to sleep, The Daily Telegraph reported Thursday.

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Tomkins' boss at costume shop Jokers' Masquerade, Mark Lewis, said he came up with the idea for the globe-trotting Smurf promotion after discovering that the Chinese supplier of the costumes wouldn't sell them to his shop in quantities of less than 500.

"When Mr. Lewis first suggested the idea I thought it was great -- I was going to see some countries I had never been to before and all I had to do was wear the costume," Tomkins told the newspaper. "But it was one thing to suggest the idea and another to stand in front of these famous monuments wearing it."

Lewis said the trip cost the shop about $6,000 but sparked a surge of business that has led the shop to order thousands more costumes from its supplier.

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