Forged, a San Diego-based apparel and accessories brand founded by two Navy SEALs in 2007, will be selling official movie merchandise linked to the film "American Sniper," the label announced late last week.
Offerings include a range of men's and women's T-shirts ($29.99) screenprinted with the film's title and a variety of images including "Sniper" star Bradley Cooper against the backdrop of an American flag (an image that appears on posters for the film), a stylized skull, and a red, white and blue design that resembles the NBA logo on its side -- but with the silhouette of a player replaced with one of a .300 Winchester Magnum rifle, which Forged's website explains was sniper Chris Kyle's rifle of choice.
The Clint Eastwood-directed film, which was adapted from Kyle's autobiography and follows the story of Kyle (Bradley Cooper), a Navy SEAL known as the most lethal sniper in American history, may seem like an odd movie to forge (pun wholly intended) a licensing deal with but for a couple of factors.
First, "Sniper" has been doing bang-up business at the box office. According to our compatriots over in the Calendar section, it has "shattered box office records for January," and raked in more than $108 million since its limited Christmas Day release.
Second, the film was recently nominated for an impressive six Academy Awards (including nods for best picture and lead actor) and the film's Oscar buzz will certainly help generate wallet-level enthusiasm for the shorts and pullovers.
Third -- and perhaps most importantly -- the company (which notes a long history of supporting the Kyle family through sales of some of its other collections) has pledged a portion of sales of the "American Sniper" apparel to the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation, a charity focusing on returning veterans and first responders and their families.
The only wrinkle? The "Sniper" gear is currently available only for pre-order at forged.com, shipping won't start until Feb. 1 -- just three weeks before the Oscars are handed out. So if you want to gear up in Cooper-meets-Kyle couture for that Academy Award viewing party, you've got to ask yourself one question: "Do I feel lucky?"
Well, do ya, punk?