Apple threatens Chinese toy manufacturer with legal action over Steve Jobs action figure

Chinese toy manufacturer “In Icons has reportedly received a letter from Apple’s legal team which states it must stop producing and selling the 12-inch $99 figure — which sports Steve’s iconic black turtleneck, blue jeans and white sneakers — immediately, or face legal action,” Killian Bell reports for Cult of Mac.

“Unfortunately for In Icons, it has no intention of quitting,” Bell reports. “But In Icon boss Tandy Cheung isn’t fazed by the threat, and believes his company is doing no wrong. He previously stated that Apple could “do anything they like,” and that his company ‘will not stop, we already started production.’ Cheung’s lawyers in Hong Kong have reportedly advised him that he is not violating Apple’s intellectual property.”

Read more in the full article here.

In Icons Steve Jobs action figure
In Icons' Steve Jobs action figure

Amy Willis reports for The Telegraph, “Online-auctioning site eBay is already selling the plastic doll at $135 each. The normal retail price would have been $99.”

“The action figure comes with a pair of black socks, some glasses, a leather belt, two apples (one with a bite taken out of it), a bar stool and a ‘One More Thing’ backdrop,” Willis reports. “The doll also has a spare pair of hands, which can be replaced to make the figure point in a typical Steve Jobs gesture.”

Willis reports, “Apple successfully blocked the sale of a previous Steve Jobs action figure by company MiC Gadget in 2010.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lava_Head_UK” for the heads up.]

29 Comments

    1. Apple can sue, if Jobs arranged it this way before he died. Similar to how Michael Jackson’s company can sue any entity who uses the late genius visual image and/or name without license.

        1. Apparently. He has made many breakthroughs in several areas of culture and society, hundreds of absolute worldwide records, and, with his versatility, was like twenty eight people in one.

  1. I don’t see what the problem is. This Chinese company is not infringing on any copyright because they are not using the Apple logo or product. They aren’t producing Mickey Mouse dolls, they are making an action figure of a human being.

  2. As a public figure, Steve Jobs image is fair game. I think that the doll is a respectful likeness and Apple is wrong to go after the company.

    By the way, I was not aware that Steve Jobs was a physical type where an ‘action figure’ would be suitable. A better description would be that it is a posable statue.

  3. I am a huge fanboy, bought my first Mac of many in 1984. Got iPhones, iPads, Air, etc. But I think this is getting just silly. Apple is taking itself way too serious. How does this help me as a stockholder? Is Apple going to make an action doll? Has it patented Steve’s likeness? Just seems like Apple has too many damned lawyers and too little sense of humor. This has to be bad PR for Apple. Come on, lighten up.

  4. I think Steve would like it. I want the Bill Gates villain action figure so I can have mock battles with Steve putting Gates in a head lock. “Who’s your Bitch Billy” … While they are at it create a Woz figure and a Ballmer and I can have a Battle Royal.

  5. Apple, eat it. The figure depicts a person who abandoned a little baby, lied that he was sterile and was not his, cheated by backdating options to the sheep at the SEC, brazenly stole money from Woz, used LSD and bragged about it and tauter Gates for not using it who gave billions to charity while this stingy asswipe went to the graveyard a billionaire, dressed down prospective employees like an infantile loser … it goes on and on. And what have we not heard about yet.

    Make a voodoo doll out of this fool.

      1. There’s no need to be polite to this babbling asshole. This isn’t the first time this imbecile has spouted off his idiotic rhetoric. He just does this between picking intact morsels out of his on feces, and masturbating to pictures of Steve Ballmer’s sweat stained carcass. He/it is lower than the crud on the bottom of your shoes.

      1. Yeah, I love how these idiots assume that anyone who doesn’t trumpet their charitable donations in the press aren’t making any. I assume this jerk walks up and down his street with a megaphone announcing he’s donated to charity, if he ever has?

        ——RM

  6. It’s clear Apple has no standing in this matter.

    It’s equally clear that Steve Jobs’ estate DOES. It’s proven law that personalities (and their estates) have control of their likenesses for commercial purposes. You can’t start selling a Marilyn Monroe doll without getting permission from (and paying royalties to) her estate.

  7. Went to the company’s website. I really want the doll, but not sure I want to give these clowns my credit card info for a product that won’t ship for a month or more.

    As for litigation, if Apple has no case, certainly the publishers of the Steve Jobs bio have an actionable case. The packaging for this is a direct steal from the Walter Isaacson book, down to the cropping and typography.

    Shameless. But at the same time, brilliant.

    1. Payment is via PayPal which has its own insurance (up to 90 days, IIRC).

      Also, parent company DiD has bee around for a while and are quite reputable (likeness rights aside).

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