For the second time in 18 months, Apple is fighting to protect the visage of its late cofounder Steve Jobs — from action figure toy exploitation. In 2010, Apple claimed it owned the late Jobs’ likeness, per California Civil Code Section 3344 and managed to stop the sale of a Steve Jobs doll from MIC Gadget of Hong Kong — but not before MIC sold out of 300 of its figures on eBay. Now Apple is reportedly trying to stop the sale of a foot-tall, realistic-looking doll by Chinese makers In Icons and Dragon in Dreams, which reportedly were selling their “Super Realistic Steve Jobs Collectible figure” on eBay for $139 in a joint venture.
Clicking on the eBay page where In Icons was allegedly selling the 12-inch, uncannily realistic doll now redirects to yet another eBay sale site: this one selling a $39 Steve Jobs head figure from a seller called JPS Inc. of Hong Kong. Just minutes ago that same page proclaimed the sale “ended.”
Screenshot credit: Gina Smith
The relationship between In Icons, Dragon in Dreams and the seller JPS Inc., if any, is as yet unclear. Apple and In Icons reps have not yet returned calls for comment. Dragon in Dream Corp. at this moment is not listing the “Super Realistic Steve Jobs Figure” it announced with In Icons on January 1.
In a statement to ABC news yesterday about the matter, In Icons exec Tandy Cheung said: “Apple can do anything they like … I will not stop, we already started production.” A US TV local station broke that story — watch that story from yesterday here on YouTube. [DISCLOSURE: ABC News employed this writer as a full-time on air technology correspondent for ABC’s national Good Morning America and World News Tonight with Peter Jennings shows from 1994 to 2000. — ED.]
Is it possible JPS is now selling just the head of the In Icon doll for the $39? Speculation, purely, but notice the product — it also is ultra realistic and appears to be a screwed off head from a full-sized doll. Our reporters are digging in.
Screenshot credit: Gina Smith
Here’s a shot of the MIC figure of Jobs, the one Apple succeeded in ceasing sale of.
Screenshot of discontinued 2010 M.I.C.’s Steve Jobs action figure: Gina Smith
Original image: sotovik.ru
Here’s a video depicting the Steve Jobs action figures. They do look real.
The UK Telegraph reported the below earlier this morning. Here’s an excerpt with the redirected link in question.
It come(s) complete with Jobs’s trademark blue jeans, sneakers and black turtleneck sweater, was created by Chinese company In Icons and was set for release in February. But (its) efforts have reportedly met with’ a legal challenge with Apple allegedly threatening to sue the toy maker unless it ceases trading. 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.
Maker Dragon in Dreams (DID Corp.) makes other super-realistic figurines, including Napoleanic-era and World War II soldiers, Japanese samurai, a Tiger Woods figurine (named “Leopard” Woods, presumably to avoid the same kind of legal problems) — and a figurine of US President Barack Obama.