Oh, I just hate when pop-culture franchises fight!
Transformers owners Hasbro are filing a lawsuit against DC Comics over the trademark “Bumblebee.” In the suit, the toy company claims that the name of DC’s teen character Bumblebee (a girl with “bee” powers) is too confusingly similar to that of the Autobot Bumblebee (a yellow VW).
Hasbro is now looking to halt sales of DC & Mattel’s Bumblebee doll (part of the DC Super Hero Girls line), as well as the use of the character in an upcoming LEGO set.
Now technically...the DC Bumblebee has been around a lot longer than Hasbro’s. She was created in 1977, in fact, for the comic Teen Titans. But I think this issue came to a head because only recently has Bumblebee seen a revival—especially in the toy arena (I don’t think she’s ever been made into an action figure/doll until within the last couple of years).
But, according to a person I’ve talked to about the subject who is not necessarily a lawyer but knows about law-type things, the case is really going to come down to who trademarked what first—and the general enforcement of the brand.
Will DC’s Bumblebee have to change her name? Will the two pop-culture franchise owners come to some sort of understanding? We will find out!
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