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Disney gets sued by a toy company over Lotso Huggin' Bear

Discussion in 'Bear in the Big Blue House' started by mimitchi33, Apr 15, 2014.

  1. mimitchi33

    mimitchi33 Active Member

    http://m.hollywoodreporter.com/entry/view/id/37875
    The reason why this is in this section is that the company who is suing Disney claimed that they knew about this technology because of a Bear In The Big Blue House toy they made for them. Here is a link to the toy in question,
    (It's not for sale, but there are some reviews that tell you what the toy does on here):
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000099ZD7/?tag=muppetcentral
    Does anyone own this toy? It seems like it came out when I was into Dora, so I didn't have it as a kid.
     
  2. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Was the toy made before or after Disney got the rights (beyond just broadcasting the show) to Bear in the Big Blue House?
     
  3. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Toy company sues Disney over something Disney owns...

    Sounds legit.
     
    Muppet fan 123 and Muppet Master like this.
  4. mimitchi33

    mimitchi33 Active Member

    The earliest review on Amazon was from 2003, so I'm guessing before Disney brought The Muppets.
    I was thinking the same thing too.
     
  5. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member


    Then Disney wouldn't have been involved. I'm pretty sure that only Henson would have been involved with approving the merchandise.
     
  6. Sgt Floyd

    Sgt Floyd Well-Known Member

    Wait...I am very confused here.

    Are they suing because the bear was in the movie and they think its going to give their toys a bad name, or are they suing because disney is going to produce a toy based on Lotso? It seems to me to be the former...and that the mention of the Bear toy really doesn't mean a whole lot in this case...

    and if that's it, then it has nothing to do with merchandising, but more that the company is mad that a similar toy that they make was portrayed poorly in the movie?

    But then again I could be misreading it. Someone please explain this to me.
     
  7. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I'll tell you this much. Trying to make it less confusing either makes it more confusing, or it makes the toy company CEO a greedy, vindictive, pathetic loser with a paper thin case trying to go after Disney's big bucks for sort of kind of stealing a name.

    This has very little to do with a Bear in the Big Blue House Toy, supposedly. It comes down to a name. A company that supposedly filed the trademark for Lots OF Hugs sounds an awful lot like Lotso Huggin' Bear if you've got a banana in your ear. That's all it boils down to, imaginary confusion of the cartoon character and a completely different toy entirely that isn't even produced anymore.

    And the lawsuit was brought fourth a good several years after the movie came out.

    Yeah. Doesn't sound vindictive and petty at all.
     
  8. mimitchi33

    mimitchi33 Active Member

    Agreed.
     
  9. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    ..and Honestly, if these guys think that a sadistic, borderline White Slave Trader of a cartoon bear will ruin their reputation, they haven't seen kids actually buy Lotso toys. Hopefully, they only felt guilt ridden. I was sure that Lotso would be the shelf warmer, being the darkest villain Pixar ever came up with. But kids actually liked him.
     
  10. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    One thing I've thought about: How much knowledge does the average person have on specific Bear in the Big Blue Merchandise? Has any Bear merchandise had the same level of fame as Tickle Me Elmo?

    Besides Tickle Me Elmo, and possibly it's many knock-offs, I'd say casual Sesame Street fans are likely to know about Sleep 'n Snore Ernie (since that had the same insane amount of scarcity as Tickle me Elmo a year later, though it seems like it's not as popular anymore), the talking Big Bird from the 1980s (the one you could put read-long cassettes in so Big Bird would talk), and maybe Chicken Dance Elmo.

    Though I guess a lot of Muppet/Henson properties don't have too many toys that casual fans would be aware of. For Muppets, I'd say fans would be aware of the Palisades action figures and maybe also the Fisher-Price ones, for Muppet Babies the McDonald's Happy Meals, and for Fraggle Rock, the McDonald's Happy Meals (and maybe the more recent Fraggle stuff from the last decade). I'd like to think that maybe the casual fan would be aware of all the Dinosaurs toys that came out (the PVCs, the Talking Baby, maybe the McDonald's happy meal) if only because there weren't many other Dinosaurs toys (were there any others?).

    Then again, if I was a bigger fan of Bear, would I be aware of any speciffic Bear in the Big Blue House toys of the past?
     
  11. Little Robin

    Little Robin New Member

    According to the article provided in the first post, If I understand correctly the similar sounding name by itself is not the issue.

    Diece-Lisa Industries of New Jersey who trademarked 'Lots of Hugs' stuffed bears in 1995 felt the Lots-O Huggin' Bear character with it's evil story line slandered the image of their product. They claim to fear marketing their own slogan now due to possible association with the Lotso character.

    The Bear in the Blue House connection is simply because DLI licensed their 'hugging technology', whatever that means, to Disney for that show. Due to this, DLI claims Disney understood their image and thus defied it deliberately

    So yes, it basically comes down to the name. Quite ridiculous if you ask me. Not only would you have to have cotten in your ears to mix up the names but as far as I can tell their 'Lots of Hugs' toy bears not resemblance to the Lotso character in appearance or function.
     
  12. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Lotso's character and motives didn't exactly stop kids from wanting Lotso toys. I don't see why they feel a similar name "tarnished" a toy that hasn't been made for quite some time. And if they still are, I sure as heck have never heard of them until now.

    No matter what their logic is, it's a frivolous suit, and if this is one of the bizarre times Disney actually loses a copyright battle (like that whole King Louie business), then I'd be shocked.
     
    Dominicboo1 likes this.
  13. Little Robin

    Little Robin New Member

    Agreed, until I read this article I had never heard of a 'Lots of Hugs' bear...or else I've never recognized one as such. So it doesn't seem like they had a lot of popularity even prior to the film.
     
  14. JJandJanice

    JJandJanice Well-Known Member

    Yeah, these guys really don't have much of a case against Disney.
     
  15. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    What makes this even more...uh... ironic, obnoxious, whatever you want to call it... why isn't Disney going after this toy company? Second one on the bottom...

    [​IMG]

    Yeah... that looks a little too close to Animal, if you ask me (without the eyebrows or teeth). or at least Grover, so SW needs to call their lawyers at least.
     
    MikaelaMuppet likes this.
  16. Luke kun

    Luke kun Well-Known Member

    I put Guns 'n Roses tapes in that Big Bird lol
     
    minor muppetz likes this.
  17. mimitchi33

    mimitchi33 Active Member

    It does look like an orange Grover!
     
  18. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    You know... I haven't seen the Beast ballz commercial in some time. Either they were an abject failure, or Disney (or SW) caught wind of this and sent them cease and desists for Orange Grover/Eyebrowless, fangless Animal.
     

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