Oh man! We thought the epic Con Wars of the Aughts were settled? But it seems Canada’s Hobby Star is not happy with how Wizard has used the phrase Toronto Comicon. Hobby Star throws the huge Fan Expo in Toronto every year, and, as CBR reports, had been engaged in a feud with the former Paradise Comic-Con…which was eventually acquired by Wizard and morphed into the Toronto Comicon…while things had been peaceful for many a moon, the fight is on again!
In court filings obtained by CBR News, Hobby Star claims Wizard World and its newly installed CEO John Macaluso are improperly using the name, as Hobby Star claims rights to the term “Toronto Comicon.” That slight change in spelling may become very important in the future, though for now they’ve accused Wizard of “passing off their services or business as or for those of the plaintiff” and “directing public attention to their services or business in such a way as to cause or be likely to cause confusion in Canada between their services or business and those of the plaintiff” among other claims. Additionally, the suit claims that representatives of Wizard defamed Hobby Star by claiming to vendors that the company has threatened exhibitors with reprisals for trying to buy space at both shows.
Hobby Star uses the name “Toronto Comicon” for some of its smaller shows throughout the year. The Wizard-run show—which was held just this weekend past—is called “Wizard World Toronto Comic Con.” Oh, what a difference a hyphen and a space make.
Hobby Star is asking for $500,000 in damages.
We’ve spoken to the newish folks running Wizard several times in the past few months, and they say they aren’t interested in any of the competitive practices that marked previous regimes. However, Hobby Star is known to be pretty aggressive in protecting their turf.
Will the Con Wars ever end?
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.