Those of you who have been wondering how there was room in the pop culture firmament for both a car that turns into a giant yellow robot named Bumblebee, and a young African American girl who dresses as a bee also called Bumblebee…well this golden age is at an end.
Hasbro seeks to clamp down on the DC Bumblebee with a lawsuit claiming a trademark infringement :
Hasbro, owner of the Transformers brand, filed a lawsuit on Monday accusing Warner Bros. and DC Comics of trademark infringement. The suit claims that the DC “Bumblebee” — a teenage girl with the ability to shrink — could easily be confused with the Autobot “Bumblebee.”
Hasbro has a lot riding on the “Bumblebee” character, set to star in the first Transformers spinoff, which is due in theaters at Christmas 2018.
The company is now seeking to block the sales of Mattel’s Bumblebee toy, which is part of the DC Super Hero Girls line of action figures. Hasbro is also concerned about a Bumblebee Lego set.
The DC Comics Bumblebee – now a member of the vastly popular DC Super Hero Girls line of toys, comics and animation – toys made by Hasbro arch rival Mattel – was created in 1976, long before the Transformers Bumblebee arrived in 1983. However, Hasbro has been more rigorous about the trademark.
Hasbro filed for a trademark on the “Bumblebee” name on July 15, 2015, and the trademark was registered on Dec. 22, 2015.
“Defendants’ and/or their licensees’ use of the Accused Mark is likely to cause consumers mistakenly to believe that the Accused Goods emanate from or are otherwise associated with Hasbro,” the suit alleges. “Such improper use of the Accused Mark by Defendants and/or their licensees is likely to cause confusion, mistake and/or deception among the public as to the source of the
Most people can tell the difference between a car and a child, but we’re talking big licensing money here.
Still not heard from: The Simpson’s Bumblebee Man.
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.