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
Accused Goods.”

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.



  1. I could understand this kind of legal maneuvering if you’re afraid the other side might come after you for trademark infringement, but that hardly seems likely in this case. This looks like corporate attorneys trying to justify their billing hours and a little concern from Hasbro over the future of the Transformers franchise.


  2. Trademarks are filed by a per class basis, though, so DC’s character existing before the Transformers toy is only relevant in Class C 0742 (Comic books) — and maybe a couple of others, like Books or whatever.

    There are multiple classes for toys — one for just “Toys” and “Toys (vehicles)” likely both apply to Transformers, and Hasbro’s mark used for in any TOYS classes, predate’s DC/Mattel’s.

  3. It’ll get tossed out. Hasbro won’t like the backlash of shutting down part of a diverse line of toys for young girls. This is the kind of petty action that turns off other fans from big companies. Good luck with your stupid robot toys Hasbro. The movies stopped being interesting years ago.

  4. I can’t wait for Hasbro to announce that they are also suing the producers of Bumble Bee tuna.

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