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Entries in Action Figure (2)

Tuesday
Jan172012

Steve Jobs Action Figure Is No More, Toy Maker Says

Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images(HONG KONG) -- The Hong Kong-based company that developed a shockingly lifelike Steve Jobs action figure announced it will not release the doll, after receiving, “immense pressure from the lawyers at Apple and Steve Jobs’ family.”

“Although we believe we have not overstepped any legal boundaries, we have decided to completely stop the offer, production and sale of the Steve Jobs figurine out of our heartfelt sensitivity to the feelings of the Jobs family,” In Icons said in a statement on its website that was part ode to the late Apple CEO, part apology.

“We understand that this decision will cause many of the fans disappointment, but please forgive us as there is no other alternative unless to have the blessing from Steve Jobs family,” the statement continued.  “We will aim to have full refund to the fans who have pre-ordered.”

In Icons had been taking pre-orders of the 12-inch doll, which cost $99.99, for at least two weeks and said on its website it was running out of stock.  A wide release of the dolls was planned for late February.

In an interview with ABC News on Jan. 4, In Icon’s Tandy Cheung seemed unfazed by the threat of Apple, Inc., or Jobs’ estate taking legal action to prevent the doll’s release.

“Apple can do anything they like,” Cheung said at the time. “I will not stop, we already started production.”

A longtime fan of the late Apple CEO, Cheung said he had spent years creating the figure, which included Jobs' trademark "uniform" of a black turtleneck, jeans, and sneakers, as wel as two pairs of glasses, a tiny stool, two red apples (one with a bite taken out of it) and three pairs of hands -- the hand featuring Jobs’ wedding ring had bendable fingers that can move and hold items -- because he was enamored with Jobs.

“I love [Jobs] very much and I think there are a lot of people like me who want to have his action figure,” Cheung said at the time.

Jobs died at age 56 on Oct. 5. after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jan042012

Maker of Steve Jobs Action Figure: 'I Will Not Stop'

Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images(HONG KONG) -- One Hong Kong businessman was so enamored with Steve Jobs that he spent years developing the late Apple CEO's likeness into an action figure.

Tandy Cheung and his firm, In icons, started featuring the 12-inch Steve Jobs doll on its website for $99.99, and is unfazed by Internet murmurs that Apple, Inc. or Jobs' estate could take legal action to prevent the doll's release.

"Apple can do anything they like," Cheung said. "I will not stop, we already started production."

Pre-orders for the action figure are available now, but its wide release in stores and online is slated for late February.

"I love [Jobs] very much and I think there are a lot of people like me who want to have his action figure," Cheung said.

While he said he was aware Apple had stopped other companies from making Steve Jobs dolls in the past, Cheung said he is "not sure" if his action figure will cause Apple to take legal action. But, Cheung said, he spoke with several lawyers in Hong Kong who told him he wasn't in violation as long as he doesn't include any Apple products with the figure.

"Steve Jobs is not an actor, he's just a celebrity... There is no copyright protection for a normal person," Cheung said. "Steve Jobs is not a product... so I don't think Apple has the copyright of him."

In the past, Apple has been ruthless in protecting Steve Jobs' image, but this was when the Apple CEO was still alive -- Jobs succumbed to pancreatic cancer Oct. 5 at age 56.

Lawrence Townsend, an attorney with the San Francisco-based intellectual property firm, Owen, Wickersham and Erickson, said that Cheung's action figure is in, "clear violation of the right of publicity."

Rights of publicity is a state-based law that includes the protection of an individual's identity, voice, image, photograph or signature from being used commercially without consent. After a person dies, those rights are usually transferred to that person's family or estate in a successor-in-interest claim.

California, the state where Jobs lived with his family and Apple, Inc., is headquartered, passed the Celebrity Rights Act in 1985, which protects a celebrity's personality rights up to 70 years after his or her death.

"[Jobs' estate] has every right to enforce this," Townsend said. "I expect there will be a lawsuit to follow." 

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio