LEGO Cracks Down on the Bootleg Minifigure Market
LEGO has finally done something that, lets be honest, should have been done a long time ago. Just last week LEGO issued an injunction against manufactures in China (most of them) The injunction is based on the use of the term “minifigure” which is now a copyrighted term by Lego worldwide. Anyone selling figures using the term “minifigure” can be forced to stop selling, and can or should I say, will be issued a cease and desist from the toymaker.
The timing coincided with the release of the Lego Batman movie, so I think Lego was just finding a legal way to shut down all competition for a short time. The injunction lasts for 30 days, which will give time to reseller of this merchandise time to not only change their business graphics but to remove the term minifigure from their business. We have all seen these sellers and while some frown upon their business model, they do bring things to the market that LEGO has either passed up, retired or just have not produced.
Kids love them and so do adults. We at Needless are neutral on this issue as we see the situation from both sides of the table. Once the term minifigure has been removed, it will take time to see how this affects this market. While this market is still “bootleg” let’s all remember that we have been dealing with this for sometime (3rd Party Transformers for example). If these manufactures and sellers only sell items that LEGO has not made then I see no issue with it.
I do know some conventions are cracking down on this type of merchandise so we will continue to monitor this situation in the coming months.