Saturday, January 31, 2015

Knock It Off

There are very few copyright or trademark infringement laws here, leading to many knock-offs of well known brands (we found house slippers branded "File" instead of "Fila"). But I was rather amused the other day when I found these dolls for the girls.

It's very obvious that they are to resemble Elsa and Anna from Disney's Frozen. But instead of being made of the sturdy rubber and plastic like the "real" ones, these are made from very thin, hollow, plastic. They sing, but instead of singing a song from the movie, they sing a high-speed, Chipmunk-style blurb from the late nineties song "I'm a Barbie Girl."
The packaging seems to have been a photocopy of the original Disney with words changed.
Please note that "Beautiful" is in the traditional Disney font, and Fashion is in the Frozen font. What cracks me up the most are the comments written under that. "I have a lovely doll, His name is 'small cute'. She has a pair of big eyes, Round face, A cherry small mouth, long legs, Clever" (Verbatim, capitalization and punctuation).
The girls don't know the difference and have had lots of fun playing with them. The only problems arise when limbs fall off (they just pop back on) and when the clothing needs mending (I needed to reattach something to both dresses on the first day!). The Elsa doll did have her signature braid, but Ruth likes to comb her dolls' hair, so that came out.
For the most part, actual Disney authorized Frozen toys are not available here. At Christmas we did find licensed plush of some of the characters, and a few figurines. It doesn't really bother us though. The girls are by no means hurting for playthings. :) And if the stores don't have it, we can't be pestered into buying it :)


Melissa Hunter-Kilmer said...

Yep, I can see how it wouldn't bother you, because they aren't hurting for toys! I feel bad for Disney, though. Their intellectual property rights are being ground into the dust. On the other hand, maybe local laws don't give them any rights.

Lynn said...

My only concern (Disney will look after itself, I'm quite certain) is that the knock-offs are kid safe. (Lead levels) but those don't seem to have the shiny stuff that gets pulled here (dollar store recalls). I love the translations.

Melissa Hunter-Kilmer said...

Good point about the safety, Lynn. And those translations rival some of the weird Japanese and Chinese stuff I've seen.

Disney will surely take care of itself. But that doesn't make it right for their products to be copied. I'm sensitive about this because of my years as a reporter, writer, and editor. Plagiarism and copying just aren't okay, no matter who is doing it against whom.

Steve, Laura, Ruth and Esther said...

I actually thought they were real at a distance. The girls like Frozen so much that I knew they would love these. I do believe in intellectual property rights, so we don't tend to buy the pirated dvds and knock-offs often. But it is actually impossible to get legit movies on dvd, and it is hard to find Frozen toys so sometimes I take what I can get. We do replace any items of questionable legality with the real deal when we are stateside.

Melissa Hunter-Kilmer said...

Frozen has really taken kids by storm, as it were, hasn't it? I'm really not criticizing you, Laura. Intellectual property laws are different in different countries.