Just as The Avengers arrives in U.S. theaters, a Los Angeles toy company has sued Marvel, accusing the company of committing fraud in a licensing agreement that went sour.
In the lawsuit, filed Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court and first reported by Deadline, Box-O-Mania claims owner Maxim Tselevich created a children’s playhouse in 2009 and approached Marvel about branding the product with its superheroes. Early the following year, the two parties allegedly worked out a deal for Box-O-Mania to manufacture Iron Man’s Lair Play Boxes, which would debut in stores in November 2010, coinciding with the release of Iron Man 2 on DVD.
However, the toy company alleges that after months of telephone and email exchanges, Marvel failed to provide the artwork necessary to complete the playhouse. The Iron Man 2 DVD arrived in stores as scheduled, but Iron Man’s Lair Play Boxes never did. For its troubles, the toy company received an invoice from a collection agency demanding Marvel’s remaining $22,500 licensing fee.
Box-O-Mania asserts it ultimately discovered in March 2012 that Marvel didn’t actually have the rights to license the requested Iron Man artwork – Tony Stark’s car and motorcycles, the Iron Man armor and other items from the film — and that the company never could’ve manufactured the branded playhouses.
The company seeks the $33,000 it already paid to Marvel as well as unspecified damages.