According to The Hollywood Reporter, Stanley Weston, who created the concept of “manufacturing and selling male action figures wearing and carrying miniaturized versions of the uniforms, insignias, emblems and equipment of each of the different branches of the United States armed forces” 60 years ago, is seeking to re-obtain the rights of the $100 million “G.I. Joe” franchise from Hasbro.
Hasbro themselves acquired the rights to the toyline from a predecessor company a few years ago and since then the popular line spawned multiple adaptations, including two highly successful — if not necessarily critically well-received — films starring Channing Tatum, with a third film currently in development.
The lawsuit seeks to utilize an exploit from a mid-70s change in copyright law and actually has a precedent: a case between the creator of “He-Man” and the “Masters of the Universe” and Mattel. Mattel ended up winning that case through a work-made-for-hire situation. This case ultimately could come down to those exact details regarding who came up with the idea, who commissioned whom, and how involved each of the respective parties were in the process.
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