Hasbro filed a trademark-infringement lawsuit Monday against DC Comics and Warner Bros. over using the name "Bumblebee" to market toys.
The toymaker claims DC's superheroine Bumblebee, who can shrink and shoot stinger blasts, could be confused in the marketplace with its own Transformers character Bumblebee, the fan-favorite Autobot that will headline a live-action feature next year.
Introduced in 1977, DC's Bumblebee has been a member of the Teen Titans and was featured on the Young Justice animated series. However, Variety reports that it's the character's raised profile as part of the DC Super Hero Girls franchise, which includes a Mattel toy line, that drew the attention of Hasbro. The company seeks to block sales of Bumblebee DC Super Hero Girls toys and a Bumblebee LEGO set.
Toys based on the yellow Transformer began appearing on shelves in 1983, with building-block sets listed at 2011. Bumblebee also ranks fourth on a “Top 25 Transformers” list. DC launched its Super Hero Girls brand in 2015 in a partnership with Mattel.
Directed by Travis Knight (Kubo and the Two Strings) from a script by Christina Hodson, Bumblebee is expected to roll out in 2018 from Paramount Pictures.