To Bumblebee or not to Bumblebee, that was the question when Transformers parent company Hasbro sued DC Comics last year over the rights to the character's name. The trademark lawsuit was settled this week.
As reported by Variety, Hasbro had sought to block sales of the DC Super Hero Girls doll based on the Teen Titans’ Bumblebee, arguing that consumers might confuse a teenage girl with wings and the power to shrink with their own Bumblebee, a giant, transforming automobile.
The terms of the settlement were not disclosed. Neither Warner Bros. nor Hasbro has commented on the matter.
DC’s Bumblebee, debuting in the pages of Teen Titans in 1976, actually predates Hasbro’s Bumblebee by about eight years. Her profile has been raised more recently with stints on the animated Teen Titans, Teen Titans GO! and Young Justice shows, as well as playing a major part in the cross-media DC Super Hero Girls franchise.
Hasbro’s Bumblebee, meanwhile, was a major part of Michael Bay’s Transformers movies, and has a self-titled prequel film coming out in December. Hasbro trademarked the Bumblebee name in December 2015, several months after DC announced their plans for DC Super Hero Girls.
Directed by Travis Knight (Kubo and the Two Strings) from a script by Christina Hodson, Bumblebee is set to roll out on Dec. 21. The DC Super Hero Girls animated short "The Late Batsby" is currently playing before Teen Titans Go! to the Movies. A series is expected on Cartoon Network later this year.