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Japanese firm tempts fate, announces Steve Jobs doll

updated 11:17 pm EST, Tue January 29, 2013

$200 figure will likely never make it to market

Following in the footsteps of others that have attempted to market a Steve Jobs action figure, a Japanese company called Legend Toys has made another eerily realistic doll based on Apple co-founder Steve Jobs' iconic look and is taking pre-orders for the $200, 12-inch figurine. As with previous attempts, the company will likely be served with a cease-and-desist order both from Jobs' family as well as Apple itself, which has previously claimed that it owns at least some of the rights to Jobs' likeness.

Chinese site and accessory seller M.I.C. Gadget was among the first to offer a "memorial" figurine of the former CEO only two months after the iconic Jobs died of complications from pancreatic cancer. The statue was done with an enlarged head in the classic "caricature" or "bobble head" style, and a handful were sold at prices up to $2,500 before Apple forced Ebay to close sales.

A year later, a Hong Kong company called InIcons produced a $100 Steve Jobs doll that the newest version is clearly copied from (indeed, the new company may have the same people behind it as InIcons). The doll, though praised for its strong likeness and attention to detail, was halted before production models could come to market, with buyers losing their pre-order deposits. Apple claimed in legal filings that it owned the rights to some of Jobs' likeness (those in which he appears in his Apple "uniform"), and the fact that the original packaging of the doll came in a mockup-box resembling Jobs' biography didn't help the company's legal standing.

The company does not automatically shut down all projects dealing with Jobs' likeness, however. Several statues of Jobs have been erected and other tributes published around the world, and none so far have received any objection from either Apple or Jobs' family. The key component to avoiding legal action seems to be to use Jobs' likeness only in tribute and with no profit motive, which suggests this latest effort at selling a doll based on Jobs is also doomed to fail.

Legend Toys has again made the error of announcing a pre-order on the action figures, giving Apple's legal team time to halt the proceedings. It remains to be seen how the Japanese courts will handle the matter, should it go that far.

by MacNN Staff



  1. beb

    Mac Elite

    Joined: 01-29-02

    Terence, This is Stupid Stuff...

    How many geeks out there purchase Star Wars or Trek figurines? To some folks, Steve WAS an action figure. I'm not saying he had kung-fu abilities, lightsabers, or phasers set to stun. But the man could wow an audience and stupefy the media. But if some bunch of weirdos (iJustine, I dunno) want to pay a hundred bucks or so just to have a Steve Jobs doll—let em! Who cares anyhow? As a shareholder, why is Apple wasting any time on this? The only thing that really matters is whether or not he fits inside of Barbie's convertible.

  1. blahblahbber


    Joined: 02-01-05

    that's funny

  1. devopro

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 11-24-10

    You can still buy the Steve jobs statue with the oversized head in China. it sells for about $8USD. I bought one for a friend for xmas.

  1. Gazoobee

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 02-27-09

    Originally Posted by bebView Post

    ... The only thing that really matters is whether or not he fits inside of Barbie's convertible.

    The only thing that really maters is whether he fits inside Barbie's *clothes* (or perhaps the GI-Joe Astronaut costume).

    IMO the only reason to buy this doll is to mess around with it. I think it could be tons of fun to dress him up in stuff and goof around, (Steve Jobs parachutes off the roof!, Steve Jobs, Navy Seal!, etc.) but if you are going to leave it dressed up as Steve, and put it on a pedestal or something just to look at, there is something deeply wrong with your life.

    Somewhere there is a really, really, sad and lonely guy with a complete Steve Jobs doll collection, "mint in box."

  1. mactarkus

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 09-09-08

    Already have mine

    My Steve Jobs figure from Legend Toys arrived last week. You story isn't exactly current because I learned about mine months ago and preordered then. Also, it costs $150 with $50 to ship to the US. The figure is extraordinary!

  1. andi*pandi


    Joined: 06-19-00

    "Steve Jobs, Navy Seal"


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