Even before hitting the market, Spin Master’s Don’t Free Freddie is already causing a stir in the industry, but for unexpected reasons. In February, Cleveland, Ohio-based cardco American Greetings filed a lawsuit against Spin Master, alleging that Freddie infringed on the copyright and trademarks of its own My Pet Monster plush toy from the mid-1980s.
In the suit filed February 9, AG sought, but failed to attain a temporary restraining order that would have prevented Spin Master from exhibiting Freddie at Toy Fair. On March 14, both companies were scheduled to appear in a New York court for a preliminary injunction hearing on the matter, which would determine whether Spin Master would be able to continue to manufacture and market Freddie.
‘We’re confident we’re going to win again. Both toys have completely different personalities,’ Beder said at press time. Though he confirmed the existence of the suit, American Greetings media relations manager David Poplar declined to discuss its particulars at press time, saying that the company doesn’t comment on pending litigation. Though it no longer produces the toy, American Greetings recently licensed toy rights for My Pet Monster to New York toyco Toymax, which is creating a new line of MPM toys for release later this year.
A My Pet Monster animated show aired on ABC from 1987-88. Produced by Canadian animation company Nelvana, the show followed the adventures of an entirely friendly toy monster that came to life when you removed its handcuffs.