Hot Wheels accused of stealing Icon FJ40 Baja design

June 6, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Classics , SUV , Government/Legal , Toyota , Toys/Games , Specialty , Design/Style , Off-Road In a perfect world, all of our favorite companies would get along merrily. But sadly, we do not live in a perfect world. Icon , the company behind some of the most lust-worthy vintage off-roaders and street machines in existence, is accusing toymaker Mattel of stealing the FJ40 Baja Edition design for a Hot Wheels die cast toy. According to the most recent Icon newsletter, Hot Wheels lifted a photo of the heavily modified FJ40, slathered a quick Photoshop job over the image and called it a day. Except Mattel reportedly never asked Icon for permission to use the image or the vehicle design in its marketing or products. Icon reportedly reached out to Mattel to no avail. That’s about when the custom builder turned to its lawyers, prompting the attorney for Hot Wheels to say the company wanted to settle the matter out of court. A month went by before Icon once again tried to reach out. Mattel allegedly dismissed Icon, effectively challenging the smaller company to try to sue the toy monolith if Icon thought it stood a chance. Hot Wheels hasn’t spoken out on the issue.

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Hot Wheels Icon FJ40 Baja Edition

In a perfect world, all of our favorite companies would get along merrily. But sadly, we do not live in a perfect world. Icon, the company behind some of the most lust-worthy vintage off-roaders and street machines in existence, is accusing toymaker Mattel of stealing the FJ40 Baja Edition design for a Hot Wheels die cast toy. According to the most recent Icon newsletter, Hot Wheels lifted a photo of the heavily modified FJ40, slathered a quick Photoshop job over the image and called it a day. Except Mattel reportedly never asked Icon for permission to use the image or the vehicle design in its marketing or products.

Icon reportedly reached out to Mattel to no avail. That’s about when the custom builder turned to its lawyers, prompting the attorney for Hot Wheels to say the company wanted to settle the matter out of court. A month went by before Icon once again tried to reach out. Mattel allegedly dismissed Icon, effectively challenging the smaller company to try to sue the toy monolith if Icon thought it stood a chance.

Hot Wheels hasn’t spoken out on the issue. With five of the tiny diecasts on our desk and five hundred in a box downstairs, we’ve had a life-long relationship with the toymaker. But that doesn’t excuse the reported bully tactics. Here’s hoping this one gets squared away sooner rather than later. Check out an excerpt from the Icon newsletter below.

Continue reading Hot Wheels accused of stealing Icon FJ40 Baja design

Hot Wheels accused of stealing Icon FJ40 Baja design originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 05 Jun 2012 19:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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