Filed under: Performance , SUV , Government/Legal , Toyota , Toys/Games , Specialty , Off-Road Things are looking up for Icon . The company just moved from its tiny original location to a sprawling new facility, and every machine its craftsmen produce is sold before the final bolts are tightened. There’s even talk of finding ways to triple production in order to keep up with demand. In addition to the off-road titans and clever Derelict models we know and love, Jonathan Ward, CEO and Lead Designer with the company, is busy working to expand his business with corporate partnerships and new products that go beyond old metal. But Icon recently made headlines for another reason all together. As you may recall, Icon recently accused Hot Wheels and parent company Mattel of infringing on the customizer’s design and naming trademarks. Jonathan Ward, CEO and head designer for Icon, says the trouble started in September, 2010 when he pitched the idea of a die-cast Icon model to Alec Tam, the design director for Hot Wheels . Ward sent an email with the full Icon product book to Mattel to no avail. Six months later, he received a note from a customer congratulating him on scoring a deal with Hot Wheels. The client had spotted a rendering on the Hot Wheels future product page that looked awfully similar to a promotional shot Icon uses for the company’s FJ40 model.
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.