In news that comes as no surprise, the controversial Steve Jobs action figure designed by Hong Kong company In Icon won’t be seeing the retail light-of-day.
This decision to stop production and prevent sales of the doll was made following threats (in the form of ‘immense pressure’ to use the words of Tandy Cheung from In Icon) of legal action coming from Apple and Jobs’ family. It really is too bad.
In Icon did do their due diligence toward preventing legal issues from surfacing from Apple. In designing the action figure they made sure that no trademarks or copyrights were infringed which would have been no small task!
Cheung is reportedly very sad that the product will not move forward, stating that Jobs’ death let him with “emptiness, sadness and a feeling of great personal loss.” I am sure that the considerable number of orders for the doll by the Apple-fan army are also playing a role in his sadness given the profits the company could have enjoyed as a result.
The official announcement from the manufacturer cited Cheung as saying that “though we still believe that we have not overstepped any legal boundaries, we have decided to completely stop the offer, production and sale of the Steve Jobs figurine out of our heartfelt sensitivity to the feelings of the Jobs family.” The sarcastic person inside of me is pretty sure that a legal battle with one of the wealthiest families on the planet and the technology company that helped make them that way is the actual motivating factor here.
Cheung may be feeling a little silly now, having told ABC news in an interview that “Apple can do anything they like. I will not stop, we already started production.” Who knows if Apple even heard that interview or read the transcripts, but if they did I’m going to guess that Apple took that as a challenge (with a little maniacal laugh trailing behind it).
In Icon isn’t the only company to try their hand at producing likenesses of Steve Jobs. Even before his death, artists everywhere were producing their own tributes to the technology genius.
For the record, should it ever come up, I give In Icon full permission to create an action figure in my likeness.