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Australian retailer loses fight with Marvel over Ghost Rider clothes

An Australian retailer’s Ghost Rider clothing brand has gone down in flames.

The Courier Mail reports the Australian Trade Marks Office has rejected an application by Brisbane clothing-store owner Gary Charles to register the words “Ghost Rider” following opposition by Marvel.

Charles had first applied to register the trademark in 2009 and, following a threat of legal action by the company, decided to pursue his case. “I thought why should I let them push me around,” he told the newspaper. “But if I’d known the trouble it would be I would have dropped the trademark.”

Solicitor Fiona Brittain, who represented Marvel Characters Inc., argued Charles’ application was made in bad faith, and that he’d previously attempted to register such marks as Red Bull and Army of One. An investigation by her firm allegedly uncovered counterfeit clothing in his store, “including Spider-Man and Marvel Superheroes branded garments.”

The hearing officer was persuaded by the evidence, ruling: “The evidence which the Opponent has provided in respect of the Applicant’s other trade mark applications and registrations, in conjunction with the evidence of the clothing brands available for sale in the Applicant’s shop, is sufficient for me to be satisfied that this application is an example of the Applicant’s standard pattern of behaviour, a pattern which leaves much to be desired as far as commercial fair dealing is concerned.”

Now Charles is left with Ghost Rider-branded denim shorts that, according to the newspaper, he was still trying to “offload” last week. If that’s the case, he should probably expect another letter from Marvel …


Quote of the day | Jason Latour on superheroes as ‘product logos’

“I can tell you for a matter of fact that when I draw work-for-hire stuff, I get into the idea that I’m drawing Wolverine, the guy from the stories I love. I’m continuing his tale. I don’t think that I’m drawing the dude on the underwear. I legitimately love Wolverine as a character. [...] I heard Ed Brubaker say that he treats all of his stuff like it’s creator owned stuff. That’s the only way I can do it. I feel like I’m wasting my life otherwise. Listen, I have seen Wolverine juice boxes. I know that ridiculous thing exists. But the fact that it does, in some way, makes me feel like I’m getting away with something. Like knowing the depraved person I am and that I put all of my energy into drawing this Wolverine story, and then I turn around and see some kid with a Wolverine toy, and that seems subversive to me. I slipped some possibly bad, possibly raunchy art, into that kid’s life. You just get caught up in it while you’re working on it. If you care, it’s really hard to think of it as underwear. And sure, it’s overwhelming and sickening to walk into a Walmart and see nothing but Spider-Man bed sheets. Sometimes, under the right light, that’s kinda cool, though.”

– writer/artist Jason Latour, talking at length with Michel Fiffe about, among other things, working on characters that are licensed to sell toys, underwear and, yes, juice boxes

The Incredible Hulk wears a Trojan

Fresh from its clothing deal with the Dallas Cowboys, Marvel announced this morning that it’s licensing such characters as Spider-Man, The Hulk, Wolverine and Captain America for a line of co-branded apparel for the University of Southern California.

The agreement was made through the Dallas Cowboys subsidiary Silver Star Merchandising, which in May signed a 10-year contract with USC for the exclusive rights to manufacture, license and distribute its sports apparel on campus and at its athletic venues. The Marvel Super Heroes collection will include clothing and hats for infants, children and adults featuring USC colors of cardinal and gold, as well as the school’s logos and Trojan mascot. The line will be available beginning later this month online and at mass and sporting good retailers, and USC bookstores.

You can see two more T-shirt designs at Marvel.com.

What does America smell like?

Kinda like this:

Captain America joins Iron Man in the Diesel line of cologne, just in time for his big blockbuster movie, Captain America: The First Avenger.

The limited edition fragrance is made of lemon, mandarin and coriander leaf; essential oils of landanum, violet leaves and rosemary; plus amber, leather and cedar — all essential ingredients of the Super Solider serum.

Cap is currently framing the Diesel site, which has various blog posts featuring the hero. Check out another look at the box art, drawn by Bryan Hitch, after the jump.

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Mimobot creating Green Lantern flash drives

Mimobot announced in January that they’d picked up the license to create collectible flash drives based on DC properties, starting with various Batman characters.

The latest issue of Previews reveals the second DC property they plan to feature — Green Lantern, who you may have heard has a big-screen adaptation coming out this summer. Above is Hal Jordan, and after the jump you can find drives featuring Sinestro, Kilowog and Tomar-Re.

Update: Mimobot has a Green lantern page up now on their site.

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Your video of the day | MAC Cosmetics Wonder Woman trailer

Last month we mentioned MAC Cosmetics’ Wonder Woman collection — Themyscira mascara! Obey Me nail polish! — which is being marketed with stunning art by Michael Allred. Now, just in time for today’s line launch, MAC has debuted a trailer/motion comic — featuring even more Michael Allred art.

Wonder Woman cosmetics? I just like saying ‘Themyscira mascara’

Artwork for MAC Cosmetics' Wonder Woman collection, by Michael Allred

If the lovely Michael Allred artwork isn’t enough to pique your interest in MAC Cosmetics’ upcoming Wonder Woman collection, then maybe the names of some of the products will: Emancipation and Athena’s Kiss lip gloss, Army of Amazons and Themyscira mascara, Obey Me nail polish, and Spinning Transformation eyeshadow.

You can view images of the collection, which debuts in the United States on Feb. 10, at Temptalia. Check out another piece of Allred’s promotional art after the break.

(via Super Punch, Dean Trippe)

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Store all your files in Batman’s oversized head

Mimoco, makers of branded flash drives, announced today at the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show that they’ve picked up the license to make “Mimobots” based on DC superheroes. They’re starting with a limited edition “Vintage Batman” drive, available now, as shown in the video below:

Batman x MIMOBOT is here! from MIMOBOT & mimoZine on Vimeo.

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DC superhero and Oz drinking glasses recalled over lead levels

The DC Comics superhero glasses in question

A Utah company has recalled drinking glasses featuring DC Comics superheroes and Wizard of Oz characters after independent testing revealed they contain high levels of lead. Federal regulators have begun an investigation.

The tests, commissioned by The Associated Press, found the glasses contained lead up to 1,000 times the federal limit for children’s products, as well as lesser amounts of the more-toxic heavy metal cadmium. The AP purchased the China-made glasses from Warner Brothers Studios store in Burbank, Calif.

The central issue may be whether the glasses are intended for children or for adults. Salt Lake City-based importer Vandor contends the products are targeted to adult collectors and passed testing for lead. However, a spokesman for the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission told The AP the agency considers the glasses to be children’s products, which are subject to more strict lead limits. The CPSC is collecting samples for its own testing.

In a press release announcing the voluntary recall, Vandor said that less than 10,000 sets of each item have been shipped since their January release.

Iconix and Schulz family purchase Peanuts rights

Peanuts

Peanuts

Iconix Brand Group has partnered with the heirs of Charles M. Schulz to buy the rights to Peanuts from E.W. Scripps Co.

The $175 million deal is for Scripps’ entire United Media Licensing division, which includes Dilbert and Fancy Nancy.

However, Peanuts, whose 1,200 licensing agreements generate annual retail sales of more than $2 billion worldwide, represents a majority of United Media’s revenue. Iconix will control an 80 percent share of the Peanuts brand.

Iconix, which owns the Candie’s and London Fog brands, expects Peanuts to bring in roughly $75 million in annual royalties. The Schulz heirs will receive a portion of that revenue in addition to their minority stake in the partnership.

Peanuts, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, at its peak appeared in more than 2,600 newspapers. Its characters are licensed in about 40 countries by such companies at MetLife, Hallmark, Walgreen and Universal Studios.

For the Wolverine fan who has everything (including a motorcycle)

"X2" Wolverine Motorcycle Suit

"X2" Wolverine Motorcycle Suit

Motorcycle-riding comics fans, and cosplayers, take note: UD Replicas has unveiled its official X2 Wolverine Motorcycle Suit.

The leather suit which, as you may have guessed, is a replica of the one worn by Hugh Jackman in X2: X-Men United, includes the jacket, gloves and pants. According to the manufacturer, the suit incorporates removable CE-approved body armor, gloves with anti-skid Kevlar in the lining of the palms, and “an interior, form-molded muscle suit sandwiched into the jacket’s torso section.”

And it can all be yours … for somewhere in the neighborhood of $1,000 (the price hasn’t been finalized yet). UD Replicas will take orders through its website beginning later this month, so start saving your pennies.

What’s that, you’re more of an Iron Man, um, man? Well, you’re in luck: UD is also developing a leather replica of Tony Stark’s Mark V Suitcase Suit from Iron Man 2.

That one sounds kind of cool, actually. Just not for me (or my bank account).

There is something out there in the darkness, something … wet

Awww ... the Batman rain collection

Awww ... the Batman rain collection

Criminals may be a superstitious, cowardly lot, but with this new Batman rain gear, they’ll also be dry. Dry and adorable.

There, Washington Shoe Company and Warner Bros. Consumer Products, you’re free to use that for the ad campaign for the new Batman rain collection. It’s a heck of a lot better than “April Showers Bring Batman Powers.” (Psst. Batman doesn’t have any powers. Also, that phrase would only make sense with someone like Aquaman. Possibly. But there’s probably not a big demand for Aquaman rain gear …)

Anyway, the collection, geared toward kids and juniors, features umbrellas, boots and raincoats — the latter of which comes with a removable cape with glow-in-the-dark Batman emblem. You can see more photos at the link.

You, too, can smell like Tony Stark

Diesel's limited-edition "Iron Man 2" fragrance

Diesel's limited-edition "Iron Man 2" fragrance

Not that I’ve given it much thought, but I imagine Iron Man smells like a mixture of metal, stale sweat and booze. However, the fine folks at Diesel apparently have a different (and, arguably, better) idea, as they’re releasing a limited-edition Iron Man 2 fragrance — just ahead of the movie’s premiere, naturally.

For the cologne, Diesel has remade the familiar clenched-fist bottle of its Only the Brave line in red and gold. The box, as you can see in the image above, features art from Marvel comics.

So, what does Iron Man smell like? According to the LA Times’ All The Rage blog, Diesel describes the scent as, “top notes of lemon blossom, mandarin and coriander leaves, a heart of labdanum, black rose and lavender, and a dry down of amber, tolu wood and ebony wood.”

Wait, wait, wait. Mandarin?

The cologne, which retails for $67.50, will be available in major department stores and Diesel boutiques in mid-April.

Warner Bros. goes after girls market with Supergirl clothing line

Supergirl by Nastia

Supergirl by Nastia

While the Walt Disney Co. works to broaden its appeal with boys, rival Warner Bros. is eyeing the lucrative girls market.

Variety reports that Supergirl is leading the charge as Warner Bros. Consumer Products teams with mid-range department store chain J.C. Penney for a line of clothes sporting the familiar “S” shield for girls ages 8 to 12.

Gymnast and five-time Olympic medalist Nastia Liukin is lending her name to the brand, called Supergirl by Nastia, and will serve as its spokesperson. The 20-year-old Liukin lives in Plano, Texas, headquarters of J.C. Penney.

According to the Dallas Morning News, Supergirl by Nastia is an extension of Supergirl Jam, the all-girls athletic competition and music festival launched four years ago by Warner Bros. This month the studio launched the Nastia Liukin Supergirl Cup, which honors young, rising female gymnasts.

The line, expected to be the first of several new products tied to the superheroine, will be priced between $20 and $38, and debut in stores on July 20 — in time for back-to-school shopping season.

The retailer will support Supergirl by Nastia with ads, direct mailings, social media and nationwide appearances by Liukin. And, hey, who knows? Maybe DC will even bring back Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the Eighth Grade or introduce another age-appropriate comic featuring the Maid of Might.

Marvel and Airwalk join forces for clothing line

From the Marvel x Airwalk clothing line

From the Marvel x Airwalk clothing line

Skate-and-surf apparel company Airwalk is working with Marvel on a new line of clothing featuring the publisher’s characters.

Women’s Wear Daily reports that new line, debuting this fall with the “Marvel x Airwalk” logo, will include clothing, footwear and accessories for men, women and children. There will be three different collections targeting boutiques, specialty shops and high-end department stores, and mid-tier retailers.

Sneaker Files has mock-up images showing a flowery X-Men hoodie, tee and sandals, a Silver Surfer design, and the above Captain America set, in which the stylized Airwalk logo replaces the traditional “A” on the character’s mask.


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