Battle Over ‘Star Wars’ Toys

     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – LucasFilm used shoddy tests to terminate a Star Wars toys licensing agreement with Rand International so Rand’s competitor could sell the toys directly to Toys-R-Us, Rand claims in Federal Court.

     Rand claims LucasFilm tried to amend their license agreement to allow a Chinese manufacturer to supply toys, including Star Wars bikes and scooters, directly to Toys-R-Us, but did not give Rand any reason or offer any financial incentive to give up its rights.
     When Rand declined, LucasFilm worked behind the scenes with Toys-R-Us, and announced to the press that they had entered a marketing joint venture and partnership, claims Rand.
     Toys-R-Us then allegedly conducted safety tests on products it ordered from Rand, two of which failed. A Star Wars Clone 16-inch bicycle was purportedly found to contain lead and heavy metals, and a Star Wars Scooter was deemed not strong enough.
     LucasFilm allegedly used these results to terminate its agreement with Rand without allowing Rand to respond. It demanded that Rand recall all of its products, claiming the tests led it to “reasonably suspect that … possibly other Licensed Products Rand International is manufacturing are defective.”
     Rand says it investigated the test results but was unable to retest the sample from the bike that tested positive for lead and heavy metals because it had been destroyed. And, it says, the scooter had been tested for a 200-pound person, not for the 100-pound person for which it was intended.
     Rand wants equitable relief, costs and attorney fees, an injunction, a judgment declaring the termination unlawful and permission to start distributing its Star Wars products immediately. Rand is represented by Jonathan Cooperman with Kelley, Drye & Warren of New York.

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