Some parents and Disney fans were happy to see Disney Princess and Avengers patterns all over some new bulletproof backpacks…but Disney wasn’t nearly as excited.
Amid the gun violence sweeping the nation (with two mass shootings in Dayton, OH and El Paso, TX in only the past week), TuffyPacks, a Houston manufacturer of bulletproof backpacks, said sales were booming. But Disney is less than pleased, as the backpack designs featuring popular Disney intellectual property isn’t actually endorsed or approved by The Walt Disney Company at all.
“None of these products were authorized by Disney, and we are demanding that those behind this stop using our characters or our other intellectual property to promote sales of their merchandise,” a spokesperson for Disney said in a statement, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Still, even though Disney doesn’t want any part in the promotion of the TuffyPacks bulletproof backpacks and inserts, and even though they didn’t approve of the use of Disney intellectual property in their products at all, TuffyPacks claims they use licensed fabric that they purchased from a fabric maker. According to the backpack company, the fabric maker is responsible for obtaining the license to use the Disney artwork. The accessories using Disney-themed fabric are geared toward the protection of young school-aged children, so it’s not surprising for a company to want to make them more appealing to kids.
“Our inserts are black and look kind of tactical and ballistic,” said TuffyPack’s founder and CEO Steve Naremore. “We use licensed fabric, to try to make them more kid-friendly…[Disney is] not endorsing our products and we haven’t reached out to them for support.”
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We aren’t sure whether or not TuffyPacks will be able to continue selling their Disney Princess and Avengers bulletproof accessories, but given Disney’s response, it’s not likely. At the time this article was published, the accessories featuring Disney intellectual property are no longer for sale on the TuffyPacks website or Bulletproof Zone, another online retailer that sells the TuffyPacks brand and previously advertised the Disney-themed inserts on social media.
What do you think of this bulletproof accessories company using Disney fabrics without Disney’s permission? Let us know in the comments!