Our long national toy nightmare is over.
No, not the election. No matter how childish the tone may seem, it's still a month until Election Day. And none of the candidates are actual toys. (Although I do have a talking Donald Trump doll. Which is not an endorsement. It was a media giveaway at a trade show several years ago. I used to keep it on my desk as a conversation piece. It's now in a drawer to avoid uncomfortable conversations and long explanations like this one.)
No, I'm talking about the dispute between toymaker Hasbro Inc. and Fox News television host Harris Faulkner. The toy company and Faulkner have announced that they settled the case out of court.
For a refresher, in August 2015, Faulkner sued Hasbro over a toy hamster that was part of its “Littlest Pet Shop” line of toys, which — coincidentally, Hasbro said — was also named Harris Faulkner.
The toy Harris Faulkner figurine is a small plastic hamster which, like more than 100 other creatures in the line, has an oversized head an eyes, yet the human Harris Faulkner said Hasbro used her, “name, likeness, identity or persona on the Harris Faulkner Hamster Doll is particularly wrongful for several reasons,” according to the lawsuit.
The weekend Fox News anchor also noted that the doll was labeled as a “choking hazard that is not suitable for young children. Faulkner is extremely distressed that her name has been wrongly associated with a plastic toy that is a known choking hazard that risks harming small children.”
Pawtucket, R.I.-based Hasbro sought a dismissal in the case, noting in its response to the lawsuit in a court filing that: “As demonstrated by even a cursory comparison of Ms. Faulkner and the Hamster Toy, the two look nothing alike. First, Ms. Faulkner is an adult, African-American, human, female newscaster; the Hamster Toy is an inch-tall, cartoon-like plastic animal, which has no apparent gender or profession, or even clothing that might identify its gender or profession.”
But in a joint public statement on the settlement, Hasbro and Faulkner noted the issue was settled amicably.
“The ‘Harris Faulkner' toy is no longer manufactured or sold by Hasbro. However since there still may be ‘Harris Faulkner' toys or packaging with the ‘Harris Faulkner' name in the stream of commerce, Ms. Faulkner reiterates that she has not endorsed or approved this product. The parties will not comment further on the litigation or its settlement.”