Devo Whips McDonalds over Happy Meal Toy

by James

New Wave Nigel

His name is New Wave Nigel, and he’s the center of a lawsuit by punk rock group DEVO over the depiction of what they call a copyrighted costume device which is depicted on the top of New Wave Nigel’s head. New Wave Nigel is a Happy Meal Toy and was part of the American Idol Happy Meal toy collection which also featured Disco Dave, Country Clay, Rockin’ Riley and Soulful Selma. Nigel’s costume includes an orange jumpsuit, pink shades, and, the center of Devo’s complaint … their copyrighted “energy dome” hat. Devo also complains that Nigel plays a tune that sounds way too close to the kind of music they make.

“This New Wave Nigel doll that they’ve created is just a complete Devo rip-off,” says Devo’s bass player Gerald Casale, “and the red hat is exactly the red hat that I designed, and it’s copyrighted and trademarked.”

Casale goes on to say that McDonald’s made no effort to contact them for permission to use their trademark. He goes on to complain that since the band doesn’t like McDonalds’ or American Idol that the injury is compounded. Course, it doesn’t help that they didn’t get their piece of the happy meal profit pie either, does it?


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