Following similar actions made against Screechers Wild and Eonster Hunter, Spin Master has filed a lawsuit against Mattel over Turning Mecard in the United States. The Canadian toy company alleges the Korean toyline infringes on patents related to the transformation aspects found in its Bakugan property. They’re looking for damages and a permanent injunction against the distribution of the line in the United States. Spin Master already filed court cases against Mattel for Mecard last year in Canada, Mexico and Australia. Those court cases are ongoing. Spin Master claims to have already obtained a favourable judgment of patent infringement against a US reseller of certain prior Turning Mecard products in US Federal Court.
Introduced in South Korea in 2015, Turning Mecard became one of the country’s biggest toy brands. The franchise features multiple animated TV shows, movies and most importantly, loads of toys. The toy component of Mecard focuses on transforming magnetized vehicles that are activated by rolling it onto a metal card. In 2016, Mattel invested in the property’s creator, Sono Kong, and agreed to release the line internationally. Turning Mecard debuted last spring in Australia, Canada, Latin America and South East Asia. The property debuted earlier this year in the United States.
In partnership with SEGA Toys, Spin Master launched Bakugan in 2007 through toys and a television anime. The toys feature marbles that are transformed after being rolled onto a magnetic card. The line was retired in 2012 after grossing a billion dollars at retail. A relaunch of the property is currently in development with Nelvana and TMS Entertainment, for a release in 2019.
Sono Kong previously distributed Bakugan toys in South Korea. The animated lore of Turning Mecard was developed by Atsushi Maekawa, who was the lead writer on the Bakugan anime.
Ronnen Harary, Spin Master’s Co-Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, stated: “Bakugan was a global toy phenomenon and we have taken, and continue to take, great care to protect our innovative transforming technology in most major territories around the world. We plan to relaunch the Bakugan property globally in 2019 and we believe our patents protect the technology behind the product. Spin Master expects its competitors to respect Spin Master’s intellectual property and we will take forceful steps if we believe our rights are being infringed.”
Alpha Group, who’s behind the Screechers Wild toyline Spin Master has also alleged violates their patents, issued a statement shortly after the suit began reaffirming their plans to launch the property and stating they plan on defending themselves in court. Mattel has yet to issue a statement.