The Walt Disney Co. is demanding a company selling Disney-themed bulletproof backpacks halts sales.
A new line of backpacks recently launched by TuffyPacks features various images from Disney films, including the heroes from Avengers, Princess Jasmine from Aladdin, and Belle from Beauty and the Beast. A "Youth Size" of the company’s “Ballistic Shield” line of bulletproof panels was added in 2017 and is designed to keep children safe from most handgun bullets and semi-automatic rounds in the event of an active shooter incident.
“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 tells Yahoo Entertainment.
“It’s been a busy couple of days,” he said. “It’s a sad, sad, sad world that this has to exist.”
Although Naremore declined to provide specific numbers, he said sales from dealers and off the company website spike by between 300 and 500 percent after a mass shooting. “We have two commas in our sales, if you know what that means,” he claimed. “We’ve been at two commas for a while.”
Naremore explained that it was a business decision to market Disney-themed backpacks. He argued to THR that no licensing agreement with Disney was necessary because his company buys the fabric in bulk and inserts bulletproof shields, so the fabric maker is responsible for obtaining the license.
“Our inserts are black and look kind of tactical and ballistic,” he said, adding, “We use licensed fabric, to try to make them more kid-friendly.”
Naremore noted that Disney is “not endorsing our products and we haven’t reached out to them for support.”
However, the entrepreneur caught wind of Disney’s stern message. Naremore had no comment when reached by Yahoo on Tuesday, but said they have “removed [the] themed-panels from the website until we explore all of our options.”
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