NEWS

Jazwares launches lawsuit against Build-A-Bear

Published on: 13th February 2024

The legal proceedings against Build-A-Bear claim the company’s Skoosherz brand copies the look, feel, and tactile design of Squishmallows.

Jazwares says Build-A-Bear’s Skoosherz range infringes upon the design of its best-selling Squishmallows (pictured)

Jazwares has claimed that Skoosherz, a new line introduced this year by Build-A-Bear Workshop is too similar to its best selling Squishmallows range and infringes copyright. The manufacturer of Squishmallows has launched an intellectual property lawsuit in California. Build-A-Bear Workshop has launched its own lawsuit in retaliation in Missouri, in an attempt to establish that Skoosherz is a unique version of a soft toy.

Jazwares maintains that Skoozherz are imitations of the Squishmallows it has manufactured since 2017, claiming that the plush are also “shaped fanciful renditions” of animals, with “simplified Asian style Kawaii faces,” and “velvety velour-like” fabric.

“Build-A-Bear has gone to great lengths to copy the distinct look, feel, and tactile design of Squishmallows to capitalise on Squishmallows’ global success blatantly and intentionally,” Jazwares stated in an email to the BBC.

Having become established as a market leading and top selling toy over the past few years, there are now more than 1,000 different Squishmallows characters available, and the brand has an avid fanbase. In November, Squishmallows received top honours at the Toy of the Year (TOTY) Awards in New York, taking home the Toy of the Year for 2023, an accolade it has received for three years in a row. Pamela Mastrota, executive director of The Toy Foundation, praised the line as an outstanding example of “the creativity and imagination advancing the world of play”.

The brand has also benefited from a series of successful collaborations, with licensed versions including Nightmare Before Christmas, Harry Potter, Pokémon and Disney.

Jazwares has already opened a case against online retailer Alibaba for allegedly selling counterfeits. “When it comes to intellectual property rights, imitation is not the sincerest form of flattery,” said Jazwares’ lawyer, in a statement.

Build-A-Bear has not yet commented on the lawsuit.

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