German Soccer Star Bastian Schweinsteiger Suing Chinese Toy Company Over Nazi Doll Doppelganger
A quick primer on German soccer star Bastian Schweinsteiger: he's a midfielder for Manchester United and the German national team, who rose to stardom with Bayern Munich, where he played for 13 seasons. He was a starter for the German team which won the 2014 World Cup.
And a quick primer on the German army: it terrorized Europe in the 1930s and first half of the 1940s, controlled by the Nazi Party. Eventually it broke Vizzini's first rule, to never start a land war in Asia, which contributed greatly to its doom.
Leave it to the Chinese to bring the two together in doll form. It's kind of a GI Jürgen ... or in this case, Bastian. Because not only is the doll a dead ringer for Schweinsteiger, the makers of the doll even named it "Bastian."
This is a touchy subject with Germans, as you might guess. So now Schweinsteiger is suing.
— Standard Sport (@standardsport) October 22, 2015
I'm told that the uniform above is that of the German Wehrmacht, and not the Nazis. But this does not appear to placate Schweinsteiger one bit. BBC News:
The dolls, named 'World War II Army Supply Duty - Bastian', are made in China by Dragon in Dream. The company told German paper Bild any resemblance was "purely coincidental.
"We don't sell any figures which resemble footballers. It is a complete coincidence that the figure 'Bastian' looks like Schweinsteiger," a spokesman said. "We thought that all Germans look like that. Bastian is also a very common name in Germany."
Ha. "We thought that all Germans look like that." may be the quote of the year. The doll is selling for $120 -- which is of itself a human rights violation.
"Everyone has rights to their own image. To see him as a swastika-bearing Wehrmacht soldier also constitutes a gross defamation and insult," said Schweinsteiger's attorney, Ulrich Amelung.
No matter how this turns out, Schweinsteiger is still dating Serbian tennis player Ana Ivanovic, so he wins regardless.