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No Fun: Designer calls out SIA for stealing Funko figurine idea

News   •   Mar 04, 2019 22:00 +08

A screenshot of the Facebook post by the designer, Keith Lee

A designer said Singapore Airlines (SIA) has stolen an idea that he had pitched to them a few years ago.

Keith Lee, a Singaporean designer, said in a Facebook post that he had pitched the idea of a Singapore Girl figurine to SIA in 2015 as part of Singapore's 50th anniversary celebrations. The pitch was done in collaboration with the toy company Funko, which manufactures collectible figurines under its Funko Pop series.

But Lee said his proposal to two SIA executives was rejected. They said the profit margin was too low, and they did not want to cannibalise the sales of the Precious Moments figures that are sold at KrisShop, SIA's on-flight retail store.

But Lee found out recently that SIA had started selling a version a Singapore Girl figurine that bears some similarity to his design. The figurine was produced in collaboration with Funko and was sold on the airline’s web shop, KrisShop, for S$29. The figurine is currently not available for sale. But there is another figurine of the Singapore Girl, available at the KrisShop. It is produced in collaboration with Precious Moments.

Another designer, a Facebook user who goes by the name DexterMama Goh, said in Lee's Facebook post that she was the first to propose the idea, and produced a drawing of the SIA Funko girl that was being sold at KrisShop. She said she pitched it in early 2015, but her idea was rejected as well. But she did not produce a timestamp for her drawing when asked to produce one.

Lee had previously worked with SIA on several projects.

Like most Creators who call out big brands for copying their intellectual property, he does not seem to be pursuing the matter legally.

According to Business Insider, SIA is already aware of the allegations and was “following up on the matter closely”.

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