Bastian Schweinsteiger is reportedly prepared to file a lawsuit against a Hong Kong toy company — over a doll. According to reports, the figurine, which is dressed like a Nazi soldier, bears a striking resemblance to the professional soccer player. Schweinsteiger is further concerned, as the doll’s name is “Bastian.”
Bastian Schweinsteiger has taken legal action after toy maker releases Nazi soldier resembling him… named Bastian. pic.twitter.com/H0LNbz0AvG
— Transfer Site (@TransferSite) October 22, 2015
As advertised on the DID corporation website, “Bastian” is a WWII German Army “supply duty” figurine, which can be purchased alone or with numerous accessories.
The doll is sold wearing a grey Wehrmacht uniform, with Nazi war eagles clearly displayed on the hat and above the right breast pocket. Accessories, which include additional clothing, a backpack, cooking supplies, and loaves of bread, can be purchased separately.
Although it is a doll, “Bastian” was crafted with an impressive amount of detail. Unfortunately, the Nazi figurine ended up looking like Bastian Schweinsteiger’s doppelgänger.
Schweinsteiger’s spokesman said the appearance, and the dolls name, were too similar to be a coincidence. The spokesman confirmed the professional soccer player plans to file a lawsuit against the toy maker.
As reported by the Guardian, the charges against DID corporation will likely include “defamation and insult.” Attorney Ulrich Amelung said the toy is “a clear violation of Schweinsteiger’s… rights.”
DID spokesman Patrick Chan vehemently denies accusations that the figurine was designed to resemble Bastian Schweinsteiger in any way.
“We don’t sell any figures which resemble footballers. It is a complete coincidence that the figure ‘Bastian’ looks like Schweinsteiger… We think that all Germans look like that.”
As stated on the company website, DID stands for Dragon In Dream. The company, which was established in 2003, specializes in the production of high-quality 12-inch figurines. According to DID, “the detailed and realistic figurines are universally recognized as setting the new benchmark in high-quality collectible figures.”
In addition to the controversial “Bastian” doll, DID’s products include several other figurines representing officers and soldiers from WWII, various military icons and world leaders, and characters from the sci-fi television series Fringe.
The impressively detailed dolls are sold by distributors in Australia, France, The Netherlands, the United States, and Asia. Although many of the company’s figurines are designed to resemble actual people or characters, they are clearly labeled with first and last names. The doll that resembles Bastian Schweinsteiger, however, is labeled only with a first name.
As the company has denied the accusations, insisting that “all Germans look like” the soldier figurine, it is unclear whether they will be held responsible for the strong resemblance between the doll and the professional soccer player.
— Man Utd News (@manutd2day) October 20, 2015
A native of Kolbermoor, Germany, Bastian Schweinsteiger began playing soccer shortly after learning to walk. By the age of 3, he joined his first soccer team.
Throughout his childhood and teens, Bastian played on several youth and senior soccer teams, including FV Oberaudorf and TSV Rosenheim.
In 2002, at the age of 18, Schweinsteiger signed his first professional contract with Bayern Munich II. As reported by Football Top, he joined Bayern Munich two years later.
Throughout his career as an accomplished central midfielder, he has won awards for FIFA World Cup Most Assists, Footballer of the Year, and UEFA Best Player in Europe.
As a prominent professional soccer player, Bastian is well-known throughout Germany and around the world. Seeing his likeness in a Nazi uniform — even if it is only a doll — is somewhat disturbing.
Bastian Schweinsteiger has not publicly discussed the Nazi doll or his intentions regarding the possible lawsuit. DID representatives insist their artist did not design the figurine to resemble the professional soccer player.
[Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images]