Brand Dilution…Times Square Style

Anyone who knows me knows that I am extremely anti-Times Square costumed characters.  This not only is because I’m faced this with epidemic every work day since Times Square is my work home but I also have children and see how this can change their views of the characters.  My 5 year old son loves Marvel Superheros (who doesn’t) but if he saw some of these poor excuses for costumed characters it would destroy the fantasy for him.

At least once a week while riding the elevator in my building I’m pulled into a conversation about why no one is dealing with this situation. If they’re not committing a criminal violation are they not committing a civil one using brands and images without permission?  Does Marvel not care that some guy who bought a $19.99 one piece hulk costume that ties behind the neck and a plastic mask is completely stealing their intellectual property for profit.  That’s the key isn’t it.  FOR PROFIT.  It’s one thing if my son buys a costume (the same quality someone is asking tourists to fork over money for the privilege of taking a picture with them) to wear trick or treating.  Even if he’s obsessed and wants to eat, sleep and play in it we’re not gaining any profit from it.   If anything we’re potentially generating revenue for the brand when my son either wears it out or out grows it and asks to buy another.

I have to assume that the cost of resources to clean these guys out of Times Square  is greater than identified loss by the brand. I then throw in the theory of dealing with the quality of life infractions.  I spend most of my waking hours in a building surrounded by this insanity.  This lowers my quality of life. I guarantee when Times Square was cleaned up we didn’t think this was the pot of gold on the end of the rainbow.

Plain and simple if the tourists and locals (you know who you are) would stop taking photos with these guys they would go away.  Are there seriously people buying these photos so they can frame it?  It’s one thing to take a selfie as a hoot but that my friend is free.