Bastian Schweinsteiger, the Manchester United midfielder, is reportedly taking legal action to make a Hong Kong doll manufacturer to stop production of a Nazi doll that looks almost exactly like him.
Bild, the German tabloid, said that Bastian Schweinsteiger’s lawyers had started litigation to stop sales of the 30cm doll that will retail for about £79.
Apparently, Dragon in Dream (DiD), the manufacturing company, stated that it was total coincidence that the figure looked like Bastian Schweinsteiger, the 31 year old who came to Manchester United in July from Bayern Munich on a three-year contract – reportedly worth £14.4 million.
The doll features a woolen cap bearing the swastika, a dagger and a steel helmet. The doll weighs about 2kgs and its attire is, according to experts, historically accurate.
The doll also has a outfit changes – a winter white jacket and gloves – as well as accessories like a set of mess tins and two loaves of bread.
Reportedly, “Bastian” will be available for purchase in Europe via DiD’s Dutch partner.
Japanese businessman, Takuya Umetawa is the director of DiD. In addition to its range of Nazi soldiers, the company also offers figures of Stalin, a James Bond doll and First World War soldiers.
Ulrich Amelung, a media lawyer, believes that Bastian Schweinsteiger has strong legal grounds on which to prevent the doll from being sold, adding that everyone has the right to their own image, and the depiction of a swastika-bearing figure adds gross defamation and offence.
Die Welt, a newspaper, claimed that it was ridiculous that DiD turned one of Germany’s most popular figurehead into a Nazi doll, but insult was only added to injury when the company said that the doll resembled all Germans.
A lot of Germans were sad when Bastian Schweinsteiger moved to Manchester United this summer. But he is still being followed closely by German media – meaning that Germany’s love affair with him is not yet over.