Devo Sue McDonald's Over Happy Meal Toy - Rolling Stone
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Devo Sue McDonald’s Over Happy Meal Toy

Devo are suing McDonald’s after the hamburger giant used the band’s likeness in a Happy Meal toy without permission. Last April, McDonald’s released a bunch of American Idol-themed toys that had little plastic figures dressed up to represent different musical genres. There was Disco Dave, Rockin’ Riley and, the basis of Devo’s lawsuit, New Wave Nigel. Anyone who’s seen Devo’s “Whip It” video will automatically recognize those odd red caps, dubbed “energy domes” by the band, as the same hat that adorns New Wave Nigel’s head. Little did McDonald’s know, however, that the “energy dome” is “copyrighted and trademarked,” according to Devo bassist and creator of the “energy dome” Gerald Casale. According to Casale, “We’re in the midst of suing them… they didn’t ask us anything. Plus, we don’t like McDonald’s, and we don’t like American Idol, so we’re doubly offended.” Making matter worse, New Wave Nigel also dons an orange jumpsuit and sunglasses strikingly similar to the band’s wardrobe at the time, and the plastic figure even has a song that the band claims sounds Devo-esque.


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