X-Men are not human

January 20th, 2003 Comments Off on X-Men are not human

This is so much fun: an American judge ruled some weeks ago that the X-Men are not human. And it was actually a victory to Marvel, which was fighting a six-year battle between against the U.S. Customs Service. The reason? Lower duty rates. The U.S. Customs Service makes a distinction between dolls, which are subject to 12% import duties, and toys, which are subject to a 6.8% rate. Human figures are considered dolls, while other figures representing animals, monsters, and robots are deemed toys.

So, in 1996, Toy Biz Inc., a Marvel subsidiary, sued Customs saying that its collection of action figures should be considered as representing nonhuman characters, and consequently were toys subject to a lower duty. Duties have since been eliminated from both categories, but the case only ended on the last January 3rd when a judge ruled against Customs.

Needless to say, Marvel fans are outraged. It’s actually ironic that Marvel’s famous stance of touting characters like the X-Men as icons in the fight against prejudice was discarded so easily. Of course, business is business.

(via Cris Dias)

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