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Voltaire: Bootlegs

Voltaire's Collection of Deady Bootlegs

Bootlegs get their own section because for better or worse, these days, there seems to be a lot of them!

"A young lady named Alison was kind enough to send a link to this toy she found on a website that was selling toys out of China. It was labeled "BAD BOY" on the box it came in as opposed to Deady and of course my name was nowhere on it. But the "Engrish" on the package was hilarious! Despite the fact that it's got cat ears, it's clearly a Deady bootleg. This particular bootleg is the COOLEST Deady toy I NEVER made! It's a solar powered bobble head. His head bobs and his foot taps when light hits the solar panel. I tracked down the website and bought a couple dozen of them and sold them at shows because as I always say, "Once I've signed it, it's no longer a bootleg." ; )

Nobody likes getting bootlegged. Nobody likes having their ideas stolen and not getting paid for their efforts, but I have to admit I get a sick thrill when I see a Deady bootleg... (this is my second one)
You know you've arrived when Chinese factories see your designs as a good enough seller to STEAL it from you! heh heh"




Several years ago, Toy2R sent me 36" Qee and asked me to customize it for an upcoming toy show. Having just done a Star Wars parody in my Deady graphic novel, I decided to turn it into "Darth Deady". The piece eventually went on a world tour and ended up in a handful of Asian toy magazines. A couple of years later, I was on Ebay hunting down some rare Deady toys when I ran into a Darth Deady bootleg toy. At first I thought it was one-of a kind, but I soon discovered that it was being manufactured in China. Toy2R and I never manufactured my Darth Deady piece because of possible licensing issues with Lucasfilm of course, but that didn't seem to stop the bootleggers from ripping off both Lucas and me. Since then, I have found they make that figure in the following forms:

2" cell phone accessory

3" backpack accessory

5" figure

10" figure

15" figure and the giant 3 foot tall figure.

They also make it in a little Darth Deady car (yes a car)



I have almost all of the sizes as I collect Deady bootlegs. I found the 3 foot tall one in a shop in NYC after a friend on Myspace had told me she saw "a store full of Deady bootlegs". I have to tip my hat to the bootleggers though. They do an AMAZING job of proliferating toys of my character around the world and in numerous versions.

You can see more Darth Deady bootleg pictures in the PHOTOS section.

Voltaire - Darth Deady Bootleg (Aug 10, 2009)





My friend, Roz Martinez (who I might add, makes some amazing one-of a kind Deady hoodies) sent me this Deady bootleg she found in an Asian market in Dallas, Texas. It's apparently a cell phone accessory. It has 5 points of articulation. I tried finding more or other sizes on the internet but couldn't find any which tells me that it's either really new or really old.

Deady Cell Phone Charm (Aug 10, 2009)



Too Fast Deady Shirt

I was alerted by someone on Myspace that a company called Too Fast Clothes was selling a shirt and a child's dress on their site that had Deady on it. In fact, it was a direct lift of the cover of Deady The Terrible Teddy. Of course it was done without my knowledge or consent and naturally, I wasn't being compensated for the use of Deady. I posted a story about it on Myspace and soon, their site was besieged with several hundred, not-so-friendly comments from Deady fans who were rather upset A few days later, I received a message from Too Fast. They were extremely apologetic and very embarrassed. Apparently they had bought that Deady design a while back from an artist who claimed it was there's. They agreed not to sell it anymore. I asked Too Fast to please send me some samples as I like to collect Deady stuff that I find. They were very kind and sent me some children's T-shirts, a bib and some dresses. I have to tell you, the pink shirt in particular was really cute! Anyway, they offered to throw away the remaining stock, but I really didn't see how that would benefit anyone. I asked them to sell them on their site at a reduced price. They've also acknowledged me as the owner of the design on their website as well as apologized to me and to you, the fans of Deady. This is the apology they posted on the pages that contain DEADY items:

"This item is being sold with Voltaire's permission and Voltaire is being compensated for the use of his design. It is being sold at a reduced price at his request. We apologize for the earlier copyright infringement. Sadly, we were fooled by an "artist" who sold us this design claiming it to be their own original artwork. We are deeply sorry for any inconvenience we have caused Voltaire, Deady and his fans through this unfortunate misunderstanding."


To read the original Myspace blog, click the link below:



When I was in Osaka, Japan in 2007 for the Osaka Hot Wheels Custom Car Show, I saw this candy in a convenience store near our hotel. It's not exactly a bootleg, but the character seemed suspiciously "inspired" by Deady.




Here's a strange one.... a fan alerted us to  a game on Facebook called Zombie Pets.  Apparently they have many different undead monsters you can collect.  A dubious honor was that the most valuable one was called "Deady Bear"!  Obviously, it doesn't look tremendously like our own Deady, but it does seem inspired by it.  Now upon closer inspection, it seems that many of their monsters are based on creatures from popular culture.  They had a zombie Freddy Krueger, a zombie Jason, stuff like that.  It's kind of a miracle they haven't been sued by the owners of those properties!  Maybe we should be flattered that the "Deady Bear" concept has become popular enough for these guys to want to emulate it.... but more than likely it's probably just time for Deady to have an official game of his own on Facebook!



DEADY BEAR on Zombie Pets Game (Jan 1, 2011)