Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

Apple re-kills Steve Jobs doll

December 22, 2010: 12:16 PM ET

Puts a spike through the heart of the SJ Action Figure resale market on eBay

Source: iPhone Savior

"Your item was removed because of a request we received from Apple, Inc., a member of our Verified Rights Owner Program (VeRO), asking us to remove the item for: Item(s) violates a celebrity's right of publicity."

That, according to iPhone Savior, is the text of a message received from eBay (EBAY) by a Canadian seller who was asking $1,250 for one of the few Steve Jobs figurines that made it out of Hong Kong last month.

As you might recall, lawyers representing Apple (AAPL) ordered M.I.C Gadget, a Chinese specialty manufacturer, to stop selling its $99 SJ Action Figure late last month. According to Apple's warning letter, the figurine violated a California statute that prohibits use of a person's likeness in a product without prior consent.

Two weeks later, the toys started appearing -- and apparently selling -- on eBay at a Buy-It-Now price of $2,500.

That game ended this week.

As of Wednesday morning, there were no SJ Action Figures to be had anywhere on eBay, even for ready money.

The last auction, posted Tuesday, tried to cash in on the controversy:

"APPLE HAD ALL STEVE JOBS ACTION FIGURE AUCTIONS REMOVED!" read the description. "BUY IT NOW SO YOU CAN GET ONE! HURRY! NO GUARANTEE THAT THIS AUCTION WILL RUN A FULL DAY!"

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[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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