Legoland's Michael Jackson tribute: Now what?

July 2, 2009, 2:40 PM · Yesterday I got a press release from Legoland California promoting a Michael Jackson tribute that the park was planning to install today outside its Chinese Theater display in the park's Miniland section:

Model Builders are creating a four-inch tall Minilander of Jackson, complete with white glove and red leather jacket, that can be seen by Park guests as he exits a limousine in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. The scene will include photographers and random paparazzi surrounding the limousine as mini-lander fans try to catch a glimpse of the pop icon.

I didn't run with it because, frankly, I'm a little burned out on the Jackson coverage (our neighbors have been blaring Jackson music nearly 24/7), and I was chasing down info on the Dueling Dragons accident.

Well, I got another release from Legoland this afternoon. A picture of His Holy Plasticness perhaps?

Not so fast...

"We were looking forward to installing a small tribute to Michael Jackson in Miniland," said Peter Ronchetti, General Manager of LEGOLAND California Resort. "However, legal matters have come to light that prevent us from displaying the model in the Park."

Lemme read between the lines here... someone in Jackson's camp wanted Legoland to pay for the right to use the dead celebrity's likeness is a theme park and a deal wasn't signed, so no Michael in Miniland?

Hey, let's not give up so quickly, Legoland.

Perhaps Legoland ought to take another crack at a Jackson tribute. Perhaps instead of the gloved one in Hollywood, Legoland could create a procession of four-inch lawyers, Lego briefcases in hand, surrounding the limo? Or, if not a limo, surrounding a Lego Hearse? (I'm so bad. Wait a minute. I can't say 'bad' - that's a Jackson album title! I am so sued now....)

I suspect that a few snarky TPI readers might be able to offer additional suggestions. The comments are open...

Replies (6)

July 2, 2009 at 3:16 PM · I think this was all just a big misunderstanding. Perhaps the lawyers are just concerned that Lego Michael will be made out of a different kind of plastic than the real Michael.
July 2, 2009 at 6:42 PM · How sue-happy are Billy Mays' representatives?
July 2, 2009 at 7:15 PM · Maybe Karl Malden's nose...wait not enough Lego's
July 3, 2009 at 6:13 PM · With a half a billion dollars of debt, it's really no wonder that MJ's lawyers are requesting payment for his likeness. Even in death, everyone wants to make a profit from Mr. Jackson.
July 4, 2009 at 8:21 AM · This reminded me of an article I read in The Times today about Michael's death actually boosting the hard-hit LA economy. It seems everyone in the city and outside it is trying to earn a quick Dollar.
July 4, 2009 at 12:15 PM · Speaking of Legoland, I heard local news reports in Florida saying they want to build Legoland here.

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