Licensing deal opens up possibility of Stan Lee LEGO minifigure

The 20-year deal between Marvel and Stan Lee Universe opens up the possibility of new film appearances, ‘experiences’ and maybe a LEGO minifigure.

The late, great Stan Lee, writer, publisher, producer and arguably the most recognisable cameo actor since Alfred Hitchcock, is heading back to the Marvel fold. An article in the Hollywood Reporter details the deal between Marvel and Stan Lee Universe, a joint venture between POW! Entertainment and Genius Brands, which will allow the superhero factory to use Lee’s likeness and name in film and TV productions as well as Disney theme parks, ‘experiences’ and the inevitable merchandising.

Marvel’s previously stated policy was not to use archive footage of Lee in cameo roles after his death, meaning his appearance in Avengers: Endgame should have been his last. Whether using his ‘image’ rather than existing footage is a loophole that lets Marvel keep to its word while still making use of the avuncular icon is probably one for the lawyers.

Stan Lee 1

Image: POW! Entertainment

Of more interest to LEGO fans is the fact that the deal opens up the possibility of a Stan Lee minifigure, something that both LEGO fans and Marvel fans have been hoping for for as long as there have been Marvel LEGO sets. Which was 2012, to save you looking it up.

While using the image of a deceased person is nothing new – Peter Cushing and Carrie Fisher both memorably made appearances in Star Wars films from ‘beyond the grave’ – whether it’s wholly appropriate is another question entirely. There have been a number of reports that Lee was exploited in his later years, with one article, from AARP.org, suggesting that Lee was taken advantage of by a number of people close to him after his wife, Joanie, passed away in 2017.

Andy Heyward, chairman and CEO of Genius Brands said: “The audience revered Stan, and if it’s done with taste and class, and respectful of who he was, [uses of his likeness] will be welcomed. He is a beloved personality,” he continued, “and long after you and I are gone, he will remain the essence of Marvel.”

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