Australian website Urban Taggers considers itself to be pretty influential toy gun blog, and in many ways it is. So influential, in fact, that the site was contacted by a representative from toy-maker Hasbro, requesting an address to send some free samples of a hard-to-find Nerf gun accessory. It seems that Hasbro was quick to use the address it was given, but it didn't use it the information to send any freebies — it had their lawyers send a legal notice instead.
It seems that in a blog posting dated February 5, 2012, Urban Taggers had used a publicity photo that Hasbro did not make available to the public. The legal notice requested the blog cease using it, and further explain where the image came from. The blogger replied to the letters explaining they got the images from Google image search, but the legal firm continued to press the website for more information about the pictures and models used in other posts about guns that weren't released yet.
Those tactics are perhaps unsurprising — law firms and intellectual property owners regularly send cease and desist letters in an attempt to protect their sensitive information. What was surprising, however, was what came next after Urban Taggers stopped responding to letters: The law firm sent some "burly, repo-looking type" goons to the blogger's address.
The blogger wound up talking with one of the representatives from the law firm, explaining that he had purchased a number of advance models off of Taobao, a Chinese online auction site. It seems that no one was hurt, arrested, or prosecuted. Still, the act has sent some shock waves around the internet, quickly becoming a PR nightmare for Hasbro.
More from Tecca: