Mattel Isn't Happy With 'Barbie-Que' Chips

Toy maker sues Rap Snacks and alleges trademark infringement
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 16, 2022 3:06 PM CDT
Mattel Fumes Over Nicki Minaj 'Barbie-Que' Chips
Rap Snacks' Barbie-Que Honey Truffle Potato Chips, a collaboration with Nicki Minaj.   (Rap Snacks)

Nicki Minaj has long described herself as "Barbie." The rapper has released songs including "Barbie Dreams" and "Barbie Tingz," and her fans are known as the "Barbz." But the rapper's association with the iconic doll has finally ruffled the feathers of Barbie maker Mattel, which turned Minaj into a one-off Barbie doll for charity in 2011. In a lawsuit obtained by Reuters, the company takes aim at Rap Snacks, which partnered with Minaj on bags of "Barbie-Que" Honey Truffle Potato Chips released this summer. Minaj appears on the packaging wearing a necklace with the word "Barbie" printed in the doll's signature font, which is mimicked in the "Barbie-Que" title.

The association with Barbie "is so evident that upon seeing the packaging," Minaj's representatives "queried whether Rap Snacks had obtained permission from Mattel," the lawsuit reads, per the New York Daily News. But Rap Snacks "never requested or received any such permission" and launched the product anyway. Mattel says the lawsuit in response to "blatant and intentional use of Mattel's trademark"—which does not name Minaj herself—is a "last resort to protect its rights and prevent further consumer confusion" as Rap Snacks refused to respond to requests for resolution, per the Root. The company is demanding unspecified damages including profits from the snack, which does not currently appear on Rap Snacks' website. (Read more trademark infringement stories.)

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