Michael Jackson’s partners in his Neverland Ranch, Colony Capital LLC, have filed 20 trademark requests to brand the ranch for souvenirs with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
I do mean lots of souvenirs. Here’s a partial list of where Colony would like to see the Neverland name stamped. If they’ve forgotten something, it beats me:
Games and playthings, namely: plush toys, paper dolls, dolls and accessories, toy action figures, toy vehicles, toy cars, toy trucks, toy bucket and shovel sets, roller skates, toy model hobbycraft kits,’ musical toys, jigsaw puzzles, badminton sets, bubble making wand and solution sets, toy banks, puppets, toy balloons, yo-yos, kites, baseball bats, balls of all kind, play wands, board games, playing cards, and children’s games to play during travel; ornaments, and decorations for a Christmas tree; sporting goods, museum services- namely: operating a museum in Michael Jackson’s former home and providing tours thereof; providing theme park services; entertainment services, namely: live shows and events; tennis and golf resort services; recreation and sporting club services; organization of meetings and conferences as well as clothing, footwear, headgear, and printed matter, namely: post cards, holiday/greeting cards, art prints, art reproductions, bumper stickers, stickers, decals, tissue/giftwrap, printed tickets, posters, wall calendars, flags and pennants of paper, printed and paper emblems, brochures, catalogs, and merchandise bags; books, namely: non-fiction books about Michael Jackson, activity books, address books, appointment books, coloring books, picture books, and comic books; paper and paper articles, namely: photographs, stationery, memo pads, notebooks, envelopes, pencil sharpeners, pen and pencil cases and boxes, pens, pencils, erasers, rulers, paper weights, staplers, binders, notebooks, stationery consisting of writing paper and envelopes, memo pads, writing tablets, paper table cloths, paper napkins, paper coasters, and paper mats; money clips, and in keeping with Michael Jackson’s theme of peace ”toy rockets, toy guns, toy holsters.
Got the picture? The requests were made on August 12, 2009. Sycamore Valley Ranch, which made the filings, is the joint venture of Colony Capital LLC and Michael Jackson. Of course, the problem with at least some of this is that the town of Los Olivos, California, where Neverland fills 2,900 acres, is against the ranch being turned into a Graceland-style museum. The road that leads to Neverland is a country two lane blacktop that runs through horse country. A private school sits across the street from the Neverland entrance.
Colony has invested over $50 million in Neverland so far. They probably figure they’re going to make their money back somehow. Of course, they don’t seem to realize that Jackson had parted company with Neverland in June 2005 and didn’t want to go back. And that there are many associations with the ranch, including police raids, searches for evidence and pornography. Jay Leno is probably getting Back to School jokes ready right now.
But Thomas Barrack, who owns Colony, lives in the county and sources say he is pressing on the local government to give him what he wants. Whether or nor he succeeds remains uncertain. In the meantime, I think they should make Neverland into a Playmobil Playset where the gates open to find zoo animals, rollercoasters, and several Rolls Royces and Bentleys. Featured characters could include Colony’s Tohme Tohme, Bubbles the Chimp, Shmuley Boteach, and Tatum O’Neal.
The, er, attempted selling of Michael Jackson continues.
(A tip of the hat to michaeljackson.hu)