The Wham-O toy company, famous for its Frisbee, Super Ball, Hula Hoop and Slip ‘N Slide, isn’t laughing at the new David Spade comedy “Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star.”
On Monday, the firm filed a lawsuit against Paramount Pictures and Happy Madison Productions over a scene in last weekend’s No. 1 movie that shows Spade skidding to a painful halt on the backyard water toy, the Associated Press reports.
In the movie, Spade lands belly first on the yellow plastic sheet without first inflating it with air and attaching it to a water hose to glide his journey. On another try, he bastes the slide with oil and crashes into a fence.
Wham-O, charging that the filmmakers violated its trademark by using the product without permission, has requested that the court remove the film from theaters so long as it contains the scene — which has been widely used in TV commercials for the film.
Monday’s lawsuit cites one legal action brought by a Wisconsin adult who became paralyzed after diving onto the slide while intoxicated. The legal papers go on to state that the plaintiff ended up being awarded $12.3 million in damages.
At the very least, Wham-O wants a disclaimer added to the film, urging viewers not to emulate Spade’s actions.
The privately owned, Emeryville, Calif.-based toy company also claims the scene violates the product’s safety guidelines, which limit the use of Slip ‘N Slide to children between the ages of 5 and 12 who weigh less than 110 lbs. and stand under 5 ft. tall.
Spade is 39 years old and stands 5’7″. His weight has not been reported but is believed to be more than 110.
“Paramount believes the claims are entirely without legal merit,” studio spokesman Rob Friedman tells AP.