Patricia Day of the HorrorPops Sues Barbie

Patricia Day of the HorrorPops Hard Rock Barbie


Barbie stole her latest look from Patricia Day of the HorrorPops.  That is according to a suit filed by Ms. Day against Mattel (Barbie’s manufacturer) and others.  The suit was filed on December 23, 2010 in Indiana.

Ms. Day is Danish.  Mattel is a Delaware corporation.  How in the world did this case end up in Indiana?  According to the Indiana Intellectual Property and Technology Blog, Indiana has a very plaintiff friendly law on the right of publicity.  In the Hoosier state,  you and your heirs can sue over your right to publicity up to one hundred years after your death.  Ms. Day also alleges false endorsement.

There is no doubt that Ms. Day’s appearance closely resembles the doll’s.  They have similar hair, makeup, ink, and “tattooed” bass.  The fact that all members of the rockabilly subculture share the same hair, makeup and ink hurts Ms. Day’s case though.

Some have noted that both Ms. Day and Hard Rock Barbie need to thank Bettie Page for their sense of style.

Siouxsie is pulling for Patricia Day and the HorrorPops.  For one, who else has a decorated bass? And two, it’s no fun to root for Barbie.  In any event, let’s hope that the publicity from this suit will help Ms. Day sell some more records.

The complaint can be found here.



(For those who are hearing impaired, the lyrics can be found at this link.)

~ by siouxsielaw on January 8, 2011.

12 Responses to “Patricia Day of the HorrorPops Sues Barbie”

  1. On the other hand, I notice Hard Rock Barbie has a “Hard Rock Café” logo on her bass, which puts her at the opposite end of the authenticity spectrum from Patricia Day 😉

  2. If it weren’t for the tattoo on the Barbie’s arm I would say that the she didn’t have much of a case. The the placement and size of Barbie’s tattoo, however, adds a little weight as does (like you mentioned) the decorated base. Decorated guitars I’ve seen aplenty. The decorated bass … not so much.

    • After they get through the motions to dismiss they will need expert witnesses. Maybe the attorneys will read this post and call you as an expert on goth rockabilly decorated instruments. Take that Barbie. I agree, I can’t think of another tattooed bass out there.

  3. Wow I really hope she wins! I love the Horrorpops and it’s absolutely true that the bass is an iconic thing for them. Besides all the other barbies are made to resemble other stars, I doubt Mattel went out of its way to create this look from scratch.
    It’s not fun to root for Barbie indeed :]

  4. Agreed that the rockabilly look is (despite all attempts to the contrary) strangely homogeneous. But the image placement on the bass is identical to Patricia Day’s. The heart, the bluebird, and the star are all in the same placement. I think she might have a good argument. I’m not sure there is another (semi-) well known Rockabilly female artist that plays bass…and definitely not a band lead. Rockabilly Barbie does not necessarily have to be sporting a bass with a sleeve tattoo. In fact, if they were going with something generic, I’d expect they’d go another way with it. I’m surprised she is devoid of the iconic cherries.

  5. While I can’t say I can think of any other basses decorated exactly like Ms. Day’s, I will say that I can think of very few rockabilly bands in the ’80’s and ’90’s (when I was in a touring rockabilly band) that *didn’t* have paintings/pin-stripes/stickers/whatever on the stand-up bass. Seriously.
    But the specific artwork here does look awfully suspicious.

    Then again, Hard Rock Barbie seems to be playing a cello…

    I admit it – I can’t be hatin’ on Barbie.
    Not after the Tippi Hedron Barbie (as in, in “The Birds”). Complete with blackbirds pecking her head.
    I bought it the second I saw it. Yes, I admit it.

    The “Ladies of the Eighties” set is a hoot too: Joan Jett, Debbie Harry, and Cyndi Lauper – all of whom look really, really strange in elongated Barbie proportions.

    • OMG — The Tippi Hedron Barbie is worthy of a post in and of itself.
      I had no idea.
      And good point about the cello. I’ll blame it on Barbies elongated proportions that threw me off.

  6. […] – for ripping off her look with their Hard Rock Barbie! Check out Siouxsie Law’s post here for all the juicy details on this […]

  7. […] I previously blogged about Patricia Day’s lawsuit against Barbie at this link. […]

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