*UPDATE: November 2020…
Like many other elf prop creators, Elf on the Shelf (EOTS) sent us legal notices in 2014 because we depicted their doll in our photos. EOTS is not a tolerant company, such as say Mattel is with Barbie. Unlike Mattel, EOTS restricts the use of their trademarked dolls to sell any nonbrand elf props, materials, clothes, etc. We purchased a green and red vintage elf immediately after receiving notice (photo above), so he wasn’t bendy and posed the way we would have liked when we reposted this photo sharing the free printable. However, we wouldn’t let it stop us from sharing our free printables with others.
Fast forward to 2019, they sent more legal notices to our blog. They took our idea of the elf-sized Elf on the Shelf book, made their own to sell for $39.00, and served us with a cease and desist requiring we remove the free printable. After seeing all the negative comments to their action on our blog, EOTS made a similar printable version.
EOTS continues to serve us legal notices for selling upcycled vintage elves, which are not included in their trademark. The classic knee-hugger elves have been a Christmas tradition since the 1950’s.
This 2020, they posted a free printable on their website (photo above). Look familiar? As a fellow customer, it’s upsetting EOTS never thanks their customers for the ideas they use, and rather copies and threatens legal action. They forget that customers are what make their business possible. While their customers continue to use their dolls and accessories and share photos online, we are promoting their brand and advertising their products for free. For being a company that sells a Christmas product, the lack of Christmas spirit is truly unfortunate.