Chinese firm DiD has said that the toy simply resembles their idea of a "typical German." World Champion Bastian Schweinsteiger and his lawyers disagree.
The captain of Germany's national football team, Bastian Schweinsteiger, is pursuing legal action against a Hong Kong-based toy company, his management team confirmed on Thursday. The suit alleges that manufacturer DiD is selling Nazi figurines that bear a clear resemblance to the Manchester United midfielder.
The figure, sold as "WWII Army Supply Duty," has a steel helmet, a "Wehrmacht" uniform complete with swastika insignia and a name - Bastian.
The uncanny parallel was first pointed out by the German daily "Bild," which is likely what brought it to the attention of the 2014 World Cup winner.
DiD insists that they did not model the toy on the blonde-haired blue-eyed Schweinsteiger, and that their figurine is simply "based on the typical German," according to an employee who spoke with the SID sports news agency.
But Schweinsteiger and his management weren't buying it. "We are taking legal action against them. There's nothing more to say on our part," a spokesman told German news agency DPA on Thursday.
The 31-year-old Schweinsteiger made his name playing with German champions Bayern Munich until he joined Manchester United in the off-season. He was vice captain of the squad that captured the World Cup for Germany last year.
es/msh (AFP, dpa, SID)