Images of Organizing in Popular Culture

Sage Publications
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Organization, 2008, 15 (5), pp. 627 - 637
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Between 1999 and 2004 Playmates Toys Inc. of Costa Mesa, California, released a hugely successful line of plastic fi gurines depicting characters from the animated television series The Simpsons. Under the trademark `The World of Springfi eld, the series featured the cartoon characters in various poses and confi gurations. They were sold as `playsets replete with props and scenery. Playmates Toys is a subsidiary of Playmates Holding Ltd, a company listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange. The toys were manufactured in China and distributed all over the world as part of a global empire of fi gures and collectibles you might even have one in your home. Playmates operated under a license from the 20th Century Fox Film Corporation as just one part of the multi-million dollar merchandising businesses fuelled by the massive popularity of The Simpsons. Indeed, there are many hundreds of organizations licensed to use The Simpsons to market everything from breakfast cereal to board games. You can even purchase Simpsons branded `sugar free chewable omega 3 capsules and various `vitamin products, not to mention the Homer Simpson talking pizza cutter.
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