Devo Looking to Sue McDonald's For "New Wave Nigel" Toy

Devo Looking to Sue McDonald's For "New Wave Nigel" Toy
Post-punk pioneers Devo aren’t so happy about McDonald’s’ latest choice of Happy Meal toy, the red flower pot-sporting New Wave Nigel. In fact, the band are so unhappy they’re taking the fast-food giant to court.

In April, McDonald’s released a series of American Idol Happy Meal toys in the U.S., with each figurine being based on a musical genre and including characters like Disco Dave, Soulful Selma and Country Clay. The series also contains the offending New Wave Nigel, who comes decked out in an orange jumpsuit, pink shades and Devo’s patented "energy dome” hat, and who plays what the band alleges to be a "Devo-esque song."

This little guy has now got under Devo’s skin and led the band to take legal action against McDonald’s for using their copyrighted hat without permission, the band’s bassist Gerald Casale recently told the Australia Associated Press.

"This New Wave Nigel doll that they've created is just a complete Devo rip-off and the red hat is exactly the red hat that I designed, and it's copyrighted and trademarked,” Casale told the news agency. "They didn't ask us anything. Plus, we don't like McDonald's, and we don't like American Idol, so we're doubly offended."

Casale added that he thought it was ironic such a mega-corporation would choose an image so closely associated with Devo, since the band has built a career of taking aim against such corporate entities.

"The very same people that wanted nothing to do with Devo and looked down on Devo and condescended [to] Devo... enough time's gone by that they go, 'Hey, you know those guys are synonymous with what was new about New Wave,"' he said. "‘So if we're going to do New Wave Nigel what do people recognise iconically better than Devo and the red hat?"'

McDonald’s has yet to comment.

Devo "Gates of Steel” live