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While being in my local Yatess I spotted something magnificent out of the corner of my eye. There was a fruit machine themed with a cartoon, yellow family named; The Winsons. I found this obnoxious rip off so amusing that it has inspired me to write this article.
In the Netflix series; The Unbreakable Kimmy Schidt, one of the characters comes into contact with a gentleman selling character outfits which resemble famous characters such as Iron Man, yet aren’t. On the basis that the man is guilty of copyright infirngement on various studio’s intellectual property, everyone is able to return their knock off suits for a refund.
The Winsons is blatant copyright infringement. Let’s have a closer look at some of the aspects that make up The Winsons.
Firstly we have, who I can only assume is Madge Winson or similar. While the face differs from the Marge Simpson character, she has the trademark tall hair. Coupled with the yellow skin, necklace (which is different to Marge’s pearl necklace) and the Winson name. It’s quite clear that they have based some of the features on Marge, but change enough for them to say it is a different character. This character looks a bit like a cheap hooker with a PVC dress on, the tattoos are an odd addition as well.
Also on the same photo notice the many donut references. There is a round called Donut Dash, as well as Donuts appearing on the game board. Homer Simpson is famously a huge donut fan. Typically The Simpsons animation shows donuts in this manner:
Which looks pretty much the same as the pink, iced donut with sprinkles which appears on the Winsons game. There are however, no images of the father character eating the donuts so who is to say that the wife isn’t a fan? Download 9jabet app download. Which would again, detract from the likeness (who am I kidding?) slightly.
The father character does however clearly enjoy beer, like Homer. We can see the character here on the bottom left hand corner of the machine, pointing at some cans of beer. Again, these cans look similar to Duff beer but without a brand name, surely saying that 2 male characters liking beer is copyright infringement is ludicrous?
The Winson’s only have one child, a boy who looks a little like Bart Simpson and seems to be quite attached to his sling shot (hang on, didn’t Bart have one of them?). Both are sporting the same red t shirt as well, coincidence?
As well as all of this, the Winsons appear to live in a place called Springford (really? They may as well have called it Springfield). The font used on this machine is also awfully close to the Simpsons font.
A cat and mouse character also appear on the game. The animals look distinctly like Itchy & Scratchy. There is nothing other than a few faces relating to these characters, so you could argue that it’s just a cat and mouse, The Simpsons didn’t come up with that idea.
The Winsons Fruit Machine Cheats
As well as this, we see various Saxaphones and references to sax bonuses. We don’t have a fake Lisa character in the Winsons so it could be argued that this is irrelevant when arguing copyright infringement as we don’t know what the sax is in relation to. If the father character was a huge jazz fan, then it could be argued that it’s actually different.
There is also a bonus round called Sideshow Robbed, which may just be me but sounds like Sideshow Bob. The difference in wording makes them 2 separate things but I can’t help but feel that someone was just being lazy here. There is also a Grandpa’s Gold round. It would be silly to argue that the Sinpsons have intellectual copyright on a Grandpa character so they have thrown this in.
The Winsons Fruit Machine
When doing a Google search for “the Winsons fruit machine”, Google suggests “the Wilsons fruit machine”. I’m sure you could imagine my disappointment when Google web and image searches didn’t bring me an even worse knock off. A search of “the Winsons” wasn’t overly successful. I did find a forum post about the machine where someone says the sound FX are disturbingly close to The Simpsons. The machine is available to buy from AMG, for anyone wanting to add some original gaming to their establishment. I wasn’t able to find any other information such as who was responsible for this, and if Fox had picked up on it at all, so I emailed 20th Century Fox. I asked them if they were aware of the Winsons, if any action had been taken and their thoughts.
Wether or not Fox could take legal action would depend on what design rights are in place for The Simpsons. I imagine that Fox have heavily copyrighted as much as they possibly can of The Simpsons. The show has been airing for almost 27 years and has seen worldwide popularity. I recall a Simpsons episode where Homer’s likeness has been stolen to create the logo for a Japanese product.
While I can find no info on any lawsuits which Fox has taken out on anyone as a result of copyright infringement. Fox were sued by Goodfella’s creator Frank Sivero. Sivero claims that the Simpsons character Louie was stolen from Sivero’s Goodfella’s character; Frankie.
The Winsons Fruit Machine As Seen On Tv
As The Winsons are still in circulation, there probably isn’t any impending legal action and the makers are probably laughing at Fox. I-gaming companies continue to use popular TV themes for their games as to attract more niche audiences. For example, this Downton Abby one I found hilarious. I think it’s best for games designers to get the consent of companies to use their images rather than create cheap, rip offs such as The Winsons.