Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

This Phanatic won't fly with lawyers

A team in Saturday's Red Bull Flugtag event has been ordered to remove all vestiges of the Phillies from their contraption.

This Phanatic won't fly with lawyers

Update, Saturday, 5:30 p.m.: The crew parties with the Phanatic head.
Update, Saturday, 5:30 p.m.: The crew parties with the Phanatic head.

Saturday's Red Bull Flugtag promises to be a hoot:

Thirty-two teams will attempt to send homemade flying machines soaring off a high ramp on the Camden waterfront, only to splash in the Delaware.

Sounds like the Mummers Parade meets Wildwater Kingdom.

And now lawyers are involved.

The five people in the "Phlyin Phanatics" learned Thursday that their contraption -- a 22-foot-wide version of the Phillie Phanatic -- was on shaky legal ground.

Event sponsor Red Bull slapped the group with a verbal cease-and-desist, directing the group to remove the likeness of the Phanatic and all reference to the Phillies, according to Phanatics member Julie Jones, whose day job is in business development with a corporation.

Jones said Major League Baseball lawyers were applying pressure to Red Bull.

"We started building this in April or May, and sent in drawings," she told me. "Red Bull approved the sketches. They even came out and saw it in progress."

She said they'd put 400 man-hours into the craft.

Late Thursday, a Red Bull rep e-mailed to say: "We are working with the team to make sure they are cleared for takeoff on Saturday."

Friday update: 

They will fly the thing on Saturday but without the head.

The head will be the center of attention at an afterparty.

Michael Klein
About this blog
Michael Klein, the editor/producer of, writes about the local restaurant scene in his Inquirer column "Table Talk." Have a question? Email it! See his Inquirer work here. Reach Michael at

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