Pippi Longstocking Heirs Battle Pirate Products
Sexy dolls mar spunky redhead's legacy
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 15, 2007 3:07 AM CST
A file photo taken 26 January 1966 shows Swedish writer Astrid Lindgren posing in front of a book cover with her most popular character Pippi Longstocking. AFP PHOTO / SCANPIX SWEDEN (Photo credit should...   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – The heirs of beloved "Pippi Longstocking" author Astrid Lindgren are fighting an infuriating legal battle to block a legion of pirate products that have cashed in on the popularity of the Swedish girl hero. Some of the products—like an Italian Barbie-ized doll that fitted Longstocking with breasts and lace panties—are in blatant conflict with Pippi's wholesome, if spunky, reputation.

"Astrid would never have allowed that," said Lindgren's grandson and director of the firm that owns the copyright on the late author's work. Lindgren would have been 100 yesterday, and Pippi continues to enjoy enormous popularity with children worldwide. But her old firm earns surprisingly little, a fact Lindgren's grandson attributes to the pirate products as well as fraud by legitimate rights holders.