I'm new here, I'm new to the cake biz in general but I did some background research and I'd like to find out other cakers opinions.
A couple of bakers in my local area use plastic figures on their cakes. I haven't used one yet (and don't plan to) - everytime I have opted for modelling the figurine myself out of sugarpaste but I'm curious to know how others feel about it?
AIn some cases, purchasing licensed plastic figures may be the only way of legally including a copyrighted character on a cake if you can't obtain permission from the copyright owner to make your own copy.
although other opinions may differ with this and i'm not trying to be 'right' i'm offering my experience re: your question--
some bakers do not want to purchase plastic character toy things (other than those specifically made for cakes like lucks kits or whatever) because they think selling the characters with the specially designed cake will be crossing their own personal copyright line where they are commercially profiting from selling the whole package--that the client would not purchase cake without the toy and the toy is not for retail resale they think.
so those bakers might do a cake designed for the client to place said toy--
a fine line perhaps but it matters to some of us--the client brings in the toy--
question though--are you questioning placing plastic on a cake or the copyright issue?
First sale doctrine allows you to resell trademarked or copyrighted items that you purchased. The legal trademark holder made their $$ from the first sale.
I just wondered what other bakers think to be honest as it's not been something I've seed discussed.
Admittedly I hadn't looked at things from the copyright perspective - this is something I'll look in to.
Personally, I don't like the look of it. But from a consumer point of view - there's always the extra selling point that they have a toy at the end of it!
To date, I've only seen some of the home-based bakers use them. From what I've noticed the larger, established bakers model from scratch but again this could be down to the level of knowledge about copyright etc.
I know some do it but if it is a trademarked or copyrighted image they open themselves up to a lawsuit. Something I personally would rather avoid.
As you said you are only new to this business, so I'm assuming you don't have to find a payroll every week for your staff, neither do you have to find the turnover that is required every week to keep a business running. Not all customers are willing to pay the money required to have a hand made figurine made or their party maybe just a small simple family event that doesn't warrant having an expensive cake made. As previously mentioned there is also the copyright issue. If the customer is happy and it as their request, I don't see what the problem is.