Canberra, Australia-based Nerf superfan Martyn Yang, who runs a popular toy blaster blog called Urban Taggers, was recently contacted by Hasbro with an offer of some free Nerf gear to give away to his readers. What looked like a great bit of PR quickly turned sour, though.
Instead of the promised swag, Yang received an angry letter from Hasbro's law firm asking him to take down a review of a not-yet-released Nerf gun he bought online. After he complied, he started getting threatening visits from private investigators hired by Hasbro's law firm, Baker & McKenzie.
After neighbors told him some strange people had been seen lurking around his apartment, he confronted the unwelcome visitors and explained that unreleased materials often pop up on eBay and Chinese equivalent Taobao.
Yang sent an email back to Hasbro, telling them the same thing he told the investigators, and then posted the whole story on his blog. His supporters have now started an online boycott of the company.
Meanwhile, Hasbro has issued a statement via Facebook claiming that the offer of free stuff was genuine, and not just a ploy to obtain Yang's address.