Flat Stanley Enters a Whole New Realm
A world-renowned jet-setter, pen-pal to school children, friend of foreign dignitaries and celebrities, a well-trodden fellow; all appropriate descriptions for the infamous character Flat Stanley created by…well, that seems to be the problem. Flat Stanley’s likeness was introduced in a series of books written by Jeff Brown about Stanley Lambchop
, a young boy who gets flattened by the fallen bulletin board. The character inspired third grade teacher Dan Hubert of London to start a grade school craze. Dan Hubert brought Flat Stanley to the classroom in 1995 thinking it would be an educational experience for the kids to reach out to pen pals across the globe and see where the paper doll could end up. With Flat Stanley touching down on just about every place known to man, the popularity of the books began to rise, but the story of Stanley Lambchop started changing to reflect Hubert’s more well-known interpretation.
With Broadway and movie deals, not to mention all the Flat Stanley swag in the works, one would think Hubert would demand some of the profits that the late Brown’s estate is raking in. Think again. Instead, members of Brown’s family are insisting that Hubert surrender his website, www.flatstanley.com, to the estate without the slightest compensation. The Brown estate believes that those wishing to buy the books, movies and memorabilia are accidentally ending up on Hubert’s site which carries the logical domain name for the project. Hubert’s site offers advice on how to start the project at your school and gives examples of past Flat Stanleys who have already completed their journeys around the globe.
In spite of Hubert’s good-natured intentions, the Brown estate plans to take him to court if he will not give up the site. Hubert is hoping the court will show some mercy considering he is a teacher and makes no profit from the site. Still, he tells supporters that the biggest loss of all in this case would be the inability to continue passing the project on.