Following news earlier this week that Asobi has been awarded distribution of the Automoblox line of wooden construction cars, Manhattan Toy, which has been the exclusive licensee and distributor for the range in Europe since January 2008 and worldwide since January 2009, has issued a statement.
The firm said in the statement: "We have grown the brand and expanded the distribution during this time. We have a valid contract and we continue to have the rights to sell and distribute the brand in 2011 and beyond.
"Unfortunately, we are currently in dispute with Automoblox about our licence agreement."
Manhattan also said that due to this dispute, Automoblox or others may try to claim that it no longer has the rights to sell the products and 'may in fact try to sell the line directly or through other distributors'.
The statement continues: "We believe this is a clear violation of our licence agreement. Under the terms of the agreement, all disputes must be settled through arbitration in the US courts and we have a scheduled date for arbitration proceedings to commence in March 2011."
The firm says it is confident that its rights under the licence agreement will be vindicated in the arbitration.
Plans are in place for the firm to continue to comply with the agreement and to continue selling Automoblox toys under the terms of that agreement.
Manhattan concluded: "We are in a good in-stock position. All models in the new January 2011 catalogue will be presented at the upcoming trade shows and will be available for immediate shipment."