You can listen to the fascinating story above -- including a few thoughts on the case from X-Men movie director Bryan Singer -- and it's well worth 18 minutes of your time. The short version is that tariff law classifies toys into two different categories. Anything that's brought into the country for a kid to play with is either a doll, which includes anything that represents a human being, or a toy, which covers anything that's not. It might seem like a small distinction -- especially when I'm sure some of you are out there shouting "they're action figures!" -- but the fact is that the import tax on dolls is twice what it is for toys.
Back in the '90s, when Toy Biz was making so much money off of X-Men action figures that it was able to actually buy Marvel comics at one point, this was a pretty big deal. But the thing about those lucrative X-Men toys is that they're not based on "humans" -- or at least, they're not based on homo sapiens. So armed with that distinction, trade lawyers Sherry Singer and Indie Singh went to the customs office to take up the proud tradition of Bolivar Trask and argue that mutants are not, in fact, human beings, and should not be treated as such.
Magneto was right, y'all. About international trade taxes, at least.
The United States Government Debates Whether the X-Men Are Human Beings... In Real Life - ComicsAlliance | Comic book culture, news, humor, commentary, and reviews