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Character cakes, please just go away. Seriously.

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
Usually it doesn't bother me, cause hey, kids usually want a cake with whatever their favorite character or music group, or whatever plastered all over it. I give the usual reply about not creating cakes with licensed logos, or figurines, etc. Sometimes people appreciate my explanation of designing something complimentary to the theme, rather than outright reproduction of the desired character, like something pink and polka dotty with bows and a name in "similar" font to Disney, for a Minnie Mouse cake, but not the ears or her face..you all know what I mean.

But somedays, it's all I can do but throw my phone across the room. Now, I'm not going to go accusing therresidents of my area of having much culture, or sense of adventure, no, it's pretty podunk, and I'm grateful that there are just enough willing to get something cool, and lots of repeat clientele, so yay, thank God. But the majority of requests start just like this: "How much for dis?" And it's a picture of a Mickey Mouse cake. Just yesterday, I had to explain in three different ways why I wouldn't do it. And I got back "Soooooo, you can't make a cake like this, it doesn't look hard." Face palm, phone nearly flew across room.

But when she replied with "ok, well another person said they'd do it and for half as much.", I just about lost it. That's all really. Usually it doesn't bother me, but when twenty other people with zero regard for copyright law are just lining up, and to do it cheaper, it's a little irksome.
"I can do that, because this is my sandbox and I've got the bullsh*% shovel." ~Dianne Sylvan, Author and Lunatic
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"I can do that, because this is my sandbox and I've got the bullsh*% shovel." ~Dianne Sylvan, Author and Lunatic
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post #2 of 31

It would be bad to have photos of MIckie & Minnie with those big red 'X's" across their faces in your window, right. Like the Most wanted list at the Post Office.   ≈ kidding.≈ 

 

I'm glad that I donated all of mine to the Sally Ann, I figured the pans were just for MOM's making a home cake for their kids.  It never occurred to me that the MOM's would all go into business selling those cakes.

 

The comment from your customer, "It doesn't look hard" is enough to throw the phone by itself.

~~We are living in a world today where lemonade is made from artificial flavors and furniture polish is made from real lemons. ~Alfred E. Newman  
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post #3 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by MBalaska View Post
 

... It never occurred to me that the MOM's would all go into business selling those cakes.

 

Those moms have Facebook pages and proudly yak about their "affordable" cakes. They're also here on CC, asking how much to charge; because, you know, it's too much work and just too annoying to figure it out.

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post #4 of 31

When I was in school I wanted so badly to get recruited by Disneyland. It was LA; they came 'round like every month.

 

I know I'm never gonna be one of the greats. I'm never gonna be that great confectioner everyone raves about. 

 

But man, did I dodge a bullet there.

"Life itself is the proper binge." - Julia Child
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post #5 of 31
Thread Starter 
Oh not not the character pan cakes, the tiered ones, usually with those dang ears, the dumb suspenders, and the stupid feet sticking out of the bottom tier. Those kind, and variations of. Can you tell I'm just such a fan? And without fail, they're just looking for something cheap. Blah.

What job was Disney recruiting for?

Mimi...yes, exactly. Oh, add Hello Kitty to the list. And that minion sitting with a cupcake in his crotch. THAT one especially.
"I can do that, because this is my sandbox and I've got the bullsh*% shovel." ~Dianne Sylvan, Author and Lunatic
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"I can do that, because this is my sandbox and I've got the bullsh*% shovel." ~Dianne Sylvan, Author and Lunatic
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post #6 of 31

I feel your pain. For a long time I quit even trying to work something out. I'd just say sorry, no and goodbye  -- because it's so frustrating. 

 

I've started selling them on the idea of using toy figures, but you can't really put them on the those elegant cakes you make. I did this over the weekend. The customer already had the  figures and the Frozen princess looked really nice on there. It can be hard to get them to go with it. In this case I found a picture of a cake that already had figures on it, but then we had to pretty much go off that design.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by MimiFix View Post
 

 

Those moms have Facebook pages and proudly yak about their "affordable" cakes. They're also here on CC, asking how much to charge; because, you know, it's too much work and just too annoying to figure it out.


Apparently that's exactly right.

post #7 of 31
Thread Starter 
See, now that's an adorable cake. Compliment the theme, not overwhelm it with blatant logos and in your face references.
"I can do that, because this is my sandbox and I've got the bullsh*% shovel." ~Dianne Sylvan, Author and Lunatic
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"I can do that, because this is my sandbox and I've got the bullsh*% shovel." ~Dianne Sylvan, Author and Lunatic
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post #8 of 31

i just turned down a request for one of the stacked cake with a superhero logo on each tier. I should just quote them $800 for it and they'd pass out and be done with it.

post #9 of 31

I've made character cakes for my kids for their birthday, but would never, ever sell one. I actually think it's more fun to design a cake around a theme (howsweet's cake is a perfect example - what kid wouldn't adore that cake??). The character cakes I made for my kids were some of my first, and I'm moving away from doing those for them anymore. They are actually starting to love looking at cake designs with me and choosing different elements to add to their cake. I'm always shocked at the amount of people willing to ignore copyright law and make those cakes. But I can say when I start selling my cakes I will be the only person in my area who refuses to make them.

post #10 of 31
Thread Starter 
Thankfully Alice in Wonderland isn't protected anymore, it's my favorite theme of all, and so many ways to do it. But any Disney version is off limits. I did the Onceler house for my son's birthday, and that's about it. I used to crank out theme cakes, but got sick of it a few years ago and didn't realize that some of those places really do go after decorators. So no thanks.
"I can do that, because this is my sandbox and I've got the bullsh*% shovel." ~Dianne Sylvan, Author and Lunatic
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"I can do that, because this is my sandbox and I've got the bullsh*% shovel." ~Dianne Sylvan, Author and Lunatic
Birthday Cakes
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post #11 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar View Post

i just turned down a request for one of the stacked cake with a superhero logo on each tier. I should just quote them $800 for it and they'd pass out and be done with it.
You know who's responsible for THAT craze right, our dear friend Piece of Cake! She made that one that circulates the web and ends up in everyone's inbox at least once.
"I can do that, because this is my sandbox and I've got the bullsh*% shovel." ~Dianne Sylvan, Author and Lunatic
Birthday Cakes
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"I can do that, because this is my sandbox and I've got the bullsh*% shovel." ~Dianne Sylvan, Author and Lunatic
Birthday Cakes
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Birthday Cakes
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post #12 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nadiaa View Post

I'm always shocked at the amount of people willing to ignore copyright law and make those cakes. 

And the way they justify that they're not really breaking any laws. There is a local lady who is a pastor's wife who posts character cakes she sells...ALL. THE. TIME. Her excuse..I'm not really a business, just a hobby for profit. Like the laws and regulations don't apply to those too?!?

Let's eat grandma. Let's eat, grandma. Punctuation saves lives.
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Let's eat grandma. Let's eat, grandma. Punctuation saves lives.
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post #13 of 31
This is why I would like to stay out of the kids' market altogether and focus on wedding cakes only. I have made some of these character themed cakes in the past, but haven't charged for them as they have been for my family and close friends. The only bad thing about that is people who have come to the parties have seen the work and so want the same thing for their parties (another gripe-recreating the same cake over and over...no thank you). Can one survive on wedding cakes alone, though?
post #14 of 31

SPCOhio, this is why I'm moving away from character cakes for my children. I do want to start a cake business someday and I want people to look at my cakes and want to buy them. Parents of my children's friends included. I actually love making celebration cakes (I don't make wedding cakes though).

 

Sixinarow - I KNOW!!! What is the deal with that? Hobby for profit? Pfft! There's no difference!

post #15 of 31

hmmmm,  You only have one wedding....oops OK maybe two or three.  And people don't always have Big High end celebrations for their anniversaries.

But a family of 5 has five birthdays a year, every year, year after year.  Would you be limiting yourself, maybe not if you live in a highly populated town.

~~We are living in a world today where lemonade is made from artificial flavors and furniture polish is made from real lemons. ~Alfred E. Newman  
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