As a little backstory, I am a moderator on a dinosaur toy forum. We review dinosaur toys, collect them, post pictures, and engage in general discussion. We are right on top of new releases, so we're very aware of all new products introduced into the hobby. This is how I found out about this whole situation.
So, continuing on; in June 2009, I was commissioned by a friend (who happens to be on that forum) to draw a Therizinosaurus. It turned out great, he was happy, I was happy, that was that! Fast forward to literally an hour ago. I was notified on the dino toy forum that one of the newer toy-producing companies, GeoWorld, released a Therizinosaurus toy this year. The pose is based on my drawing from 2006, and it's 95-99% the same pose. The colours are not the same, but I am quite surprised since I hadn't heard a thing about it before now.
GeoWorld is unfortunately known in the dino collecting community for copying other more well-known companies' toys and poses. From what I can personally tell, nearly 25% of their catalog is based on another toy. I assume that since the painting is different on each of the copied figures, they can skirt by the copyright issues.
Here's some pictures to give you a better idea of what I'm talking about:
My original drawing.
The catalog photo of GeoWorld's Therizinosaurus.
You can of course see that the colours are not even remotely close! But the pose is almost exact. The tail is further to the ground on the toy and there are tiny details like length of claws and position of toes that are off.
Here is GeoWorld's 2014 catalog. The Theri is on page 36.
I am in need of some advice. I have never ever been in this situation before. My initial reaction was absolute flattery! But at the same time, GeoWorld never sent me an email to seek my permission, or even notify me. I'm at a total loss, and taken completely off guard! What do I do? Should I seek compensation? Should I just let it go? I would appreciate your feedback so very much.