In 2010, Teresa Levy, then a freelance graphic designer, started making plush dolls modeled on Transformers and other fandoms. Levy called her dolls Weeformers and racked up nearly 400 sales on Etsy.

A few months ago, Levy, of Rhode Island, got a call from someone at Hasbro, the toy company that has produced the plastic action figures in the United States since the 1980s.

“They wanted to see my fan art,” Levy says.

Some people may have feared hearing the dreaded “copyright infringement,” but the Hasbro employee who called Levy didn’t demand that she stop selling her handmade dolls. Instead, they were calling to discuss a full-time sample maker job Levy had applied for — and eventually got — by highlighting her products.

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