Robin Lopez is a huge Disney fan. The Bucks big man has never made his love for Disney secret, and he and his brother Brook have made frequent trips to Disney World in Orlando throughout their careers. Brook even owns a home on Disney property, presumably so he can make more trips to Disney in his off time.
The Lopez brothers are such big Disney fanatics that they buy as much merch as possible, but Robin Lopez’s desire for this merch has landed him in an awkward situation. According to a report, Lopez and others accidentally bought stolen merchandise from a former Disney employee.
The former employe was known for giving Disney fans a behind-the-scenes look at what goes on at the Orlando parks. What they were not aware of was that the merchandise they were offering for sale had been taken illegally.
NBA player Robin Lopez, a longtime Disney fan, unwittingly bought rare items stolen from Disney World in a high-profile criminal case, newly released records reveal.
The Milwaukee Bucks player was in possession of clothing that belonged to a vintage Epcot animatronic called Buzzy — items that authorities later discovered were stolen before the clothes could be sent to Disney’s archives in Anaheim, according to the audio interviews released by the state attorney’s office after an Orlando Sentinel public records request.
Patrick Spikes, an ex-Disney employee known for his social media that showed behind the scenes areas of Disney, and his cousin, Blaytin Taunton, are accused of sneaking into Disney World and stealing items that Spikes allegedly sold to capitalize on the lucrative market for Disney exclusive merchandise.
While the Orlando Sentinel report stated that they tried to contact Lopez, he was unavailable to comment on the reportedly stolen merchandise. The report did have a comment from one of Lopez’s friends that had also been caught up in the stolen merchandise scandal saying that Lopez would likely work with authorities on the case. After all, Lopez might be a Disney fan, but he’s no outright thief. The two even apparently asked if the merchandise was stolen, which Spikes incorrectly said was not the case.
“We had a call with Patrick … Robin and I both … The first question Robin asked, ‘Was any of this stuff stolen?’ [Spikes] said, ‘No, it’s not,'” Finley told authorities.
“It’s really frustrating that you get scammed into these things,” Finley went on to say. “If it’s not legit, we don’t want it. [Lopez], he’s a high-profile, like you said. I’m a CPA. I have a family.”
Lopez’s love of Disney allows him to be involved in events such as the new “NBA experience” at Disney Springs so, he has a good relationship with actual Disney employees as well. Though it’s unclear if the clothing and props have been returned to Disney just yet, it seems likely that everyone will make good here.
If anything, this is also a moment for those not aware of the serious black market for Disney merchandise to get a peek into that world. It’s very lucrative, and sometimes extremely shady.