Giving new toys to characters whose names are unavailable. What should Hasbro do?

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by Bass X0, Sep 5, 2007.

  1. Bass X0

    Bass X0 King of Muay Thai

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    Okay, as we know some of our favorites from the 1980s have had their names lost and new toys cannot be used even with a modifier so their names have had to be changed. I.E. Hot Rod became Rodimus.

    With Shrapnel becoming known as Insecticon for Robot Heroes, I think its acceptable for characters whose names cannot be used to be known as their team name.

    Motormaster could be called Stunticon on his packaging, Blades could be called Protectobot, Hook could be called Constructicon. Of course, these only work when they aren't released as part of a combining team - its no good to have Constructicon the Constructicon for example but for something like Robot Heroes, its okay as teams aren't really an issue.

    But what about those who aren't in teams? Trailbreaker for example. The name Trailbreaker was modified into Leo Breaker and Nemesis Breaker (Overhaul's name was supposed to be Trailbreaker). I did once want Alternators Hound to be remolded into Trailbreaker but named Nemesis Breaker, a Decepticon but with both Autobot and Decepticon insignias on him. But for something like Robot Heroes, how about his original function being his packaging name? Defensive Strategist. A terrible name to give a character but we would all know its really Trailbreaker and at least it has significance to the actual character instead of renaming him completely.
     
  2. Lock Cade

    Lock Cade Tarn Fangirl TFW2005 Supporter

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    Hasbro OUGHT to keep the names of all their Transformers listed, so that when they release the toys, they could AT LEAST label them correctly.
     
  3. seeker311

    seeker311 The Collector

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    They became Menasor according to the titanium line
     
  4. Ziero

    Ziero TFW2005 Supporter

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    I think they should stick with the 'Autobot-' and 'Decepticon-' pre-fixes they've been using as of late.
     
  5. Chaos Muffin

    Chaos Muffin Misadventure Veteran

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    Trailbreaker, breakin trails

    It does'nt matter too much, we all re-name them anyway when we get them.

    Not sure about the kiddies. I'd be a little annoyed if I had kids in the backyard going "My Constructicon Maximus will destroy your Rodimus Major!"
     
  6. Taker

    Taker Chilean TF Fan

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    Yeah, I aslo prefer that. At least, the escence is preserved.
     
  7. Edgewise

    Edgewise updated homage

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    But, as I understand it, not every name situation is the same problem. They stick those prefixes onto names that are too generic to trademark by themselves, like Ratchet and Brawl.

    They can't do that to use a name that someone else has trademarked. For instance they can't repaint Tarantulas in red and blue and call him "Decepticon Spiderman".

    Adding the prefix doesn't allow them to take someone else's trademark, only to be able to trademark the compound name.
     
  8. Lock Cade

    Lock Cade Tarn Fangirl TFW2005 Supporter

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    I don't rename them unless they have names that I feel are really not befitting. And I too would be annoyed if kids call Transformers anything other than what the boxes the toys come in says.
     
  9. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    Well, in order to keep those names, Hasbro has to use them consistently. And that either means releasing a new version of all the characters in question at least every two years or so (and we all know how fans LOVED the flood of "Prowl" toys in 2004), or slapping names on random toys that share no resemblance to their G1 counterparts ("Why the hell is a MINI-CON named "SHOCKWAVE"?!?).

    You can't have a whole lineup of all the major G1 characters every other year, or the line would quickly become quite dull and repetitive.

    Also, where do you draw the line? Do they absolutely HAVE to keep the names of the Battlechargers? The Triggerbots? The Pretenders? All five million Micromasters?
     
  10. Lock Cade

    Lock Cade Tarn Fangirl TFW2005 Supporter

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    They don't necessarily have to do the entire lineup of G1 characters each year. There's other Transformers series too... like, Beast Wars? Armada?

    Or they could start up a new toyline. Maybe create a few new ones, but if they do up different versions of characters from G1 and other series, they should at least keep the original name.
     
  11. Deadend

    Deadend Overloaded Spark

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    The issue is, they have to use the name to keep it. And until recently, they haven't had the outlets to do that in such wide array.

    Now we have classics 2.0, animated, Movie, robot heroes, robot replicas, LoC, Minicons, etc, for them to slap the names across. But at this point it's a little late as a good chunk of the names are already lost for the toys. At least the media can still use the proper names in comics, toon, and movie if they so choose, but then that creates issues such as "Mommy I want a hot rod" and all she sees on shelves is rodimus, who she doesn't know is the same character. Or issues suchs as "the toon is wrong! That's not his name! The toy packaging says otherwise!" :rolleyes2 

    In the past they have gotten around this by doing such things as Autobot Hound, or Constructicon Devastator. With shrapnel they could have done the same, by calling him Insecticon Shrapnel or for that matter, Trailbreaker as Autobot Trailbreaker, but they also only have a limited amount of space on packaging to put the name art. Smaller the packaging, harder it is to fit longer things. Such as Decepticon Devastator on deluxe packaging. Although, why they didn't use Autobot Brawn in cybertron for Overhaul, I have no clue, it's almost short enough to fit for a basic.

    They also can't exactly just release all the names in one fell swoop, as that costs a boat load of money, and shelf space. It'd be wasted if they did it that way, and very impractical, possibly even cause them to lose money, and make it harder for some of us to find the ones we want in cases. As they are doing it now seems to be fine, as they do have the shelf space for items that sell. The above mentioned toylines.

    Keep in mind how toyshelves work, they fill as it empties, but once it hits a spot of full of characters no one wants, the shelf doesn't move, and the items don't get restocked, which eventually leads to clearance of unsold merchandise, and hasbro doesn't see the profit they should have recieved for even the popular characters who didn't make it to the shelf cause of this.

    As for the tarantulas remark, that's correct, but they could call it Decepticon Spidey. :lol  It's just too dangerously close to an already copyrighted likeness that way, so that also prevents it, or opens the door to them for a lawsuit.
     
  12. Brawl

    Brawl Master of Destruction

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    Now, I'm not sure if I'm that far off, but can't they just use the name in publication (e.g. the IDW comics or such) or in a TV show/movie to keep a name in copyright for them? That way they wouldn't have to release a figure every so many years. Or would that not apply to a tangible item?
     
  13. Deadend

    Deadend Overloaded Spark

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    Nope, toy naming conventions don't follow the same as the media. Media is only based on the title of whatever comic or show generally. The toys go through a different form of the copyright system.

    So yes a tangible item is needed.
     
  14. Shockwing

    Shockwing Perfectly cromulent. TFW2005 Supporter

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    Am I mistaken in my assumption (and I probably am:dunce ) that Hasbro reuses the names they trademark to keep the TM active? I just figured that was the reason they used the name Shockwave on a minicon. No?
     
  15. Macross7

    Macross7 Well-Known Member

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    Hasbro should just figure out what names they do own and make some tiny little toys like Decoys (just use same mold but number/paint them different) and name them as the names. Make a very limited amount so they are 'released'. This preserves the names so they can use them on their normal toys whenever they want. Cover names in G1, BW, BM, RID, AEC. Since there are many of the same names, that cuts down on the amount needed. Release this set ever year or so to keep them copyrighted. Just alter the box or maybe switch the numbers around so they arn't the exact same thing.

    Hasbro could use this for other lines as well such as GIJoe.
     
  16. Lock Cade

    Lock Cade Tarn Fangirl TFW2005 Supporter

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    There we go, we have a winner!!! Good thinking, Macross7. You ought to work for Hasbro.
     
  17. nightboomfer

    nightboomfer SeƱor Member

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    There's always the "Blast" or "Fire" rule... when in doubt, add blast or fire to a name (Thanks, Transformers wiki!)
    Shockwave->Shockblast
    Skyfire->Skyblast
    ----
    So then Trailbreaker would be... Trailblaster? Sorry! LOL
     
  18. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    ARGH ARGH ARGH

    TRADEMARK, not "copyright".

    And it doesn't really work that way. First, trademarks only work in COMMERCE. The INSIDE (such as names used within a comic book story or a TV episode or whatever) is totally unrelated to trademarks. Trademarks only come into play when you want to NAME or ADVERTISE something. "Transformers Gigaforce" is a trademark for a TV show. "Optimus Prime" MIGHT be a trademark if the name is repeatedly used to advertise the show. "Slapperdoom", the obscure Decepticon who appears in episode 24, is most definitely not.

    Second, trademarks work in FIELDS. You can have "Apple Computers" and "Apple Music" peacefully coexisting as long as the former doesn't suddenly try to sell music. As such, a name used in the context of a comic book or a TV series doesn't necessarily affect the possible name of a TOY at all.

    Yes, they used that to quickly grap the name as soon as it became available again. They had just released several "Shockblast" toys, only to learn that the name "Shockwave" had JUST become available again and thus slapped it onto the next best Mini-Con to keep it.

    And see how fans reacted to THAT. :rolleyes2 
     
  19. Deadend

    Deadend Overloaded Spark

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    Isn't that essentially what the robot heroes line is? Or LoC, or if they do more minicon packs, or if they bring it back, heroes of cybertron? It still costs money to make the mold, to then release even a limited run. So robot heroes works better this way. But it also explains why we see so many repaints in LoC with various names, like trypticon etc.

    I'm hoping in classics 2.0 while I do want new molds, it is called universe also, so maybe we'll see all the good molds of faithful renditions named and colored right.
    Wheeljack from energon, Superion from energon, Shockwave from his energon form. Maybe a few others I may have missed as well. Metroplex from Cybertron, Omega Supreme from energon, even omega sentinel again. (The headless version fits perfectly for the G1 episode 'War Dawn'). That energon remolded Brawn we saw ages ago in test art etc. It would help bolster the line, and would fill out some of the more sought after versions of those characters. Even help keep the names. Maybe even another of the remolded blurr again. And dammit, give us a Kup already. I don't care if you remold it from armada bendy prime and hoist head, with some fold away truck bed weapon. Just give us our oldbie formers, Ratchet, Ironhide, and Kup. I'd say springer from a remolded energon bulkhead (new head) but I want the triple changer one more xD.

    But the best part of that is, the molds are already made, so the cost is lower to do it.

    And what about poor old skylynx?

    And if all also fails, they can do the old back in the day switcheroo they did with the vehicle mode.
    Skyfire -> Jetfire

    And I know this will never happen, but I want the gobot 'Puzzler' gestalt as the stunticons. I can't believe I'm saying this since it's a gobot, but it really was the epitome of gestalt engineering while staying in scale to their own line. Just needs a better head.

    Then again, I'm surprised they haven't remolded and repainted Vector Prime's minicon into the Nemesis, and the Starsaber main handle, into the ark. They would look badass in the right colors on the Primus planet mode minicon pegs, like they are leaving cybertron. :D  Plus a whole fleet of autobot and decepticon ships would be nice to have for Unicron. It'd feel more to scale even. And could cover many of the seeker, or other shipformers/space faring bots (like skylynx!).
     
  20. decepticon665

    decepticon665 the amazing bored-man!

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    his name is hotrod.the end.

    seriously,that is the only one that really,really irks me.idw even calls him "hotrod" in their comics.my question is if they can,why can't hasbro?i heard it's too short/simple to trademark under copyright law these days.i vote the next version of him be "autobot hotrod."
     

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