Were did the names go?

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by NemesisBruticus, Dec 10, 2007.

  1. NemesisBruticus

    NemesisBruticus Banned

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    We all wonder (and hate) why they always have to have a name like "Autobot Ratchet." So lets figure out who took them.

    Ratchet was taken by the movie Robots and this [​IMG]
     
  2. Soundblaster1

    Soundblaster1 The Heisenberg of Toys

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    It's because Hasbro loses the rights to names. It happens. And some names can be considered too general, meaning they don't bother with them.
     
  3. Switchblade

    Switchblade Just a raggedy man

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    The names in a movie have no effect on what Hasbro can use for toys. The only thing that can change that is if some other company registers the name for use in a toy line.

    At any rate, the name Ratchet was gone well before that movie came out.
     
  4. Feralstorm

    Feralstorm I ship Nick & Judy TFW2005 Supporter

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    Toy names are trademarked where possible. When a toy has "Autobot somebody" or similar changes, it's an indication the trademark has either been usurped by someone else's toy item, or that the name is too general/common a word, and not trademarkable.

    It's also why the same names keep popping up in TF toys. Trademarks have to be used, or they'll be lost.

    "Someone shine the Nevermore signal!"
     
  5. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

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    SOME names, I'd be happy to see pass out of usage.

    Transformer naming conventions have really suffered over the years... the first wave G1 names always resonated with me, and it's been largely downhill ever since.

    And then there are names that seem to get used just because... like "Bulkhead" for example. Bulkhead is a great name... for a TF boat. Or a spaceship even. But a combat helicopter? And armoured car?
     
  6. TJOmega

    TJOmega The Plastic Addict Content Contributor

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    Backstop, Sideburn, Shortround, Skid-Z, Battle Unicorn, Snow Cat, Grindor, Prowl 2... Hasbro asleep at the wheel.

    There are some names that they used once or twice that I'd love to see again. Nightcruz, Ruination, Brimstone, Daytonus... I know we can't use his original name but I'd like to see Silverstreak used in the main line, Prowl and Smokescreen get used all the time after all.
     
  7. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

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    I dunno... Nightcruz and Daytonus are throwaways for me. :) 

    But I agree all the ones above that you mention are just awful... and let's not even get started on the naming hell that was the Beast era... it was like the revenge of the uber-lame He-man/Go-bots names. Like take an ordinary word, add "-or" to the end, and there you go! They just weren't trying, were they? :p 

    zmog
     
  8. aussiehippy

    aussiehippy Au contraire, Blackadder.

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    A lot of the names that have Autobot or Decepticon in front or have been otherwise changed are not actually used by any other company, they are just too generic to successfully trademark.
     
  9. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    Yes and no.

    According to a Transformers fan who's also an IP lawyer, it's more because it's a "cluttered market". Many companies use names such as "Jazz" or "Ratchet" in all sorts of fields. So even while Hasbro COULD use those names in... ergh.

    I wrote an article about this. It's not up to date, so some of the later movie toys are missing, but the essentials are still valid nonthless.
     
  10. Ktulu

    Ktulu Whoosh TFW2005 Supporter

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    I think the thread was meant to be a "who has the trademarks now instead" thread rather than yet another discussion about why/how the names were actually lost

    Anyway, the only one I have any idea about at all is Onslaught. I figure "Mega-Octane" in RiD being named as such rather than Onslaught is a result of Toy Biz/Marvel's trademark for their Onslaught character, which got it's first toy in the late 90s, and had another recent one before Marvel Legends got transferred to Hasbro.

    I may be totally wrong though - I'm purely assuming.

    Provided that's accurate though - now that Hasbro has that Marvel license, you think we could see a Transformer named Onslaught again?
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2007
  11. Noisemaze2006

    Noisemaze2006 Banned

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    It's pretty stupid, I mean how many movies use the name "Michael"? Every movie,TV show & comic can have a Michael in it with no problems but Hasbro can't use "Hot Rod"? C'mon! That's just friggin ignorant! They should trademark human names as well, I'm getting sick of the name Michael, everybody I meet is named Michael. I even met a woman named Michael a couple months ago. Trademarking names is just plain stupid! Who really cares if theres a Transformer named Megatron & a Care Bear named Megatron at the same time? So what? Who cares? Big deal!
     
  12. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    But that is the point. Nobody "has" Ratchet right now. Otherwise Hasbro couldn't use it.

    You can't just slap something like "Autobot" in front of someone else's trademark and call it a new trademark. Because if you could, what's stopping Hasbro from releasing a "Decepticon Skeletor"? Or Bandai from doing "Megazord Optimus Prime"?

    You don't understand the point of trademarks.

    First of all, a character named something in a movie is not the same as a name written on a product's packaging. Trademarks only apply in commerce, i.e. if you want to advertise something. A name in a movie or inside a comic book (i.e. not on the cover) is something different. DC Comics can call Billy Batson's superhero self "Captain Marvel" all they want within the pages of their comics. They just can't use that name as the title of a comic because Marvel Comics holds the trademark "Captain Marvel".

    Just think for a moment if you would like a world where every company could call random stuff "Spider-Man" or "Batman" or "Transformers". You wouldn't be able to tell if the "Spider-Man" book you bought is actually about Peter Parker, or about some alien mutant that was simply named "Spider-Man" in order to cash in on the success of the Marvel character.

    So trademarks serve as an "identifier of origin". If you see "Transformers", you are supposed to say "Ah, Hasbro", rather than wondering "Hmm, Hasbro Cybertronian robot Transformers or Bandai alien slime mutant Transformers?"

    And then we get to the individual toys'/characters' names. Do you want Bandai to release a toy named "Optimus Prime" that has nothing to do with Transformers, and a child who asks his parents for an Optimus Prime for Christmas gets the Bandai toy because the parents can't tell the difference?

    So in essence, while you may not care whether Bandai can release a "Megatron" toy or not because you could easily tell the difference, other people wouldn't have the same extent of inside knowledge. They see a toy named "MEGATRON" and come to the conclusion that this must be the toy little Timmy asked for. And that would be bad for Hasbro.

    So this is one of the primary reasons why trademarks and trademark protection exist. To allow your customers to be able to easily tell your products apart from your competitor's products. Imagine Microsoft and whoever else could simply release things called "iPod" that don't have the same properties as Apple's iPod. Wouldn't that be extremely confusing?
     
  13. Tim Formas

    Tim Formas Old Man Administrator

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    How did you know that I asked for Megatron?

    Are you Santa?!?
     
  14. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    Have you been a good boy this year?
     
  15. Tim Formas

    Tim Formas Old Man Administrator

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    No. Does that matter?
     
  16. seeker311

    seeker311 The Collector

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    Wasnt Silverstreak originally Bluestreak? And what happened to that?
     
  17. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    A company named Gendron currently holds the trademark "Toledo 'Blue Streak'". So if Hasbro released a toy named "Bluestreak", Gendron's lawyers, in their worst mood, could consider that "confusingly similar" to their own "Toledo 'Blue Streak'" trademark.

    And Hasbro's lawyers ALWAYS expect the worst possible mood from their competitors' lawyers, just to avoid any unnecessary trouble.
     
  18. Sunstorm9119

    Sunstorm9119 RC 1136

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  19. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    Er, HASBRO did it. With a name THEY ALREADY OWN.

    They can't do it with a name SOMEONE ELSE owns. Big diference there.

    See, General Motors can take a Chevy Corvette, change the lights and the wheels and release the modified car all they want. Because they already own the original and have all the right to change it all they like (as long as they don't slap a Volkswagen logo onto it or whatever).

    But Ford can't release their own Corvette with different lights and wheels, because they don't own the rights to the original car.
     
  20. KA

    KA PENIS GOES WHERE?!!

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    nevermore may be a tightass, but he always make a good point.

    kudos to you sir, may your buttock never unclench.
     

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