Why Was Bumblebee Left Out

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by Razerwire, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. Razerwire

    Razerwire 99 Problems... Super Mod

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    In RID, Armada, Energon, and Cybertron?

    I don't recall reading an explanation about that. I understand that Hot Shot is essentially BB and Hot Rod combined. But was there an explanation as to why they went with Hot Shot and not BB?

    In terms of toys, I know BB was left out in the Alternators line because of the dispute with VW. But at the same time why couldn't they use another mold? It seems like BB is such a brand name character that they'd find some way to release him.
     
  2. Spiderus Prime

    Spiderus Prime TFW Spongebob since 2007

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    I remember reading about They lose Bumblebee's name in the late 90's due the first hours of Beast Wars.
     
  3. bignick1693

    bignick1693 Maximal

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    i Don't think that bee was to popular until the movieverse came. He was in g1 but most of the spotlight went to optimus. today is different bee is now the spotlight character. if can see the losing name rights thing happening too. it not like bumblebee is a one of a kind name.
     
  4. SAF7

    SAF7 LOVE this game!

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    Well, as far as I can tell, Bumblebee didn't become a "one bot marketing juggernaut" until the movies. It wasn't until the '07 movie that Bumblebee became so popular, which then caused is inclusion in both Animated and Prime. Without those movies, we would probably be seeing Hot Shot or someone else in those roles (in fact, I remember hearing that Animated Bumblebee was initially supposed to be Hot Shot).
     
  5. grunge

    grunge The TANK

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    orginally yes hotshot was to be bumblebee. i guess they didnt wanted the kid friendly bot to be a little more "carrier soldier" or possibly they couldnt get rights to bumblebee name?
     
  6. Wheeljack_Prime

    Wheeljack_Prime Don't eat me

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    I think it was just that they lost the trademark during those years. Simple as that.
     
  7. jametron

    jametron Release the Kraken!!!!!!!

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    You didn't grow up watching the original (G1) cartoon did you? Bumblebee was very popular in the original cartoon and comics!
     
  8. E. C. R. Former

    E. C. R. Former Is probably insane...

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    Hasbro lost the trademark to the name "Bumblebee" during the 90s before regaining it around 2005 or 06. Like Wheeljack Prime said.
     
  9. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP Dry built

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    Personally, I think of it like this: is Bumblebee really the name you want to give your hip, young, edgy kid-appeal cool guy?
     
  10. Autobot Burnout

    Autobot Burnout SANTARN IS COMING AGAIN TFW2005 Supporter

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    Yeah, the name fell out of use during the "wars" and then when Armada came around, there was another product using "Bumblebee", some kind of "swing" for kids or something. Then the name was secured for the movies, yet the deadline for it was pushed back a year. That's why the first Bumblebee toy we've gotten since G1 was the Classics figure.
     
  11. TrueNomadSkies

    TrueNomadSkies Airachnid's ratservant

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    [​IMG]
     
  12. bignick1693

    bignick1693 Maximal

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    I should rephrase that. he was not as popular as compared to today. ya A lot of people liked him then and he was kept for season 3 of g1 (though remade) unlike most of the originals. today we get a new bee toy every week. Imo bee does not sound like that much of a tuff name. hot shot sounds more tuff.
     
  13. Fishdirt

    Fishdirt Tin Toy Transformer

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    Bumblebee was so popular in the 80s that when they turned him into Goldbug a few people weren't happy.
     
  14. Fishdirt

    Fishdirt Tin Toy Transformer

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    Hot rod sounds tough too but he's a whiny little girl bot..go figure.
     
  15. Razerwire

    Razerwire 99 Problems... Super Mod

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    Yeah I must say that Bumblebee as a name is kinda outdated with him no longer a VW Bug.

    Just doesn't seem to fit as a bad assed Camaro.

    I have to say that Hot Shot as a name isn't much better though. Too much innuendo. :lol 
     
  16. Tiller

    Tiller I don't know nothin'

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    This. Without an obvious reason for the name, like a VW Bug alt mode, why bother with the name in the first place? Hot Shot may have filled the Hot Rod/Bumblebee character niche, but none of his designs could relate to the name bumblebee...at all.

    It really wasn't until Bay's new version of the character, which ended up as an unfitting nameslap to a camaro, that he became relevant again. No one really bats an eye at the name because the character's image is too well known by now for anyone to give a damn.
     
  17. alanyap

    alanyap Will work for LEGO

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    Hasbro's been pretty creative in overcoming this .

    Grapple = grappel
    Jazz =Autobot Jazz

    Im sure they can pull off a "BubbleBee" or "BumbleBeez" if they want to.
     
  18. Superquad7

    Superquad7 We're only human. Super Mod

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    [​IMG][​IMG]

    :) 
     
  19. Nevermore

    Nevermore It's self-perpetuating a parahumanoidarianised!

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    You, sir, once again do not understand how trademarks work.

    Adding "Autobot" in front of a common word like "Jazz" or modifying the spelling means better protection.

    Adding "Autobot" in front of someone else's trademark or modifying that is only asking for trouble.

    Alas, I haven't seen many "Opptimuz Praim" toys from Bandai lately.


    But in all seriousness, I have a perfect explanation for the original question:

    Bumblebee wasn't always the main kid-appeal face-of-the-brand character he is today.

    Remember in the G1 cartoon pilot, it was Hound who was hanging out a lot with Spike Witwicky. It wasn't until the first regular epiosde after the pilot, "Transport to Oblivion", that the friendship between Spike and Bumlebee was established. Hasbro soon recognized the character's kid appeal, and thus Bumblebee was one of the few characters who had been there since the pilot who survived the 1986 movie. Bumblebee's original toy was one of the few 1984 toys still available in the 1986 Mini-Vehicle assortment, and he even had appearances in the cartoon's third season.

    Unless you count Galvatron (whose 1986 toy packaging did not identify him as a new version of Megatron), Bumblebee was the first character to get an entirely new toy representing the same character (i.e. Goldbug). The 1989 "Classic Pretender" and 1990 "Action Master" assortments also featured new Bumblebee toys, making Bumblebee the only character with four entirely different toys released as part of the G1 toyline, three of them even under the same name.

    The "Generation 2" line saw a re-release of the original Bumblebee toy with a gold metallic paint job in 1993, and another toy given the name "Bumblebee" in 1995, a redeco of the Go-Bot High Beam, although this was more of a name slap than anything else.

    Following that, Bumblebee disappeared from the Transformers brand for nearly a whole decade. "Beast Wars" and "Beast Machines" didn't have a Bumblebee toy, and even though one might think that it would have been so "blatantly obvious", it would have been highly problematic from a trademark standpoint. A car named "Bumblebee" works, but a bumblebee named "Bumblebee" is descriptive and therefore hard, if not impossible, to defend as a trademark. It's like calling a toy airplane "Airplane".

    As a consequence, another company in the "toys" field secured the name "Bumblebee" as a trademark due to lack of use on Hasbro's part, preventing Hasbro from using the name for several years. The only exception was the 2001 Fun4All keychain reissue of the 1984 toy, which was officially a "keychain" and therefore not bound by trademark limitations in the "toys" field.

    In the meantime, Takara had released a two-pack of "Bumble" (their name for the character since 1985) and Spike as part of their "SCF" line of PVC figurines. When Hasbro released their own versions of the PVCs under the name "Heroes of Cybertron", they couldn't call it "Bumblebee and Spike" due to the "Bumblebee" trademark being unavailable. Therefore, they officially called their 2003 release of the two-pack "Autobot Espionage Team" and only identified Bumblebee and Spike by name in the bios on the back, without any trademark claims for those names.

    A fully-fledged new Bumblebee toy was planned as a Volkswagen New Beetle in the early stages of the Alternators line (ca. 2003), but since Volkswagen refused to give Hasbro a license for "war toys", the toy supposedly never made it beyond the control drawing stage, and it's uncertain what name it would have been released under.

    There was a slight Bumblebee homage in the "Armada" series, a Mini-Con named "Sparkplug" (yellow with Bumblebee-like horns on his head), but the main kid appeal character of the "Unicron Trilogy" was a newly-created character named Hot Shot. He was in fact named "Bumblebee" in the original Armada production bible, but was eventually renamed because Hasbro couldn't use the trademark, and possibly also because the character was very different from G1 Bumblebee.

    Yes, the Dreamwave and IDW comics featured Bumblebee as a character, but those are comics whose interior content is not bound by toy trademarks for (hopefully) obvious reasons.

    It wasn't until the live-action movies that Bumblebee made a return to the Transformers brand. Dreamworks and Paramount really wanted to use Bumblebee as a character, and since a big budget Hollywood movie was something different than a mere toy line with a cartoon advertisement, Hasbro actually tried to get the trademark back in 2005. The company that had originally held the trademark and thus prevented Hasbro from using is had abandoned it, but Hasbro's attempt to register "Bumblebee" was challenged by several other companies. Ultimately, Hasbro settled for using "Bumblebee" as a simple trademark without registration (which means they have no exclusive claim on the name).

    The movie, originally scheduled for a 2006 release, was delayed until 2007. Therefore, the first new "Bumblebee" toys actually named "Bumblebee" and released as "toys" were a 3 inch Titanium figure and the Classic Deluxe toy. Ironically, the "Legends" version of Cybertron Hot Shot was also redecoed into "Bumblebee" for the Classic Legends assortment.

    It was the movies that literally turned Bumblebee into the face of the brand, with more toys than even Optimus Prime. The "Animated" series, released after the 2007 movie, was originally supposed to feature Hot Shot as a main character, following on the heels of the Unicron Trilogy, but because of the sudden popularity of Movie Bumblebee, the character was renamed into "Bumblebee". Hot Shot later appeared as a separate character, modeled more closely after his original "Armada" incarnation.
     
  20. Mospeada

    Mospeada Since '84

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    Bumblebee was incredibly popular during G1, and the most iconic Autobot to children after Optimus Prime. The live action movies are not responsible for that.
     

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