Botcon 2021 First Exclusive Reveal

Discussion in 'Transformers News and Rumors' started by KABAR432, Jul 25, 2020.

  1. WishfulThinking

    WishfulThinking "Don't touch it! It's Zvil!"

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    Brand new molds, though, is a massive cost investment. They'd have to have major confidence in the sales to invest in such an idea.
     
  2. Petes Robot Convention

    Petes Robot Convention Well-Known Member

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    Yes, we did talk about that over the weekend. We have every intention of producing robot exclusives, specifically transforming robot exclusives. There does seem to be some confusion over the idea of a company producing toys of their own. That if you are not Hasbro or Mattel and you’re producing action figures and/or robots, that you’re somehow third-party. No, anything that is a proprietary concept is as was mentioned earlier in this thread, first party. Anything we produce and/or license will be items that are original IP’s.

    Now, are there concepts that have been developed that are derivative of other toy lines? Well of course. That was the entirety of the 80s and the 90s LOL. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was released, and then every company wanted their version of Ninja Turtles. Marvel and DC have spent decades copying each other. And of course, there are all kinds of transforming robot toy lines in Japan.

    So to sum it up, are we going to offer transforming robot toys? That is 100% the plan. And anything we sell or license will be first party and/or trademarked IP’s.
     
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  3. NICKBOT

    NICKBOT Trying to be better...

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    ‘This newsie is on it! Give him his newzzz creditzzzz!
     
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  4. WishfulThinking

    WishfulThinking "Don't touch it! It's Zvil!"

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    Using the Turtles example, though, I don't recall another turtle ninja IP. There was things like the Japanese anime adaptation Samurai Pizza Cats and the like, though, that were imported to compete. So, for clarification, are you saying we should expect something along those kinds of lines? Transforming robots without any Transformers IP infringement whatsoever?
     
  5. Matty

    Matty @StayingInTheBox Veteran

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    Thanks Pete. I agree on the confusion part, but you know how convenient it is for this Fandom to draw a line from "transforming robot" to "does Hasbro make it" to "then it's third party." Thanks for adding the needed context.

    This is the big takeaway for anyone following the revival of BotCon.
     
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  6. NICKBOT

    NICKBOT Trying to be better...

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    tfw2005newscredit.jpg

     
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  7. G.B. Blackrock

    G.B. Blackrock Autobot Ally

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    Scramble connectors wouldn't be copyright-protected, nor trademarkable, but I suppose the process might be patented. Does anyone know?
     
  8. WishfulThinking

    WishfulThinking "Don't touch it! It's Zvil!"

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    How many transforming robots from "first party companies" in this fandom, though, don't homage Hasbro's IP somehow?

    As an example, if it carries the silhouette of Ultra Magnus and is painted like Ultra Magnus but doesn't transform just like Ultra Magnus, how is it not still Ultra Magnus? If Botcon even desires to come back as an official Transformers convention, it's going to have to both avoid these kinds of toys AND the companies that make them, even if the figure they want to offer is not an homage of Transformers IP characters. That probably means that Fansproject or KFC or other companies as such are out. Or, at least, I'd avoid them, if that were my aim.
     
  9. T-Hybrid

    T-Hybrid Team Lovehammer

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    If stuff like Megaconstrux and Megablocks can produce plastic bricks with full LEGO compatibility...my guess would be the scramble pegs are in play. Especially since Hasbro doesn't anything with them since the 80s. (Oddly enough I just remembered KREO was Hasbro specifically doing their own LEGO-compatible brick)

    CW ports may be a different beast, as those are more recent. If either are actually patented. I don't know what allows companies to produce LEGO compatible bricks, or if Hasbro is in a similar situation with regard to the Transformers gimmicks. Because besides Glacialord that one time, we haven't really seen anyone try to pull that at a large scale. Example: There's maybe only *one* 3P that actually did a CW compatible figure (Lone Wolf).

    I think the reason we draw the line is because, with few exceptions, most "3P" companies have been doing nothing but their own takes on existing Hasbro/Takara characters. So you call them 3P to denote they are an unofficial/unlicensed figure. But many offerings that are original characters tend to be either repaints/retools of a 3P's unlicensed take on an official figure, or (in the case of Glacialord) is from a 3P company that is also making a ton of unlicensed stuff.

    But, as of late, we've started seeing companies who I believe are thriving with their own original converting toys. Stuff like BeastBox, Unrustable Bastards, the toilet converters, etc. If those companies run entirely on original product, we really as a community need a name for that beyond "third party."
     
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  10. G.B. Blackrock

    G.B. Blackrock Autobot Ally

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    LEGO is a great example. It WAS patented, but those patents have largely expired (the main LEGO patent expired in 2011... or thereabouts... I'm not sure my source is 100% correct on the date), which is why there have been so many more compatible competitors in recent years (when I was a kid, we had not-LEGOs that were definitely NOT compatible!).

    I fully acknowledge this possibility. If Scramble-connectors are protected at all, it would absolutely be at the patent level.

    As you know, this has been muddy for a long time. It is absolutely the case that many of the figures that we call 3P do indeed infringe on Hasbro properties (usually trademarks, sometimes copyrights... I'm not sure if patents have been properly discussed), but even in many of those cases, it's been enough of a grey area that no one's wanted to push the issue in court (time, money, chance of losing and then having to deal with the consequences, etc.). One thing I know (from one of my former jobs) about "Fair Use Doctrine" (which applies to copyright, not to trademark nor patents), is that it is never clear that a "fair usage" IS protected until and unless it is brought to court. Many companies steer well clear of even appearing like they might infringe, even if they might have fallen under "Fair Use" (a parody, for example), because of this legal ambiguity. Many 3Ps aren't so careful, of course.

    Indeed, I don't think that until Pete brought it up, the idea of a "non-infringing 3P" needing a name other than "3P" has even been considered.
     
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  11. Matty

    Matty @StayingInTheBox Veteran

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    To your bolded part, this was my point in my post. I think as a community we simply label them as "third party" as a term to describe non-Hasbro transforming robots. We're in agreement that I don't think this is accurate.

    BotCon / Pete seem to be indicating they'll try to move in the direction like BeastBox, Unrustable Bastards, etc. Despite my past criticisms of BotCon, I am at the very least interested in seeing new transforming toys be successful and I hope we as a community can give the toys their shot without asking "is this supposed to be G1 ____?"
     
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  12. WishfulThinking

    WishfulThinking "Don't touch it! It's Zvil!"

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    Unrustable Bastards might be the direction they go. The rider robot is probably a good opposing figure to the Action Force Wasp and doesn't infringe on anything.

    They COULD do an Armada Sideways homage without brazenly being Armada Sideways...nevermind, that appears to already be happening according to a TFCon 2018 panel.
     
  13. T-Hybrid

    T-Hybrid Team Lovehammer

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    I think HasTak, by and large, is fine with the 3Ps as long as they keep away from anything that directly competes with whatever they're doing at the moment (Zeta's !Unicron). Or, in the case of Weijiang, is just straight ripping them off.
     
  14. levandowski

    levandowski Well-Known Member

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    Has anyone received shipping info from their fb claim sale?
     
  15. SeiberBirdR

    SeiberBirdR Sapienbot

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    Heck. The original Lego toys were illegally copied designs of Kiddicraft. Even though a number of Lego patents have expired, making compatible bricks wouldn't be a patent violation depending on how it was done. It is just easier and safer with those expired patents.

    Teenage Mutant Nina Titles was a parody of X-Men and Daredevil. Batman is an homage to Zorro mixed with other ideas. Superman was sort of a mix between Doc Savage and John Carter of Mars.

    There is a lot of room for inspiration, homages, and parody with original IP to not tread on other previous IPs. I agree we tend to use 3rd Party as a label loosely around here. Most of the not-character figures are probably over the copyright line, without being knock offs or violating trademark tooling designs and patents, but some are reimagined enough to likely be safe if challenged. Then original characters that have some influences are clearly safe. There can be quite a lot of gray area, and what counts as IP infringement can vary from year to year and jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

    Nothing shown by Valaverse crosses any lines and seems clearly in the inspired by and homage territory that is safe. I will be curious what transforming robot figures will be shown. More small company original designs are welcome.
     
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  16. G.B. Blackrock

    G.B. Blackrock Autobot Ally

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    I have not.
     
  17. G.B. Blackrock

    G.B. Blackrock Autobot Ally

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    As I said elsewhere, a lot of the legality of IP violation is not determined until and unless there's an actual court case. It's really not enough to say things wouldn't have been a violation absent those verdicts. Only that they might not have been.
     
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  18. SeiberBirdR

    SeiberBirdR Sapienbot

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    Agreed. There is a lot of personal judgement that comes into play with some forms of IP. Trademark tends to be more specific, but others not so much. And a judgement against might not end the existence of a product or result in transferred ownership. Often times it can just be a monetary penalty, and sometimes a penalty less than the cost would have been to license.
     
  19. Fenrys

    Fenrys Formerly Tigatron2002 TFW2005 Supporter

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    Yea, the closest to "crossing a line" that Valaverse has would be Sgt Slaughter, but even then it's really not because Valaverse just managed to broker the deal for the wrestlers likeness before Hasbro could/decided to, so it's still well in the realm of not being a grey area
     
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  20. SeiberBirdR

    SeiberBirdR Sapienbot

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    From what I understand the actor fully owns the character, and at the time of ARAH the character was licensed from the then WWF (now WWE which is another interesting trademark case). IP rules and licensing can be very complex and convoluted. Even with a seemingly winning case it can be easier to not bother chasing a suspected infringement or fight against an accusation. Sometimes it is better to not take the hit of customer perception or among industry relationships. Especially if an infringement might have positive effects.