Hasbro Licensing Questions

Discussion in 'Transformers 3rd Party Discussion' started by Alic DeLeon, Nov 28, 2016.

  1. Alic DeLeon

    Alic DeLeon Member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2016
    Posts:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Likes:
    +0
    Hello,

    I'm new to this board and hopefully this is not a taboo topic, but Id like to ask a few questions about Hasbro licensing to see if anyone has any experience or info.

    First, full disclosure, I am not a Transformers collector, I collect multiple toy lines from the 80's/90's that are Hasbro or related companies intellectual property and our collector communities are starting to play with fan produced 3rd party merchandise and related products. I know the Transformers community has a lot more history in this field and I was hoping for some wisdom from your experiences, specifically with the original 80's G1 toy lines and art.

    1: Has anyone ever requested licensing for a 3rd party toy or art production? I found Hasbro has a very simple "permissions" form on their website where you can request to use their intellectual properties but I get the impression it has a low success rate, it feels more aimed at media rather than replica or custom 3rd party production toys.

    2: Legally speaking it looks like toys fall into a gray space, any patent on the original molds runs out after 14 years and the Bratz doll lawsuits proved that copyright on a generic toy concept (doll, action figure etc.) is very gray, however art is not (Mattel lost the lawsuit against Brats because you cannot copyright the fashion doll concept, but designer Steve Madden won against both Mattel and Bratz for copying art that was similar to their adds). All this said, do 3rd party Transformers producers make any effort to alter sticker or box art so its safer legally? Has anyone produced exact replicas of sticker or box art and if yes, did they seek license or where they given any trouble from Hasbro? All cases of Hasbro legally perusing 3rd party's and customizers that I've found has been for current toy lines, NOT retro based or replica.

    3: Hasbro has started playing with retro merchandise a lot and a little with toys (multiple toy lines, transformers, MLP, Jem etc.) 10 years ago replicas or G1 based fakes/customs were no threat to Hasbro's sale or future sale of a related item. Now with the licensed (non fan produced) merchandise is Hasbro paying more attention to 3rd party products and art?

    Any insight, thoughts or experiences would be greatly appreciated, especially anything on attempts to get licensing and what that was like, success rates, advice etc.

    Thank you very much!
     
  2. Tontus314

    Tontus314 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2015
    Posts:
    2,375
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    222
    Location:
    Memphis
    Likes:
    +4,029
    Ebay:
    Hasbro doesn't even know what they are doing half the time, much less what third parties are doing.
     
    • Like Like x 7
  3. Max Tower

    Max Tower Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2016
    Posts:
    5,401
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    242
    Likes:
    +3,940
    The Original poster does raise one interesting thought though would Hasbro be more protective of their text fonts ?
    Wei Jiang use them all the time and some of that stuff has even shown up in the west in very similar packaging to Age of Extinction.

    Fortunately for Dinobot fans they don't seem to pay a lot of notice - likely as the gains are not worth the expense of pursuing it and when they have tried this with regerd to so issues related to Nerf they got mocked to death for being heavy handed.

    I tend to assume the either don't know or don't care - or chose to pretend to not notice it all - perhaps under the idea that a rising tide floats all boats. A lot of the stuff that gets made Hasbro or Takara likely never would make anyway. instead they'd just reset the MP line or mainline and start all over again with the same characters once more.

    Where as the 3rd party providers can make an MP like Point Blank say... Where as Takara likely wouldn't.
     
  4. TattooedRobot

    TattooedRobot Too Much Horror Business TFW2005 Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Posts:
    11,948
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    307
    Likes:
    +9,796
    Hasbro is McDonalds. Makes money on mass market quantity. High volume, low margin. That pretty much answers your question to all things TFs and 3rd Party related.
     
  5. robh

    robh Decepticon

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2015
    Posts:
    3,595
    Trophy Points:
    222
    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    Likes:
    +1,795
    :popcorn 
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. TattooedRobot

    TattooedRobot Too Much Horror Business TFW2005 Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2013
    Posts:
    11,948
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    307
    Likes:
    +9,796
    Hasbro would care in so much as it would cause "brand confusion." It would need to be in a lot of retail space to cause enough brand confusion for them to care.
     
  7. Jtotheiso187

    Jtotheiso187 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2012
    Posts:
    1,563
    Trophy Points:
    197
    Likes:
    +1,402
    WEP or Harmony Gold on the other hand...
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Scaleface

    Scaleface Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2009
    Posts:
    25,302
    News Credits:
    99
    Trophy Points:
    392
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    Likes:
    +4,951
    Ebay:
    Hasbro does licence legitimate "third party" Transformers products, but those generally tend to be things like Optimus Prime suckers, statues, Christmas ornaments, halloween costumes, etc. not the toys we care about.

    They (and Takara) seem to be paranoid about letting some other companies make TRANSFORMING licensed goods. That is why we get gigantic Action Master Scorponok or the like.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2016
  9. Electro Rush

    Electro Rush Just a guy waiting for the perfect Whirl

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2013
    Posts:
    9,261
    Trophy Points:
    282
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    Likes:
    +6,889
    There are officially licensed third party figures being made all the time... the catch is that they cannot transform. That's why we get lots of officially licensed statues and big, super articulated action figures of say, Optimus Prime (usually), but absolutely none of them transform.
     
  10. unicronic

    unicronic Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2006
    Posts:
    6,523
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    317
    Location:
    UK
    Likes:
    +781
    Twitter:
    Currently licences seems to exist outside of transforming figures. For example video games, comics, movies and non-transforming figures.

    This is a topic subject to a lot of speculation and very little factual information exists.

    Hasbro would probably never stand a chance stopping KO products eg the blatant 1:1 copies of figures that are or have recently been in production.

    For 'third parties' like FP, FT, MMC etc; I have no doubt that Hasbro have more than enough information and power to shut them down either directly or indirectly. The question persists - why don't they? The answers could be one or more of these:

    1. The cost of legal actions vs how much business third parties actually take from Hasbro isn't worth it.
    2. Hasbro see third parties are promotional vehicles for the Transformers brand.
    3. Third parties already have under the table deals with Hasbro.
     
  11. Hoffman

    Hoffman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2014
    Posts:
    3,804
    News Credits:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    222
    Likes:
    +3,264
    There is still the odd transforming licensed Prime though. Wasn't there one that came out this year?
     
  12. backhawkdown

    backhawkdown Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2015
    Posts:
    2,290
    Trophy Points:
    222
    Likes:
    +3,256
    Hasbro works on a pretty healthy margin.
     
  13. mx-01 archon

    mx-01 archon Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2003
    Posts:
    23,324
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    412
    Likes:
    +12,922
    Or the alternate is that they do transform, but it's a niche gimmicky sort of thing like the Sen-Ti-Nel transforming Optimus Prime pens. They essentially just don't offer the license to things that would compete with their own mainstream offerings.
     
  14. Jeriboy54

    Jeriboy54 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2016
    Posts:
    342
    Trophy Points:
    112
    Likes:
    +145
    I find these very plausible and interesting. Third party scene is rather small geared toward adult collectors. Now if 3rd party companies tried to go for kid friendly lines like Titan Returns or something similar. I think Hasbro/Takara would step in. How much of the market do we take up? Probably not much, we're a niche group. A great deal of us still support Takara/Hasbro. How many of us will at a minimum of double dipping once the official comes out. Hell I just started collecting 3rd party, I'm looking at potentially 6 mp Megatrons...
     
  15. Shockwave81

    Shockwave81 Protecting Cybertron from all hostile threats Moderator TFW2005 Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2013
    Posts:
    4,944
    Trophy Points:
    257
    Likes:
    +9,045
    Comment of the day.
     
  16. unicronic

    unicronic Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2006
    Posts:
    6,523
    News Credits:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    317
    Location:
    UK
    Likes:
    +781
    Twitter:
    Third party scene is very small compared to the mainstream yes.

    Someone will cross a line eventually. It wouldn't be that difficult to make business hard for third parties. Place a squeeze on BBTS etc or legal action on bank accounts owned by third parties.

    The fact that they haven't suggests one or more of the three things I highlighted.

    Hasbro have upped their game significantly and right now third parties can't touch the deluxe to leader price point with anything comparable.
     
  17. Electro Rush

    Electro Rush Just a guy waiting for the perfect Whirl

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2013
    Posts:
    9,261
    Trophy Points:
    282
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    Likes:
    +6,889
    I forgot about the Sentinel pen. Are there any other examples of officially licensed third party stuff that do transform? I'm drawing a blank.
     
  18. Max Tower

    Max Tower Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2016
    Posts:
    5,401
    News Credits:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    242
    Likes:
    +3,940
    The Energon Optimus Transforming pen, or the G2 style Watches those were licensed were they not - also there was the Arms Microns sold in Blind Bags licensed from Tomy in the UK , and the Minicons in blind bags also licensed and also the Keychain minibots.

    Which does raise and interesting questions too - which is if Takara-Tomy or Hasbro can license their own toys to other people then does that mean someone could re-release an entire line under someone else's banner - perhaps as a store exclusive... basically saying here is access to the mould - go crazy. I wonder about that sometimes for things like Minicon-arms Microns and the other small stuff.

    For example how about Blind Bag Transparent Titan Master heads as a supermarket blind bag toy ? or what about releasing the Arms Micron kit frames that way in the west. they still work with modern toys they'd actually complement RID and they have barely been released in the west accept for that short release of the pre-assembled and painted ones in the UK.

    I've long thought Hastak could also license some of their stuff to put in Easter eggs too.
     
  19. Scaleface

    Scaleface Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2009
    Posts:
    25,302
    News Credits:
    99
    Trophy Points:
    392
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    Likes:
    +4,951
    Ebay:
    Machine Boy relea see details recolors of the Arms Microns sprues and they were fun. I have several.
     
  20. koonfasa

    koonfasa Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2013
    Posts:
    3,414
    Trophy Points:
    222
    Likes:
    +1,675
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG][/URL]
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2016
    • Like Like x 1