First Gen wrote:Does it really "look" like Ultra Magnus? I remember a big gripe from fans BEFORE City Commander, NOT Ultra Magnus, came out that it DIDN'T look like Ultra Magnus. And of all the HASBRO releases, I don't remember ANY of their Ultra Magnus's looking anything like City Commander.
Well, they look kinda similar to me. Okay, so they're not exactly identical, but that doesn't really matter. FP clearly based their designs on the Hasbro character, I don't think that's in question. Do they look enough alike to suggest plagiarism? Well, you obviously don't, I guess. I think they do. We'll just have to agree-to-disagree on this one.
First Gen wrote:
starfish wrote:FansProject sales are minimal, I doubt they make even the slightest bit of difference to those of megabucks Hasbro. The only people it helps are those who want to sell their classics Magnuses (Magni?) on ebay. Before FP, I could get a Magnus & Skywarp set on ebay for under £10. A couple of years ago they were shelfwarmers in my local Woolworths. Now an opened Magnus on ebay can go for silly money. How does that help Hasbro?
Well, you kinda kill your argument by mentioning the FACT that the Magnus/ Skywarp Two packs were shelf warmers. Why didn't you get one then? And its Fans Projects fault for making an upgrade to a figure that ANYONE could have gotten easily and didn't want as it "warmed shelves" for so long? And you ask HOW does it help HASBRO eh? Well if FP can make an upgrade to an "undesired" figure and make it a hard to find figure, what happens when they make an upgrade for figures that people are gonna want? Simple supply and demand economics kid.
Well, as both an owner of the Magnus set and an economics graduate, I don't see the flaw in my argument. My point was merely that the add-on was for a toy that has since ceased production. As such, any increase in demand will only benefit the secondary market. Simple economics, kid.
First Gen wrote:
starfish wrote:It doesn't matter if FP are a non-profit organisation. What they do is copyright theft. If I copy a CD and give a copy to a friend for the cost of a blank CD, that too is theft. It matters not one jot whether or not I'm making a proft, it's still illegal.
Refer to the images above and ask yourself how that is copyright theft. The upgrade isn't called Ultra Magnus its called City Commander to which there is no copyright. Thats like me saying YOU'RE in violation of copyright laws cause I have a starfish in my aquarium at home.
Overlooking for one moment your silly analogy, no-one owns the rights to the word 'starfish', therefore I'm free to use it as I wish. But 'City Commander' is a combination of words that can
be copyrighted, in much the same way that Hasbro have done with the likes of 'Mixmaster' or 'Starscream'. Hasbro spend a lot of money in getting the legal situation right with regards to naming. That's why we get toys such as 'Autobot Jazz' instead of plain 'Jazz'. Have FP done their
legal homework? After all, Hasbro were the first to use the phrase in conjuction with Ultra Magnus, who had the words "Function: City Commander" printed onto his box.
As I said before, it's down to personal opinion as to whether or not the two look similar. I think the point is, City Commander and Magnus look enough
alike for those who bought the add-on set.
First Gen wrote:
starfish wrote:Besides, I'm very dubious that these guys are non-profit. All we have is their own say-so... I'd love to have a look at their accounts. I mean, if they sell these things at cost then how come the non-chromed Shadow Commander cost way more than the chromed one?
Where is this "chromed Shadow Commander"? First I've ever heard of it and its my job to know whats going on the TF world before you. And so what if they take some cash for their time in designing and producing the figures. No Non For Profit could ever run a company to break even, that's fiscally impossible. The definition of Non For Profit means they don't sell their products at a premium to make additional funds above the cost of production of an item. So if I make figure X for $7.00USD and want to make a profit, I have to sell it for $29.99USD to cover shipping, materials and the people that make it happen to still make any form of profit.
Apologies, I was referring to the chromed and non-chromed versions of the third set, the red-and-navy one, whatever it's called. Otherwise, my point still stands, which I think you seem to have missed. Many defenders of FP claim that it's okay for them to produce Magnus-lookalikes, so long as they are run on a non-profit basis. I was merely arguing against that assumption.
First Gen wrote:Hey if you wanna bash or "hate" on Fans Project cause you're not willing to shell out the cash to buy an upgrade kit, then fine, you got every right. But don't say they deserve anything to happen to them like this because you feel they cost too much. Any hobby you get into has its inexpensive items and its expensive ones, just like Transformers.
Now you are putting words into my mouth. At no point did I ever claim to hate FP, their products or their general pricing policy.
Indeed, if anyone seems to have a bias here, it is you. I understand that you enjoy the products that FP offer, and that you have a selfish desire to see them continue to produce their range unhindered. As a loyal FP customer, you have a personal interest in seeing them do well. Perhaps this tendency is also to blame for blinding you to the similarities between the real Ultra Magnus and the FP set. Whatever.
The point is that, from a neutral perspective, there is a definite irony that a company who produce borderline-litigious "resemblances" of Hasbro designs are now themselves the victims of design theft.