HoosierDaddy wrote:How did Hasbro lose the rights to names of their own characters? I've seen it discussed before and wondered about it.
No idea on the specifics of Skyfire, but in general, it's because some other company has come out with a similarly named product since the last time Hasbro used it or the term is so generic that it can't be trademarked (that's more for stuff like Jazz where they start adding things like Autobot to it, though).
Unlike copyrights, trademarks don't just go on for decades and decades, so if Hasbro doesn't use a particular name, or even just doesn't defend a particular name, it only takes a short time for someone else to be able to come along and snag the name for some other product.
Furthermore, things were looser in the 80's and early 90's than they are now about this sort of thing, so even some names that were okay then aren't now even without taking abandonment into consideration.
I can't really prove it, but personally, I think Hasbro really started getting paranoid after Mattel put up a big stink when the GI Joe line added the Street Fighter characters and thus Hasbro was going to have a Ken "doll" on the shelves. Hasbro changed the toy name to "Ken Masters", even though in the games the toys were based on it was always just Ken. That's the first time I know of them starting to play the name game with their products, at least in a way that mattered to the end consumer.