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Hasbro Answers Your Questions: December 2009

Transformers News: Hasbro Answers Your Questions: December 2009

Thursday, December 24th, 2009 12:54AM CST

Categories: Interviews, Site News, Toy News
Posted by: Seibertron   Views: 77,234

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Hasbro has answered the questions that the staff of Seibertron decided we should submit based on ALL the fantastic entries from our community. If you have questions that you would like to ask Hasbro, please post your questions in this thread.

Mold Ownership

Seibertron.com: It is no secret that Paramount has quite a bit of pull and ownership when it comes to Transformers Movie figures. Can Hasbro please elaborate on who owns the molds. For example, would it be feasible to see the upcoming Voyager Bludgeon, ROTF Brawn, Mindwipe etc figures re-released (or re-deco'd) under a non-movie related line such as Universe? Or is that not possible because Hasbro doesn't actually own the molds?

Hasbro: While we certainly appreciate your concern over who owns what, what we can say is this: Hasbro owns all of our molds and can determine what we want to do with those molds.


Collector Market

Seibertron.com: Setting aside the 2 limited G1 Reissues released recently this year, how does Hasbro plan to reach out to the adult collector market? With Alternators not planned for the near future, the homage based Classics "on hold", and no further Special Edition figures announced (didn't Overkill, Dragstrip, Megatron, and Optimus Prime sell well?), there appears to be more incentive for adult collectors to purchase reissues and other more targeted merchandise from outside import vendors and '3rd party' companies. Why has Hasbrotoyshop.com not established a collector service to provide Encore, Alternity, and Masterpiece figures in the same manner that MattyCollector is attending to their adult fan-base? Where are the previously seen 'Red Classics Mirage', and upgraded Classics Cliffjumper going to appear (theorized to be next in line as Special Edition toys)? Is there anything in the plans that caters more to the Transformer collector market, rather than just the whole of the Transformers brand market?

Hasbro: We think one of the reasons it may feel like there's not as much collector-specific products is that we are right in the middle of the "movie madness" and we haven't made any formal announcements for the Fall 2010 line and exclusives. We continue to look for opportunities to bring out the G1 re-issue characters that haven't been released as re-issues before or do them in a new, different way. We are trying to avoid releasing the same versions that were released in 2003/2004. We will continue to find these opportunities (like we did with Soundwave at Comic Con in 2009... hint hint). We will continue to bring Masterpiece toys as retailer exclusives where appropriate - there will be one in 2010. And as discussed at BotCon, we will be continuing the "Classics/Universe" toys in the back half of 2010 with a new name (it won't be called Universe 3.0, but that's the idea). In addition we also try to include fan favorites in the movie line like Bludgeon and Brawn as well as assortments like the Human Alliance assortment.


Planning Ahead

Seibertron.com: How much of a line is decided before the line is actually in distribution? For example, is it known how many waves it will consist of? What the average figure size breakdown will be (legends/scouts/etc) and which figures will be in it? Or is there a set amount of each size class of mold that you use as a guide when you go to produce/design each new line?

Hasbro: While this question gets into business related topics that we cannot discuss in this forum, we did want to give you some insight. Generally speaking, we plan out the entire line and all of the assortments well in advance, but it is also very fluid process. We view our yearly plans as "living organisms" that change and adapt over time, thus nothing is ever truly set in stone.


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So there are the answers that we received. Thank you again for participating! Stay tuned for information about upcoming Q&A sessions with Hasbro, which will be going on a temporary hiatus due to the holidays.

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Re: Hasbro Answers Your Questions: December 2009 (1030708)
Posted by Blurrz on December 24th, 2009 @ 1:06am CST
Botcon Movie Figures. Holla back at me.
Re: Hasbro Answers Your Questions: December 2009 (1030709)
Posted by GetterDragun on December 24th, 2009 @ 1:07am CST
Great questions. And they did give us an idea to the real answers. I always wondered if they preplanned an entire line.
Re: Hasbro Answers Your Questions: December 2009 (1030710)
Posted by Mkall on December 24th, 2009 @ 1:09am CST
These answers please me greatly

Universe 3 people!
Re: Hasbro Answers Your Questions: December 2009 (1030737)
Posted by starfish on December 24th, 2009 @ 4:47am CST
Blurrz wrote:Botcon Movie Figures. Holla back at me.


Hmm, so Hasbro owns the physical moulds eh? But didn't we know that already? But things like character design copyrights, and the rights to distribute toys cast from those moulds have always been questioned by fans, and Habro's response today doesn't clarify anything.
Re: Hasbro Answers Your Questions: December 2009 (1030751)
Posted by --B-- on December 24th, 2009 @ 7:22am CST
Blurrz wrote:Botcon Movie Figures. Holla back at me.



I guess that will pay for my trip as I wold be selling those. Let me guess, Brawn repainted into Outback would be one of te figures included.
Re: Hasbro Answers Your Questions: December 2009 (1030757)
Posted by stocky on December 24th, 2009 @ 8:07am CST
starfish wrote:
Blurrz wrote:Botcon Movie Figures. Holla back at me.


Hmm, so Hasbro owns the physical moulds eh? But didn't we know that already? But things like character design copyrights, and the rights to distribute toys cast from those moulds have always been questioned by fans, and Habro's response today doesn't clarify anything.



I'm pretty sure this is what Hasbro has stated before. They can't release molds of MOVIE characters without releasing them under a MOVIE-RELATED line of figures (that's why we got AllSpark Power, and now NEST). However, in the case of Bludgeon, Brawn, Lockdown, Gears, Fracture, Big Daddy, etc., they CAN release these NON-MOVIE molds (either brand new molds, or those from previous lines like Armada, Energon or Cybertron, etc.) in the MOVIE lines, as well as in NON-MOVIE lines. You'll never see the mold for Blackout/Evac/Grindor or Hummer Ratchet in a toyline that is not movie related, although we may see them repeatedly re-used as new movies come out. However the likelihood of us seeing repaints of Bludgeon and Brawn are high, because these are not movie molds -- they were simply released in the movie line of figures, because, well, that is the line Hasbro is currently selling. And rather than create a new, interim line for figures like these (and risk losing potential sales on OTHER movie-based figures), they simply group them all into the same toy line to alleviate confusion at the store. With Animated figures still on the shelves beside Movie figures, the last thing Hasbro wants to do is introduce a third line of figures right now when they are still trying to sell their inventory of the other two, both of which will be coming to the end of their runs soon. So they are introducing a few new molds, particularly for us collectors, but just including them in the movie line for easier marketing.
Re: Hasbro Answers Your Questions: December 2009 (1030758)
Posted by Flux Convoy on December 24th, 2009 @ 8:09am CST
I love the fact that these aren't the typical cookie cutter answers. Nice choices on the questions too. Good job all around as far as I can see.
:BOT:
Re: Hasbro Answers Your Questions: December 2009 (1030761)
Posted by Convotron on December 24th, 2009 @ 8:26am CST
I like how Hasbro acknowledges a "movie madness" period rather than say something more formal like they're "focusing their efforts on the movie product line". It's the same meaning but the attitude that I perceive through the language used makes all the difference to me.
Re: Hasbro Answers Your Questions: December 2009 (1030766)
Posted by starfish on December 24th, 2009 @ 9:32am CST
stocky wrote:
starfish wrote:
Blurrz wrote:Botcon Movie Figures. Holla back at me.


Hmm, so Hasbro owns the physical moulds eh? But didn't we know that already? But things like character design copyrights, and the rights to distribute toys cast from those moulds have always been questioned by fans, and Habro's response today doesn't clarify anything.



I'm pretty sure this is what Hasbro has stated before... [snip] However the likelihood of us seeing repaints of Bludgeon and Brawn are high, because these are not movie molds -- they were simply released in the movie line of figures, because, well, that is the line Hasbro is currently selling.


Agreed in principle.

But a number of the non-movie movie toys (such as Springer, Ransack, Breakaway etc) are based on unused designs originating from the production of the movie. More still are based on characters introduced in the computer games.

How do we know which of the new-moulds are true Hasbro originals? Other than Lockdown, Bludgeon and the Real Gear scouts from the first movie, we really can't be sure.
Re: Hasbro Answers Your Questions: December 2009 (1030786)
Posted by Razorclaw0000 on December 24th, 2009 @ 10:37am CST
Convotron wrote:I like how Hasbro acknowledges a "movie madness" period rather than say something more formal like they're "focusing their efforts on the movie product line". It's the same meaning but the attitude that I perceive through the language used makes all the difference to me.


I agree. That phrasing was particularly telling.
Re: Hasbro Answers Your Questions: December 2009 (1030791)
Posted by SJ21 on December 24th, 2009 @ 11:11am CST
Seibertron wrote:We will continue to find these opportunities (like we did with Soundwave at Comic Con in 2009... hint hint)


So do we think this means that a G1 reissue will be available at Botcon as one of the exclusives?

Seibertron wrote:We will continue to bring Masterpiece toys as retailer exclusives where appropriate - there will be one in 2010.


I am assuming this is going to be Grimlock. Did we hear something about this before?

Seibertron wrote:And as discussed at BotCon, we will be continuing the "Classics/Universe" toys in the back half of 2010 with a new name (it won't be called Universe 3.0, but that's the idea).


I know we heard this before, but I smile every time they confirm bringing back a classics-inspired line.
Re: Hasbro Answers Your Questions: December 2009 (1030805)
Posted by Doubledealer93 on December 24th, 2009 @ 12:57pm CST
MORE CLASSICS!!!! =P~ =P~
Re: Hasbro Answers Your Questions: December 2009 (1030806)
Posted by Seibertron on December 24th, 2009 @ 1:06pm CST
starfish wrote:
Blurrz wrote:Botcon Movie Figures. Holla back at me.


Hmm, so Hasbro owns the physical moulds eh? But didn't we know that already? But things like character design copyrights, and the rights to distribute toys cast from those moulds have always been questioned by fans, and Habro's response today doesn't clarify anything.


It was a poorly worded question which allowed Hasbro too much wiggle-room.

We'll be taking a slightly different approach to the Q&A going forward in 2010. The submitted questions will be used as a guide for what we should ask, but we will all need to collectively come up with some refined questions that narrow down what we should ask. I will also be doing my best to answer the questions to which I or the staff of Seibertron.com basically know the answers to already. I see a lot of questions being asked to which some of us already know the answers. I think more good will come out of us doing our best to answer your questions in addition to Hasbro doing the same.
Re: Hasbro Answers Your Questions: December 2009 (1030810)
Posted by JelZe GoldRabbit on December 24th, 2009 @ 1:31pm CST
starfish wrote:
stocky wrote:
starfish wrote:
Blurrz wrote:Botcon Movie Figures. Holla back at me.


Hmm, so Hasbro owns the physical moulds eh? But didn't we know that already? But things like character design copyrights, and the rights to distribute toys cast from those moulds have always been questioned by fans, and Habro's response today doesn't clarify anything.



I'm pretty sure this is what Hasbro has stated before... [snip] However the likelihood of us seeing repaints of Bludgeon and Brawn are high, because these are not movie molds -- they were simply released in the movie line of figures, because, well, that is the line Hasbro is currently selling.


Agreed in principle.

But a number of the non-movie movie toys (such as Springer, Ransack, Breakaway etc) are based on unused designs originating from the production of the movie. More still are based on characters introduced in the computer games.

How do we know which of the new-moulds are true Hasbro originals? Other than Lockdown, Bludgeon and the Real Gear scouts from the first movie, we really can't be sure.


The molds themselves are copyright Hasbro/TakaraTomy if you wanna get technical, but the overal line was done in cooperation with Paramount, so there are some royalties involved here. Should Hasbro want to make BotCon exclusives out the movie toys, they have to be marketed as Movie toys, so you can expect Paramount wanting a piece of that cake.
Re: Hasbro Answers Your Questions: December 2009 (1030899)
Posted by Kibble on December 24th, 2009 @ 11:01pm CST
I don't understand the confusion...this sounds pretty straight forward to me:
"Hasbro owns all of our molds and can determine what we want to do with those molds."
Re: Hasbro Answers Your Questions: December 2009 (1030968)
Posted by amtm on December 25th, 2009 @ 10:49am CST
Seibertron wrote:It was a poorly worded question which allowed Hasbro too much wiggle-room.


What you need to do is figure out exactly what you're trying to ask them. If you want to know who owns the physical molds, say "Who owns the physical molds?" If you want to know who owns the character designs, say "Who owns the character designs?" Etc.

From what I see in what's posted, the problem is there are actually several questions that are being crammed into one. Be specific, and you'll get specific responses. Ask one question at a time, let them respond one at a time, and their responses will help you determine where to go next in the interview.
Re: Hasbro Answers Your Questions: December 2009 (1031046)
Posted by Seibertron on December 25th, 2009 @ 6:44pm CST
amtm wrote:
Seibertron wrote:It was a poorly worded question which allowed Hasbro too much wiggle-room.


What you need to do is figure out exactly what you're trying to ask them. If you want to know who owns the physical molds, say "Who owns the physical molds?" If you want to know who owns the character designs, say "Who owns the character designs?" Etc.

From what I see in what's posted, the problem is there are actually several questions that are being crammed into one. Be specific, and you'll get specific responses. Ask one question at a time, let them respond one at a time, and their responses will help you determine where to go next in the interview.


I 100% agree with you. I'm taking over the Q&A officially from this point forward. The questions will not be sent like they have in the past with multiple questions or unclear questions. We'll get the questions picked out in advance and figure out how to refine the questions, which I'll need everyone's help with.
Re: Hasbro Answers Your Questions: December 2009 (1031049)
Posted by Seibertron on December 25th, 2009 @ 6:51pm CST
Kibble wrote:I don't understand the confusion...this sounds pretty straight forward to me:
"Hasbro owns all of our molds and can determine what we want to do with those molds."


The question should've been ...

"If Hasbro uses a mold from the movie toy lines in a future product line such as a Botcon exclusive or a line similar to Classics 2.0, does Hasbro have to share the royalties from that figure with Paramount?"

To which I think most of us know the answer ... yes, Hasbro would have to share the royalties which is why we haven't seen one single movie toy used outside of the movie toyline.
Re: Hasbro Answers Your Questions: December 2009 (1031252)
Posted by starfish on December 27th, 2009 @ 4:46am CST
Seibertron wrote:
Kibble wrote:I don't understand the confusion...this sounds pretty straight forward to me:
"Hasbro owns all of our molds and can determine what we want to do with those molds."


The question should've been ...

"If Hasbro uses a mold from the movie toy lines in a future product line such as a Botcon exclusive or a line similar to Classics 2.0, does Hasbro have to share the royalties from that figure with Paramount?"

To which I think most of us know the answer ... yes, Hasbro would have to share the royalties which is why we haven't seen one single movie toy used outside of the movie toyline.


So you don't think there's any chance of the Disney Mickey Mouse Transformer being repainted into a Classics Rattrap then? Copyright law can be a total ass sometimes.
Re: Hasbro Answers Your Questions: December 2009 (1031325)
Posted by Seibertron on December 27th, 2009 @ 5:24pm CST
starfish wrote:
Seibertron wrote:
Kibble wrote:I don't understand the confusion...this sounds pretty straight forward to me:
"Hasbro owns all of our molds and can determine what we want to do with those molds."


The question should've been ...

"If Hasbro uses a mold from the movie toy lines in a future product line such as a Botcon exclusive or a line similar to Classics 2.0, does Hasbro have to share the royalties from that figure with Paramount?"

To which I think most of us know the answer ... yes, Hasbro would have to share the royalties which is why we haven't seen one single movie toy used outside of the movie toyline.


So you don't think there's any chance of the Disney Mickey Mouse Transformer being repainted into a Classics Rattrap then? Copyright law can be a total ass sometimes.


I get that you're being humorous, but I'm not sure how it relates to my above post.

I could see the Disney Mickey Mouse Transformer being an exclusive at this year's upcoming BotCon since it's in Disney World.
Re: Hasbro Answers Your Questions: December 2009 (1031448)
Posted by starfish on December 28th, 2009 @ 9:21am CST
Seibertron wrote:
starfish wrote:
Seibertron wrote:
Kibble wrote:I don't understand the confusion...this sounds pretty straight forward to me:
"Hasbro owns all of our molds and can determine what we want to do with those molds."


The question should've been ...

"If Hasbro uses a mold from the movie toy lines in a future product line such as a Botcon exclusive or a line similar to Classics 2.0, does Hasbro have to share the royalties from that figure with Paramount?"

To which I think most of us know the answer ... yes, Hasbro would have to share the royalties which is why we haven't seen one single movie toy used outside of the movie toyline.


So you don't think there's any chance of the Disney Mickey Mouse Transformer being repainted into a Classics Rattrap then? Copyright law can be a total ass sometimes.


I get that you're being humorous, but I'm not sure how it relates to my above post.


Assuming I didn't misunderstand you, I think you were saying that when Hasbro releases stuff they designed themselves, then they get their ususal fees and profits.

But when Hasbro releases toys that are based on designs by other people (be it Disney cartoonists or Dreamworks concept artists), then they have to split their fees with whoever owns the actual design rights.

Ergo, it stands to reason that, just as Movie Ravage will not likely be repainted for non-movie lines, neither will the Disney Label stuff, for precisely the same reasons.

I mean, surely it makes better financial sense for Hasbro to use their own moulds at the Botcons than to get into complex negotiations with Disney, and be forced to split the profits they get from the exclusives?

Or if they did release Disney stuff at the Botcons, they would have to put the prices up.

As they say, however - a joke that needs explaining is never funny.
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