Comic Book Resources: Licensing in Disguise and Transformers 2?

Comic Book Resources: Licensing in Disguise and Transformers 2?

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007 2:21pm CDT

Categories: Movie Related News, Rumors
Posted by: Seibertron   Views: 18,988

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Comic Book Resources has posted an interesting bit of information regarding the Transformers on their website. Here's what they posted at http://www.comicbookresources.com/columns/?column=13:

Rich Johnston at Comic Book Resources posted:
"Transformers 2" is being prepped for 2009, as is a new cartoon series to spin off the upcoming movie.

The reason given to licensors as to why the robots look so different in the film is so that hardcore fans will stay loyal and keep buying the old toys, which they're relaunching, even if they hate the new movie.

Licensing has explicitly stated that companies doing merchandising have to avoid doing anything too similar to the original Transformers line, so as not to mix the two separate and profitable properties.


This possibility has been discussed several times on Seibertron.com's forums in the past. It has been stated that a possible reason for the radical departure of the movie robots was to protect the look and designs of the classic Transformers characters. This could also be a way to make sure that there is no confusion regarding licensing during the times that Hasbro is not sharing profits with Paramount. It was revealed at BotCon 2006 that Hasbro would be sharing profits with Paramount for an unknown period of time surrounding the release of this summer's Transformers Movie.

We will consider a lot of this as speculation until we hear something official from the powers-that-be at Hasbro.

Credit(s): Hans


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Re: Comic Book Resources: Licensing in Disguise and Transformers 2? (73253)
Posted by Seibertron on April 3rd, 2007 @ 2:33pm CDT
I found my original post about this theory from Google's cache of Seibertron.com which was originally posted on Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 at 11:57 am:

Seibertron wrote:I remember something vaguely from BotCon 2006 that Aaron Archer said about the merchandising regarding the movie. If I recall correctly, someone from the audience asked the Hasbro panel about why Hasbro was putting all of their other product lines on hold during the time of the movie. I think this was in regards to Hasbro stopping the Classics and Alternators lines before the movie and possibly starting them up again after the movie. I believe Archer responded saying something about it begin because of the licensing deal that they made with Paramount/Dreamworks regarding merchandising. He said something to the effect of the profits of the movie merchandise would be shared between Hasbro and the movie company (companies?). It was stated that extra Transformers products on the market would be viewed as competiting with the movie line so Hasbro put all of their efforts primarily into movie merchandise and all of their other TF lines on hold during that time.

If I remember any of that incorrectly, please correct whatever's wrong by all means.

If what I remember above is what was stated, humor me for a moment while I share my thoughts with all of you. The older and more experienced I am becoming through my ventures in the business world, the more my views of Hasbro's decisions changes. Obviously everything they do is simply to make money. If they can't make money on something, they're not going to do it. That's just the nature of business. Day in and day out, people go to work at Hasbro's offices around the world and make decisions that are thought to be good business decisions - regardless if we, the fans, agree with the final outcomes of these decisions.

None of us know the details of the deal Hasbro made with the movie company. If, in fact, they did make a deal to share profits of movie merchandise, what if Hasbro's lawyers suggested that the designs of the robots should be different from the past 23 years of Transformers products to protect Hasbro's rights to the look of famous characters such as Optimus Prime, Megatron and Starscream. By having the robots look drastically different from anything Hasbro has done in the past, this would protect Hasbro from any future debates regarding who has the rights to merchandising later down the road. There will always be a "unique" look to the movie robots from any other Transformers product simply to protect the rights to Hasbro receiving full profits on other lines. That way, no one from the movie company can ever say "Hasbro, you owe us X millions of dollars because you are now using the movie robot design in your main product lines." I imagine there would be a lot of gray area from a shared profit merchandising deal if the movie robots looked exactly or very similar to previous Hasbro products.

I've given this theory a lot of thought during the past few days. It seems like there could certainly be "more than meets the eye" with the merchandising deals. I don't think I've read about anyone discussing this train of thought before so I thought I'd throw it out there to see what some of you think. Maybe someone who has dealt with legal scenarios before regarding copyright and trademark issues can help shed some light on this theory I have. I'd love to read further explanations to the robot designs looking the way they do in regards to possible legal ramifications of a licensing deal.
Re: Comic Book Resources: Licensing in Disguise and Transformers 2? (73278)
Posted by Hans on April 3rd, 2007 @ 2:57pm CDT
I also believe Ace DiBonaVentura or whatever his name is when he said the original cartoon designs didn't look realistic and far too blocky when they tried them in CGI. So the new "look" for Transformers (which is so different that it still doesn't feel like Transformers to me at all) will also have been derived from that point: the original designs weren't realistic enough. But they could have gone with the Alternators/Masterpiece designs. Those would have worked in real life, I'm sure of it.

So I think Johnston is right when he says this really drastically different look has more to do with marketing strategy.

BTW, people at the site Newsarama.com are completely crushing the new designs:
http://forum.newsarama.com/showthread.php?t=107415

I also showed the recent movie stills to a friend of mine who isn't into Transformers at all. He called them "a mess". Needless to say, I'm certainly not the only one who is still less than enthousiastic about the life action designs.

Still, I'm sure I'll love the movie regardless of the designs, and I'm happy chances for a sequel are good. Peter Cullen and Frank Welker are in it. That's enough to make me go see it :)
Re: Comic Book Resources: Licensing in Disguise and Transformers 2? (73280)
Posted by Robinson on April 3rd, 2007 @ 3:03pm CDT
If you look at the "grimlock" video on the s7 website, that right there proves that the g1 designs don't work in live action.
Re: Comic Book Resources: Licensing in Disguise and Transformers 2? (73288)
Posted by City Commander on April 3rd, 2007 @ 3:20pm CDT
So tfs is to split in two? One continuation of the ones we know and love, and one of this all-new outlook?

If yes, does this mean they may rerun the Unicron trilogy toy waves?
It may be just a dream, but that would really help me fill in some gaps...
Re: Comic Book Resources: Licensing in Disguise and Transformers 2? (73305)
Posted by Hans on April 3rd, 2007 @ 3:26pm CDT
Lord Crump wrote:So tfs is to split in two? One continuation of the ones we know and love, and one of this all-new outlook?


TF has always been split in multiple lines. G1 never really went away, even as RID, Armada etc. were released. And then there's the mulitple sublines, such as Universe, Titanium, Alternators, etc.
Re: Comic Book Resources: Licensing in Disguise and Transformers 2? (73337)
Posted by Counterpunch on April 3rd, 2007 @ 3:59pm CDT
Seibertron wrote:I found my original post about this theory from Google's cache of Seibertron.com which was originally posted on Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2007 at 11:57 am:

Seibertron wrote:I remember something vaguely from BotCon 2006 that Aaron Archer said about the merchandising regarding the movie. If I recall correctly, someone from the audience asked the Hasbro panel about why Hasbro was putting all of their other product lines on hold during the time of the movie. I think this was in regards to Hasbro stopping the Classics and Alternators lines before the movie and possibly starting them up again after the movie. I believe Archer responded saying something about it begin because of the licensing deal that they made with Paramount/Dreamworks regarding merchandising. He said something to the effect of the profits of the movie merchandise would be shared between Hasbro and the movie company (companies?). It was stated that extra Transformers products on the market would be viewed as competiting with the movie line so Hasbro put all of their efforts primarily into movie merchandise and all of their other TF lines on hold during that time.

If I remember any of that incorrectly, please correct whatever's wrong by all means.

If what I remember above is what was stated, humor me for a moment while I share my thoughts with all of you. The older and more experienced I am becoming through my ventures in the business world, the more my views of Hasbro's decisions changes. Obviously everything they do is simply to make money. If they can't make money on something, they're not going to do it. That's just the nature of business. Day in and day out, people go to work at Hasbro's offices around the world and make decisions that are thought to be good business decisions - regardless if we, the fans, agree with the final outcomes of these decisions.

None of us know the details of the deal Hasbro made with the movie company. If, in fact, they did make a deal to share profits of movie merchandise, what if Hasbro's lawyers suggested that the designs of the robots should be different from the past 23 years of Transformers products to protect Hasbro's rights to the look of famous characters such as Optimus Prime, Megatron and Starscream. By having the robots look drastically different from anything Hasbro has done in the past, this would protect Hasbro from any future debates regarding who has the rights to merchandising later down the road. There will always be a "unique" look to the movie robots from any other Transformers product simply to protect the rights to Hasbro receiving full profits on other lines. That way, no one from the movie company can ever say "Hasbro, you owe us X millions of dollars because you are now using the movie robot design in your main product lines." I imagine there would be a lot of gray area from a shared profit merchandising deal if the movie robots looked exactly or very similar to previous Hasbro products.

I've given this theory a lot of thought during the past few days. It seems like there could certainly be "more than meets the eye" with the merchandising deals. I don't think I've read about anyone discussing this train of thought before so I thought I'd throw it out there to see what some of you think. Maybe someone who has dealt with legal scenarios before regarding copyright and trademark issues can help shed some light on this theory I have. I'd love to read further explanations to the robot designs looking the way they do in regards to possible legal ramifications of a licensing deal.


I think this is absolutely spot on.
Re: Comic Book Resources: Licensing in Disguise and Transformers 2? (73354)
Posted by jonusjaxon on April 3rd, 2007 @ 4:07pm CDT
That would be great if there was a cartoon with the movie TF designs.
Re: Comic Book Resources: Licensing in Disguise and Transformers 2? (73413)
Posted by Grimshock on April 3rd, 2007 @ 5:31pm CDT
Bottom line: I can't wait till the G1 re-issues and Alternators come back. I haven't bought a TF for a while and will have nothing to pick up until all this movie junk is outta the way.
Re: Comic Book Resources: Licensing in Disguise and Transformers 2? (73471)
Posted by Liege Evilmus on April 3rd, 2007 @ 6:28pm CDT
Every TF line has it's own feel, so I understand the movie designs.

But if they're so intent on making this as something different, why not just make something different!?!

However the idea of a cartoon tie in between this and the potential TF2, is a good idea to me, I just hope they don't screw it up like they did with MTV Spider-Man, which overall I liked, but still, it didn't work.
Re: Comic Book Resources: Licensing in Disguise and Transformers 2? (73472)
Posted by Liege Evilmus on April 3rd, 2007 @ 6:30pm CDT
Oh and hopefully Hasbro won't price gouge us again with the reissues like they did last time they tried this.
Re: Comic Book Resources: Licensing in Disguise and Transformers 2? (73532)
Posted by Seibertron on April 3rd, 2007 @ 7:20pm CDT
Liege Evilmus wrote:But if they're so intent on making this as something different, why not just make something different!?!


2 words: brand recognition.
Re: Comic Book Resources: Licensing in Disguise and Transformers 2? (73584)
Posted by Sagitta on April 3rd, 2007 @ 7:59pm CDT
"...It has been stated that a possible reason for the radical departure of the movie robots was to protect the look and designs of the classic Transformers characters..."

For most, the classics referred to are the the G1 characters from the very first television and comic series as well as the toyline. I would think labeling any other designs as "classic" would be hard to swallow.

I mean, look at all the other continuities of Transformers there are. G1 had enough problems keeping a straight time line as is within just the original tv series. Fitting in all the others would be too mind boggling.

Easier just to see it as another perception of Transformers. Some of the same characters and personalities within different forms. Easier to avoid a headache.
Re: Comic Book Resources: Licensing in Disguise and Transformers 2? (73591)
Posted by Repair Bay on April 3rd, 2007 @ 8:05pm CDT
hehe Transformers 2 sounds good already XD also, though, does this news about relaunching the older toys mean more reissues? :grin:
Re: Comic Book Resources: Licensing in Disguise and Transformers 2? (73630)
Posted by Damolisher on April 3rd, 2007 @ 8:28pm CDT
It should do. And it better mean two other things as well: More Classics, and the reissues aren't Toys R' Us exclusive.
Re: Comic Book Resources: Licensing in Disguise and Transformers 2? (73654)
Posted by hyperconvoy69 on April 3rd, 2007 @ 8:54pm CDT
this definately makes much more sense. I just hope the cartoon based on the film goes the way of, say..., the MTV Spider-Man series. Any idea if this series is the upcoming Transformers Heroes, or something else all together?
Re: Comic Book Resources: Licensing in Disguise and Transformers 2? (76370)
Posted by City Commander on April 6th, 2007 @ 1:53pm CDT
Hans, I was gonna say not what I meant, but I got sidetracked for a few days.

And now I forgot what I was thinking...

oopsy?

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