Takara Tomy Transformers Masterpiece MP-23 Exhaust Also Facing Legal Issues in Hong Kong

Transformers News: Takara Tomy Transformers Masterpiece MP-23 Exhaust Also Facing Legal Issues in Hong Kong

Sunday, December 7th, 2014 2:48AM CST

Categories: Toy News, Company News
Posted by: Va'al   Views: 40,693

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Fellow Seibertron.com user shajaki brings us a minor update, which leaves the situation unfortunately unchanged, regarding Takara Tomy Transformers Masterpiece MP23 Exhaust and the legal issues surrounding its release. The ActionRobo Facebook page - retailer based in Hong Kong - has confirmed that they will also not be carrying the figure, due to a request from the Philip Morris legal department. See for yourself below.


Special Notice on TAKARA/TOMY "MASTERPIECE MP-23 EXHAUST"

Actionrobo was contacted by a law firm represent Philip Morris USA Inc. Informing us that the TAKARA/TOMY "MASTERPIECE MP-23 EXHAUST" figure infringes “Philip Morris USA Inc” trademark and such product cannot be sold in the USA.

To avoid further matter, listing on our website will be remove. All USA customers pre-ordered this figure will be refund.

We apologize for the inconvenience caused!!!


Transformers News: Takara Tomy Transformers Masterpiece MP-23 Exhaust Also Facing Legal Issues in Hong Kong
Credit(s): ActionRobo
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Re: Takara Tomy Transformers Masterpiece MP-23 Exhaust Also Facing Legal Issues in Hong Kong (1627848)
Posted by Tranzilla on December 7th, 2014 @ 3:51am CST
Image


Looking at the PM Trademark logo for Marlboro and the Exhaust figure and how the marks are positioned, there is a very distinct difference. That would be the colored space relative to the white field ratio or position. The simple difference is that the colored angle portion on the PM logo is in the upper third of the cigarette box. More white in the lower 2/3's. The small green/white box on Exhaust has the green portion extended to the lower quarter. If you turn the Exhaust figure to have him look like a cigarette box, the red extends into the lower third. The ratios of color to white are different.

If Tak/Tomy wanted, they could go from an angular look to a more parabolic look to further differentiate similar to how Prowl's hood is designed or lust jutt in a bit on the fender portion and then angle in. The latter would satisfy the angular look of the original and PM has nothing they can say about it. And looking at the Exhaust figure, the white cuts back into the red field just above the numbers on the door. The symbols are NOT exact as the PM logo does not. Easily arguable.

Just sayin'
Re: Takara Tomy Transformers Masterpiece MP-23 Exhaust Also Facing Legal Issues in Hong Kong (1627871)
Posted by fenrir72 on December 7th, 2014 @ 8:11am CST
Tranzilla wrote:
Image


Looking at the PM Trademark logo for Marlboro and the Exhaust figure and how the marks are positioned, there is a very distinct difference. That would be the colored space relative to the white field ratio or position. The simple difference is that the colored angle portion on the PM logo is in the upper third of the cigarette box. More white in the lower 2/3's. The small green/white box on Exhaust has the green portion extended to the lower quarter. If you turn the Exhaust figure to have him look like a cigarette box, the red extends into the lower third. The ratios of color to white are different.

If Tak/Tomy wanted, they could go from an angular look to a more parabolic look to further differentiate similar to how Prowl's hood is designed or lust jutt in a bit on the fender portion and then angle in. The latter would satisfy the angular look of the original and PM has nothing they can say about it. And looking at the Exhaust figure, the white cuts back into the red field just above the numbers on the door. The symbols are NOT exact as the PM logo does not. Easily arguable.

Just sayin'


If the issue is selling this to underage customers then use the Credit card identifying route. 18 to 19 years old up then it's legal. Just saying.........
Re: Takara Tomy Transformers Masterpiece MP-23 Exhaust Also Facing Legal Issues in Hong Kong (1627874)
Posted by Blackstreak on December 7th, 2014 @ 8:25am CST
Marlboro, like any other large corporation wants their money and will track you down all over the world. 8-}
Re: Takara Tomy Transformers Masterpiece MP-23 Exhaust Also Facing Legal Issues in Hong Kong (1627878)
Posted by Yotsuyasan on December 7th, 2014 @ 8:43am CST
fenrir72 wrote:If the issue is selling this to underage customers then use the Credit card identifying route. 18 to 19 years old up then it's legal. Just saying.........


From what I've read since this issue came to light, though, that may not be enough. It is still a product that, argue all we may that is it an "adult collectable," would be seen by the masses as a toy. And to these masses, toy = "For kids!" And the law seems vague enough that, even though technically Phillip Morris has nothing to do with this, if they allow a product to be sold with their iconography that, regardless of intent, could be perceived as being marketed to children, then they could be held liable and fined accordingly.
Re: Takara Tomy Transformers Masterpiece MP-23 Exhaust Also Facing Legal Issues in Hong Kong (1627894)
Posted by megatronus on December 7th, 2014 @ 9:48am CST
Blackstreak wrote:Marlboro, like any other large corporation wants their money and will track you down all over the world. 8-}

What money is Marlboro getting through this action?

Look a few pages back. We've largely concluded that this is a defensive action on Marlboro's part. Not an offensive one.
Re: Takara Tomy Transformers Masterpiece MP-23 Exhaust Also Facing Legal Issues in Hong Kong (1627895)
Posted by Yotsuyasan on December 7th, 2014 @ 9:55am CST
megatronus wrote:Look a few pages back. We've largely concluded that this is a defensive action on Marlboro's part. Not an offensive one.


Indeed! It isn't so much about getting more money, it is more a matter of not wishing to loose any of the money they already have. ;)
Re: Takara Tomy Transformers Masterpiece MP-23 Exhaust Also Facing Legal Issues in Hong Kong (1627909)
Posted by fenrir72 on December 7th, 2014 @ 11:01am CST
Why not stick a decal on it stating M for "mature" or 18 up only? I'm giving the USA importers options to get around this stupid issue.

Sure hope this issue does not resurface for Jazz or Mirage. :BANG_HEAD:
Re: Takara Tomy Transformers Masterpiece MP-23 Exhaust Also Facing Legal Issues in Hong Kong (1627917)
Posted by Doubledealer93 on December 7th, 2014 @ 11:32am CST
dat head sculpt tho....
Re: Takara Tomy Transformers Masterpiece MP-23 Exhaust Also Facing Legal Issues in Hong Kong (1627918)
Posted by Yotsuyasan on December 7th, 2014 @ 11:32am CST
fenrir72 wrote:Why not stick a decal on it stating M for "mature" or 18 up only? I'm giving the USA importers options to get around this stupid issue.


Because, even if it has such a sticker on it, it doesn't change that it is still a Transformer, which is well known as a brand of children's toys. So it is still arguably actionable. "Well, your honor, this Playskool Busy Ball Popper may say 'For adults 18+' on it, but clearly it is actually intended for infants, so the fact that it has Benson & Hedges labels all over it is highly inappropriate!" Decent chance of a judge agreeing with that.

fenrir72 wrote:Sure hope this issue does not resurface for Jazz or Mirage. :BANG_HEAD:


Don't know why Jazz should be any issue, he has no tobacco branding on him, and I think the laws for alcohol are not quite as overreaching. As for Mirage, I think the tobacco company alluded to on him doesn't have a presence in America anyway, so there'd be no one to take action against. Thus, no one to prevent sales of it to U.S. customers. (If I am incorrect on that, if someone who knows better wishes to correct me, be my guest.)

In any case, as has previously been talked about in this thread at length (did you read anything that came before, or did you just jump to the end to throw in your two cents?) the branding on both Jazz and Mirage isn't quite as integral to their basic look. (Without the "Martini" or "Gitanes" logos, you'd still be able to tell who they are, unlike Exhaust who rather needs that distinctive red pattern on him to be Exhaust.) So it is always possible they could get domestic releases, and Reprolabels could step in to fix any omissions.
Re: Takara Tomy Transformers Masterpiece MP-23 Exhaust Also Facing Legal Issues in Hong Kong (1627956)
Posted by durroth on December 7th, 2014 @ 4:14pm CST
Anyone know if Robotkingdom still intends to honor US preorders?
Re: Takara Tomy Transformers Masterpiece MP-23 Exhaust Also Facing Legal Issues in Hong Kong (1627976)
Posted by Wolfguard on December 7th, 2014 @ 6:16pm CST
Soooooo, about that recolor option I suggested...

Too bad they didn't consider this ahead of time, but whatev.


>:oP
Re: Takara Tomy Transformers Masterpiece MP-23 Exhaust Also Facing Legal Issues in Hong Kong (1627977)
Posted by Sabrblade on December 7th, 2014 @ 6:18pm CST
Wolfguard wrote:Soooooo, about that recolor option I suggested...


>:oP
It's already coming out as it is. You seriously expect Hasbro even consider releasing this thing in the U.S., recolored or otherwise?
Re: Takara Tomy Transformers Masterpiece MP-23 Exhaust Also Facing Legal Issues in Hong Kong (1627978)
Posted by Railbomb on December 7th, 2014 @ 6:24pm CST
This is starting to get a little bit ridiculous. I feel like if this keeps up with various retailers TakaraTomy may step in to defend why it's different enough to get by.
Re: Takara Tomy Transformers Masterpiece MP-23 Exhaust Also Facing Legal Issues in Hong Kong (1627981)
Posted by fenrir72 on December 7th, 2014 @ 6:30pm CST
Yotsuyasan wrote:
fenrir72 wrote:Why not stick a decal on it stating M for "mature" or 18 up only? I'm giving the USA importers options to get around this stupid issue.


Because, even if it has such a sticker on it, it doesn't change that it is still a Transformer, which is well known as a brand of children's toys. So it is still arguably actionable. "Well, your honor, this Playskool Busy Ball Popper may say 'For adults 18+' on it, but clearly it is actually intended for infants, so the fact that it has Benson & Hedges labels all over it is highly inappropriate!" Decent chance of a judge agreeing with that.

fenrir72 wrote:Sure hope this issue does not resurface for Jazz or Mirage. :BANG_HEAD:


Don't know why Jazz should be any issue, he has no tobacco branding on him, and I think the laws for alcohol are not quite as overreaching. As for Mirage, I think the tobacco company alluded to on him doesn't have a presence in America anyway, so there'd be no one to take action against. Thus, no one to prevent sales of it to U.S. customers. (If I am incorrect on that, if someone who knows better wishes to correct me, be my guest.)

In any case, as has previously been talked about in this thread at length (did you read anything that came before, or did you just jump to the end to throw in your two cents?) the branding on both Jazz and Mirage isn't quite as integral to their basic look. (Without the "Martini" or "Gitanes" logos, you'd still be able to tell who they are, unlike Exhaust who rather needs that distinctive red pattern on him to be Exhaust.) So it is always possible they could get domestic releases, and Reprolabels could step in to fix any omissions.


No. I didn't just jump in as I know that the orange angles of not Malboor indeed makes Exhaust well............Exhaust. I'm looking at this issue at a wider perspective if selling tobacco and alcohol endorsement products applies to future MP realistic decos.

It may just be your "opinion" about recognizing Jazz and Mirage without those alcohol and tobacco endorsements from the original inspiration vehicles that Diaclone/Transformers used. On my side, I feel Jazz might escape the "Martini" logo but he is very iconic with the royal blue, red stripe and dark blue back ground paterns of Martini. See how his binaltech release looked like an anemic and generic bot?

Gitanes' gypsie girl logo plus the F1 Elf makes Mirage Mirage. As for the former not having a strong presence in the USA, never underestimate an "ambulance chaser" chance to raise some issue to earn a fast buck.

Now back to my reference to proper labeling. A decal stating as an adult only item may more than suffice but given how legally taxing this might importers, it may not be worth all the trouble at all to contest this in court. And those two logos in green located on the hood aside from the main orange pattern is indeed troublesome.

Again, I am posting a potential remedy for any importers are hoping to get around this.

1. In adult anime dvd cases. Some companies either digitally edit off the "details" and/or stick a big yellow and black stripes FOR ADULTS decal on the covers. Will this add to extra costs?

2. Go for the MP-05 route, instead of orange caping, open the box and cover it (the not Malboor patterns) with a smiley decal or whatever that won't damage the product. If adhesive decals might damage the colors, why not a Glad wrap like wraping with a big smiley covering the patterns. The purchaser will do the removal of the wrapping like the same whn you take off the orange cap on MP-05.

3. This product, clearly an adult collectible. How did this company (kyoshu) get around this issue?

Image

Image

This is more or less a homage to Malboor.....Malboro. And yet this site can sell this without incident

http://www.diecast-toys.com/allproducts ... cat_id=149
Re: Takara Tomy Transformers Masterpiece MP-23 Exhaust Also Facing Legal Issues in Hong Kong (1627987)
Posted by JelZe GoldRabbit on December 7th, 2014 @ 6:58pm CST
Since not everyone is seeing the clear picture, let me lay it out, one step at a time:

1.) It's not the design itself that the company has a problem with, rather the sale of that particular item in the US. US regulations are explicitly against any form of tobacco branding on any particular toy sold inside the US.

2.) TakaraTomy is first and foremost a toy company, no matter how you slice it. As such, any product made by that company is legally considered a toy, no matter the age range,

3.) As the regulations affect any item sold inside the US (or even to US customers, somebody help me on that), Exhaust can not be sold inside the US. That includes online stores operating from within the US, no matter where they import stock from.

4.) This only affects the US, Japan and other countries have their own regulations (similar or not) for products of such nature.

Any more questions? No, I don't know in what legal category model cars fall under. :lol:
Re: Takara Tomy Transformers Masterpiece MP-23 Exhaust Also Facing Legal Issues in Hong Kong (1627995)
Posted by Yotsuyasan on December 7th, 2014 @ 7:37pm CST
fenrir72 wrote:It may just be your "opinion" about recognizing Jazz and Mirage without those alcohol and tobacco endorsements from the original inspiration vehicles that Diaclone/Transformers used. On my side, I feel Jazz might escape the "Martini" logo but he is very iconic with the royal blue, red stripe and dark blue back ground paterns of Martini. See how his binaltech release looked like an anemic and generic bot?

Gitanes' gypsie girl logo plus the F1 Elf makes Mirage Mirage. As for the former not having a strong presence in the USA, never underestimate an "ambulance chaser" chance to raise some issue to earn a fast buck.


Obviously then, since this toy has no Martini markings:

Image

And this toy has no Citanes markings:

Image

...then you have absolutely no idea who these two characters are then, right? They are absolutely unidentifiable as Jazz or Mirage, and are thus the worst toys ever! Pardon me, I must throw mine out immediately.

(Well, maybe not my Jazz...)

Image

(Thanks, Reprolabels!)

If Takara makes these characters, I am sure they will have all of the appropriate markings. And at the very least, Jazz should have no problems with importers, since the laws in question here apply to tobacco, not alcohol. So I don't know why we are even discussing Jazz.

If Takara makes a Mirage, I suppose it is hypothetically possible this problem might rear its head again. I doubt it, as I still think Gitanes, as a company without a US presence (that I know of) would have no reason to object to their sale. (Thus, who exactly would your hypothetical ambulance chaser be going after? There'd be no one for him to sue in a US court of law.) But a hypothetical Hasbro release might still be possible, because I think most people (obviously with you as an exception) will still recognize him as Mirage without the Citanes marking.

Exhaust, on the other hand, needs the distinctive red patch to look like Exhaust. So he has problems that Mirage and Jazz wouldn't.

Anyway, isn't this all rather academic at best? Until such time as Takara actually produces either character in the Masterpiece line, if they even ever do so, and then once we can see what details are included on their decos, is there even a point in arguing any of this?
Re: Takara Tomy Transformers Masterpiece MP-23 Exhaust Also Facing Legal Issues in Hong Kong (1627998)
Posted by fenrir72 on December 7th, 2014 @ 8:13pm CST
Yotsuyasan wrote:
fenrir72 wrote:It may just be your "opinion" about recognizing Jazz and Mirage without those alcohol and tobacco endorsements from the original inspiration vehicles that Diaclone/Transformers used. On my side, I feel Jazz might escape the "Martini" logo but he is very iconic with the royal blue, red stripe and dark blue back ground paterns of Martini. See how his binaltech release looked like an anemic and generic bot?

Gitanes' gypsie girl logo plus the F1 Elf makes Mirage Mirage. As for the former not having a strong presence in the USA, never underestimate an "ambulance chaser" chance to raise some issue to earn a fast buck.


Obviously then, since this toy has no Martini markings:

Image

And this toy has no Citanes markings:

Image

...then you have absolutely no idea who these two characters are then, right? They are absolutely unidentifiable as Jazz or Mirage, and are thus the worst toys ever! Pardon me, I must throw mine out immediately.

(Well, maybe not my Jazz...)

Image

(Thanks, Reprolabels!)

If Takara makes these characters, I am sure they will have all of the appropriate markings. And at the very least, Jazz should have no problems with importers, since the laws in question here apply to tobacco, not alcohol. So I don't know why we are even discussing Jazz.

If Takara makes a Mirage, I suppose it is hypothetically possible this problem might rear its head again. I doubt it, as I still think Gitanes, as a company without a US presence (that I know of) would have no reason to object to their sale. (Thus, who exactly would your hypothetical ambulance chaser be going after? There'd be no one for him to sue in a US court of law.) But a hypothetical Hasbro release might still be possible, because I think most people (obviously with you as an exception) will still recognize him as Mirage without the Citanes marking.

Exhaust, on the other hand, needs the distinctive red patch to look like Exhaust. So he has problems that Mirage and Jazz wouldn't.

Anyway, isn't this all rather academic at best? Until such time as Takara actually produces either character in the Masterpiece line, if they even ever do so, and then once we can see what details are included on their decos, is there even a point in arguing any of this?


Tomy's MP series makes it a point to use official/licensed endorsements for most of their "cars". Sure, being a g1 afficionado, I will surely recgnize those two unless Tomy goes for the previous bastardizing of the brand labels.

On Jazz being Jazz, I think you need to look at those stripes of his, its a bastardization of the Martini logo. You can recognize Jazz by his face with the single piece visor which can be applied to Exhaust too with his modified WJ facade. The color apps of Mirage is at best the Gitanes color fonts too. Sure you can recognize both in their hekei/classic incarnation......which more or less a bastardization of the original product endorsement schemes of the original.

Raising the issue in advance, as this probably never raised red flags when Exhaust was first concieved. Hopefully this gives anyone reading this wiggle room to avoid legal hiccups like this.

:BOOM: Now this line is posted directly at Hasbro if by anychance they get off their butts to make Exhaust available for the USA market (no holding my breathe) :BOOM:

Image

You can use this a reference.

Kyosho manage to get around the Malboor fix by:

1. Rounded out the "angles" of the logo
2. Got rid of those two "badges"
3. Malboro use red color fonts for their symbol so why not color it G1 Predacon orange?

Ask kyosho how they managed to?

And JZGR, that's the point I was referencing, "selling" tobacco products to minors (?) issue Well, either go strict (?) the way PayPal doesn't allow use of their system to purchase adult themed products ( a joke of a restriction if you ask me) or simply go by the CC ID route. or the other options I posted (realistic ones at that).
Re: Takara Tomy Transformers Masterpiece MP-23 Exhaust Also Facing Legal Issues in Hong Kong (1628042)
Posted by Rated X on December 8th, 2014 @ 12:46am CST
This is the most stupid argument based on the pure greed of the tobacco industry. With all the lives the Marlboro man has claimed in the past century, Marlboro should be paying Takara for advertising their product. If Takara was Chinese instead of Japanses, Marlboro wouldn't waste their time. Personally I hope the Chinese KO guys who already KOed the Wheeljack mold make proper Marlboro Wheeljacks with the stinking red bowtie. To add insult to injury they can put Marlboro instead of Marlboor. Screw the cigarette industry. I hope Canibus legalization puts them all out of business within this decade. :michaelbay:
Re: Takara Tomy Transformers Masterpiece MP-23 Exhaust Also Facing Legal Issues in Hong Kong (1628044)
Posted by megatronus on December 8th, 2014 @ 12:50am CST
Rated X wrote:This is the most stupid argument based on the pure greed of the tobacco industry. With all the lives the Marlboro man has claimed in the past century, Marlboro should be paying Takara for advertising their product. If Takara was Chinese instead of Japanses, Marlboro wouldn't waste their time. Personally I hope the Chinese KO guys who already KOed the Wheeljack mold make proper Marlboro Wheeljacks with the stinking red bowtie. To add insult to injury they can put Marlboro instead of Marlboor. Screw the cigarette industry. I hope Canibus legalization puts them all out of business within this decade. :michaelbay:

Outside of my suspicion that you misunderstand what's happening here, there's a marijuana-related point I'd like to address...

Who do you think is best poised to industrialize cannabis? You guessed it, the tobacco companies. If weed is legalized on a federal level, it may just breath new life into big tobacco. >:oP
Re: Takara Tomy Transformers Masterpiece MP-23 Exhaust Also Facing Legal Issues in Hong Kong (1628084)
Posted by JelZe GoldRabbit on December 8th, 2014 @ 6:04am CST
fenrir72 wrote:Kyosho manage to get around the Malboor fix by:

1. Rounded out the "angles" of the logo
2. Got rid of those two "badges"
3. Malboro use red color fonts for their symbol so why not color it G1 Predacon orange?

Ask kyosho how they managed to?

And JZGR, that's the point I was referencing, "selling" tobacco products to minors (?) issue Well, either go strict (?) the way PayPal doesn't allow use of their system to purchase adult themed products ( a joke of a restriction if you ask me) or simply go by the CC ID route. or the other options I posted (realistic ones at that).


A better question would be how the site is allowed to sell it since it's based in the US. Like I suggested before, the companies that make such model cars may fall under a different legal category (possibly "Adult Collectible" like FunPub is) and not "Toys", regardless of location and trademarks obtained.

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