Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Hasbro Sued Over Comic-Con Exclusive Transformers Toy


The Comic-Con exclusive reissue of Hasbro's 1984 "Jetfire" toy has landed the company in trouble, with another company claiming to have been damaged by its release.

I, as many other fans were pretty excited when I heard of the re-recreation of the Jetfire at the San Diego Comic Con. It would appear it was not without its "boo crew".
 
A new legal conflict has started over the exclusive GI Joe vs. Transformers toy package Hasbro sold at this year's San Diego Comic Con, specifically the Jetfire Transformer. The problem appears to be a licensing issue over the Macross VF-1 Valkyrie toy manufactured by a Japanese toy company called Tatsunako - to which Hasbro may no longer hold the license for.

The Macross license for the US (as well as other markets outside of Japan) is owned by another company called Harmony Gold, which has launched legal action against Hasbro over the Comic-Con toy, claiming that the release has caused, and continues to cause damage to the company. In its lawsuit, Harmony Gold has motioned for an injunction against any further sale, a freeze on all remaining inventory, that they recall of any Jetfire toys in the marketplace and any profits Hasbro made from the sale of the toy in addition to other (unspecified) damages.

Hasbro has yet to respond to the lawsuit. We can but hope that its legal team issues a statement explaining that there is more than meets the eye to this situation (that was a terrible pun I know, I know).

This is a recent legal scrap Hasbro have been dragged into - Hasbro, Paramount, MGM in line for a Smackdown.

17 comments:

  1. Ash, I'm relieving you of your puns privileges effective immediately. No more puns for you.

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    1. Please don't - I promise they'll get better!!!

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  2. Not the first time Harmony Gold has caused problems. They did some lasting damage to the Battletech games a while back.

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    1. When was this? I don't recall that and I've been a Battletech fan for years

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    2. It was the Unseen Mechs. There's some info here; sarna.net/wiki/Unseen and here; http://alex.kaempen.org/harmony_gold_v._fasa.html

      Problems started in 1985, saw court in 1995-96, and some problems popped up again when IGN released the trailer for MechWarrior online.

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    3. Ouch, thanks for the backstory Anon!

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    4. Yeah several of the original & iconic Battletech mechs were direct rip offs of Roboteck. Warhammer, Battlemaster, Stinger, Wasp, Marauder & Thunderbolt to name a few. Remember when I 1st saw this transformer I wanted it so bad as d because it looked exactly like a Phoenix Hawk.

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  3. Ash, guess what I've got sitting on my shelf in my office. G1, baby! All parts, but sadly, no sticker art or box. Starscream's facing him off from the other shelf, but same story with the stickers and box. So excited you posted this. Thanks, Ash!

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    1. I'm super jelly!! How is the Transformation difficulty? Ooooh super jealous :(

      Btw did we meet at the Distoy Tradeshow in London?

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    2. http://www.tfkingdom.com/products/G1-Jetfire-Sticker-Sheet-%252d-Repro.html

      http://www.tfkingdom.com/products/G1-Starscream-Sticker-Sheet-%252d-Repro.html

      Here ya go!

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  4. To be fair, that IS a Valkyrie. Their claim isn't exactly invalid. I still have mine (from my childhood) sitting around in my room somewhere, too.

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    1. Daniel, I Sir, am super jealous!

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    2. Meh, I wouldn't be *too* jealous. I played with it hard. It's not exactly pristine. I think one of the "antennae" broke off, if memory serves. Also, the clip no longer catches properly so Humanoid Mode's a pain to maintain and all the accessories are long-since scattered to the wind. haha Still, I has.

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  5. Pocket must be having a good laugh at this, Hasbro sued for giving fans what they want? Oh the irony...

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  6. Reissue is a far stretch, I nearly peed my pants at the prospect, this is just the GIJOE Tomcat painted like jetfire, not a true jetfire reissue.

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  7. This is a tough call. Hasbro used the design of the VF-1 for Jetfire in Macross was not known in the US. When Bandai bought Tatsunako and began promoting Macross as Robotech in the US, tensions really started to rise. The original Jetfire was a rip of the VF-1 in 1984, since Hasbro did reuse designs from Tatsunako toys.

    Where it really gets fun is Harmony Gold. HG owes the rights to the series outside of Japan, but Bandai is actually the 'creator of the series' now (owning Tatsunako Toys), and HG just has the ability to distribute Macross. HG does not control the IP for Robotech/Macross.

    It will be interesting to see what happens as a result.

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