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Thread: 3rd Party, IP, Copyright, Trademark

  1. #1
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    Exclamation 3rd Party, IP, Copyright, Trademark

    A lot of you probably already listen to RFC. Their weekly podcast is always a good listen IMO.

    Recently they have released a couple of Minicasts on 3rd Party, IP, Copyright and Trademark where one the hosts of RFC talks with an Ex. Intellectual Property Lawyer on the matter.

    Don't worry, they don't hate on 3rd party, but simply talk about the thin line 3rd party companies walk to get Transformer inspired robots into the very hungry for more hands of collectors, how these 3rd parties potentially get away with it and what Hasbro/Takara's obligations or concerns (if any) may be.

    First one found here

    and a follow up specifically talking about Tarn (from IDW), Reprolabels (toyhax) and Wikis here

    I highly recommend any toy fan transformers or otherwise have a listen.

  2. #2
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    Really interesting stuff actually. Thanks for the post!

  3. #3
    drifand is offline Rank 6 - Dedicated Member
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    Interestingly enough the 3ps have stole designs from one another and have an argument themselves.

    It shows that, there isn't much point holding on to a design and not making it.

    IMO the 3p have already dominated over the originals at this stage. Like it hate it, they have done things that TT and hasbro have only sat on it and not done anything.

    The issue is TT and hasbro has not even do battles with KO so is pretty much left at where it is. Unlike companies like Bandai, they do seek the company and ensure other companies do not own the rights to copy. <even though they illegally do it, is hard.

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    I've wondered if part of the reason why there is little conflict between 3P and HasTak is ultimately there isn't a huge amount of actual overlap between figures.

    With some exceptions of course, 3P largely avoid making a direct competition to a HasTak figure. Yes 3P do make the same characters but they're typically different styling and cost-levels.

    For example look at the CW gestalts with just about any 3P combiner. You can get the full CW/UW set for around ~$150 however that'll only be one limb and a bit on most 3P combiners. That said the 3P are typically much larger than Hasbro's offering with appropriate levels of improvements and quality.

    Or PotP Primal and PE Gorira. Gorira is over double the price however the size and quality is night and day, which makes sense given the price-point difference. This goes on for so many other figures, Calibur Prime vs UT Challenger. SS/AoE Lockdown vs Peru Kill, just about any voyager/leader OP/Megatron vs the ridiculous amount of 3P offerings.

    Ultimately I see 3P offering considerably more high-end figures to collectors that want more from their dollar and have the spare cash to afford it. HasTak is clearly not just marketing for high-end collectors, but to your everyday Joe Bloggs that has a lot less cash to throw around on something they'll buy just for their kids.

    On a side-note, it really scrags my goat when people say HasTak don't care about collectors or they are trying to rip us off. They have a ridiculous amount of extra restrictions that 3P don't have and have a far broader audience to target.

    Things do become a tad more muddled with Masterpiece since it's the 3P collector audience however the overlap here is obviously explained. With a couple exceptions, all 3P MP figures that conflict with an official release were released long before the official was announced. The ones that came after, not only came long after but also because the official one were rather controversial or felt lacking in this day and age (Grimlock, Hot Rod and Starscream).

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by FruitBuyer View Post
    I've wondered if part of the reason why there is little conflict between 3P and HasTak is ultimately there isn't a huge amount of actual overlap between figures.

    With some exceptions of course, 3P largely avoid making a direct competition to a HasTak figure. Yes 3P do make the same characters but they're typically different styling and cost-levels.

    For example look at the CW gestalts with just about any 3P combiner. You can get the full CW/UW set for around ~$150 however that'll only be one limb and a bit on most 3P combiners. That said the 3P are typically much larger than Hasbro's offering with appropriate levels of improvements and quality.

    Or PotP Primal and PE Gorira. Gorira is over double the price however the size and quality is night and day, which makes sense given the price-point difference. This goes on for so many other figures, Calibur Prime vs UT Challenger. SS/AoE Lockdown vs Peru Kill, just about any voyager/leader OP/Megatron vs the ridiculous amount of 3P offerings.

    Ultimately I see 3P offering considerably more high-end figures to collectors that want more from their dollar and have the spare cash to afford it. HasTak is clearly not just marketing for high-end collectors, but to your everyday Joe Bloggs that has a lot less cash to throw around on something they'll buy just for their kids.

    On a side-note, it really scrags my goat when people say HasTak don't care about collectors or they are trying to rip us off. They have a ridiculous amount of extra restrictions that 3P don't have and have a far broader audience to target.

    Things do become a tad more muddled with Masterpiece since it's the 3P collector audience however the overlap here is obviously explained. With a couple exceptions, all 3P MP figures that conflict with an official release were released long before the official was announced. The ones that came after, not only came long after but also because the official one were rather controversial or felt lacking in this day and age (Grimlock, Hot Rod and Starscream).
    All very good points especially on the HasTak side of the fence.

    The 3rd party industry with Transformers is a massive enigma to me. While admittedly I don't follow any other toylines, I haven't been made aware of other such mass appeal for third party toys based off an existing line like Transformers does. If the IP was stricter, and this 3P market didn't exist, I do wonder if some fans would complain so much about either the 3P toys being a rip-off, or HasTak not caring about collectors.

  6. #6
    drifand is offline Rank 6 - Dedicated Member
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    I was once a solely tt or Hasbro collector but I got tired of the waiting and the quality of toys being produced. When they do it right like the sunstreaker mp I praised it make no mistake.

    What gets me is you have a potp predaking that is $300 and is not really a child’s toy nor a proper collectors grade toy. And it no longer wow me at that price point for what it is. Unlike other giants produced they are priced lower.

    There was no consistency with the mp line from tt and it was all over the place. Hated the bs that we were just guessing toy color or anime color etc.. it’s a put off. Imo the quality of material used and paint apps on 3p have surpassed the original and that has left TT.

    It is surprisingly that they have not chased down the major 3p over copyright. Perhaps there is an under table deal going on to take their ideas etc.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the post, will listen in due course.
    I'm really just here for the free food and open bar.

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