TF Universe Hot Spot

TF Universe Autobot Hot Zone

I'm sorry. I just don't get the Hot Zone thing.

The usual contrivance of having the "Autobot' title in front of a name has always been, or so I thought, that it somehow allows the name to be different and hence retrademarkable to some extent.

For every name Hasbro lost, they'd throw the Autobot moniker in front of it to use it.

So if he's now Autobot Hot Zone instead of Hot Spot. That implies they somehow lost the name Hot Spot and also lost the name Hot Zone which I don't recall ever being a Transformer name.

Why not just call him Autobot Hot Spot then?!?!

TF Universe Hot Spot is the 2136th Transformer that I've acquired.


It's more complicated than that. Hot Spot is gone, yes, but Hot Zone is available. Hot Zone is open, but it's also a term that someone else might try to snag. Putting "Autobot" on the front makes it harder for another company to filch the name, because "Autobot" is super-defendable.

Bandai could do a blue and red fire truck and call it Hot Zone Megazord and quite possibly get away with it. There's no way in hell they could do it and call it "Autobot Hot Zone Megazord."

As a followup - the TF Wiki explains it pretty well. Mattel holds the name "Hot Rod" and variants thereof for use with toy cars. That name's gone until Mattel decides to release it (which they won't, because they use it with Hot Wheels). "Hound," on the other hand, isn't registered by anyone, but it's a pretty common word. Slapping "Autobot" on front of it makes it more defendable against a claim.

That being said, because someone else already HAS "Hot Rod," Hasbro can't just slap "Autobot" on the front of it and have it be OK. As an actual example, there's a Yu-Gi-Oh card called "Space Megatron." Bandai got the card out to market because "Megatron" wasn't registered for trading cards. Bandai COULDN'T make a "Space Megatron" action figure, though, because Hasbro has that name locked the motherfuck down (this is why you get a new Megatron, Prowl, etc. every year - to keep shit like that from happening).

Make sense?

With the 25th Anniversary Joes, General Hawk is now GIJOE Hawk. Last I checked Hawk was the actual code name for the character. If Hasbro lost it then why not just TM General Hawk which is what most kids called him back in the day anyway.

The explanation Hooper_X provided is more then likely applicable to the Joe names as well.

Thanks, by the way, for the great explanation :)

The Joe situation is, I would imagine, 99% identical. "Hawk", in and of itself, is almost totally defenseless as a trademark. "General Hawk" is probably okay-ish, but it's two common words stuck together. "GIJoe Hawk" is good because "GIJoe," like "Autobot" is a registered trademark which means cain't nobody touch it without Hasbro's say-so.

Technically, I bet they could get "GIJoe General Hawk" if they WANTED, but that's probably a bit long for the figure stand.

(sorry if I'm being pedantic/autistic, but the legal/business aspect of TF is one of the few parts I still find really really interesting; all the real-world wheeling and dealing that goes into the manufacture and sale of plastic space robots.)

Leave a comment

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Nala published on November 20, 2008 5:01 PM.

TF Universe Silverbolt was the previous entry in this blog.

TF Universe Springer and Ratbat is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.


OpenID accepted here Learn more about OpenID
Powered by Movable Type 5.03