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Thread: FILMation Access

  1. #1
    Gorilla beastussapien Beastmangler's Avatar
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    FILMation Access

    I am ecstatic that Mattel can now use FILMation characters in MOTUC but has access to the FILMation library of characters been clearly explained?

    Emiliano explained in another thread that Mattel had sold the MOTU and POP "entertainment rights" years ago and they are now controlled together with the FILMation Library; leaving Mattel without total control of their brand.

    Toyguru mentioned that they "can look" at the magazines, and the Golden Books and such, but, has there been any explanation what exactly "We have FILMation rights" actually means?

    Is it a licensing deal where Mattel can produce toys and other collectibles for a limited number of time? Or is it an agreement where Mattel and Classic Media defined what Mattel can use in perpetuity?

    Depending on what the agreement is, wouldn't that give us an indication of where the brand is going into the future.

    If it's a Licensing deal, then they couldn't include components of FILMation into a movie or future media because they would always be at the mercy of the license and have to collaborate with Classic Media on everything. If that's the case, wouldn't that mean that characters like Shadow Weaver could not be a part of the MOTU brand proper because the license would limit brand expansion?


    In other words, can the FILMation universe be folded into the current Masters mythos or is it just a stand alone thing where they can make a Shadow Weaver Lunch box here and a Lizard Man Beach Towel there?

    I really wish Mattel had control of their brand like Hasbro does with GI Joe and Transformers where they reacquired the distribution rights to their brands from the Sunbow Library. Or is Mattel's deal, in fact, similar?

    So many question!!! Maybe I'm looking at it all wrong.
    Last edited by Beastmangler; July 26, 2011 at 09:50pm.

  2. #2
    Heroic Warrior Memnoch's Avatar
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    I have a feeling that Mattel paid the price to have the characters back "in house" with Classic Media retaining the rights to shows themselves.. if that makes sense. Essentially I think it was like the Bitner deal that got us Photog. Which is great..

    What I fear is that we will get straight FILMation style characters - like Orko, and to a lesser extent Marlena. I don't need a FILMation He-Man, MAA, Teela, etc. Their current versions are done amazingly well - but then I see Orko who is nothing but FILMation and I shiver a bit. Here's hoping that the 4H prove me wrong (and give us a more detailed Orko) and that Matty made the best deal ever in being able to do what they want with FILMation characters.

  3. #3
    Heroic Warrior Krueger's Avatar
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    I don’t think Mattel have actually bought the rights. Rather, I just think they can now use whatever they want because of the deal they’ve got going on with Classic Media.

  4. #4
    Greatful his pants are on bskcase's Avatar
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    Classic Media still holds the media rights to MOTU. If you watch the new Voltron cartoons, you see "In association with Classic Media" in the beginning credits.

    Mattel can now make any Filmation MOTU character and vehicle and whatever they want, but if they want a cartoon, they have to deal with Classic Media.
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  5. #5
    Do it right or not at all Reboot's Avatar
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    It seemed to me, based on stuff flying around recently, that more than half the reason this deal got done was so that *Classic Media* could make new MotU stuff...

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    Adora's Father dorrmann's Avatar
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    I doubt that this question will ever be officially answered due to Mattel not releasing legal details.
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    The Original! guitargod694's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorrmann View Post
    I doubt that this question will ever be officially answered due to Mattel not releasing legal details.
    Yep. I think the best we can come is "they have an arrangement with Classic Media".
    We know they didn't outright purchase the rights, but they have a deal in place.
    That's probably all the more details we'll ever get confirmed.
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  8. #8
    Heroic Journalist MldMnrdReporter's Avatar
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    I'm sure that what ever the agreement it it's completely symbiotic for both Mattel and Classic Media. Taking that into account I think we should all just be happy that a compromise was made to get Filmation characters in a line we all love and not wonder about the details.

    Sometimes it's just better to accept something at face value and not dig.
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  9. #9
    grumpy old dragon scott metzger's Avatar
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    I admit, I'm a bit curious, as well, but I do doubt we'll get much information, given Mattel legal's tendency to treat everything as though it were a matter of national security. I think, though, if they had bought the rights back flat out, they'd be publicly trumpeting that for everyone to hear, especially when they are trying to get a movie going.
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  10. #10
    Do it right or not at all Reboot's Avatar
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    Expanding on my above post, we seem to know three things here:
    1) Mattel and CM have been working together on 30th Anniversary cross-branding and suchforth
    2) If what TG said at the MC SDCC panel is to be believed (paraphrasing, it was a surprise to him, and somewhat last-minute, but they took the opportunity with both hands), CM made the approach to do the deal they have.
    3) A CM guy, as Tallstar's been keeping us all updated on, has been tweeting about ideas for a new She-Ra series.

    My bet is that Mattel now has a toy licence for all CM-owned MotU properties (current & future) in something-resembling perpetuity (with reversion clauses for non-use?), but in turn CM now has a similar licence in reverse to to do genuinely new media for MotU, where before they were narrowly limited by Mattel's trademark ownership and whatever fiction copyrights Mattel have to Filmation-created stuff. Perhaps even the exclusive right to do a MotU TV show.

  11. #11
    grumpy old dragon scott metzger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reboot View Post
    My bet is that Mattel now has a toy licence for all CM-owned MotU properties (current & future) in something-resembling perpetuity (with reversion clauses for non-use?), but in turn CM now has a similar licence in reverse to to do genuinely new media for MotU, where before they were narrowly limited by Mattel's trademark ownership and whatever fiction copyrights Mattel have to Filmation-created stuff. Perhaps even the exclusive right to do a MotU TV show.
    Nah, that can't be. It's completely and totally logical and makes great business sense for both sides.
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  12. #12
    Ravage ThunderCat blackiecats's Avatar
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    I think we can thank Voltron for the Filmation Rights deal. I expect while Mattel produce Voltron toys, they can make Filmation characters.

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    Heroic Warrior gbagok's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackiecats View Post
    I think we can thank Voltron for the Filmation Rights deal. I expect while Mattel produce Voltron toys, they can make Filmation characters.
    I'd hope they made a better deal than that. If Voltron doesn't sell well enough and ends after one or two years, then would lose Filmation rights before getting more than 3-5 figures! Also I would think Mattel wanted to make Voltron, so it wouldn't be just a favor to get Shadow Weaver and company.

  14. #14
    Ravage ThunderCat blackiecats's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gbagok View Post
    I'd hope they made a better deal than that. If Voltron doesn't sell well enough and ends after one or two years, then would lose Filmation rights before getting more than 3-5 figures! Also I would think Mattel wanted to make Voltron, so it wouldn't be just a favor to get Shadow Weaver and company.
    Nah I believe Mattel wanted Voltron and that was the reason why they got the rights. I just think the Filmation Rights were a little extra cherry on the cake which Mattel jumped at! Remember Scott said the deal was unexpected, but hey where not complaining.....or something along those lines.

    and 2-3 years = maybe 9 figures. They could cover all the favourites by then (Shadow Weaver, Scorpia, Octavia, Madame Razz/Broom, Imp, Seahawk, Shokoti, Fangman, Strongarm etc..)

  15. #15
    Gorilla beastussapien Beastmangler's Avatar
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    I tend not too believe that they miraculously got the Filmation rights so unexpectedly and sudden. I think it's just a way to deflect the constant "denials" that they had them and it seems to have worked.

  16. #16
    Heroic Warrior Krueger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beastmangler View Post
    I tend not too believe that they miraculously got the Filmation rights so unexpectedly and sudden. I think it's just a way to deflect the constant "denials" that they had them and it seems to have worked.
    Yeah. Personally, I think they’ve had access to Filmation and other things for a while, but they were just waiting to announce it and Shadow Weaver for the 30th. Basically, I think they’ve had this planned for a fair time. Maybe not from day one, but definitely for more than a couple of months.
    Last edited by Krueger; July 27, 2011 at 10:02pm.

  17. #17
    Ravage ThunderCat blackiecats's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krueger View Post
    Basically, I think they’ve had this planned for a fair time. Maybe not from day one, but definitely for more than a couple of months.
    I agree. The Voltron deal was worked out way back since it was announced not long after the Bandai/ThunderCats deal was right?

  18. #18
    Heroic Warrior Adam_Portugal's Avatar
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    What about the never released He-Man & She-Ra Cartoon soundtrack?

    Do you think that now mattel will release it? Or Classic Media? Or both? Or None?

  19. #19
    Heroic Warrior Emiliano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam_Portugal View Post
    What about the never released He-Man & She-Ra Cartoon soundtrack?

    Do you think that now mattel will release it? Or Classic Media? Or both? Or None?
    Adam, sorry to always be the one reporting bad news on that front, but this new deal hardly change anything.
    As I told you, the problem is that neither Mattel, or Classic Media, or ER, or Hallmark have the actual music.
    No new deal between these entities can make this music tracks magically reappear.
    It's the same of when people thingk Classic Media or Mattel have access to lot of original artwork: they simply don't have that.

    On the deal thing, I'm pretty sure it was in the work for about an year now, but of course it takes time ti finalize contracts and get everything worked out before it can be announced

  20. #20
    Heroic Warrior
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    I would imagine that the Classic Media Deal is structured in such a way that once Mattel makes a toy of a Filmation character, they can make toys of that character forever. Think, for example of Orko, a Filmation-original character who because he was a toy in the 1980s could be used by Mattel in future iterations of the brand.
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  21. #21
    Gorilla beastussapien Beastmangler's Avatar
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    I really do hope that some of those FILMation characters can be incorporated into the universe indefinitely.

  22. #22
    Evil Overlord of Spandex CptSpandex's Avatar
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    I understand the speculation, but what, exactly is the concern here? Is it that not all Filmation characters will be made into toys or that Filmation characters will not be allowed into future media?

  23. #23
    Sunflower Golden Lord josh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CptSpandex View Post
    I understand the speculation, but what, exactly is the concern here? Is it that not all Filmation characters will be made into toys or that Filmation characters will not be allowed into future media?
    Precisely.
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