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Thread: SDCC 2010 : farewell, Filmation rights and characters ?

  1. #1
    Heroic Warrior
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    SDCC 2010 : farewell, Filmation rights and characters ?

    I had promised to give my feelings about this particular topic after SDCC, so here they are...

    During the fan panel at SDCC, at least one fan asked a question related to Filmation characters, and if we would see them in MOTUC.

    Alas, here's the answer that was given (taken from Toyark.com) :


    1:39 Anyone created by Filmation, and not in 2002 series, they can not be done. Could change, but now that's the situation.
    That's the second year in a row we get that same answer... and MOTUC is in full boom ! From what Toyguru said in different statements, answers to WTFWTK etc. , it is clear Filmation characters were NEVER planned in MOTUC.

    Today still, they're not included, and Mattel doesn't seem to have bought the rights, nor to even want to buy these Filmation rights.

    San Diego Comic Con was the ideal place to make such an announcement, and from all the buildup Toyguru had created, I had thought there still might be some tiny hope to ever see the likes of Shadow Weaver, Scorpia, Dragoon, Lord Masque, Fang Man, Batros... in plastic form, in the MOTUC line.

    Not anymore. I think chances are extremely thin, almost non existant, to ever see Filmation characters in MOTUC. It's really sad, but as far as I'm concerned, I'll leave this issue to rest. The ONLY way to ever get these characters in MOTUC form will probably be to buy them custom made...

    Of course, they won't admit that there is very little hope, so they still tell us it "could change" , but we know from many statements where the truth is...
    Last edited by Spectror; July 24, 2010 at 12:24pm.

  2. #2
    Master of Dreams Sandman's Avatar
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    There was really never any hope of seeing Filmation characters in MOTUC.

    Keep in mind that, according to Mattel, to produce these figures Mattel would have to purchase the entire Filmation archive from Classic Media. That includes lots of animated series. Why would Mattel ever go through that sort of investment to produce a handful of action figures? Mattel have no interest in promoting these cartoons, and no means of doing so even if they could.

    To get Filmation characters in Classics we would need a policy change that would allow Mattel to purchase on a few characters, such as those from the MOTU and PoP cartoons.

  3. #3
    bnl4life bnlvince's Avatar
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    I'm keeping the faith that mattel will do the right thing here and get the rights to those characters. Not that they've always done right by the fans but they seem to be doing the right thing lately.
    bnl4life

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    Keep in mind that, according to Mattel, to produce these figures Mattel would have to purchase the entire Filmation archive from Classic Media. That includes lots of animated series. Why would Mattel ever go through that sort of investment to produce a handful of action figures? Mattel have no interest in promoting these cartoons, and no means of doing so even if they could.

    To get Filmation characters in Classics we would need a policy change that would allow Mattel to purchase on a few characters, such as those from the MOTU and PoP cartoons.

    Yes, I know, but the fact we were kept hoping by confusing statements and the fact that it seemed that there was going to be something allegedly "so big" at SDCC, that I had secretely hoped we'd get some great news in that department...

    I still think it's pretty stupid how awesome characters are kept "hostage" by some corporate considerations. But hey... "c'est la vie" (that's life).

  5. #5
    Evil Villain!!! adam03's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bnlvince View Post
    I'm keeping the faith that mattel will do the right thing here and get the rights to those characters. Not that they've always done right by the fans but they seem to be doing the right thing lately.
    Maybe in a a prefect world but we live HERE It`s not gonna happen IMHO

  6. #6
    Spirit of She-Ra ! Angel-T's Avatar
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    Well I totally see where you are comming from and I agree to a certian point. But I would think Mattel can lisence perticular characters from the Filmation Library as they did in the 80's and in MYP MOTU. Maybe the MOTUC budget was not large enlough to pay the lisencing fee for Shadow Weaver. Getting the lisence to produce her could arguably be more money than the MOTUC budget would stretch to. But if the budget keeps increasing then she should stand a chance. Next year we are getting a number of new tools like King Hiss, Swiftwind and extra parts like the new hip area on male figs, articulated wrists and possibily a new female neck peg. Maybe in another year or so, if MOTUC keeps going full steam ahead, and the budget set from Mattel upper management continues to increase Shadow Weaver could make her grand entrance?

    As I was told recently when I was starting to lose heart on the Filmation issues - TG and Matty rely on fan apathy on issues like this to make it go away, but keep up the good fight. Things can and do change, look where we were 3 years ago and look where we are now! Shadow Weaver is a thorn in Mattel's side, we just need to keep pushing it in. Hopefully the fans will keep talking about her and expressing why they feel she is an essential part of this all inclusive MOTUC collection. It will work, we just need to keep reminding Mattel (when we can) that we want these figures. Remember the 4H are also on our side, they want to do shadow weaver as well as she was on their personal wish list. I actually think TG would probably like for Shadow weaver to be included in MOTUC as well, but the bottom line is money. While he does manage the brand I do understand that his superiours are the ones who set his department's budget.

    On a final note, if Mattel dosen't have access to Filmation content why then were they playing the She-Ra theme music just before the panel started and why was Bow Shown with his Filmation harp in the Mattel booth after the panel? The harp never appeared in the style guide only the cartoon. Something has most certianly gone on behind the sceens!
    Last edited by Angel-T; July 24, 2010 at 01:18pm.
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  7. #7
    Lumpy Space Person Brad2dbone's Avatar
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    Mattel will buy the rights back, if the deal is right for them. It seems like a long shot, but you never know what could happen.

  8. #8
    Sorcerer of Zalesia bcrduke's Avatar
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    I still think they already hold the rights and/or own classic media.

    I think that part of the negotiation was to keep that under wraps.

    - the shadow beast looks exactly like the filmation one, not the myp one

    - Bow comes with his horse-head guitar; a filmation design... It's way too close ; the only difference is that the handle isn't red

    - they couldn't sell pink or royal swift wind if the fans knew they had the rights to filmation swiftwind... So why tell us until they can sell all the non filmation versions of characters first??

    - they made pixel Dan remove filmation imagery from his reviews; he doesn't work for mattel; mattel can't make some arbitrary demand like that of an independent person, without a sound legal reason

    - at ny toy fair, toyguru changed his tune from "no filmation" to "we cannot comment on that at this time" (with a smile)

    - TG FREAKED when he found that people were contacting Mattel, Entertainment Rights, and Classic Media to inquire about who holds the rights, and/or if mattel was going to purchase them. Why would hs care unless they were negotiating (if classic media knew people were calling, it would just build their case that they should receive more money for the rights, as they are a popular/valuable commodity)

    - the euro company that produced the last POP calendar used only Filmation Images from the POP cartoon, yet they had to get the rights to that imagery from mattel (a few people here found that out, including Darkspecter)

    I think they are outright denyng us filmation characters because they plan to use them later when the line's momentum inevitably starts to lose steam. It would be the perfect way to reinvigorate the line, especially with an announcement at a con. It would be a brilliant strategy. They'd get more bang for their buck that way.

    Don't lose hope. If what i say isn't true, then classic media will eventually cave in. It's a bad economy and I'm sure they are or will be feeling the pinch.
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  9. #9
    Heroic Warrior eurorko's Avatar
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    I hope that you are right and that they do have the rights. If not they should look into getting them because there are other shows other than He-man/She-ra that they could profit from. A Filmation Classics line would rock!!! Bravestarr, Ghostbusters, Blackstar etc. the possibilities are endless.

  10. #10
    Gimme Granita! Scorpia's Avatar
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    I think bcrduke is right- don't lose faith. I believe it will happen- bear in mind that the classic shows only have a certain lifespan and a lot of that has passed since BCI released their versions of the DVDs. I doubt the She-Ra rereleased will fly off the shelves unless there's something very special about them... ER will soon realise that their goldmine is limited and Mattel know that.

    Filmation fans simply need to keep the demand high because the MOTUC line will need it in time. I'm disappointed not to see any Filmation-reveals and the fact that Bow's the hands-down star of SDCC will be clear to Mattel.

    It'll happen, but now's obviously not the right time.
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  11. #11
    Super Powered Mod! markatisu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bcrduke View Post
    I think they are outright denyng us filmation characters because they plan to use them later when the line's momentum inevitably starts to lose steam. It would be the perfect way to reinvigorate the line, especially with an announcement at a con. It would be a brilliant strategy. They'd get more bang for their buck that way.
    This.

    I agree that I think Mattel already owns the Filmation rights, they are just not at the point where admitting it would be of any financial benefit. Several of the most requested characters come from Filmation, the line is not waning or in need of a boost so it would be damn near idiotic to release a Shadow Weaver and just take the norm sellout vs rejuvinating the line and making it hot again when/if things ever slow down.

    The Pixel Dan incident and the Calendar in the UK were two of the big eye-openers as to where the rights actually lie. Anyone who knows a thing about rights and licensing knows to be that involved in the approval process you have to have a stake in the ownership.

    Plus there are some other reasons I am privvy to from back in 2003 when we were working on fan made Filmation sets that lead to believe a lot of what bcrduke has said.
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  12. #12
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    Ah ! bcrduke, what would we do without you (and Darkspecter, who seems to have found the truth on the matter) ?

    All these elements you gathered seem to show that you might be right, and that Mattel ALREADY OWNS the Filmation rights ! The rascals !

    Also, you're right about the Shadow Beast !

    Ha ! I guess we'll have to resort to one tactic about Filmation : attack ! Attack ! Attack ! And keep asking embarrassing questions to Mattel and look for little clues...

    Thanks for your message, anyway ! It brings a tiny bit of hope... and, as we say in my country, "as long as there's hope, there's life" !

  13. #13
    Eternian Sorcerer zodak74's Avatar
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    You know, if the line is really mapped out through 2017, there's still PLENTY of time for Mattel to secure Filmation rights and start including those figures in MOTUC. I don't think there's a time limit when, once passed, the Filmation thing is a dead and buried topic. I think people are just being too overdramatic. Just because it ain't happening in 2011, doesn't mean it won't EVER happen...

  14. #14
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    On the other hand, TG spoke about 200 characters until 2016. We already go beyond this amount without the Filmation characters... that's why I have doubts that we'll ever get these in figure form.

    But who knows ? Now TG spoke of 2017, and Bcrduke and Darkspecter seem to have serious hints and clues that Mattel already bought the rights... I guess it's as usual : we'll have to wait and see !

  15. #15
    Ravage ThunderCat blackiecats's Avatar
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    Mattel own the character names of He-Man, She-Ra and many characters that appeared in the Filmation cartoons. BCI/ER would have had to seek similar permissions that the calendar company did when they released the DVD's

    Maybe Mattel do have Filmation rights, I have no idea, but the fact companies have to clear images etc.. through Mattel, doesn't prove Mattel have got Filmation rights in the slightest.

  16. #16
    Illumina & Cat please! Darkspecter's Avatar
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    Yeah, they could already have Filmation rights and are just "holding on to them for now.'

    I mean, they hold the cartoon rights to basically EVERYTHING DC-related, the 80's Ghostbusters, etc. So, why on Earth would they not secure the rights to the He-Man and She-Ra toons?

    It just wouldn't make sense.
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    Heroic Warrior Grimbot's Avatar
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    We'll at least there aren't any excuses of why they couldn't make Filmation variants of Skeletor and Mer-man.

    Quote Originally Posted by bcrduke View Post
    - Bow comes with his horse-head guitar; a filmation design... It's way too close ; the only difference is that the handle isn't red
    Filmation design is in their license guide:
    http://www.grayskullmuseum.com/pop/licensinggood.htm

    So they covered that one when they stated that they can also do Filmation stuff that's in their license guides.
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  18. #18
    Fudge Supreme Dynamo of Eternia's Avatar
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    bcrduke does make an interesting argument.


    But, assuming that Mattel does not already have the rights (and that anything in the line that appears Filmation-y was done through some kind of legal loophole), here's the way that I see it...

    I honestly think the thing that (at least under the right circumstances) the best chance for Mattel to either acquire a license for Filmation characters or the get the Filmation rights back in full would be if this new live action MOTU movie ever gets off the ground. If MOTU comes back in a big way through something like that, then Mattel financially could put the kind of money into MOTU that would maybe get them these rights. They may want to use some Filmation specific characters or elements in the movie, for example.

    Once this were to happen, then Mattel would likely be able to make those characters in MOTUC.

    I realize that movies take a while to make. But depending on the circumstances, they wouldn't necessarily have to wait until the movie is done and in theaters to be able to do this. It may just require that the movie is green lit and is definitely going into production.




    Quote Originally Posted by Sandman View Post
    There was really never any hope of seeing Filmation characters in MOTUC.

    Keep in mind that, according to Mattel, to produce these figures Mattel would have to purchase the entire Filmation archive from Classic Media. That includes lots of animated series. Why would Mattel ever go through that sort of investment to produce a handful of action figures?
    I agree that putting in a major investment for a handful of figures might not be wise, but if the movie scenario that I mentioned above were to happen, then there would likely be more motivation for Mattel to go after the Filmation rights.

    But, here's my question.... is the entire Filmation library really even worth all that much anymore? I mean, what can anyone really do with it?

    He-Man and She-Ra are the only things in that library that have any real potential value today (and even that's questionable to an extent, more on this shorty). If I am not mistaken, other more recognizable cartoons that Filmation produced like Fat Albert or anything DC related is owned by other companies and isn't even part of this library.

    Most of the rest of the stuff Filmation produced that would be in this library was already pretty obscure when they first aired compared to other more popular shows that were on at the same time. But then add 20+ years of these things not even being on TV AT ALL, and now their obscurity increases many times over.

    Let's face it, the Filmation library can be summed up as He-Man, She-Ra, and a bunch of left over crap. Now, before anyone jumps down my back, when I say "left over crap", I'm not talking about the quality of the shows. There are many others that I enjoyed and I have the Bravestarr and Filmation Ghostbusters DVDs. But most of these shows aren't usually amongst the most well remembered of their era. And I really can't see them being worth anything now.

    What could anyone do with them? BCI already released them all on DVD, so most anyone who wanted them likely bought them. And if I recall correctly, while some sales were good, there was a lot of mediocre and less than stellar sales for many properties as well. Heck, even Season 2 of She-Ra really didn't sell all that well.

    I'm actually a little surprised that Classic Media is even releasing the 25th anniversary She-Ra DVDs considering how much the sales dwindled off during BCI's releases. I'll personally be glad to see it back on store shelves (and I plan to buy the full series set, in addition to already having the BCI sets), but are the sales going to be there?

    But getting back to my point, any real potential profit that could be made from releasing these Filmation shows on DVD was already made by BCI. Any reissues of the more obscure properties will likely just sit there.

    So really, if Mattel wanted to buy the rights to Filmation He-Man and She-Ra back from Classic Media (or ER or whoever the actual owner currently is), and they are being pushed to buy the whole library, it's not like all those other shows being tacked on would/should add any real significant value to the overall package. Mattel could make a sound argument that there's little reason that buying the whole package should cost much more than buying just He-Man and She-Ra since there isn't much financial value left in those other shows/properties.

    Classic Media (or whoever) could turn that down, but sooner or later they will have to realize that they are sitting on a bunch of copyrights with very little, if any, profitability left in them. They will need to take whatever the hell they can get.... whether that is in selling the rights off entirely, or licensing rights for certain characters for Mattel to use in MOTUC, a new movie, or whatever. They'd be best off just accepting whatever money Mattel can offer for the rights to use the characters in this collectible figure line and making a deal. Otherwise they are making nothing at all.
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  19. #19
    Masta of da Fryin' Pan PanMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spectror View Post
    From what Toyguru said in different statements, answers to WTFWTK etc. , it is clear Filmation characters were NEVER planned in MOTUC.
    Of course they were never planned. They didn't have the rights to it, so obviously they knew they couldn't plan for that. If they ever did get the rights (and I'm sure they've at least looked into it), then they'll make some Filmation characters, but it has to be worth it for them.
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  20. #20
    Spirit of She-Ra ! Angel-T's Avatar
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    I was the fan who spoke to Slow Dazzle Media about who they lisenced the rights from to make the calander. They specifically said Classic Media. But then three months later Hype Media announced the He-Man and She-Ra birthday cards range. I spoke to them and they told me that the entire deal was brokered through Mattel and Mattel specifically sent them the new style guide (the same style guide slow dazzle media used as the images are identical) so the deal must have been done recently. I was the fan TG's comments were aimed at about approaching companies about this stuff. But I was only initially asking about the products and if they were authentic. The cards turned up on ebay UK and I and other fans wanted to know if they were the real deal and if they were available internationally, as both are UK companies, but the lion's share of the fan base is in the states.

    However through the discourse with hype it came up the lisencing deal was with Mattel, which I found suprising. I honestly became aware of this info by chance after asaking about one of the cards which used a MYP backround. I was intrested to know how they could use the MYP background as that was Mattel's property not Classic Media? The card in question had Filmation He-Man & Battle Cat situated in the MYP sands of fire background.



    Hype told me that the deal was completely done through Mattel and they had never even dealt with Classic Media and that Mattel had specifically requested they make this perticular card, as they wanted to try out a new look. I wasn't trying to trick Hype into giving me info! Mattel asked them to make the card in question and Hype told me they had no dealings with Classic Media when making the deal to create these cards and thats all she wrote! Bcrduke (as usual) is very close to the truth IMO

    In a nut shell Mattel lisenced out the Filmation look of He-Man and She-Ra for these Hype cards, but months eariler Classic Media lisenced out the rights to the calander to Slow Dazzle Media but Mattel was not involved in this first deal! Mattel issued Pixle Dan with a copyright infringement notice for using the Filmation music (Mattel not Classic Media). Something HAS gone on I have a PDF file of all the card images sent to me from Hype, But I don't know how to save the images as normal pictures so I can post them here! !
    Last edited by Angel-T; July 24, 2010 at 06:08pm.
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  21. #21
    Masta of da Fryin' Pan PanMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angel-T View Post
    Not blowing my own trumpet but I was the fan who spoke to slow dazzle media about who they lisenced the rights from to make the calander. They specifically said Classic Media. But then three months later Hype Media announced the He-Man and She-Ra birthday cards range. I spoke to them and they told me that the entire deal was brokered through Mattel and Mattel specifically sent them the new style guide (the same style guide slow dazzle media used as the images are identical) so the deal must have been done recently. I was the fan TG comments were aimed at about approaching companies about this stuff. But I was only initially asking about the products they had announced and if the were available internationally.

    However through the discourse it came up the deal was with Mattel, which I found supprising. I wanted to know how Classic media could lisence the MYP look as that was Mattel's property? This question came up because one of the cards has a Filmation He-Man & Battle Cat situated in the MYP sands of fire background. Hype then told me that the deal was completely done through Mattel and that Mattel had specifically requested they make this perticular card, as they wanted to try out a new look. I wasn't trying to trick them into giving me info! Mattel asked them to make the card in question and that they had no dealings with classic media when making the deal to create these cards.

    In a nut shell Mattel lisenced out the Filmation look of He-Man and She-Ra for these cards! Mattel issued Pixle Dan with a copyright infringement notice for using the Filmation music (Mattel not Classic Media). Something has gone on
    That's very interesting info....
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  22. #22
    Heroic Warrior JakeofEternia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bcrduke View Post
    I think they are outright denyng us filmation characters because they plan to use them later when the line's momentum inevitably starts to lose steam. It would be the perfect way to reinvigorate the line, especially with an announcement at a con. It would be a brilliant strategy. They'd get more bang for their buck that way.
    I think this is pretty much right on target. I'm not going so far as to suggest that they already have the rights, (which bcrduke seems to be) but I will say that they're certainly holding off until a time when MOTUC starts to really lose steam. I'm pretty sure that Mattel knows at this point that having the rights to do those characters would end up being lucrative enough, so why go all out right off the bat when they can string things along and get the most they can out of the line.

  23. #23
    Sorcerer of Zalesia bcrduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zodak74 View Post
    You know, if the line is really mapped out through 2017, there's still PLENTY of time for Mattel to secure Filmation rights and start including those figures in MOTUC. I don't think there's a time limit when, once passed, the Filmation thing is a dead and buried topic. I think people are just being too overdramatic. Just because it ain't happening in 2011, doesn't mean it won't EVER happen...
    yes.

    When someone asked about retail sales at the con Q&A, TG mentioned, again, that figures would have just one head and one accessory, to keep the special nature of the matty releases intact... he then quickly said something like, "oh, but nothing is planned." Sure. They could use a Filmation infusion to go to retail. The Filmation looks are the most popular, most known versions. They would, arguable, draw in the most people who are not already MOTU fans. Think of Filmation He-man, She-Ra, etc. images all over a display at TRU. That would get everyone in the world's attention.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grimbot View Post
    Filmation design is in their license guide:
    http://www.grayskullmuseum.com/pop/licensinggood.htm

    So they covered that one when they stated that they can also do Filmation stuff that's in their license guides.
    I know. I meant the Horse-head guitar. The Bow figure has the horse-head bow, but also the guitar, and it is the same shape (roughly) as the Filmation one that Bow had. It's too close, in my opinion, for Mattel Legal not to throw a fit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Angel-T View Post
    I was the fan who spoke to slow dazzle media about who they lisenced the rights from to make the calander.
    AH!! I am SO sorry. I do now remember you telling me a little bit about that... it was Darkspecter that mentioned that you had done the research. I am sorry. My memory isn't always so great

    VERY interesting info.

    The Filmation rights to He-Man and She-Ra, Skeletor, and Hordak, may have been retained. I wonder if that was part of the deal back when Mattel sold off the Filmation rights. They kept the rights to just a few of the A list characters?

    In any case, I think it's all bogus and they have them. I don't trust Mattel, and that's fine. If I am wrong I am wrong, but they are a HUGE corporation. I don't mean this in anything but a neautral, non-accusatory way: they don't operate with the same sense of integrity that we think people should. It's like talking to a robot, or a Vulcan. They understand logic as it pertains to capitalism and making money. WHY would they tell us about Filmation unless they absolutely had to. They have the line planned out until 2017. There have to be some big surprises planned in there, regardless of Filmation. In today's market, just doing what they've been doing won't make the line last for 5+ years... it's a bigger, louder, faster world. They know what they are doing, and that plan is going to make them as much money as it can... hopefully (heck, they were supposed to have known what they were doing with 200X...)
    A Want List of Sorts: Eldor, Imp, Filmation Hordak, Sweet Bee, Arrow, NA She-Ra, Spinnerella, Mermista, Gwildor, Tung Lasher, Ninjor, Lizard Man, Dragstor, Huntara, ... and all the other POP & NA characters.

  24. #24
    President of Primus Ornclown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bcrduke View Post
    I think they are outright denyng us filmation characters because they plan to use them later when the line's momentum inevitably starts to lose steam. It would be the perfect way to reinvigorate the line, especially with an announcement at a con. It would be a brilliant strategy. They'd get more bang for their buck that way.

    Don't lose hope. If what i say isn't true, then classic media will eventually cave in. It's a bad economy and I'm sure they are or will be feeling the pinch.
    These are VERY good points. I would make total sense for Mattel to hold on to the Filmation rights for a time when they absolutely NEED them, which definitely isn't now. (The Classics line is moving like a freight-train at the moment...)

    If and when the MOTUC starts to slow, Mattel will most likely end the Classics line, and begin production on an all-new line of MOTU action figures centered around the Filmation Universe. (Meaning the style, colors, bios, and allegiances are all based on the '80's cartoon show.) IMHO, this would ROCK!

    Quote Originally Posted by Darkspecter View Post
    Yeah, they could already have Filmation rights and are just "holding on to them for now.'

    I mean, they hold the cartoon rights to basically EVERYTHING DC-related, the 80's Ghostbusters, etc. So, why on Earth would they not secure the rights to the He-Man and She-Ra toons?

    It just wouldn't make sense.
    Another good point. It is almost ludicrous to think that Mattel can't obtain the rights to Filmation MOTU. (If they don't already own them...) Masters of the Universe is a big part of Mattel's bread-and-butter, and the '80's cartoon show is the foundation on which it was built.
    **Staunch FILMation Subscription supporter!!! **** NEEDS a New Adventures Subscription!!!**

    MOTUC NEEDS more TROLLANS !!!

  25. #25
    Squirrel that can type Lewd_Squirrel's Avatar
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    Everyone's talking about Filmation, which I agree, I think it would rock, if/when they produce them, but what I wanna know is... ...WHERE'S MY KARG?!?! What, if anything, are they doing to try & get the rights to the old movie?
    Does Galactus fart?

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