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Thread: Mattel no longer owns the rights to MOTU?

  1. #126
    Heroic Warrior Amentep's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megalodon View Post
    OK but why would you sell one of your hottest properties billions in sales??? You sell it?
    Sears is selling their big profitable line, Craftsman as part of a plan to get out of debt. There are all sorts of reasons a compay would do such a thing.

  2. #127
    Color'licious! JVS3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amentep View Post
    Sears is selling their big profitable line, Craftsman as part of a plan to get out of debt. There are all sorts of reasons a compay would do such a thing.
    Amentep is correct. Companies have to make touch decisions all the time to the company moving along.
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  3. #128
    Heroic Warrior Toyguru's Avatar
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    As I reflect on this thread and my years in the brand, I really do think it comes down to the same thing. We all love this brand and these toys. To many of us, getting new motuc figs each month is often one of the most important things in the world.

    Which can make it hard to emotionally detach and realize that not everyone and every company has the emotional connection we do.

    It's often a hard reality to accept but when you apply that perspective to both this thread and even the last 8 years, it can be easier to understand why choices are made.

    While the brand and toys mean everything to us, this is not a universally held belief for everyone who has ever worked in or had a controlling interest in He Man.

  4. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toyguru View Post
    As I reflect on this thread and my years in the brand, I really do think it comes down to the same thing. We all love this brand and these toys. To many of us, getting new motuc figs each month is often one of the most important things in the world.

    Which can make it hard to emotionally detach and realize that not everyone and every company has the emotional connection we do.

    It's often a hard reality to accept but when you apply that perspective to both this thread and even the last 8 years, it can be easier to understand why choices are made.

    While the brand and toys mean everything to us, this is not a universally held belief for everyone who has ever worked in or had a controlling interest in He Man.
    I've worked in the toy industry for 25 years, and at the end of the day it is a business, not a hobby, which means it's run by businessmen and not hobbyists. While some that love toys, such as Scott, do make their way into the industry the majority of folks are not passionate consumers of these products. They look at SKU counts and units moved and profit margins.

    It's often times shocking to me that something as fun as toys is so sterile and rigid but it really is at times.

    But to your point Scott, passion for the product is not what drives the behemoth companies and many who've had controlling interest over He-Man could care less about Masters unless it had potential to be a behemoth that was blatantly obvious.

    Passion for profit over passion for product is generally the difference between the juggernaut toy companies and the niche ones. It sucks when MOTU is your favorite line that it belongs to the first group, but it is a fact.

  5. #130
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    Maybe its just me, but does anyone else think these "royalties" Mattel was paying could actually just be internal cost provisioning? ie. Matty "pays" Mattel for the MOTU licensing it owns so that it can be deemed profitable or not in its own right.

    I work at a Top 30 bank (by world market cap) and every segment "borrows" money from treasury and "hires" their own office space from the parent entity, etc...

  6. #131
    Color'licious! JVS3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gaidin View Post
    Maybe its just me, but does anyone else think these "royalties" Mattel was paying could actually just be internal cost provisioning? ie. Matty "pays" Mattel for the MOTU licensing it owns so that it can be deemed profitable or not in its own right.

    I work at a Top 30 bank (by world market cap) and every segment "borrows" money from treasury and "hires" their own office space from the parent entity, etc...
    Hmmm.. never thought about something like that. But my hesitation in considering it as a possibility is that we don't see the brand come up in any public quarterlies or any statements as a notable source of profit. Unless you mean it purely as an internal means of justification for the brand's existence. But then that would worry me it would be department oriented and not a brand of true value to the company's IP portfolio.
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  7. #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by JVS3 View Post
    Hmmm.. never thought about something like that. But my hesitation in considering it as a possibility is that we don't see the brand come up in any public quarterlies or any statements as a notable source of profit. Unless you mean it purely as an internal means of justification for the brand's existence. But then that would worry me it would be department oriented and not a brand of true value to the company's IP portfolio.
    I was thinking more along the lines of purely an internal transfer...for the purpose of:
    a) Recognising that Matty is trading on an intangible asset (licensing rights) owned by Mattel which, in a silo-ed divisional model, should cost them something!
    b) Giving credence to (ie. some income from) the value that Mattel have the asset listed at on their balance sheet.

    For example...from https://www.thebalance.com/intangibl...e-sheet-357279

    For some firms, intangible assets are the engine behind the business. A perfect illustration: The Walt Disney Company. Nobody else can legally manufacture and sell the thousands of original characters and stories it owns; a right that entitles it to open theme parks built around them, sell merchandise such as lunch boxes and coffee mugs, put on live concerts and release albums. Disney carries shy of $7.2 billion on its balance sheet for intangible assets, though it's certainly worth more.

    Anyway, this is all just speculation on my part...unless Mattel releases a P&L down to Matty level? The finances inside of large corporates can be confusing and, without casting aspersions here, a throwaway line from a CFO to a marketing team member about having to "pay for the rights to produce these figures" could be easily misconstrued

  8. #133
    Heroic Warrior Toyguru's Avatar
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    Before conspiracy theories or over thinking I can confirm that absoltuely Mattel payed royalties to third party companies from hallmark to Universal for every motuc fig we made and continues today (well it would if Mattel still made motu toys). You can note things like Licensor Show in Vegas Mattel heavily promotes things like MH and HW with zero mention in booth for motu because as noted it is not Mattel's to license.

    Mattel has first option to make toys and that is it. Comics are the only odd exception as those are not considered "entertainment" the way a movie or TV show is. So comics can involve Mattel as packs in or the DC comics. Beyond that, Universal is the IP owner and if I remember correct they get everything no strings attached in 2023.

    If that helps avoid confusion.

    And for food for thoughts, we have gotten more motu toys (ie all of classics) under Mattel's non ownership the we ever got under other eras. So as Val noted above, who owned the IP is way less relevant to just getting more toys! And we seem to still be getting more so... yay? 🤗😎
    Last edited by Toyguru; January 8, 2017 at 11:36am.

  9. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toyguru View Post
    Mattel has first option to make toys and that is it. Comics are the only odd exception as those are not considered "entertainment" the way a movie or TV show is. So comics can involve Mattel as packs in or the DC comics. Beyond that, Universal is the IP owner and if I remember correct they get everything no strings attached in 2023.
    What do you think Mattel's ultimate goal is behind doing MOTU DC comics when it doesn't seem to be a big money maker for them... minimal risk investment to experiment and keep MOTU exposure in the public eye? (obviously Rob David is a big MOTU fan and seemingly driving force story-wise just like you were with the toys)

  10. #135
    The First Avenger Megalodon's Avatar
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    So why don't they buy everything back like Hasbro did??

    (And no "cute" answers) I don't think Mattel wanted to sell this back in the day....If they owned it now outright they stand to make more money on it if and when a movie or TV show were to come out..

  11. #136
    Heroic Warrior Toyguru's Avatar
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    Not my place to say. I'd direct any specific question to Mattel, Super 7, and Universal.

    As the singing gophers say; All complaints can be directed to the Monsanto Corporation.

  12. #137
    Ravage ThunderCat blackiecats's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megalodon View Post
    So why don't they buy everything back like Hasbro did??
    Because MOTU is no longer a big brand for Mattel. Also to buy it back would mean Universal would need to want to actually sell it. What if they don't want to sell?
    Most wanted Filmation style MOTUC figures:

    Hunga the Harpy, Webstor, Kobra Khan, Leech, Whiplash, Rattlor, Catra Cat Form, Ram Man, Count Marzo, Two-Bad, King Miro, Twiggets, Frosta, Kothos and Admiral Scurvy.

  13. #138
    Cobra Saboteur Firefly's Avatar
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    Maybe it is for the best if Mattel eventually gets completely divorced from MOTU.

    I'd like for somebody to get a cartoon show made again and quit waiting for a movie. Get it on Nick, Cartoon Network, Netflix, Amazon, Boomerang, or where ever. I am amazed by how many reboots there are out there and why MOTU can't get another.

  14. #139
    The First Avenger Megalodon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firefly View Post
    Maybe it is for the best if Mattel eventually gets completely divorced from MOTU.

    I'd like for somebody to get a cartoon show made again and quit waiting for a movie. Get it on Nick, Cartoon Network, Netflix, Amazon, Boomerang, or where ever. I am amazed by how many reboots there are out there and why MOTU can't get another.
    If they are going to do a cartoon how about continuing and finishing off the MYP cartoon??

    That series had SO MUCH potential to finish off and be the best cartoon of the MOTU series...

  15. #140
    Cobra Saboteur Firefly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megalodon View Post
    If they are going to do a cartoon how about continuing and finishing off the MYP cartoon??

    That series had SO MUCH potential to finish off and be the best cartoon of the MOTU series...
    Nah, I think it should be something new. They need to try to pull in a new generation. A lot of cartoons didn't have true endings and King Hssss was defeated in the last episode, so it was sort of an ending (even if they did intend to bring him back and turn MAA into a snake person).

  16. #141
    Heroic Warrior King Tamusk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toyguru View Post
    Before conspiracy theories or over thinking I can confirm that absoltuely Mattel payed royalties to third party companies from hallmark to Universal for every motuc fig we made and continues today (well it would if Mattel still made motu toys)...we have gotten more motu toys (ie all of classics) under Mattel's non ownership the we ever got under other eras.
    Then, for further clarification, can you please explain why you stated the following...?

    In your Director's Commentary, a reference to writing the bios:
    As we set about writing these, I knew personally that this was not only a HUGE honor, but we were writing them with permission from the fans. Yes, Mattel owns the brand, but it is the fans that have kept the brand alive for years. This was not something done lightly or in haste.
    In a reference to making an Illumina figure:
    ...all characters in MOTU are created by Mattel employees or freelancers etc…and owned by Mattel, end of story I hope.
    These are statements made during the time period that you claim Mattel didn't own MOTU, which contradict everything you've been saying recently about Mattel and MOTU.

  17. #142
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megalodon View Post
    If they are going to do a cartoon how about continuing and finishing off the MYP cartoon??

    That series had SO MUCH potential to finish off and be the best cartoon of the MOTU series...
    DC MOTU Ongoing and Eternity War comics continued the MYP storyline where the Horde was set to invade in the proposed season 3.

    Any new cartoon and movie are big risk, higher cost ventures. Nostalgia easy low risk cash ins have been the way Mattel and DreamWorks Animation have been taking (MOTUC figs, books, comics, merchandise, etc). Comic medium is a low risk, low cost experimental ground.

    As Rob David has said, keep experimenting but stay true to the core theme and characters.

  18. #143
    Heroic Warrior Toyguru's Avatar
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    RE: my earlier post, while we all love motu, our emotional connection to the brand tends to cloud the fact that overall the brand is waaaaaayyyyyy less popular than we realize.

    Look at Funko POP. They make hundreds of IP and MOTU was one of their worst sellers of all time. Hence no wave 2.

    From my professional experience working in the brand for a decade I can tell you their is a lot of truth to motu fans being louder than numerous. The same 200 fans posting online does not a wanting public make. Trust me, I've seen the number.

    This is a big reason why the attitude (not mine) was often "they are lucky to be getting anything at all, yet all they do is complain. So why are we doing this again?".

    Fighting the good fight folks. Rob David doing a great job, Super 7 too. Thank them and support them with positive comments online. It is the best thing you can do.
    Last edited by Toyguru; January 8, 2017 at 02:35pm.

  19. #144
    Serving the Universe DennyCrane's Avatar
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    If the secret is to get a regular cartoon on-air again, by rights Disney would be the best bet for that. While I don't completely relish the idea of a world run by a corporate juggernaut armed with razor sharp teeth under the guise of cute woodland animal mascots...it is what it is. Disney XD has been a great success in getting the type of entertainment a few steps above the usual Pokémon fare you see on other networks, and an almost-return to the days of yesteryear in their programming.

    I see Mattel's current relationship to the brand more as an escape clause situation similar to the original Lucas deal (i.e. you can have this, if I can have this) just in case it become profitable one day--thus giving them the ability to wash their hands of the brand and retain that little bit of "what if" property. It's a win/win scenario for them. And it makes perfect sense that they would choose the toy rights--since that's where it all started in-house--for said clause. Disclaimer: This is only my opinion/conjecture/wag.
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  20. #145
    Heroic Warrior Hy-Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by King Tamusk View Post
    Then, for further clarification, can you please explain why you stated the following...?

    In your Director's Commentary, a reference to writing the bios:


    In a reference to making an Illumina figure:


    These are statements made during the time period that you claim Mattel didn't own MOTU, which contradict everything you've been saying recently about Mattel and MOTU.
    Yeah! Inquiring minds need to know...!

  21. #146
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toyguru View Post
    RE: my earlier post, while we all love motu, our emotional connection to the brand tends to cloud the fact that overall the brand is waaaaaayyyyyy less popular than we realize.

    Look at Funko POP. They make hundreds of IP and MOTU was one of their worst sellers of all time. Hence no wave 2.

    From my professional experience working in the brand for a decade I can tell you their is a lot of truth to motu fans being louder than numerous. The same 200 fans posting online does not a wanting public make. Trust me, I've seen the number.

    This is a big reason why the attitude (not mine) was often "they are lucky to be getting anything at all, yet all they do is complain. So why are we doing this again?".

    Fighting the good fight folks. Rob David doing a great job, Super 7 too. Thank them and support them with positive comments online. It is the best thing you can do.

    In regards to the Pop! pieces, I barely ever saw them anywhere; I finally found the one I wanted I believe either at a comic shop on a trip, or at a convention.

    Can't buy what I can't find.
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  22. #147
    Color'licious! JVS3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firefly View Post
    Nah, I think it should be something new. They need to try to pull in a new generation.
    Undoubtedly what they would do. They are not going to go back and pick up with a cartoon that ended 13 years ago. That ship has sailed. Sorry, Megalodon.
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  23. #148
    The First Avenger Megalodon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JVS3 View Post
    Undoubtedly what they would do. They are not going to go back and pick up with a cartoon that ended 13 years ago. That ship has sailed. Sorry, Megalodon.
    I'm just saying 13 years ago they SHOULD have finished it up...why cancel an award winning tv show just because the toy line took a dump? See something else that didn't make sense.....

  24. #149
    Heroic Warrior sandrockgundam04's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toyguru View Post
    Look at Funko POP. They make hundreds of IP and MOTU was one of their worst sellers of all time. Hence no wave 2.
    Not that I know anything about sales at the time, when MOTU came out for Funko, that line of toys had not yet exploded. Now the MOTU POPs are incredibly sought after and command a high price. They just started releasing MOTU Dorbz and have already announced another wave of MOTU POPs are coming soon as well, likely due to the interest in the hard to find originals.

  25. #150
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megalodon View Post
    I'm just saying 13 years ago they SHOULD have finished it up...why cancel an award winning tv show just because the toy line took a dump? See something else that didn't make sense.....

    Because for all Mattel cared, the show could've been as coherent as that parody cartoon "Worker and Parasite" on Krusty's show on the Simpsons, as long as it moved the toys.

    The toys didn't sell, so they saw no point in continuing it.
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