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Thread: Mattel no longer owns the rights to MOTU?

  1. #101
    Ravage ThunderCat blackiecats'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?
    NA kinda killed the brand at the time and if you get offered X amount of money you could invest back into more popular brands then it's just down to business at that time. Maybe they needed the cash injection? Look at MOTU right now, it's not exactly on the scale of Star Wars, Transformers and Ninja Turtles is it? The company that bought the MOTU entertainment rights in 2004 as part of the Filmation library went bust a few years later for overvaluing the brands they were acquiring. So maybe Mattel was wise to sell the rights in the 90's? Fact is you will never know the full story behind it as nobody is going to disclose it.

    Talking of NA, wouldn't the entertainment rights for MOTU have been left with whoever made the New Adventures of He-Man cartoon? Perhaps Hallmark gained the MOTU entertainment rights through the purchase of the NA series?
    Last edited by blackiecats; January 6, 2017 at 07:25pm.
    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.

  2. #102
    The First Avenger Megalodon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackiecats View Post
    NA kinda killed the brand at the time and if you get offered X amount of money you could invest back into more popular brands then it's just down to business at that time. Maybe they needed the cash injection? Look at MOTU right now, it's not exactly on the scale of Star Wars, Transformers and Ninja Turtles is it? The company that bought the MOTU entertainment rights in 2004 as part of the Filmation library went bust a few years later for overvaluing the brands they were acquiring. So maybe Mattel was wise to sell the rights in the 90's? Fact is you will never know the full story behind it as nobody is going to disclose it.
    They must have gotten a boatload of money because I compare this to what Marvel did by selling the movie rights to certain studios back in the day but they were smart enough to keep the rights to the characters and when Disney bought them got the rights back to most of the properties...the smartest one's keep something but it seems like Mattel sold almost all of them and now have to pay royalties just to make certain figures when they could have kept them in house...

  3. #103
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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?
    MOTU was a moneymaker in the 80s and failure with NA in the 90s. You lose $3.6 million on one of the worst business deals in history and you suddenly need to make up for that loss... MOTU put on the block /SPECULATION

  4. #104
    The First Avenger Megalodon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kesmai View Post
    MOTU was a moneymaker in the 80s and failure with NA in the 90s. You lose $3.6 million on one of the worst business deals in history and you suddenly need to make up for that loss... MOTU put on the block /SPECULATION
    OK that was the 1990's you don't just throw away MOTU? Imagine if they made MOTUC and they owned the whole library,characters etc. (Just like Hasbro did) they own it all no fees to give out no nothing...

  5. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megalodon View Post
    They must have gotten a boatload of money because I compare this to what Marvel did by selling the movie rights to certain studios back in the day but they were smart enough to keep the rights to the characters and when Disney bought them got the rights back to most of the properties...the smartest one's keep something but it seems like Mattel sold almost all of them and now have to pay royalties just to make certain figures when they could have kept them in house...
    As someone else speculated in this thread there could a joint deal setup where Mattel and DreamWorks Animation (now owned by NBCUniversal) pay royalties back and forth to each other to keep things simpler.

    Check back in on this thread in 2023 or 2024...

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Megalodon View Post
    OK that was the 1990's you don't just throw away MOTU? Imagine if they made MOTUC and they owned the whole library,characters etc. (Just like Hasbro did) they own it all no fees to give out no nothing...
    We may never know with NDA what exactly was the state of thinking in Mattel at that time. $3.6 billion loss is a lot and any company would be scrambling to recoup on that.

  6. #106
    Tri-Solar Lord Oceanwalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kesmai View Post
    As someone else speculated in this thread there could a joint deal setup where Mattel and DreamWorks Animation (now owned by NBCUniversal) pay royalties back and forth to each other to keep things simpler.

    Check back in on this thread in 2023 or 2024...

    - - - Updated - - -



    We may never know with NDA what exactly was the state of thinking in Mattel at that time. $3.6 billion loss is a lot and any company would be scrambling to recoup on that.
    Billion or million???

  7. #107
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    No toy copyright/trademark point to DreamWorks Animation ownership at this time. Maybe that changes in 2023 or if something other deal takes place before then or nothing happens. Who knows... anything could happen...

  8. #108
    Ravage ThunderCat blackiecats's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megalodon View Post
    OK that was the 1990's you don't just throw away MOTU? Imagine if they made MOTUC and they owned the whole library,characters etc. (Just like Hasbro did) they own it all no fees to give out no nothing...
    I think your looking at things from a fans perspective on this subject. MOTU hasn't made big money since the 1980's and since we have been told MOTUC is a small line compared to Mattel's other brands I think the answer lies there within. The royalty payments are probably small change compared to what they sold MOTU rights for in the 90's.
    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.

  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oceanwalker View Post
    Billion or million???
    Billion

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/4...bn-fiasco.html

  10. #110
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    Actually, MOTU first started its major decline when Mattel made the brilliant move of teaming up with a failing movie studio to produce the MOTU movie. After that brilliant decision, they decided to give NA a shot...which Roger Sweet flat-out said to them would bomb.

    Essentially, two very bad moves that they weren't without feedback on at the time.

    Still blamed loss of consumer interest.....


    I mean...it would be like working on a new movie now with Sony........OHHHHHH.................
    "Whoever says money is evil...doesn't have it"- Boiler Room

  11. #111
    Color'licious! JVS3's Avatar
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    As fans, we've talked in generalities over the years. We've spoken about "toy rights" and "entertainment rights." It's not that black and white. I don't know the specifics and, in a way, I don't want to know the specifics.


    But the evolution of the MOTU and POP properties had a big part to do with Filmation's MOTU and POP cartoons. And they also had a stake in what they produced. (Brian Flynn from Super7 also talks a bit about these types of rights issues in the next Roast Gooble Dinner, coming soon) That's pretty common for people who work in the entertainment industry. It's also similar to how the 87 movie has a partial home with Warner Brothers, and the Goddard Group. I suspect that plays into why we don't have 87 movie characters beyond the ones that were vintage toys. Various rights for various things are owned by all types of companies and creators.

    When Filmation fell on hard times, they sold off their studio to L'Oreal. Along with it went their stake in MOTU and POP. It's changed hands a number of times since then.

    It's all very complex. Who owns what is not easy to spell out, and I don't know the details. But, will Mattel no longer have MOTU at some point? It really is impossible to tell. I do not know the specifics of their deal with (then) Hallmark when the 200x property was created and how that plays into all of this.

    As talked about before, things constantly change with deals and contracts. For all we know, Mattel could end up owning all of MOTU and POP in a few years. Anything is possible when it comes to this sort of thing.
    Hope to see you at Power-Con 2021!
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  12. #112
    The First Avenger Megalodon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JVS3 View Post
    As fans, we've talked in generalities over the years. We've spoken about "toy rights" and "entertainment rights." It's not that black and white. I don't know the specifics and, in a way, I don't want to know the specifics.


    But the evolution of the MOTU and POP properties had a big part to do with Filmation's MOTU and POP cartoons. And they also had a stake in what they produced. (Brian Flynn from Super7 also talks a bit about these types of rights issues in the next Roast Gooble Dinner, coming soon) That's pretty common for people who work in the entertainment industry. It's also similar to how the 87 movie has a partial home with Warner Brothers, and the Goddard Group. I suspect that plays into why we don't have 87 movie characters beyond the ones that were vintage toys. Various rights for various things are owned by all types of companies and creators.

    When Filmation fell on hard times, they sold off their studio to L'Oreal. Along with it went their stake in MOTU and POP. It's changed hands a number of times since then.

    It's all very complex. Who owns what is not easy to spell out, and I don't know the details. But, will Mattel no longer have MOTU at some point? It really is impossible to tell. I do not know the specifics of their deal with (then) Hallmark when the 200x property was created and how that plays into all of this.

    As talked about before, things constantly change with deals and contracts. For all we know, Mattel could end up owning all of MOTU and POP in a few years. Anything is possible when it comes to this sort of thing.
    Thanks Val It's just sad that they will probably take too long to get everything to get some of those characters into MOTUC (like the '87 movie for example) but everyone has got their hand out...

  13. #113
    Color'licious! JVS3's Avatar
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    Deals like that could be as simple as the royalty profit isn't even enough to pay the attorney to do the paperwork. MOTUC makes so little money, which ultimately makes it not worth some people's time. They aren't always resisting on purpose, or wanting to rob fans of an action figure.

    But, who knows what the future may hold. There's still always hope.
    Hope to see you at Power-Con 2021!
    JVS3 = Val Staples = Power-Con, Event Director | He-Man.Org, Owner | Guy who has been fortunate to work on a LOT of MOTU & POP projects
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  14. #114
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    MOTU was effectively worthless in the 90s. Why wouldn't Mattel sell it for whatever they could get?

  15. #115
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    I would point to GI Joe as an example to why Mattel would not have sold off MOTU in the 90s. For several reasons, GI Joe had become a low value toy line for Hasbro by the late 70s. Hasbro could have sold off GI Joe for anyone's best offer and washed their hands of the action figure line, except Hasbro turned to Marvel for help in reintroducing GI Joe to a new generation. The result of Marvel's & Hasbro's efforts is the now classic GI Joe Real American Hero line.

    We can see at least some of the reasons why Mattel may have decided to sell off MOTU entirely in the 90s, but Mattel has equally weighted reasons for retaining a toyline that is no currently active.

  16. #116
    Heroic Warrior King Tamusk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toyguru View Post
    Does the "why" really matter? I get wanting to know, but we're treading on non disclosure info at this point that I doubt will ever be made public.
    Yup...kinda makes me think you probably shouldn't have commented on it to begin with. Individuals can get sued over stuff like this.
    Last edited by King Tamusk; January 7, 2017 at 12:57am.

  17. #117
    Heroic Warrior Toyguru's Avatar
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    It's 100 percent public knowledge that Mattel sold the rights to MOTU in the 1990s. There is no issue there. But I am clearly not going to discuss any knowledge I have of the why. That is part of my non disclosure with them and I won't be discussing. I have not discussed anything that is not already available to the public. Just pop in any old MOTU DVD and watch the logos/credits.
    Last edited by Toyguru; January 7, 2017 at 09:28am.

  18. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toyguru View Post
    It's 100 percent public knowledge that Mattel sold the rights to MOTU in the 1990s. There is no issue there. But I am clearly not going to discuss any knowledge I have of the why. That is part of my non disclosure with them and I won't be discussing. I have not discussed anything that is not already available to the public. Just pop in any old MOTU DVD and watch the logos/credits.
    Except the public is shocked and never knew this. We knew about the Entertainment rights with now DreamWorks Animation. I still haven't seen any press releases or documentation saying Mattel sold off more of their MOTU rights and ability to make toys past 2023 in the 90s or ever. Not saying I don't believe you but no one has brought forth this specific news before.

  19. #119
    Heroic Warrior Toyguru's Avatar
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    10 people on He-man.org are shocked. I'd hardly call that the public. :-P

    Regardless, Val stated it very well. These things change ALL the time. Mattel could buy Universal tomorrow and then form a new company called McDisney. As long as we are getting more cool stuff does all this legal stuff matter? Make mine motu

  20. #120
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    I really find these things fascinating. I like the behind-the-scenes talk of big companies and the decisions they make. The rise and fall of the Masters of the Universe toyline would make a great case study I bet. I think we always knew that the MOTU rights were always complicated and the information shared in this thread really makes that hit home. I bet it took Super7 a long time to deal with the morass of details to get the ability to sell Classics and Club Grayskull. But as Scott and others have said we won't know the whys for a long time because of NDAs, which is certainly necessary in our corporate world. The good news is between Super7 and toys, DC and comics, and Dark Horse with books collecting a variety of MOTU details from the past and present, we still have MOTU around today and let's hope it keeps going!

  21. #121
    Shy Glizzy mkpat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toyguru View Post
    10 people on He-man.org are shocked. I'd hardly call that the public. :-P

    Regardless, Val stated it very well. These things change ALL the time. Mattel could buy Universal tomorrow and then form a new company called McDisney. As long as we are getting more cool stuff does all this legal stuff matter? Make mine motu
    Amen. Who owns rights to a toy brand isn't exactly life altering news to most folks.
    My post count just got bigger.

  22. #122
    Heroic Warrior Stratos*Major's Avatar
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    Then why being it up in the other forum?

  23. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stratos*Major View Post
    Then why being it up in the other forum?
    It seems to be one of those Toy Guru habits. Casually mention something in one thread that provokes fans, then give some vague responses and when people press him for more detailed answers, it's suddenly "why do people care about this?". Not trying to bash the guy, I am grateful for whay he did with the line foe the most part, but this particular behavior is rather annoying.

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  24. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toyguru View Post
    10 people on He-man.org are shocked. I'd hardly call that the public. :-P

    Regardless, Val stated it very well. These things change ALL the time. Mattel could buy Universal tomorrow and then form a new company called McDisney. As long as we are getting more cool stuff does all this legal stuff matter? Make mine motu
    If it's in the public domain, please cite the press or financial articles supporting Mattel selling MOTU (beyond entertainment rights) in the 90s and where it says they have first option to make toys until 2023. Shouldn't be that hard to produce.

  25. #125
    The First Avenger Megalodon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kesmai View Post
    If it's in the public domain, please cite the press or financial articles supporting Mattel selling MOTU (beyond entertainment rights) in the 90s and where it says they have first option to make toys until 2023. Shouldn't be that hard to produce.
    That's all people wanted to know if it's PUBLIC then why are alot of people surprised that Mattel doesn't own MOTU anymore?? See people get smart & "Cute" instead of just giving the answer...We know the blah blah blah story about entertainment rights and likeness blah blah blah but mattel created He-Man WAY before the cartoons or movie fine we get that aspect so why sell something you owe because a bad purchase?? You sell off one of your created brands to recoup some of the money?

    See people don't get why this wasn't made fact years ago here and other places...And since no link was ever made known (since it's PUBLIC) people are scratching their heads about this....

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