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HG and Robotech Debates


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#1 azrael

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 09:32 AM

Original Thread: August 2003 - April 2009
Thread after that one:April 2009-August 2009
Thread after Thread after that one August 2009-October 2009
Thread after Thread after Thread after that one but before Thread after Thread after Thread after that one: October 2009 - January 2010
Thread after Thread after Thread after that one but before the Last one: January 2010 - May 2010
The Last one: May 2010 - May 2011

No one knows the exact details of the 1984 contract between Harmony Gold and Tatsunoko Productions because this contract has not been made public. However, we can infer what the contract entails from Harmony Gold's actions and inactions. I'll keep this first post updated with the most reliable information.

SDF Macross
On October 1st, 1982, Tatsunoko Productions asked for and received the worldwide (excluding Japan) film distribution and merchandising rights from Big West as compensation for their animation assistance with SDF Macross. On January 15th, 1984, Harmony Gold licensed, and later acquired, these same film distribution and merchandising rights from Tatsunoko. However, the intellectual property rights (copyrights) for SDF Macross still resides with Big West. What this means is that Harmony Gold can legally distribute the SDF Macross footage outside of Japan (ie: the AnimEigo and ADV Macross DVD's) and edit the footage at their discretion (ie: Robotech). However, they cannot create any new animation or movies using the SDF Macross characters and mecha because they do not have the intellectual property rights (copyrights). Comic books and videogames are excluded as these fall under the category of merchandising rights.

Macross: Do You Remember Love
Harmony Gold also has the worldwide (excluding Japan) merchandising rights to Macross: Do You Remember Love. However, they do not have the film distribution rights nor the intellectual property rights (copyrights) to this movie. What this means is that Harmony Gold can legally license the distribution of DYRL merchandise (ie: Toynami's DYRL Super Posable toys) worldwide (excluding Japan). However, Harmony Gold cannot release DYRL on video, nor can they create any new animation or movies using the DYRL characters and mecha. Comic books and videogames are excluded as these fall under the category of merchandising rights.

On a related note, in 1988, Celebrity's Just For Kids released DYRL (as 'Macross in Clash of the Bionoids') in the USA under a license from Toho International Co. Ltd. In 1995, Best Film & Video Corp. released DYRL (as 'Superdimensional Fortress Macross') in the USA under a license from Big West. At Anime Central 2001, Robert Woodhead (of AnimEigo) was asked about DYRL and he said that nobody knows who owns the worldwide (excluding Japan) film distribution rights anymore.


Macross II, Macross Plus and Macross 7 Trash
The film distribution rights for Macross II and Macross Plus were licensed from Big West, by U.S. Renditions (1992) and Manga Entertainment (1995), for release in the USA without any involvement from Harmony Gold. Likewise, Macross 7 Trash was licensed from Big West, by Glénat (1998), for release in France without any involvement from Harmony Gold. In 2003, Tokyopop announced that they would release Macross 7 Trash in the USA under a license from Harmony Gold, however, the manga was never published and no official explanation was given.

Harmony Gold said that they were not involved with Macross II and Macross Plus because "no one was minding the store" at that time (source needed). The subsequent Tokyo District Court ruling determined that Tatsunoko Productions (and by extension Harmony Gold) did not have any copyrights to the Macross derivatives (ie: Macross II, Macross Plus), thereby rendering the "no one was minding the store" explanation moot.


The rest of the series
As for the rest of the Macross series (ie: Frontier, 7, et al), Harmony Gold only has certain rights to these. In 1999 and 2002, Harmony Gold tradedmarked the name 'Macross' in the USA, Canada, Germany, and the United Kingdom. What this means is that any series and merchandising featuring the 'Macross' trademark would have to compensate Harmony Gold for the use of that trademark in those respective countries. Harmony Gold also trademarked 'U.N. Spacy' in the USA and Canada. In the European Union, 'U.N. Spacy' was trademarked in November 2007 and is held by Yugenkaisya Suneast trading (aka Suneast Co.Ltd) from Tokyo, Japan.*


This is just my understanding of the current legal situation. It may not be 100% accurate, so any corrections are welcome.

Sources:
Harmony Gold et al v. FASA Corporation et al, 1996 WL 332689 (N.D.Ill.): http://terrania.us/hg-fasa/

Macross 7 Trash published in France by Glénat - http://www.macrosswo...?...st&p=732684

"Fun at Acen" - http://groups.google...27c03d7fffd14ff

"Tatsunoko Wins Macross Lawsuit" - http://www.animenews...macross-lawsuit

"Macross Lawsuit" - http://www.animenews...macross-lawsuit

Big West statement - http://web.archive.o...ents/index.html

Loo, E.:"Separated at Birth", Animerica, 2003, Vol.11, No.1, p. 47

"Tokyopop to Publish Macross 7 Trash Manga" - http://www.animenews...s-7-trash-manga

Tom Bateman states that Harmony Gold acquired DYRL merchandising rights - http://www.robotech....mp;pagenumber=3

Canada trademark filing - http://www.ic.gc.ca/...ntIndexOnPage=1

United Kingdom trademark filing - http://www.ipo.gov.u...sticnum=2204547

European Union trademark filing - http://oami.europa.e...1/003853926.htm

United States, Germany and Spain trademark filing - These websites do not allow direct linking and must be searched manually.

*A huge thanks to Bri for getting the trademark information!


Compiling the court documents we have into a simple, itemized list:

25 February 2002 Ruling (Studio Nue owns the 41 disputed designs)
http://www.courts.go...mp;hanreiKbn=06

02 October 2002 Appeal (Tatsunoko's appeal of the above - rejected)
http://www.courts.go...mp;hanreiKbn=06

20 January 2003 Ruling (Tatsunoko owns economic rights to Ep1-36) (Dug up for me by Talos)
http://www.courts.go...mp;hanreiKbn=06

25 September 2003 Appeal (Studio Nue's appeal of the above - rejected)
http://www.courts.go...mp;hanreiKbn=06

01 July 2004 Ruling (Tatsunoko's demand for restitution against Big West & Bandai - rejected)
http://www.courts.go...mp;hanreiKbn=06

27 October 2005 Appeal (Tatsunoko's appeal of the above - rejected)
http://www.courts.go...mp;hanreiKbn=06


Serial #75750692
Word Mark MACROSS
Goods and Services IC 025. US 022 039. G & S: [ Socks, footwear, shirts, sweatshirts, pajamas, warm-up suits, coats, shorts, gym shorts dresses, clothing belts, bandannas, sweaters, gloves, ear muffs, neckwear, ski wear, slacks, sun visors, suspenders, turtlenecks vests ] headwear [ bathrobes, beachwear ]. FIRST USE: 20010930. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20010930
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING

Serial #76382155
Word Mark MACROSS
Translations The English translation of the Japanese characters "Ma-Ku-Ro-Su" which means "MACROSS". The English translation of the Chinese characters "Chou Jikuu Yousai" is "super dimension fortress". The entire title is pronounced "Chou Jikuu Yousai Ma-Ku-Ro-Su" which is officially translated as "Super Dimension Fortress Macross".
Goods and Services IC 016. US 002 005 022 023 029 037 038 050. G & S: Comic books [ and novellas ]. FIRST USE: 19841203. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19841203
IC 028. US 022 023 038 050. G & S: Toy action figures. FIRST USE: 20020227. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20020227
Mark Drawing Code (3) DESIGN PLUS WORDS, LETTERS, AND/OR NUMBERS
Design Search Code 26.11.01 - Rectangles as carriers or rectangles as single or multiple line borders
26.11.21 - Rectangles that are completely or partially shaded
28.01.03 - Asian characters; Chinese characters; Japanese characters
Serial Number 76382155
Filing Date March 13, 2002

Serial # 76480124
Word Mark MACROSS
Goods and Services IC 041. US 100 101 107. G & S: Animated cartoon series delivered via a global computer network, television and satellite. FIRST USE: 20010800. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20010800
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Serial Number 76385551
Filing Date March 14, 2002
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Published for Opposition October 29, 2002

Serial #76288366
Word Mark MACROSS
Goods and Services IC 009. US 021 023 026 036 038. G & S: Prerecorded video cassettes and compact discs featuring music and animation from an animated cartoon series; computer game software based on an animated cartoon series. FIRST USE: 19850114. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19850114
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Serial #76385551
Word Mark MACROSS
Goods and Services IC 041. US 100 101 107. G & S: Animated cartoon series delivered via a global computer network, television and satellite. FIRST USE: 20010800. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20010800
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING

Serial #76382155
Word Mark MACROSS
Translations The English translation of the Japanese characters "Ma-Ku-Ro-Su" which means "MACROSS". The English translation of the Chinese characters "Chou Jikuu Yousai" is "super dimension fortress". The entire title is pronounced "Chou Jikuu Yousai Ma-Ku-Ro-Su" which is officially translated as "Super Dimension Fortress Macross".
Goods and Services IC 016. US 002 005 022 023 029 037 038 050. G & S: Comic books [ and novellas ]. FIRST USE: 19841203. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19841203 IC 028. US 022 023 038 050. G & S: Toy action figures. FIRST USE: 20020227. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20020227
Mark Drawing Code (3) DESIGN PLUS WORDS, LETTERS, AND/OR NUMBERS
Design Search Code 26.11.01 - Rectangles as carriers or rectangles as single or multiple line borders
26.11.21 - Rectangles that are completely or partially shaded
28.01.03 - Asian characters; Chinese characters; Japanese characters

Serial #76480124
Typed Drawing
Word Mark MACROSS
Goods and Services IC 028. US 022 023 038 050. G & S: Toy action figures. FIRST USE: 20020227. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20020227
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING


Just out of curiosity, I decided to do a search in the US Copyright database for "Macross" (I'm not sure I can directly link each reference but it's easy to do a lookup anyways. Linky)

Macross; Producer: Tatsunoko Production Company, Ltd.
Type of Work: Recorded Document
Document Number: V3449D401
Date of Recordation: 2000-03-06
Entire Copyright Document: V3449 D401 P1-3
Date of Execution: 15Jan84
Title: Macross; animated TV series / Producer: Tatsunoko Production Company, Ltd.
Notes: Original license agreement.
Party 1: Tatsunoko Production Company, Ltd.
Party 2: Harmony Gold Ltd. USA.

Names: Tatsunoko Production Company, Ltd.
Harmony Gold Ltd. USA

Macross: episodes 1-36. By Tatsunoko Production Company, Ltd.
Type of Work: Motion Picture
Registration Number / Date: PAu002503627 / 2000-03-13
Supplement to: PAu000740323 / 1985
Title: Macross: episodes 1-36. By Tatsunoko Production Company, Ltd.
Copyright Claimant: Harmony Gold USA, Inc. & Tatsunoko Production Company, Ltd. (on original appl.: Japanese soundtrack & story)
Previous Registration: (on original appl.: English version including animation prev.reg.)
Supplement to Registration: PAu 740-323, 1985
Contents: Bobbytrap -- Countdown -- Spacefold -- Lin Minmei -- The transformation -- The Daidarus attack -- Bye-bye Mars -- The longest birthday -- Miss Macross -- The blind game -- First contact -- The big escape -- Blue wind -- Gloval's report -- Chinatown -- Kung fu dandy -- Phantasm -- Pineapple salad -- Bursting point -- Paradise lost -- Micro-cosmos -- Love concert -- Drop out -- Goodbye girl -- Virgin road -- The messenger -- Love floats away -- My album -- Loli's song -- Viva Mariya -- Satan's dolls -- Broken heart -- Rainy night -- Private time -- Romanesque -- A gentle farewell.

Variant title: Macross: episodes 1-36.
Other Title: The transformation.
The Daidarus attack.
The longest birthday.
The blind game.
The big escape.
The messenger.
A gentle farewell.
Names: Tatsunoko Production Company, Ltd.
Harmony Gold USA, Inc.

Macross : episode no. 1-36.
Type of Work: Motion Picture
Registration Number / Date: PAu000740323 / 1985-03-28
Supplemented by: PAu002503627 / 2000-03-13
Title: Macross : episode no. 1-36.
Description: 21 videocassettes (525 min.) : sd., col. ; 3/4 in.
Notes: Animated.
Language: In Japanese.
Credits: Produced by Tatsunoko Production Company, Ltd.
Copyright Claimant: Harmony Gold U. S. A., Inc., and Tatsunoko Production Company, Ltd.
Date of Creation: 1983
Authorship on Application: animation, story, soundtrack: Tatsunoko Production Company, Ltd., employer for hire.
Previous Registration: Preexisting material: English version including animation.
Basis of Claim: New Matter: "Japanese soundtrack and story."
Copyright Note: See also Macross: episodes 1-36; Reg. 13Mar00; PAu 2-503-627

Variant title: Macross : episode no. 1-36
Names: Harmony Gold U. S. A., Inc.
Tatsunoko Production Company, Ltd.


And then this:

Macross.
Type of Work: Visual Material
Registration Number / Date: VAu000534107 / 2002-05-17
Title: Macross.
Description: Drawings.
Copyright Claimant: Kabushiki Kaisha Studio Nue & Kabushiki Kaisha Big West
Date of Creation: 1982
Authorship on Application: artwork: Kabushiki Kaisha Studio Nue, employer for hire.

Names: Kabushiki Kaisha Studio Nue
Kabushiki Kaisha Big West


Majority of the references, as I understand it, of Macross relate to SDFM. :rolleyes: I need to find the Japan Copyright and Trademark databases just to see what's listed in there. Posted Image


Harmony Gold's trademark request for "Macross" in Japan and Asia - Denied
Issued: 1-24-2004
http://shohyo.shinke...?number=1088731
http://shohyo.shinke...?number=1088733

Additional Resources:
What is Intellectual Property?
Did You Say "Intellectual Property"? It's a Seductive Mirage

#2 Jasonc

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 09:47 AM

Keith said:

I actually do wish Kawamori had more of an active interest in the U.S. fanbase. If he did, I wonder if he would go for partially funding a re-design for Robotech to give them their own show, in trade for the rights back from Tatsunoko. This in turn would strip HG of the rights, and free them up internationally.


Kawamori has had an interest in the U.S. market for awhile. The problem is that there seems to be too many other cooks in the kitchen, and there isn't much he can do about it. In a perfect world, all those ideas, stuff you wrote, would be a possibility, and we'd be able to get all this stuff in a local shop without having to pay extra for the shipping and all that.

#3 UN Spacy

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 09:52 AM

Harmony Gold tradedmarked the name 'Macross' in the USA, Canada, Germany, and the United Kingdom.


FUC# you Harmony Gold. Go suc# a dic%. :rolleyes:

#4 Einherjar

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 10:00 AM

If anyone is on dodgier ground then HG though, it's the creators of battletech.


True, but considering what's happened since that mess, I think Battletech was able to move on from it successfully. They actually got out of the 80's.

#5 Seto Kaiba

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 10:05 AM

Keith said:

I actually do wish Kawamori had more of an active interest in the U.S. fanbase. If he did, I wonder if he would go for partially funding a re-design for Robotech to give them their own show, in trade for the rights back from Tatsunoko. This in turn would strip HG of the rights, and free them up internationally.

Kawamori has had an interest in the U.S. market for awhile. The problem is that there seems to be too many other cooks in the kitchen, and there isn't much he can do about it. [...]

Eh... really, I think there's a more immediate problem with Keith's idea than that, and I'm not talking about convincing Tatsunoko to relinquish their rights to Macross. As far as new productions go, Robotech is so hilariously failure-prone that no sane network would ever give Harmony Gold an episode commitment for a new or remade series. Even McKeever will readily admit that unless they're given an episode commitment by a network, there's no way management will move on any kind of new series. Confidence in the Robotech brand is SO low that even Harmony Gold itself is unwilling to invest more than pocket change in any new Robotech title, so it's profoundly unlikely they would ever find a sponsor.

As is stands, Harmony Gold (and by extension, Tatsunoko) are never gonna give up their rights to the original Macross series since that's the only part of Robotech that actually brings in the money. Giving it up would spell the end of the Robotech franchise, both commercially and the collapse of the fanbase. The active Robotech fans are fanatically loyal to the "original 85", and any change to them is invariably received poorly... even on a small level. This ain't a small change, so the fans would almost certainly reject the idea out of hand.

Edited by Seto Kaiba, 29 May 2011 - 10:17 AM.


#6 terry the lone wolf

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 02:31 PM

Why should Tatsunoko give up their rights to Macross? They have the International licensing and they contributed to the show scripts, audio, man power, etc, etc. They're listed in the original production just like Studio Nue or even Big West.

Back to the topic of Kawamori, he can basically do what he wants. He has his own separate company Satelight that BW farms out their work. Big West (like HG) are not true animation houses (BW is an ad agency that happens to own an established anime property..Macross). Kawamori works with BW but he's not married to them; he could so work with Tatsunoko. I don't see any legal reason not to.

#7 Bri

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 03:56 PM

Harmony Gold tradedmarked the name 'Macross' in the USA, Canada, Germany, and the United Kingdom.



FUC# you Harmony Gold. Go suc# a dic%. :rolleyes:


oh, it get's worse. HG also trademarked Macross in France and Italy and Spain. They have pretty much covered every major western country with anime licensing companies.


Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if HG is spending more money on legal fees for renewing these trademarks than they spent on the production of Shadow Chronicles...

Edited by Bri, 29 May 2011 - 04:10 PM.


#8 Seto Kaiba

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 04:40 PM

Why should Tatsunoko give up their rights to Macross? They have the International licensing and they contributed to the show scripts, audio, man power, etc, etc. They're listed in the original production just like Studio Nue or even Big West.

Because, for all practical purposes, it's the only way to guarantee the revocation of Harmony Gold's licensed rights to the original Super Dimension Fortress Macross series. Keith's suggestion for an amicable resolution to Harmony Gold's virtual embargo on everything Macross was to have Kawamori help them replace the disputed section of Robotech with something else that doesn't cause conflicts in exchange for the return of the distribution and merchandising rights, ending the "embargo" without the need for lawsuits and one side (Harmony Gold) getting completely screwed.

After all, it's not like Tatsunoko can actually do anything with their rights to the Super Dimension Fortress Macross TV series. Their licensee, Harmony Gold USA, has done very little with the license apart from letting it languish behind the Robotech name or just going off the deep end and using it to start a costly legal battle between Tatsunoko and their former business partners (Big West). Since their licensee is a do-nothing nitwit and the law says they can't make their own Macross shows, there's really no reason for Tatsunoko to want to retain the license except for the small stream it royalties.



Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if HG is spending more money on legal fees for renewing these trademarks than they spent on the production of Shadow Chronicles...

Heh... that wouldn't be at all difficult, since Tommy Yune alleges that the Shadow Chronicles movie had a total budget of under $1 million USD. Mind you, I've heard from various people who've had tiffs of the legal sort with Harmony Gold that they don't have any kind of in-house legal staff, and generate everything (including their Cease and Desist notices) using one of those cheap internet legal document generation services.

#9 Bri

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 05:12 PM

Heh... that wouldn't be at all difficult, since Tommy Yune alleges that the Shadow Chronicles movie had a total budget of under $1 million USD.


Oh, I'd believe that and the actual number was probably quite a bit below that. In 2003 an average anime cost 10-13 mln yen per episode. SC's 88 mins would equal 4 episodes so roughly 40-50 mln yen. That's between $370,0000 and $480,000 at the time. Even including the advertising budget and DVD production SC would probably still be quite below $1 mln. (source http://www.meti.go.j...anime200306.pdf)

#10 sketchley

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 08:16 PM

After all, it's not like Tatsunoko can actually do anything with their rights to the Super Dimension Fortress Macross TV series. Their licensee, Harmony Gold USA, has done very little with the license apart from letting it languish behind the Robotech name or just going off the deep end and using it to start a costly legal battle between Tatsunoko and their former business partners (Big West). Since their licensee is a do-nothing nitwit and the law says they can't make their own Macross shows, there's really no reason for Tatsunoko to want to retain the license except for the small stream it royalties.


Not just that, but also a great chunk of money if and when another party (or Big West) purchases the rights back from them. Maybe it's akin to cyber-squatting.

#11 Seto Kaiba

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Posted 29 May 2011 - 08:26 PM

Oh, I'd believe that and the actual number was probably quite a bit below that. In 2003 an average anime cost 10-13 mln yen per episode. SC's 88 mins would equal 4 episodes so roughly 40-50 mln yen. That's between $370,0000 and $480,000 at the time. Even including the advertising budget and DVD production SC would probably still be quite below $1 mln. (source http://www.meti.go.j...anime200306.pdf)

Hm... thanks for that, very informative! I guess that explains how they were able to produce the movie so cheaply, and still have a budget to hire Mark Hamill and the former Robotech cast to do the voice acting.



Not just that, but also a great chunk of money if and when another party (or Big West) purchases the rights back from them. Maybe it's akin to cyber-squatting.

True... and that's a rather apt comparison. I just wish someone would make a move on it already, and cut Harmony Gold's BS off at the source. Just the other day I was subjected to a copy of the Robotech role-playing game 2nd Ed. "Macross Saga sourcebook", and it provoked a mixture of facepalming and depression when I realized that there were people who were actually GLAD to get the book.

#12 Keith

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 01:12 AM

Hm... thanks for that, very informative! I guess that explains how they were able to produce the movie so cheaply, and still have a budget to hire Mark Hamill and the former Robotech cast to do the voice acting.




True... and that's a rather apt comparison. I just wish someone would make a move on it already, and cut Harmony Gold's BS off at the source. Just the other day I was subjected to a copy of the Robotech role-playing game 2nd Ed. "Macross Saga sourcebook", and it provoked a mixture of facepalming and depression when I realized that there were people who were actually GLAD to get the book.


As of this day, no Macross Worlder has one a large sum of lottery money to test the theory. It's an unwritten bond of membership here that the firs tmember who does, will.

#13 Jasonc

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 10:50 AM

As of this day, no Macross Worlder has one a large sum of lottery money to test the theory. It's an unwritten bond of membership here that the firs tmember who does, will.


Maybe the hope is, that Robotech's viability as a highly profitable item will decline, and maybe it will be affordable for a group of MW investors. :D Robotech obviously is in incapable hands, HG has too many legal battles to really care about the franchise, and has anyone thought about what would happen to the franchise after Frank Agrama? Will his family take over the company and keep Robotech, or will they get rid of the franchise and sell off the company's assets? At that time, what would be the ramifications for the Robotech franchise? Of course nobody knows those, but it's interesting speculation on what would happen.

#14 DarkHawk

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 12:32 PM

"Harmony Gold's trademark request for "Macross" in Japan and Asia - Denied" ..... Wow ..... thats a really brazen thing to do. I realize that is an old statement, However, now i can understand why big west refuses to work with hg. Talk about belligerent.

#15 mrhillz

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 01:24 PM

So if Harmony Gold can't do anything about Macross Plus or 2, what was stopping that company from releasing the Yamato Macross Plus toys in the 90's? Also, since Harmony Gold trademarked the name UN Spacy, does that mean that HG owns you UN? :D

Edited by gaiden, 30 May 2011 - 01:29 PM.


#16 Jasonc

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 01:30 PM

So if Harmony Gold can't do anything about Macross Plus or 2, what was stopping that company from releasing the Yamato Macross Plus toys in the 90's?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but Mac Plus and II were released here before the issues of all the court cases evolved, and those were kinda "after the fact".

#17 Einherjar

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 01:34 PM

So if Harmony Gold can't do anything about Macross Plus or 2, what was stopping that company from releasing the Yamato Macross Plus toys in the 90's?


The "no one was minding the store" defense. Then they came back with a vengeance. To me, it's as meaningless as the "Sentinels Curse," a.k.a., they didn't know what they were doing past 1985.

Edited by Einherjar, 30 May 2011 - 01:40 PM.


#18 Keith

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 03:47 PM

So if Harmony Gold can't do anything about Macross Plus or 2, what was stopping that company from releasing the Yamato Macross Plus toys in the 90's? Also, since Harmony Gold trademarked the name UN Spacy, does that mean that HG owns you UN? :D


The owner of "that company" made a backroom deal with HG, signed a contract saying they wouldn't release the toys, and then started up "another" company with a shiny new robotech license.

#19 Renato

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 04:34 PM

The owner of "that company" made a backroom deal with HG, signed a contract saying they wouldn't release the toys, and then started up "another" company with a shiny new robotech license.


For clarification:

"The owner": George Sohn
"That company": Toycom
"another company": Toynami

No point in protecting the guilty. :P

#20 Shaorin

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 06:19 PM

i sure do remember that bit of crap ten years ago.

i remember first hearing about the old 1/72 Yammie MAC+ series back in Y2K.

my grandma was the only one in the family with net access at the time,
and i was spending time up at her place due to my medical issues at the time,
and her convenient proximity to the OREGON HEALTH SCIENCE UNIVERSITY (OHSU) hospital i was going to.

that was the first time i ever got to experience the internet, and MACROSS/ROBOTECH was among
the first topics i looked into, MACROSS WORLD being one of my first stops.

i got excited, as i imagine many if not all of you people did, over the imminent release
of the "TOYCOM" 1/72 MACROSS PLUS Valkyrie series.

i sure was rather disappointed when i heard that they weren't going to see official U.S. release!

still, in 2001 i was actually able to pick up my first and only Yammie 1/72 MAC+ series,
the infamous VF-11B with SELF-DESTRUCTING-HIP action,
at a local PORTLAND ORE. japanese toy importer called "JUST BE TOYS"

SOMEHOW, by some holy miracle, i suppose, my first sample survived many transformations
over at my grandma's house.

THEN, -believe-it-or-not- i get back home, a 200 mile trip from my grandma's,
and i go to put that 11B through another transformation, and sure enough there goes the hips.

WTF?!? i put that SOB through 100 Effing transformation cycles back at grammy's,
but i get it home and it dies on me!! fortunately, i was due to head back up to PORTLAND
for more medical business on about a month or two, and when we got back up there,
we headed on back to JUST BE, and got in an argument in terse Engrish
with the japanese owner/operator of the shop, one "Katsu Tanaka"

our point of view eventually prevailed, so to speak.

what ACTUALLY happened is that we kinda took the the old rule of "THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT"
into our own collective hands;

Mr. Tanaka was rather adamant
that he wasn't about to refund us or exchange the defective product for another copy,
and he reinforced his decision with repeated assertions of "NO!! YOU BOAK IT!!" (You Broke It)

things were obviously headed nowhere fast, so, in the pandemonium of the argument between my grandmother and Tanaka-san,
my mother, unnoticed, grabbed another VF-11B off the shelf and headed to the car,
putting it in the trunk. she came back and fetched me and grandma, and we skedaddled,
leaving Tanaka-san with the defective valk, none the wiser, at least for the moment. :ph34r:

in the end, the second 11B sample also broke in the obvious places,
and this time i got creative and effected repair work;


Posted Image


it certainly lacks the range of motion that it had before,
but it holds together fast, and allows a fair degree of leg spread.

at any rate, i don't know what to do with the thing these days.
i need to get around to picking up a Yammie 1/60 VF-11C, as much prefer it's color scheme
to the VF-11B's. still, that leaves me with the crappy old 1/72 VF-11B,
and all those silly old personal memories it conjures up... :D

Edited by Shaorin, 30 May 2011 - 06:37 PM.


#21 Smegalot

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 06:35 PM

Same here, I had the first run of 1:72 Yammies, my VF-11 didn't even make it to the first transformation, and being in Austrailia, I had little choice of getting it fixed and my orginal yf-19 had knee issues which I ended up fixing as my modeling skills got better. But I have fond memories of these and it was the first time I heard of the licensing issues. Which are still here today.

But it does conjure memories and it was also when I was going on line to first learn about macross and robotech.

so many years ago.

#22 Shaorin

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 06:38 PM

But it does conjure memories and it was also when I was going on line to first learn about macross and robotech.

so many years ago.



and yet it was just like yesterday. for me, at least...

Edited by Shaorin, 30 May 2011 - 06:39 PM.


#23 Legioss

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 11:13 PM

Then there was Sunwards.

Attached Files



#24 Keith

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 11:44 PM

Then there was Sunwards.


Dude, I totally forgot about that. I wonder how far Sun(Yamato)wards got before they gave up that endeavor.

Edited by Keith, 30 May 2011 - 11:45 PM.


#25 Shaorin

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 08:17 AM

Then there was Sunwards.



i remember seeing that ad in an issue of TOYFARE magazine. i believe i bought the issue, too.

in fact i think i still have it put away somewhere. AFAIK, that singular ad was about all
the U.S. ever heard of SUNWARDS corp.

rather like a supersonic jet fighter, they went away just about as fast as they came forth...

Edited by Shaorin, 31 May 2011 - 08:20 AM.


#26 TheLoneWolf

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 11:41 AM

Sunwards was just a straw company for Yamato. Their existense only went as far as those advertisements. Here's the original Yamato ad.

I never understood why Yamato/Sunwards published those ads. The Tokyo District Court cases involved copyright ownership, not merchandising rights (ie: toy sales). In fact, both Big West and Tatsunoko Production agreed that Tatsunoko has always held SDF Macross' international merchandising rights. Since 1982, the rule has always been: if you want to market SDF Macross toys outside of Japan, you have to get permission from Tatsunoko/Harmony Gold.

My guess is that either Yamato/Sunwards failed to do any basic research, or these ads were meant to be part of a childish mud-slinging campaign against Toynami. I remember Toynami produced similarly childish ads against Yamato, so these might've been published as retaliation. But really now?

#27 Renato

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 06:15 AM

I guess they thought that the international merchandising rights that HG held were not necessarily exclusive, and that BW could grant them to whomever they wished. So they got BW's blessing and went on to try and put out their product.

Hey -- long shot, but anyways -- does anyone have the files saved from the original Sunwards homepage? It was only a couple of small pages, but I think it's worth keeping for posterity's sake. That and the purple mountain background, although nothing at all to do with Macross, just screams 80s for me, in a kind of Tron/KnightRider sense.

Also, I always found it very interesting that they never once mention the word "Macross" in those ads. I know HG owns the TMs, of course. Bandai marketed their 1990 Super Valkyrie reissue in mainland Europe without using the Macross name or logo, but otherwise the packaging is identical.

EDIT -- Looking at the ad again, I get the feeling Graham wrote the English... :)

Edited by Renato, 01 June 2011 - 06:17 AM.


#28 ps99042

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 06:37 AM

Looks like the LAM has a song writer!

http://www.davidaldo.com/

Don't know who this guy is but his site says he's writing a song for the Tobey Maguire "Robo Tech" movie due in 2011. Doesn't say when the site was last updated so can't be sure about the credibility. If it's true at least we know the new movie won't have a hyphen in the title

#29 Einherjar

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 09:42 AM

It's not much, but I found this:

http://en.wikipedia..../User:Davidaldo

David has been asked to write a song for the new Toby Maguire movie "Robo Tech" due for release in 2009 through Warner Brothers. He is also writing the theme music for the upcoming TV show “The Doctors” on CBS, debuting fall 2008.


Page last modified 15 April 2009 at 15:33. Has no official wiki page except this and the entry is almost identical to his official site introduction except not updated.

Sounds like he's been involved for some time, but nobody seemed to care until today. What's up with that?

Edited by Einherjar, 01 June 2011 - 10:05 AM.


#30 Jasonc

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 10:57 AM

It's not much, but I found this:

http://en.wikipedia..../User:Davidaldo



Page last modified 15 April 2009 at 15:33. Has no official wiki page except this and the entry is almost identical to his official site introduction except not updated.

Sounds like he's been involved for some time, but nobody seemed to care until today. What's up with that?

$10 says that a few of the crazy vocal RT fans all-of-a sudden start singing this guy's praise in the streets, and start claiming how innovative and emotional this guy's music is, just because he's supposedly working on the Robotech LAM. They'll probably start urging all RT fans to buy his CDs, and will probably claim this guy to be the 2nd coming of Christ.

To be honest, if it isn't Michael Bradley, or a big name band, I really could careless. Also, if he's been working on it for sometime, and they're sitting on the project, more than likely, he may move on after some period of time. Sometimes, a song or score that was written early on, doesn't fit with the final product, and musicians usually move onto other music they're working on. Getting stuck on one project too long can often be detrimental to a music/songwriter.

#31 Einherjar

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 11:16 AM

God forbid someone doesn't e-mail him and try to get a straight answer about his experience with the LAM. :ph34r:

Edited by Einherjar, 01 June 2011 - 11:17 AM.


#32 azrael

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 12:02 PM

Sounds like he's been involved for some time, but nobody seemed to care until today. What's up with that?

And that site says it's for a movie due out in 2011....It's already June 2011. *hears crickets*

Back to not caring....

#33 blackconvoy_D01

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 02:49 PM

I think the reaper draws in closer on this era of Robo-tech. The new anime will be just another coffin nail.

#34 ps99042

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 03:43 PM

I think the reaper draws in closer on this era of Robo-tech. The new anime will be just another coffin nail.

You must be joking - there's so many tentative Robo Tech items in the pipeline. ;) Seriously though, the fact that Alto - I mean ALDO, has a site saying the LAM is due in 2011 should be the final piece of evidence that the LAM is doomed. Kind of interesting that all of us remember HG saying the LAM was expected around 2011 back when the project was first released, only to find out we all misheard what was said as McKeevie now says an expected date was never mentioned. I wonder how he would spin this revelation...

#35 Jasonc

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Posted 01 June 2011 - 05:19 PM

You must be joking - there's so many tentative Robo Tech items in the pipeline. ;) Seriously though, the fact that Alto - I mean ALDO, has a site saying the LAM is due in 2011 should be the final piece of evidence that the LAM is doomed. Kind of interesting that all of us remember HG saying the LAM was expected around 2011 back when the project was first released, only to find out we all misheard what was said as McKeevie now says an expected date was never mentioned. I wonder how he would spin this revelation...


And that should also tell you what type of moron McKeever is. They should just not open their mouth at all, and not have any convention panels, or anything like that. At least it'd save them from looking like idiots (even though it's way too late), would keep the loyal looney fans from damaging their franchise (probably too late there as well), and would keep us from calling their B.S.




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