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HG and Robotech Debates


azrael
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Now that you mention it, unlike anime, was it a big deal for people to know the individual people responsible for shows like Thundercats and G.I.Joe back then? I'm not just talking about voice actors, but the other behind-the-scenes people. For instance, knowing that Matt Groening was the creator of The Simpsons and Futurama is pretty important these days.

In other words, was there ever a wide-spread priority for people to know who the brainchild for Transformers and Thundercats were?

Even if there wasn't, all of the involved people were still credited.

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Transformers is the contribution of many many people who put all the pieces of it together from the designers of the original toys used as Transformers toys (Kawamori Shouji and Aramaki Shinji) to the planning committee of the cartoon, to the uncredited designer (Floro Dery) and writer of the movie.

Thundercats was probably made by toy and cartoon planning committees.

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Now that you mention it, unlike anime, was it a big deal for people to know the individual people responsible for shows like Thundercats and G.I.Joe back then? I'm not just talking about voice actors, but the other behind-the-scenes people. For instance, knowing that Matt Groening was the creator of The Simpsons and Futurama is pretty important these days.

Not really... at least not as far as I can recall. Transformers was kind of scattered affair anyway, which made it rather hard to credit any one person or group of people for it entirely. It's not quite like Macross or Gundam or even Star Trek and Star Wars, where there was one person or one specific group of people who could be easily picked out as a very prominent figure in the creative process... (Kawamori, Tomino, Roddenberry, and Lucas respectively).

Let's not froget that certifibly insane genius Seth Green and his brainchild Robot Chicken.

I try very hard to forget him...

It it just me, or is Seto Kiaba using Jo-Jo as his avatar?

You've known me for seven years and you can't spell my screen name right? :ph34r:

Also, no... my avatar is EFGF Colonel Corematta from Mobile Suit Gundam MS IGLOO 2: The Gravity Front.

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You've known me for seven years and you can't spell my screen name right? ph34r.gif

Also, no... my avatar is EFGF Colonel Corematta from Mobile Suit Gundam MS IGLOO 2: The Gravity Front.

No no no, you're all wrong, it's CG Les Claypool!

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Floro Dery is credited in both the end credits of the TV show and the movie. Also a lot of people worked on Macross, not just Kawamori. He came up with the original concept but he didn't write every episode, he wasn't series director, he didn't design the characters or the spaceships or most of the enemy mecha and so on.

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Floro Dery is credited in both the end credits of the TV show and the movie. Also a lot of people worked on Macross, not just Kawamori. He came up with the original concept but he didn't write every episode, he wasn't series director, he didn't design the characters or the spaceships or most of the enemy mecha and so on.

So what? A lot of people work on Disney films, but especially when he was alive, he essentially got all the credit. Just the way the entertainment industry works.....

Taksraven

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I guess I was wrong about that. For some reason I remembered reading a website where he said he wasn't in the credits. I'm not very much into Transformers other than the old movie. Now that I've googled him and read some web pages, I understand it seems he shared the designing with Shouhei Kohara and of course the designers of the toys in the case of G1.

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Yes, yes you should. It's 100% kicking ass epic battles sh!t blowing up bouncing tits and burning hot blooded passion. And of course, giant super robots. It's one of those shows where just when you think the most epic thing happened, it's trumped a couple episodes later. And by the time you get to the end, all you'll really be able to say is "damn, that was f^cking awesome." It's the type of show where whining is met with a swift punch in the face, and losing is never remotely an option. Not sure if you've ever seen Gubnuster, but imagine that, told from a testosterone perspective.

I tried to explain this to him two years ago, Keith, he just doesn't listen.

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I tried to explain this to him two years ago, Keith, he just doesn't listen.

Well, he has been pretty quiet the last week, maybe he's already checking it out. If not, we may have to have an intervention.

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Robotech is a niche cult series that exists at the expense of a legitimate franchise.

Its as simple as that and no other arguments from RT fans can top this.

Its all you need to know.

This thread may now be closed......

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Robotech is a niche cult series that exists at the expense of a legitimate franchise.

Its as simple as that and no other arguments from RT fans can top this.

Its all you need to know.

This thread may now be closed......

If you strike this thread down, it will become more powerful than you can imagine!

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This may be an old question, but how could Harmony Gold register the trademark "Macross" when there were already other companies' products named Macross like Macross II and Macross Plus and then block merchandise based on those products that they don't own? What about Macross Plus does Harmony Gold own?

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This may be an old question, but how could Harmony Gold register the trademark "Macross" when there were already other companies' products named Macross like Macross II and Macross Plus and then block merchandise based on those products that they don't own? What about Macross Plus does Harmony Gold own?

They did it through a quirk in US LAW, other countries do things by first use, the US does it by the first to register the name. Helping them is the fact that they licensed the first Macross product (SDFM) for US use back in the eighties.

(PS - I could be off on the details, but it is through a quirk in US law that they are able to trademark the name - and I don't think anyone has tried to legally take it from them yet)

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They did it through a quirk in US LAW, other countries do things by first use, the US does it by the first to register the name. Helping them is the fact that they licensed the first Macross product (SDFM) for US use back in the eighties.

(PS - I could be off on the details, but it is through a quirk in US law that they are able to trademark the name - and I don't think anyone has tried to legally take it from them yet)

Other way around. The USA trademark law works by first use. Most other countries do it by first registration. Additionally, Big West did not file for renewal within the 10-year period, so their trademark is dead.

... then block merchandise based on those products that they don't own? What about Macross Plus does Harmony Gold own?

Because those products use the name "Macross". If it came under the name..."Astro Plan", then they would not be able to block it. And no, HG doesn't own Macross Plus.

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This may be an old question, but how could Harmony Gold register the trademark "Macross" when there were already other companies' products named Macross like Macross II and Macross Plus and then block merchandise based on those products that they don't own? What about Macross Plus does Harmony Gold own?

Trademark registration is a fairly simple process taking in consideration that all you need to present is:

Name and address of the applicant for correspondence

A list of the goods and/or services provided with the mark

Proof that the mark has been used in commerce by the applicant (This can be voided if the applicant presents proof of intention to use it in the future)

Payment for the trademark registration

A clear drawing of the mark and a specimen of the trademark

Keep in mind that in the US, you can use a word or combination of words as a trademark regardless if someone else is already using the same word or combination of words as a trademark. The thing that really makes the difference on this matter is the type of goods or services related to the trademark and the mark itself (the drawing)

In the case of HG, their Macross mark shares nothing with Macross Plus, Frontier; etc.

It the case of Macross II, HG’s Macross mark is practically the same as the logo for Macross II but even then, if HG ever files a case of trademark infringement, they still have to proof in court the following:

Proximity of the goods

Strength of the mark

Similarity of the marks

Evidence of actual confusion

Marketing channels used

Type of goods and the degree of care likely to be exercised by the purchaser

Defendant’s intent in selecting the mark

Likelihood of expansion of the product lines

HG has been able to get a free pass with their trademark because no distribution company will go through the hassle of litigation and the costs associated with say litigation and obviously, since the non Japanese market is probably peanuts to Big West compared to their Japanese market, I do not foresee BW going to court any time soon.

If you want more information about trademarks, I suggest the following links

US Trademark

Wikipedia Trademark infringement

examples of trademark infringement cases

An example of a company with the same trademark tactics like HG

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Other way around. The USA trademark law works by first use. Most other countries do it by first registration. Additionally, Big West did not file for renewal within the 10-year period, so their trademark is dead.

You keep insisting that the trademark is based on first use but have yet to provide any actual proof of this being exercised in a trademark infringement case.

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You keep insisting that the trademark is based on first use but have yet to provide any actual proof of this being exercised in a trademark infringement case.

Apple Incorporated (the computer company) vs Apple Core (the Beatles). That would be a good place to look. (not sure if it ever went to court but it is a case of similar trademarks)

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You keep insisting that the trademark is based on first use but have yet to provide any actual proof of this being exercised in a trademark infringement case.

azrael's right, trademarks are awarded on the basis of first use in the USA. According to section 2(d) of the Lanham Act:

"No trademark...shall be refused registration...unless it...Consists of or comprises a mark which so resembles a mark...previously used in the United States by another and not abandoned."

Harmony Gold claimed trademark ownership in the USA of the name "Macross" with the Macross #1 comic back in 1984, and they've been using it on a regular basis ever since.

In the case of HG, their Macross mark shares nothing with Macross Plus, (Macross) Frontier; etc.

They all share the name "Macross," therfore the latter two would be infringing Harmony Gold's trademark in the USA. The name "Macross" is a unique fictional word, therefore it's considered a strong trademark. If Harmony Gold released a series called "War Saga," it would be considered a weak trademark since "War" and "Saga" are generic words. But since "Macross" is a strong trademark, using it as part of the title of another science fiction series, such as "Macross II" or "Macross Plus," it's considered trademark infringement. See Vail Assocs. v. Vend-Tel-Co., Ltd.

I believe Harmony Gold said that they gave Manga Entertainment's recent releases of Macross II and Macross Plus a free pass because they realized that they goofed by not blocking them back in the early 90's. I believe Harmony Gold's explanation was that they were "asleep at the wheel" during the early 90's.

HG has been able to get a free pass with their trademark because no distribution company will go through the hassle of litigation and the costs associated with say litigation and obviously, since the non Japanese market is probably peanuts to Big West compared to their Japanese market, I do not foresee BW going to court any time soon.

As evidenced by section 2(d) of the Lanham Act, Harmony Gold's claim to their "Macross" trademark is very strong in the USA, that's why no one is challenging it. Litigation costs are the icing on an already bitter cake.

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azrael's right, trademarks are awarded on the basis of first use in the USA. According to section 2(d) of the Lanham Act:

"No trademark...shall be refused registration...unless it...Consists of or comprises a mark which so resembles a mark...previously used in the United States by another and not abandoned."

Harmony Gold claimed trademark ownership in the USA of the name "Macross" with the Macross #1 comic back in 1984, and they've been using it on a regular basis ever since.

Right... :rolleyes: then please explain how come Big West was able to trademark Macross Plus in the US if HG has been using the name Macross since 1984?

They all share the name "Macross," therfore the latter two would be infringing Harmony Gold's trademark in the USA. The name "Macross" is a unique fictional word, therefore it's considered a strong trademark. If Harmony Gold released a series called "War Saga," it would be considered a weak trademark since "War" and "Saga" are generic words. But since "Macross" is a strong trademark, using it as part of the title of another science fiction series, such as "Macross II" or "Macross Plus," it's considered trademark infringement. See Vail Assocs. v. Vend-Tel-Co., Ltd.

Again, right... :rolleyes: This is your simplistic assumption on this matter.

Let's assume that we go to court to this. According to you Terry, Under what specific terms will this be trademark infringement? What could be use as proof? What would be your argument?

As evidenced by section 2(d) of the Lanham Act, Harmony Gold's claim to their "Macross" trademark is very strong in the USA, that's why no one is challenging it. Litigation costs are the icing on an already bitter cake.

Under what terms specifically?

Trademark infringement cases are very complex in regards to establishing the actual proof under the terms that I described on a previous post and more importantly, convincing a court that the proof is

irrefutable.

I don't want to point the obvious but this kind of case costs lots of time and money. Distribution companies are here to make a buck, not spend time and money on a matter that might not bring revenue at all.

FYI: that example that you posted for Vail Assocs. v. Vend-Tel-Co., Ltd. I hate to break it to you but Vail Assocs (the plaintiff) lost the case because they were unable to provide proof for the likelihood of confusion that they were claiming under the Lanham Act ;)

The fact that they registered and use the trademark before Vend-Tel-Co. had nothing to do with the outcome of this case.

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Hmm, damn.

http://twitter.com/RobotechNews/status/29212023923

'>

http://twitter.com/RobotechNews/status/29212023923

US release of Robotech: Love And War TBP is canceled due to DC shutting down Wildstorm comics.

So that side-story thing is really all that's coming in the foreseeable future unless someone decides to go back to comic books.

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Right... :rolleyes: then please explain how come Big West was able to trademark Macross Plus in the US if HG has been using the name Macross since 1984?

Big West was able to register "Macross" as a trademark in the 90's because the United States Patent and Trademark Office wasn't aware that Harmony Gold had already used (but not registered) "Macross" back in the 80's. Now read section 2(d) of the Lanham Act closer.

"No trademark...shall be refused registration...unless it...Consists of or comprises a mark which so resembles a mark...previously used in the United States by another and not abandoned."

Harmony Gold first used the trademark in the 80's. Big West registered it in the 90's. "Use" trumps "registered."

Again, right... :rolleyes: This is your simplistic assumption on this matter.

This isn't assumption on my part. Vail Assocs. v. Vend-Tel-Co., Ltd. stated "A strong trademark is one that is rarely used by parties other than the owners of the trademark, while a weak trademark is one that is often used by other parties."

Let's assume that we go to court to this. According to you Terry, Under what specific terms will this be trademark infringement? What could be use as proof? What would be your argument?

As we've established above, Harmony Gold owns the "Macross" trademark, therefore they can cite dilution under 15 USCS § 1125. This is basic trademark law.

FYI: that example that you posted for Vail Assocs. v. Vend-Tel-Co., Ltd. I hate to break it to you but Vail Assocs (the plaintiff) lost the case because they were unable to provide proof for the likelihood of confusion that they were claiming under the Lanham Act ;)

The fact that they registered and use the trademark before Vend-Tel-Co. had nothing to do with the outcome of this case.

Again, this is the headnote of Vail Assocs. v. Vend-Tel-Co., Ltd. that I was referring to:

"A strong trademark is one that is rarely used by parties other than the owners of the trademark, while a weak trademark is one that is often used by other parties."

I hope this clarifies things for you. If not, I honestly don't know how much simpler this can be explained.

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So, Big West registered it, but then since Harmony Gold was able to prove they used it first in the USA, they were able to register it when it was abandoned even though IIRC Manga was still selling Macross Plus DVDs and Toycom was about to release the toys and the even though the name is "Macross Plus", not "Macross".

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Let's try this one last time

Big West was able to register "Macross" as a trademark in the 90's because the United States Patent and Trademark Office wasn't aware that Harmony Gold had already used (but not registered) "Macross" back in the 80's. Now read section 2(d) of the Lanham Act closer.

Your theory about BW being able to register the trademark sounds like a "tin foil hat conspiracy theory"

Please provide proof or documentation that supports this scenario of yours.

"No trademark...shall be refused registration...unless it...Consists of or comprises a mark which so resembles a mark...previously used in the United States by another and not abandoned."

It sure sounds simple enough but is never as simple as it seems.

If this were the case, we wouldn't have marks like Pine Tree, Pine-sol; Microsoft, Micros; etc.

It looks like the thing that you fail to understand is that trademark infringement is always decided on:

Proximity of the goods

Strength of the mark (and no, just because the mark is spelled the same way it does not make it a strong mark)

Similarity of the marks

Evidence of actual confusion

Marketing channels used

Type of goods and the degree of care likely to be exercised by the purchaser

Defendant’s intent in selecting the mark

Likelihood of expansion of the product lines

I have yet to find an actual case that was decided on "first use".

If you do have evidence, please do share

Harmony Gold first used the trademark in the 80's. Big West registered it in the 90's. "Use" trumps "registered."

So, now you are implying that BW lost their trademark on Macross Plus because HG used Macross back in the 80's.

Please enlight me, where is the evidence to this.

As we've established above, Harmony Gold owns the "Macross" trademark, therefore they can cite dilution under 15 USCS § 1125. This is basic trademark law.

Enlight me again, how is it dilution?

From Wikipedia: Trademark dilution is a trademark law concept giving the owner of a famous trademark standing to forbid others from using that mark in a way that would lessen its uniqueness. In most cases, trademark dilution involves an unauthorized use of another's trademark on products that do not compete with, and have little connection with, those of the trademark owner. For example, a famous trademark used by one company to refer to hair care products might be diluted if another company began using a similar mark to refer to breakfast cereals or spark plugs.[1].

So by definition, if Macross Frontier, Macross 7 and Macross Zero were to be distributed in the US, we can all agree that all those shows will be in direct competition with HG's products.

I hope this clarifies things for you. If not, I honestly don't know how much simpler this can be explained.

Back at you dude :D

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So where does Macross Plus stand now? Can Manga put out more copies of Macross Plus even though HG owns the trademark on Macross?

What if there was a new version of the OVA made, could Manga still release that or would it be blocked since it wasn't the same item that they released before the trademark?

And because I have a crazy idea, what if Manga released Macross frontier under the title of Macross Plus? Can this even be done? Could they theoretically keep releasing every new Macross show under the title of Macross Plus with a subtitle to separate them all? Yeah, its a crazy idea, but can you imagine if it was possible?

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Enlight me again, how is it dilution?

From Wikipedia: Trademark dilution is a trademark law concept giving the owner of a famous trademark standing to forbid others from using that mark in a way that would lessen its uniqueness. In most cases, trademark dilution involves an unauthorized use of another's trademark on products that do not compete with, and have little connection with, those of the trademark owner. For example, a famous trademark used by one company to refer to hair care products might be diluted if another company began using a similar mark to refer to breakfast cereals or spark plugs.[1].

So by definition, if Macross Frontier, Macross 7 and Macross Zero were to be distributed in the US, we can all agree that all those shows will be in direct competition with HG's products.

If that is all wikipedia says on the matter then it is flat out wrong. The one thing that is ALWAYS verboten with a trademark is releasing a directly competing item using the trademark.

As an example - Anyone tries to release an Apple computer (or shall we say a computer with another fruit like logo, which did happen) and Apple will (and did) put a stop to it.

As for why HG will not go after Macross Plus and the other Items they let slip through in the early nineties, at this point they would have to take the owners to court (on their own dime) to get them to stop, and there is no guarantee that they would win the case - and they could lose their trademark by trying to do so, or weaken their claim by having the Original Macross owners in Japan get an exception allowing them to use the trademark as it relates to Macross the brand here in the US.

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If that is all wikipedia says on the matter then it is flat out wrong. The one thing that is ALWAYS verboten with a trademark is releasing a directly competing item using the trademark.

This is the main purpose of trademark law however, my comment is related specifically to trademark dilution.

As an example - Anyone tries to release an Apple computer (or shall we say a computer with another fruit like logo, which did happen) and Apple will (and did) put a stop to it.

Again, my comment was related to trademark dilution. If I was apple, on your particular example I will file a case of trademark infringement under the basis of likelihood of confusion and not dilution.

As for why HG will not go after Macross Plus and the other Items they let slip through in the early nineties, at this point they would have to take the owners to court (on their own dime) to get them to stop, and there is no guarantee that they would win the case - and they could lose their trademark by trying to do so, or weaken their claim by having the Original Macross owners in Japan get an exception allowing them to use the trademark as it relates to Macross the brand here in the US.

To be honest, I do not believe that Macross Plus and II slipped by them especially when you consider that during that time, Robotech was rather active in the home video market, comic and let's not forget, the little revival that was Robocon 10.

I'm a firm believer that HG will lose any case of trademark infringement related to Macross Frontier, Seven, Zero and Plus.

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Robotech is a niche cult series that exists at the expense of a legitimate franchise.

QFT

This thread may now be closed......

Nah... it still has its uses... even if it is just repeating the same answers to the same questions every couple of months.

To be honest, I do not believe that Macross Plus and II slipped by them especially when you consider that during that time [...]

Eh... if you take Harmony Gold's account into consideration, that's exactly what they say happened... that all the Macross licensing in the mid-90's slipped right by them uncontested because nobody was minding the store. I'm personally more inclined to think that they never honestly thought that their license to the original Macross show granted them rights to all subsequent productions... I've always suspected that it's a claim they made up on the fly to facilitate the legal scare tactics they later used on importers of Macross goods, and that they didn't expect anyone woul ever actually challenge it.

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I remember someone at Harmony Gold saying, in an interview or convention video or something, they had an attorney or Tatsunoko tell them they had more rights than they thought they had. Anything else remember hearing that? Around the same time they were already using the "nobody was minding the store" story. Something similar happened more recently when they "realized" they had DYRL.

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To figure out why Manga is still releasing Macross Plus & II in the U.S. with no hassle from HG, just take a hop over to manga.com What do you find there? Digital distribution of Roboteh, mystery solved! :)

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Something similar happened more recently when they "realized" they had DYRL.

Eh... sorry to say this, but that's just plain incorrect.

In point of fact, it wasn't until after their legal scare tactics started that series of copyright confirmation lawsuits between Big West and Tatsunoko Pro. that Harmony Gold contacted Tatsunoko and discovered Tatsunoko was sitting on DYRL's merchandising rights, which they then licensed. The source of this anecdote was Tommy Yune himself, in one of the convention panel videos on YouTube. The reason they went back and got the rights to do merchandise for DYRL is obvious... they wanted to keep other companies from doing an end-run around all their bullsh*t by distributing DYRL VF-1 toys instead.

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I remember someone at Harmony Gold saying, in an interview or convention video or something, they had an attorney or Tatsunoko tell them they had more rights than they thought they had. Anything else remember hearing that? Around the same time they were already using the "nobody was minding the store" story. Something similar happened more recently when they "realized" they had DYRL.

That was probably said in a convention panel one year (pick any one) or the Space Station Liberty podcast, but look what came from it. It's important to compare what people representing a company say and what they actually accomplish on a yearly basis.

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Eh... sorry to say this, but that's just plain incorrect.

In point of fact, it wasn't until after their legal scare tactics started that series of copyright confirmation lawsuits between Big West and Tatsunoko Pro. that Harmony Gold contacted Tatsunoko and discovered Tatsunoko was sitting on DYRL's merchandising rights, which they then licensed. The source of this anecdote was Tommy Yune himself, in one of the convention panel videos on YouTube. The reason they went back and got the rights to do merchandise for DYRL is obvious... they wanted to keep other companies from doing an end-run around all their bullsh*t by distributing DYRL VF-1 toys instead.

Again, "merchandising rights" is not what Tommy said at the time. He said, "We can release Macross the Movie as a product." Which is pretty weird phrasing, but also doesn't seem to mean "We can release products based on Macross the Movie."

Check here at about the 3:56 mark:

Of course, if we take Tommy at his word, the question remains...it's been six years; if you can release "Macross the Movie as a product," where the hell is it? And if you DIDN'T mean what it sounds like you mean...then, what DID you mean?

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One of my favorite quotes on rt.com under my signature used to be "Say what you mean, mean what you say..." Apparently, they never got it. I see we're also going back to older debates that have been settled, so I'll wait till there's something a little more "new".

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