Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Siege Refraktor (2019)

Trademark concerns strike again!

Transformers fans have long had to accept that the names created for certain characters in another era don't always meet the intellectual property concerns of today, and that sometimes a familiar character is going to come out as a new toy with a different name. So it is that we got "Refraktor" in the early part of the Siege segment of the War for Cybertron trilogy in 2019. Long time fans will recognize that this is intended to be "Reflector," who had made appearances in the early days of the original 1980s Transformers cartoon (even though his toy was relegated to mail order status several years later, having been held back from the retail market due to what must have been a late decision by Hasbro). I'm not sure what changed since 2016, when BotCon Reflector was released with the original name (as several other Reflector homages had done in the years immediately previous), but it has long been understood that made-up names are easier to protect than common words, so perhaps Hasbro was just being extra careful this time around.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Nezha Power-Up Pack (2019)

As I've described in the past, most Transformers fall into one of two categories: 1) toys available in North America through Hasbro, 2) toys available in Japan through TakaraTomy. This toy is an exception. That's not such a big deal, in and of itself. There are quite a few Transformers that don't properly fall into one of those two main categories. Even so, I'd argue that this toy is somewhat distinctive even amongst those exceptions. Nezha has a history that is perhaps unique among Transformers, and the full story is possibly still waiting to be told (although at this point, whether or not it will remains uncertain).

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