08 July 2014

Rom: Mighty Mugg

Gods of Galador! Today MTV News, of all places, exclusively announced that Hasbro will be selling a Mighty Muggs version of Rom. Initially available only at Comic Con International in San Diego in two-and-a-half weeks, it should be found at HasbroToyShop.com afterward. This version of Rom, with even less articulation points than the original, will sell for $22.99. Let's hope they don't grossly underestimate demand! (And I hope my wife won't kill me if I order one while I'm unemployed.) Thanks to Rich Raymer of the Rom's Spaceknights to Benefit Bill Mantlo group on Facebook for the tip!

04 February 2014

Rom the Space Knight Transformer

It seems I neglected to post about this when it was news, so here's a quick overview. The photo at right was a prototype for a potential addition to Hasbro's Transformers Bot Shots line as shown at the 2013 Toy Fair. The prototypes were all unlabeled, so its identity was a mystery. Later, a product listing got leaked to Transformers fandom which included an item called "TRA BOT SHOTS ROM THE SPACE KNIGHT A2587." Given the prototype's colors and the fact that it didn't match any known Transformer, said fandom decided that it must have been the prototype for Rom. Now, thanks to Joseph's comment and link provided on my previous post, we now know it appears this particular Bot Shot isn't coming to toy stores after all.

For more information on this, see the Transformers Wiki entry. And thanks to them for the photo.

03 February 2014

An overdue Rom trademark update

An e-mail prompted me to finally see what the latest is on Hasbro's attempts to once again trademark ROM. I won't summarize the history like I did in the last update, but you can go read it for yourself if you need a refresher. Or, if you want to read the whole saga, you can start at the beginning. (Really, I've been following this since November 2008?) Since it's officially (somewhat) new information since the last update, I will confirm that all eight of Hasbro's original trademark filings are dead because they were either denied or Hasbro used up all their extensions.

So, there are currently three trademarks Hasbro has applied for. The first is for comic books and was granted in April 2013. They've already used the first of their five possible extensions to use it in commerce (i.e. publish a ROM comic book). Extensions are required every six months if Hasbro doesn't have proof of use. Five extensions give them three years to do so.

The second trademark is for "toy action figures and toy robots convertible into other visual toy forms," which leads to the already existing rumor that Hasbro is going to make Rom part of the Transformers toy line. It, too, was granted in April 2013 and has had one extension filed against it.

The final trademark is for "entertainment services, namely an on-going animated television series for children." This one was only granted in June 2013 and, because I've gotten lazy, is new to me. It would seem to contradict Hasbro making Rom part of the Transformers, unless such a TV series would be a spin-off of Transformers: Prime or something. The first extension was just granted last month.

And finally, I remind you that although Hasbro owns Rom, his look, and his three accessories, Marvel owns the other Spaceknights, Dire Wraiths, and everything else. So whatever — if anything — Hasbro ends up doing with the character is going to have to be different from what we Rom fans are used to.

24 August 2013

Busiek on Rom Reference in Avengers Forever

Fresh from Kurt Busiek's Spring.me account:
KurtBusiek responded to joltcity 22 Aug
This is a silly question about something you wrote a long while back, but: I was re-reading AVENGERS FOREVER # 1 and noticed that Rom, Spaceknight was mentioned. Was this something that had to be cleared with Hasbro? Just curious.

No, it wasn't. I was prepared to rewrite that caption if Marvel told me I couldn't even mention Rom's name, but they didn't say anything.

Maybe I should have avoided naming him and they just missed it, maybe naming him as a side-reference like that is just fine. I don't really know. But nobody made a fuss about it.

I'm thinking this isn't the first time a creator has mentioned that they received no problems from editorial when they mentioned Rom, but the other example isn't coming to me.  Nor have I found it with a quick search.

[EDIT: I'm almost positive I asked Peter David about Rom's appearance in Hulk #418 during one of his open question and answer sessions on his site and he replied, but I can't find it now! Can anyone help?]

I asked Peter David two years ago about his use of Rom in Hulk #418 and whether anyone in Marvel said anything.  He replied:
Nope. Nobody said anything, probably because I had him in human form rather than as a robot.
(A big "thank you" to Anthony Malena of the Galador mailing list for helping locate that for me!)

In general, Marvel editorial doesn't seem to care about mentioning or sometimes even showing Rom as long as it's minor.  Things like the Spaceknights limited series are obviously another matter and a story I need to share sometime.