Author Topic: Would You Want Neca Universal Monsters?  (Read 1030 times)

Lazarus

  • Sergeant
  • *****
  • Posts: 727
  • Monster Kid Forever
Re: Would You Want Neca Universal Monsters?
« Reply #45 on: September 15, 2019, 02:38:07 PM »
The Honey Nut Cheerios ad is from 2001.


aura of foreboding

  • Sergeant
  • *****
  • Posts: 4146
Re: Would You Want Neca Universal Monsters?
« Reply #46 on: September 15, 2019, 06:05:53 PM »
The Honey Nut Cheerios ad is from 2001.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=usWYTSt1VKM


Well before the Karloff lawsuit, as I suspected.  You have to remember celebrity likeness rights all stemmed from Fred Astaire dancing with a vacuum cleaner.  The Lugosi lawsuit failed.  The Astaire lawsuit prevailed, changing everything in 1985.  The Karloff settlement put even more stringent restrictions on the use of her father's image.  We have no idea the exact details, since it was a settlement, but I suspect we won't see Boris doing anymore General Mills commercials.  I could be wrong, but I doubt it.   

Mord

  • Sergeant
  • *****
  • Posts: 21499
Re: Would You Want Neca Universal Monsters?
« Reply #47 on: September 15, 2019, 07:11:29 PM »
The sad thing is, Boris & Bela never got a vote on this. I bet they would both haved loved all of this attention. Who wouldnt like their work admired and revered almost a century later? Very sad.

aura of foreboding

  • Sergeant
  • *****
  • Posts: 4146
Re: Would You Want Neca Universal Monsters?
« Reply #48 on: September 15, 2019, 07:30:15 PM »
The sad thing is, Boris & Bela never got a vote on this. I bet they would both haved loved all of this attention. Who wouldnt like their work admired and revered almost a century later? Very sad.

I agree.  Lugosi would love to have his image as Dracula everywhere.  He really loved being Dracula, and he loved his fans.  He didn't care about the money, which is why he ended up where he did.  I think it would be an honor to him to see his image everywhere and on everything, a real testament to the fact that he was Dracula. 

I think his son views this as some vindication for his father's memory.  I think he wants to protect his father's image, as anyone would.  I think he wants to payback Universal for the treatment his father received.  I also think he's sour because he lost his lawsuit against them back in the '70s.  I think Universal does try to screw the heirs, and I think Lugosi, Jr. isn't playing the game anymore.  Who can blame him? 

The whole thing is sad. 

I really thought the Karloff settlement would mean a lot more Boris, and it has... but the generic Frankenstein is still very much with us.  I have attempted to rationalize this, but I'd really like someone with some firsthand knowledge of the settlement to explain why we are still getting generic Frankenstein on merchandise.  I'm pretty sure we can chalk it up to greed on the part of Universal, but I'd like confirmation. 

   

MrDark1

  • Corporal
  • ****
  • *
  • Posts: 396
  • MrDark1
Re: Would You Want Neca Universal Monsters?
« Reply #49 on: September 15, 2019, 11:08:49 PM »
Asked-and Answered.  Your suspicions are correct sir.
Universal charges More for the Likeness Monsters, and offers the generic cartoons for much less.
They keep all profits from the non-likeness characters, as per the law, they have to pay each actors estate a share of the license fees.
The Universal lawyers hate paying the estates, so they created the generic cartoons, weakening the Monster brand with confusion, and red tape.

The Karloff settlement was reached in 2001.  Shortly after, the Cheerios commercial aired, and the Twix commercial aired around '98-'99 and I assume they paid more for the Likeness rights at that time.   They paid big to Sara, and yes some Karloff items have been released.  Though, I suspect the bottom line is what rules, and to receive all monies from the generic look will pad that total much more than sharing profits-settlement-mettlement.

Who knows when, or if these lawsuits will end.  The Chaney estate shares so many of the Classic Monsters images we all grew up with.  Chaney Jr having played all their monster characters, it is why we only get some Karloff products, and the Creature, as it has no Likeness issues.  The way Universal insist on handling their license of the Classic Monsters still has me holding my breath in hopes that Disney will soon gobble them up too!  Then with their keen licensing sense, the House of Mouse will honor the Classic Monsters, and treat them as the true cinematic Icons they are, and we all so desire to collect.

   
 

aura of foreboding

  • Sergeant
  • *****
  • Posts: 4146
Re: Would You Want Neca Universal Monsters?
« Reply #50 on: September 16, 2019, 12:27:36 AM »
The Karloff settlement was reached in 2001.  Shortly after, the Cheerios commercial aired, and the Twix commercial aired around '98-'99 and I assume they paid more for the Likeness rights at that time.   They paid big to Sara, and yes some Karloff items have been released.  Though, I suspect the bottom line is what rules, and to receive all monies from the generic look will pad that total much more than sharing profits-settlement-mettlement.

Interesting.  I thought it was 2003, as the Legacy Collections, released in 2004, were the first to use a mock-up of the Karloff Universal Monsters logo used for almost 15 years. 

The reason I said I doubted we'd see any more Karloff advertisements is due to this portion of the letter Sara Karloff released after the settlement:

Quote
In a separate Summary Judgment any question regarding my position as the legally registered rights holder under California statute was resolved in my favor. I retain all rights to the likeness of my father,Boris Karloff. This is most signifcant in that it allows me to maintain an appropriate standard of good taste when my father’s likeness is used. That has always been a primary concern and objective of the family.

You may recall the huge number of commercials that featured the Universal Monster characters in the 1980s/1990s.  Then, they all stopped.  That Cheerios one was the last, which is why I assumed it aired before the Karloff settlement.  Perhaps it was in the works already and it was legally allowed to air.   

That "good taste" language was the reason the Fred Astaire lawsuit was brought to court in the first place. 

MrDark1

  • Corporal
  • ****
  • *
  • Posts: 396
  • MrDark1
Re: Would You Want Neca Universal Monsters?
« Reply #51 on: September 16, 2019, 03:40:46 AM »
"...it allows me to maintain an appropriate standard of good taste when my father's likeness is used."

Again, why I've called upon Sara to look into, and check up on Universal's tasteless standards when her father's likeness is used.

Like the Spirit life size figure (dreadful), it isn't just a case of the sculptor not having the ability to achieve a likeness, these products get checked by Universal before final release, sure seems like there could have been lots of red tape, and confusion, to arrive at that final piece of mess.  As the box has the Legal Lines of Sara's settlement agreement, showing her family's primary concern and objective were once again met.   

Blue Fang

  • New Recruit
  • *
  • Posts: 18
Re: Would You Want Neca Universal Monsters?
« Reply #52 on: September 16, 2019, 05:04:57 AM »
Disney taking over the Universal Monsters

Good freaking gravy you just gave me a horrendous nightmare. Disney taking over the Universal Monsters would be an absolute disaster

aura of foreboding

  • Sergeant
  • *****
  • Posts: 4146
Re: Would You Want Neca Universal Monsters?
« Reply #53 on: September 16, 2019, 09:20:42 PM »
"...it allows me to maintain an appropriate standard of good taste when my father's likeness is used."

Again, why I've called upon Sara to look into, and check up on Universal's tasteless standards when her father's likeness is used.

Like the Spirit life size figure (dreadful), it isn't just a case of the sculptor not having the ability to achieve a likeness, these products get checked by Universal before final release, sure seems like there could have been lots of red tape, and confusion, to arrive at that final piece of mess.  As the box has the Legal Lines of Sara's settlement agreement, showing her family's primary concern and objective were once again met.

Yeah, but bad sculpts aren't generally what "good taste" references in the law.   ;)

fearliath

  • Specialist
  • ***
  • Posts: 150
Re: Would You Want Neca Universal Monsters?
« Reply #54 on: September 16, 2019, 10:54:40 PM »
Disney taking over the Universal Monsters

Good freaking gravy you just gave me a horrendous nightmare. Disney taking over the Universal Monsters would be an absolute disaster

I could not disagree more. It would be the best thing to happen to the monsters since the Creature from the Black Lagoon. Hear me out. I’ve mentioned this before at least once. Disney has somehow kept the most boring cartoon animal in history as the most recognizable cartoon character on planet earth for almost 100 years. There is objectively nothing interesting about Micky Mouse. But kids still watch MM cartoons and their parents pay unholy amounts of money to take their kids to his theme park to get pictures with him. And they haven’t really done much to modernize the character. If they can do that with a boring mouse and his slightly less boring friends they could certainly keep the monsters front and center as cultural icons. There would be an entire amusement park dedicated to them.

“But they’d dumb the monsters down into kid friendly versions”. Maybe for some merchandising (so what?) but they sure haven’t done bad with Marvel. Every kid still knows what Frankenstein & Dracula look like in spite of Universal. If Disney had the reigns there is absolutely no way every store from Dollar Tree to Target to Nordstrom wouldn’t be selling licensed Universal Monster swag from August through October and every other month as well. Love em or hate em but Disney does know how to do things right 99% of the time.

MrDark1

  • Corporal
  • ****
  • *
  • Posts: 396
  • MrDark1
Re: Would You Want Neca Universal Monsters?
« Reply #55 on: September 17, 2019, 12:23:12 AM »
aura of foreboding wrote: Yeah, but bad sculpts aren't generally what "good taste" references in the law.

True, but the possible pushing, tricking, heavy handedness, cajoling, switching, confusion, and layers upon layers of red tape from the top, to make sure it is the bad sculpt released, just might be.

fearliath, could not have said it better! (Though, I try...)  Disney would not be bothered by the Law that gives the actors heirs a share of profits on licensing.  Yes, they own all cartoon images outright, but as mentioned, the brands they have acquired, have been treated with the upmost respect, and the company is rewarded handsomely, as well as the fans.  Star Wars, Marvel, Mickey, Peanuts (soon), Simpsons, I just don't think Disney would take up this stupid petty battle, that only damages the brand in the end.  Disney is a powerhouse, and what's more than frustrating is Universal is not too weak in publicizing that they rake in Billions yearly from their licensing dept.  Layers, and non-creatives continue to destroy their own icons, all for the bottom line...lets see, where were we, oh, yea..math problem, take $5,000. minus 1 to 2 Billion = man, just no profit!!