Hi, thank you for once again inviting our questions. Many of the members of the BFTB forum are curious about producing a range of Red Shadow style figures, and are wondering whether or not the licence has lapsed. There has been speculation that the Devil's Due Red Shadows may not have been redesigned simply as artistic licence, but that because to have done them faithfully would in fact have been a violation of copyright. Is this the case?
After Hasbro bought out the British company Palitoy, many GI Joes were released in Britain and Europe as Action Force characters. We understand that these particular characters remain the property of Hasbro Inc. However, do Hasbro own the copyrights to the earliest Action Force characters, the ones created solely by Palitoy which were never Hasbro products and were therefore nothing to do with GI Joe? In short, does Hasbro own the Palitoy Action Force teams Z Force, SAS Force, Q Force, Space Force and the Red Shadows?
Would Action Force fans be within their rights to produce (from their own moulds and in limited quantities) figures based on the original Palitoy characters, for the specific small-market of loyal Action Force collectors located in the UK? Please note, such a small market couldn't possibly harm GI Joe, especially considering that not all GI Joe lines are made available in the UK to begin with. With Hasbro now mainly focusing on the 25th range, would it be possible for an independant company to licence early GI Joe moulds and re-issue them to the European market as Action Force and the Enemy? If so, who would they contact?
On the other hand, if Hasbro are still in possession of the Action Force copyrights, would you be interested in creating a new range of 25th Anniversary Action Force designs for the European market? It would be a relatively simple task to create articulated figures of the original straight-legged characters using existing GI Joe moulds, the entire range could be recreated with a few simple colour variations, vehicles included. Would you be interested in seeing some prospective designs from our customs team?
What are the chances of seeing an online exclusive pack of repaints done in the original Action Force style? Some of the original US versions of these characters have already had 25th anniversary remoulds (Quarrel, Blades, Red Laser, Gaucho, etc.). It would be especially appropiate now with the 25th anniversary of the Battle Action Force comic upon us. Thank you for your time, we appreciate this opportunity and look forward to hearing your thoughts.