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Hasbro Files (Possible) 3D Printed Transformers Trademark

DATE��2014/5/17 21:02:23

By On · 3D Printing, Industry news, Intellectual Property (IP), Retail, Toys

Hot on the heels of announcing its partnership with 3D Systems, Hasbro has filed a 3D printing related trademark that may indicate a platform for 3D printed Transformers products is in the works.  Back in February, the Rhode Island-based toymaker released a statement that, with 3D systems, they would “co-develop, co-venture and deliver new immersive, creative play experiences powered by 3D printing for children and their families later this year.”  To fulfill that promise, the company filed a trademark for “ALLSPARK” that indicates a complete website devoted to personalizing 3D printed paraphernalia.  AllSpark, for the uninitiated, is the collective soul of every transformer that has ever lived or will ever live.  In the live-action film series, those giant alien robots fight to find the All Spark, which takes the form of a cube, as it can return robots to life. The title of the trademark, then, suggests 3D printed Transformers in our near future.

Transformers All SparkALLSPARK will include, according to the trademark:

Computer software for creating, designing, modifying, customizing, sharing and saving computer generated representations capable of being printed by a three dimensional printer to create physical objects, namely, jewelry, ornaments, arts objects, artifacts, household goods, toys, games, hobby models, accessories, office products, and various other consumer products

It looks as though that software will be embodied in a website that will allow users to “to download, modify, and share three-dimensional designs on the Internet for use with computer driven machines for making three-dimensional embodiments of the designs; providing online computer games and interactive multiplayer online games via global networks.

Sounds fun! 3D printing has been used more and more by large companies for promotional purposes, as seen with the release of Ender’s Game.  At the same time, a few different companies have started up with the goal of selling 3D printed toys.  Most recently, IMAGIMOD launched on Kickstarter with their MECH MAKER series of 3D printed mechs.  If 3D printing really is the future of manufacturing, then 3D printed toys are going to play an important role for businesses like Hasbro.  The deal with 3D Systems will definitely give them a leg up in this arena.

3D printed transformers hello kitty tardis

3D printed TARDIS transfomers from user Ellindsey on Thingiverse. Look at all of this copyright infringement!

A 3D-printable Transfomers line, just in time for the release of the new movie, will also help the company ward off piracy, depending on how ALLSPARK is implemented.  We’ve seen the IP of companies like Games Workshop utilized for independent use when Thingiverse users uploaded their own Warhammer mods for tabletop gaming.  To prevent this from happening with Transformers toys, it would be good business for Hasbro to sell their .stls for a dollar a piece, with the ability to PolyJet color print customized figurines for a higher price.

When the ALLSPARK site goes online, we’ll have to see what direction Hasbro takes.  Will they attempt to maintain a steel grip on their IP using a high price tag, or let users have at it for a low cost? I issue a stern warning to the old toy company: In the words of Mark Wahlberg’s character in Transformers 4: Age of Exctinction, “Come on you old wreck. It’s judgement day.


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