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UFC Action Figures Could Offer a Whole New Licensing Headache, and Just in Time for the Holidays!


(Couture gets some Brock Lesnar mitts of his own.)

The UFC’s twenty-four-hour tantrum over Jon Fitch’s refusal to sign away lifetime rights to his video game image has now subsided, but that doesn’t mean all such licensing issues are so easily resolved.  According to a new article on CBS Sportsline, Round 5 says they’ve already locked up the exclusive rights to some of the action figures that the UFC was hoping to roll out under their deal with JAKKS Pacific.  I smell trouble a-brewin’.  

As you may recall, Round 5 announced their first line of fighter figures with the signature oversized head and hands well before Dana White went on CNBC to announce his deal with JAKKS.  Now Round 5 creator Damon Lau tells CBS that some of the prototypes the UFC has been showing off won’t be hitting stores:

"All I can say is that there’s a likelihood — well not a likelihood, but there’s a fact — that some of those figurines can not actually go into production," Lau said. "I’ve seen the prototypes as well, but the rights to those guys have been already signed over to our company."

Lau declined to identify all of the UFC figure prototypes that he felt would violate a Round 5 MMA exclusivity clause, with the exception of saying that the Randy Couture prototype depicted at the recent toy fair would be a violation.
"I’ve seen prototypes online, but unfortunately yeah, that does preclude him (Couture) from being part of that program," he said.
 

Lau went on to say that the UFC was “totally cool about it” and said that because the JAKKS figurines are more aimed at kids while the Round 5 figurines are collectibles for a more adult market, he thinks there should be room on the shelves for both. 

"I wouldn’t be surprised that when Jakks releases their product, that we’ll be side by side (on shelves), simply because of the fact that the product is completely different," Lau said.
[…]
"We haven’t had any problems as of yet, and we don’t foresee any problems in the future. We think it’s a great market and there should be room for everybody."

Maybe he’s right.  I hope he is.  But this ‘room in the market for everyone’ stuff, that doesn’t sound like anything we’ve heard come out of Dana White’s mouth recently.  The UFC banned MMA Authentics simply for getting the Wal-Mart deal that they wanted for themselves.  If you’re looking for signs that the UFC is willing to share a piece of the pie with competitors in any realm of their business, you might be looking for a long time.

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Nelson Muntz- November 28, 2008 at 8:53 am
HA HA (@ Dana White)
Dmonicideals- November 26, 2008 at 8:43 pm
The JAKKS toys are just that, toys. The 5th Round pieces are collectable figurines, much liek the McFarlane SPAWN, AVP and other collectables. When I saw the JAKKS toys, I was so fucking disgusted. None even look like the person thet are supposed to, they just look like WWE dolls with different heads. GARBAGE.

The 5thRound ones are badass, I will likely have a nice lineup of those right above all my other collectables. That way, when it's time to retire, just sell that shit to some idiot collector for too much, and i'm in there like swimwear.
CWR- November 26, 2008 at 7:35 pm
An unfortunate blow to JAKKS plans for a Houston Alexander doll... Regulatory committees declared that the toy will not be marketable to the intended audience as it comes equipped with an unusually fragile glass chin that may shatter upon contact.

This very problem has also plagued JAKKS attempts at a Kendall Groves action figure.

@dandeman

I would buy the motorized Kalib Starnes
Anonymous- November 26, 2008 at 3:22 pm
Haha I think behr has comment of the week.
Imbecile- November 26, 2008 at 2:33 pm
When are they going to come out with the alternative-lifestyles line of figurines, featuring Roger Huerta, Diego Sanchez, and Mike Goldberg?
dandeman- November 26, 2008 at 11:43 am
I want the Houstan Alexander figure with the flash knock out feature. The Patrick Cote with the battle damage knee that you could pull out and make him gimpy. The motorized Kalib Sterns action figures, just pull it back and it makes it run around the Octogan. Finally the Jake O'brian figure with human blanket action.
google- November 26, 2008 at 11:20 am
What about a fleshlight made from Arianny. That would rock. you could nut up in it and shit. It would not even get pregnet.
Surfin Dave- November 26, 2008 at 10:50 am
I hope other MMA organizations put out their own dolls, er, figures. I want a Shinya Aoki with rubber legs. Or would that be Houston Alexander...
behr- November 26, 2008 at 10:48 am
Those figures suck. The don't even have Kung Fu grip. How are you suppose to play with them if you can't even move them around. I won't be getting my kids these for X-mas. I am going with the posable Peter North action figure with squirting action.
skidding- November 26, 2008 at 10:27 am
I think there is no balance to the fighter figures. GI Joe had cobra, Jedis had sith and He-man had the hooded bad guy that looked like Stephen Quadros. UFC needs to make bad-guy figures so kids can have battles. A few suggestions: Brock Lesnar, Kalib Starnes, Phil Baroni and the final boss as Dana White.
greenseed- November 26, 2008 at 10:21 am
well this time around it looks like fighters wont be getting forced to suck the slimey DW cock on this one... again.
Cap'n- November 26, 2008 at 10:14 am
I don't even care about this shit. I quit playin with G.I. Joe's when I was 29. I'm a Malibu Barbie Dreamgirl guy now.
UFCinCalgary- November 26, 2008 at 9:54 am
Up shit creek with Tim Sylvia's leg as a paddle!
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