Mattel Vs. The Nacelle Company Over Robo Force's Maxx Steele

by Jay Cochran
July 06, 2022
Today The Nacelle Company's founder and CEO Brian Volk-Weiss sent out an email claiming that Mattel is threatening his company with a lawsuit because they believe that the upcoming action figure release of Robo Force's Maxx Steele infringes on their intellectual property regarding their Max Steel line from 1999.

See the entire statement and video issued by Volk-Weiss on the matter below:

It is with great displeasure that I make this statement in response to Mattel, a company that I've supported, worked with and admired for many years. On the afternoon of July 1, 2022, I received a legal notice from Mattel, threatening The Nacelle Company with a lawsuit because they believe that our upcoming action figure release of Robo Force's Maxx Steele infringes on their intellectual property regarding their Max Steel line from 1999. As the Robo Force line, including its main protagonist, Maxx Steele, was created in 1984 by the Ideal Toy Company (Nacelle acquisition story), this claim of The Nacelle Company stealing Intellectual Property from Mattel is clearly false. We've listed some additional details that we deem to be applicable.

**Mattel accuses Nacelle of "changing the spelling" from "Max Steel" to "Maxx Steele," although Robo Force is a 38 year old IP and Mattel's version of "Max Steel" is 23 years old.

**Mattel incorrectly attributes the scale of the original Maxx Steele figure as 2 feet tall (99.9% of the original figures were 6 inches) and that Nacelle intentionally decided to scale ours down to directly mimic Mattel's "Max Steel" action figure line.

**Mattel incorrectly claims that their own IP, "Max Steel", is a robot (which it is not), and that Nacelle intentionally "copied" their aesthetic, including "futuristic weapons and attachments," although the original Maxx Steele clearly came with 3 attachments that are 'futuristic weapons'.

**Despite Mattel's direct working relationship on multiple Nacelle collaborations, and their continued request that Nacelle produce a Toys That Made Us Hot Wheels episode, Mattel chose not to contact Nacelle over this matter in a more amicable manner.

**Mattel stated that they will take Nacelle to court if we don't change the name.

My company and I will not stand for the baseless and lazily researched legal threat from Mattel, and plan to see them in court regarding this matter if they decide to push the issue further.

To our fans and other collectors, we thank you for your continued support and we ask that you please support us in this matter by sharing this story.



At this time Mattel has not issued any statements on this matter.
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Comments...

Last 10 comments - ( Read All Posts )
deecee4 - 2022-07-07 @ 10:45 am

This sounds like Mattel might've been considering bringing it back in some capacity (mattel creations?) and this coming to their attention resulting in knee jerk reactions from clueless lawyers.

Mr_Scary92 - 2022-07-06 @ 11:02 pm
1 hour ago, Atlantis said:
2 hours ago, Gold1983 said:

Yeah.....they didn't help themselves with that dust-up over their Jurassic Park line with youtubers Andy's Dino Reviews and Collect Jurassic

...Universal Studios actually?...

Atlantis - 2022-07-06 @ 9:19 pm
41 minutes ago, Gold1983 said:

Mattel has made some great toys, but man, their management leaves a lot to be desired.

Yeah.....they didn't help themselves with that dust-up over their Jurassic Park line with youtubers Andy's Dino Reviews and Collect Jurassic. But going from the prehistoric to the future, this robot line might be something I'd look at. I'm interested to research more about this Robo Force.

Gold1983 - 2022-07-06 @ 8:34 pm

Mattel has made some great toys, but man, their management leaves a lot to be desired.

Zerzar999 - 2022-04-27 @ 11:43 am
On 4/9/2022 at 4:43 AM, ghostbogey said:

Cool....

However......

No extra "Fig Dough" to spare for them....

Will watch the show tho...

This is me right now. I have so much pre-order out right now and so many late or no-shows it's like an every day adventure. I'll sit back and see how they turn out.

I loved this line as a kid. Unfortunately these hit around the time my interests were switching from toys to girls, so I had them but they more or less just sat in my closet. Wish I knew where they were at today.

ghostbogey - 2022-04-09 @ 9:43 am

Cool....

However......

No extra "Fig Dough" to spare for them....

Will watch the show tho...

InspectorZartan - 2022-04-08 @ 10:31 pm

So I had only one of these as a kid but as an adult collector Ive gone back and bought all the figures and the playset. The thing is I feel like a) Im not sure how much nostalgia there is for this brand in general and b) with other brands of the era I feel like a lot of the love for those lines was driven by characters and stories but with Robo Force the nostalgia that exists (to whatever limited degree it does) is not for the characters, its for form factor of the toys themselves. With other vintage lines, yes, some of us might be specifically nostalgic for the 5POA Star Wars form, or the O-Ring style Joes, or the spring loaded MASK vehicles but a large chunk of our love/nostalgia are driven by the love for the characters. Thus when you take Luke, Snake Eyes, He-Man, Optimus, Lion-O, Matt Tracker, Leonardo, etc. and make them in a new more modern style and form factor much of what we love and are nostalgic for is still in tact. With Robo Force I feel like 99% of the nostalgia that exists is about that simple boxy, springy arm, suction cup base form factor that kids of the era would play with. So by losing that form factor for a more modern, more typical action figure robot design I think youve lost a large chunk of what might have made an audience nostalgic about this brand.

tycondrius24 - 2022-03-29 @ 8:19 am

interesting . I know there was a gulios (prob not right spelling) line a while back , It may been a KS thing , are these being made from the same folks ?

Roadpigmaster - 2022-03-29 @ 1:27 am

I'm not that familiar with these line... I only know that the boss of the bad guys looks cool... No pictures of him here by the way...

JayC - 2022-03-28 @ 8:47 pm

The Nacelle Company, the studio behind Netflixs The Toys That Made Us, The Movies That Made Us, A Toy Store Near You, and Behind The Attraction on Disney+ are excited to announce the first wave of Robo Force 7.5 inch collectible action figures will be available to pre-order for $49.99 on NacelleStore.com starting April 22, 2022! After spending the last year acquiring nostalgic IPs like The Great Garloo, Power Lords, Big Loo and the legendary Marx Toys brand, Nacelle is kicking off their first wave of Robo Force action figures with highly detailed and fully articulated versions of Maxx Steele and Wrecker.In 2021, Nacelle Company announced its acquisition of the beloved 80s franchise, Robo Force, with plans to reintroduce the characters through a television series, books and other lifestyle products. Now, less than a year later, the company is revealing the first images of the Robo Force action figure line created by renowned toy designer, David Vonner. Painstaking detail was used to make sure that Robo Forces rich history should be taken seriously, yet updated with modern aesthetics meant to broaden the audience.

Robo Forces Maxx Steele and Wrecker return as part of Nacelles Very Important Toy Line of 7.5-inch scale figures. These deluxe, fully articulated, 7.5 figures feature beautiful package art, alongside its own collector-friendly window box.Maxx Steele was destined to be the latest and greatest in law enforcement (he was literally built to do it), but on the day before his first patrol, the UTOPIA101 line was revealed to the world. Maxx Steele was quietly reassigned to the traffic beat. Despite his best efforts to conform, Maxx Steele's passion for crime fighting, along with a growing distrust of the UTOPIA line, leads Maxx down a path into other, unauthorized, lines of police work. This will create problems. A LOT of problems.Wrecker was built to be the jack-of-all-trades for the ROBO FORCE line; he has a tool for every occasion. Sadly, due to the rise of the UTOPIA101 line, those occasions never occurred. Reassigned to use his staggering strength and empathy codex to do the most mundane jobs in the basement of Police Rhombus HQ, Wrecker eventually teams up with Maxx Steele to help protect the innocent, and keep an eye on the increasingly erratic UTOPIA Force (as well as Hun-Dred and his evil minions).Nacelle Companys Robo Force revival proves that nostalgic public interest in the franchise is higher than its ever been and this is the perfect time to reintroduce Robo Force to a new generation of fans and collectors.Of all the IPs weve been buying, we wanted to launch our toy division with Robo Force because not only are they fun and iconic, but due to them being crushed at Toy Fair in 1984 by another line of charismatic transforming robots, we wanted to give them their due with a reimagined storyline and high end redesigns. But dont despair lovers of the 80s version, our new figures will of course have the infamous suction cups, but these will be attached to something the originals never had; legs! said Nacelle Company Founder and CEO, Brian Volk-Weiss.Product Features include:-7.5-inch scale (19.05 cm)-Injection Molded Action Figure-Highly Detailed-Fully Articulated-Reimagined from the classic Robo Force line-Part of The Nacelle Companys Very Important Toy LineThe pre-sale for Wave Two, which will include Hun-Dred and SOTA will be announced later in the year.

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