Metamorpho addendum

If you've read our new Metamorpho review, then you know he's not actually Metamorpho at all: he's "Rex Mason, the Element Man." Yes, despite the fact that his belt has an M on it. This is because the name "Metamorpho" is trademarked for use on action figures by another company. The question is, who?

According to the Colorforms Outerspace Men Headquarters, Metamorpho was planned for the canceled second series of figures. Mel Birnkrant was the art director for the line, and a trademark and copyright search reveals two active titles in his name, for both action figures and - get this - comicbooks.

Now, DC is currently publishing a Metamorpho comic, and DC Direct made a Metamorpho in 2003. Even Mattel had a Metamorpho figure (with that name) in their JLU line. How is that possible? Apparently DC did think about opposing the application, but nothing came of it. Since the Colorforms figure is from the '60s, it seems likely to me that Mattel didn't do its homework with the JLU figure, nearly got sued and corrected it for the DCUC figure. You know, like Birnkrant made a stink after that one came out, and told them not to do it again. After all, you can keep a trademark forever, regardless of whether you're using it - as long as you pay.

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