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Old 2010-11-12, 08:49 AM   #1
Halfshell
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Red face Hasbro in brilliantly stupid naming shock: Power Core Combiner Spastic.

http://www.seibertron.com/transforme...aterlog/20179/

Totally worth linking to Seibertron for.

The defence in amongst the comments that "it'll be changed for the UK" really holds no water at all, considering that Slag being a mild insult here is the reason the Dinobot is now Snarl on both sides of the Atlantic.

Don't we have monkeys with no life who catch this sort of thing at the trademark registration stage anymore?

Maybe they'll catch on and rebrand it as Scope.
 
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Old 2010-11-12, 11:10 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Halfshell View Post

Maybe they'll catch on and rebrand it as Scope.
^Pure win^

But seriously, why call it that in the first place? Does spastic mean awesome space robot on the other side of the pond?
 
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Old 2010-11-12, 12:19 PM   #3
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But seriously, why call it that in the first place? Does spastic mean awesome space robot on the other side of the pond?
It seems to be regarded as a much more mild insult, it (or rather "Spaz") pops up in Buffy a few times (and was cut out by the BBC) and even allowing it's not a show that was supposed to be on a six o'clock it's hard to imagine any British show being able to have a "Good" character get away with it.

I suspect over here the charity shop unfortunately did indeed help it become achieve the dubious status it has.

But irregardless of the cultural differences, surely naming a Transformer after a real, deliberating condition is in somewhat bad taste? What next? Decepticon Meningitis? Autobot Aids?

And reading Halfshell's post, all the way through it I was hoping he wouldn't get in there first with the Scope* joke, but he did. Bastard.



*For our transatlantic cousins: That's what charity The Spastic Society renamed themselves as when they realised they were mainly raising the words use as a terrible insult. Though I've got a feeling they may have changed the name recently once again because exactly the same thing was happening on playgrounds with the word scope...

EDIT: Looking at Wikipedia I'm wrong about the name changing again, and it was apparently Blue Peter that helped make the word popular with schoolkids as a full on insult when they ran a feature on a bloke with the illness in an attempt to increase understanding and harmony. With predictably the opposite result.
 
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Old 2010-11-12, 12:23 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
It seems to be regarded as a much more mild insult, it (or rather "Spaz") pops up in Buffy a few times (and was cut out by the BBC)
From what I gather, Spaz and Spastic aren't necessarily the same thing. Spaz is a more friendly joking dimunitive, but the full word still retains its meaning. I think. Not American, so dunno. But the whole Slag rename thing scuppers it anyway.
 

Last edited by Halfshell; 2010-11-12 at 12:38 PM. Reason: Helps when making a point if I use the right sodding words.
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Old 2010-11-12, 12:28 PM   #5
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Yeh, from what I gather in America it's much more of a sort-of idiot level word (it's in at least one mainstream Marvel comic I can think of off the top of my head as a very mild insult)... Whereas over here the prominence of the charity shop led to it becoming a playground insult, and thus taboo, leading to the Scope rebranding. All I can think of when I hear the word is Gervais' bit in "Politics" (or was it "Animals")... And remember at least once getting told off by my mum for a slip of the tongue when referring to Spasma. Actually, what're the odds they were aiming for Spasma and someone ****ed up?

But yeh, either way pretty stupid name for a toy - it's also pretty unimaginative as it's just a single plain word, which they seem to have moved away from a little bit in recent years either through portmanteaus (or whatever the ****ing word is) or X-TREME SPELLZ0R. It makes Scooter look that little bit more dignified, too...

EDIT: [NSFW]


 
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Old 2010-11-12, 12:57 PM   #6
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Actually, with the Slag precedent, once Hasbro twigs why this is a really bad idea what are the odds of them changing it before release? I can't recall the last time a UK toy had a different name to the American so I can't see them going for just a Brit name change. Anyone with advance release Spastic packaging could make a fortune...

Either than or they're hoping the name controversy is going to distract everyone from commenting on what a ****ing ugly set it is. All the PCC toys look like they were designed by spazes.
 
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Old 2010-11-12, 02:49 PM   #7
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As a certified colonial, I can assure you that "Spastic" is not that derogatory of a term. Rather than mentally challenged, it implies more of an ADD state, unable to focus, running from thing to thing. Referring to someone as spastic or a spaz is no big deal and just means they need to settle down. Gamespot.com calls Super Smash Bros. Brawl "Nintendo's spastic tribute to itself."
And thanks for taking away Slag for us as well. Doesn't mean anything but leftover molten dross here, but you had to go and vulgarize it. To retaliate, I invite all North Americans to go to Wikipedia and redefine some favorite British words with vulgarities. Let's focus on "teabag" and "queen". That'll teach those redcoats!
 
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Old 2010-11-12, 03:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Notabot View Post
As a certified colonial, I can assure you that "Spastic" is not that derogatory of a term. Rather than mentally challenged, it implies more of an ADD state, unable to focus, running from thing to thing. Referring to someone as spastic or a spaz is no big deal and just means they need to settle down. Gamespot.com calls Super Smash Bros. Brawl "Nintendo's spastic tribute to itself."
And thanks for taking away Slag for us as well. Doesn't mean anything but leftover molten dross here, but you had to go and vulgarize it. To retaliate, I invite all North Americans to go to Wikipedia and redefine some favorite British words with vulgarities. Let's focus on "teabag" and "queen". That'll teach those redcoats!

The Queen enjoys teabagging?!?!?
 
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Old 2010-11-12, 03:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Notabot View Post
Gamespot.com calls Super Smash Bros. Brawl "Nintendo's spastic tribute to itself."
Now y'see I personally reckon that's alright, as it's being used as a verb. It's as a noun that it causes problems.
 
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Old 2010-11-12, 04:02 PM   #10
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Adjective, not verb.
 
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Old 2010-11-12, 04:20 PM   #11
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That's what I meant.

Second time in this thread that I've used entirely the wrong word. Must be Hasbro's influence.
 
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Old 2010-11-12, 04:31 PM   #12
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So are they going to change it here too, then? It doesn't have the same level of offensiveness from what I can gather, but it means the same thing.

I'd say Dalek's got it- it'll be a complete change, not just for one market.
 
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Old 2010-11-12, 04:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Notabot View Post
And thanks for taking away Slag for us as well. Doesn't mean anything but leftover molten dross here, but you had to go and vulgarize it. To retaliate, I invite all North Americans to go to Wikipedia and redefine some favorite British words with vulgarities. Let's focus on "teabag" and "queen". That'll teach those redcoats!

You already did that with "fag".

To be honest, even if Hasbro were only selling this stuff in the US I'd expect them to be very careful when naming their products so as not to come up with names that are offensive/rude in other countries/languages, just to avoid cheap shots.

Mind, at work we did sell a drink called AIDES for a few months. Never took off for some reason.
 
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Old 2010-11-12, 04:51 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by inflatable dalek View Post
Mind, at work we did sell a drink called AIDES for a few months. Never took off for some reason.
Hey Dalek, send me a can of your AIDES, yeah?

Hur hur hurrrr. That was horrible.
 
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Old 2010-11-12, 04:56 PM   #15
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You would think companies would be careful but there was the Ford Cortina or in spanish Ford Curtain and the Nova that for some odd reason didn't sell so well in Hispanic countries.

But guess thats why all cars have awful names full of Q's and Z

on a related subject it was only through seeing Avenue Q that I found out that Oriental is aparently a lot more of an insult in the US than it is over here.
 
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Old 2010-11-12, 05:06 PM   #16
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And the US edition of Life the Universe and Everything changes the noise the White Robots make everytime they appear from Wop to Whop in case any Italian Americans took offence. Which is perhaps the silliest example yet, an offensive sound effect (the US version also chucks in the stuff about Belguim from the second radio series so they can drop the word **** from the "Award for the best use of the word **** in a serious screenplay" line. Shouldn't the funny little Poirot lookalikes be offended by that?).
 
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Old 2010-11-12, 05:18 PM   #17
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Eh, I expect the answer is going to be to just not release the figure - how often do we get a full line of anything anyway? I don't buy that they'd give much of a shit about a few overseas toys fans giggling at the name either... Even without digging into tired Engrish pictures there're probably hundreds of products around the world called something that mans something rude in some country said products aren't sold in - isn't Punto (as in Fiat) an obscenity in some language or other, or was that an urban myth?

In itself, the word really isn't a million miles from, say, Frenzy, Spacecase or Hooligan, while Misfire a/o gives a precedent for people having names that just happen to reflect their personality disorders. Then there's High Beam, who's name is allegedly slang for erect nipples, though I've only ever heard that in discussions about the Transformer, and Transformers fans are full of absolute shit.

Wasn't the reason Slag's name was changed as much to do with the word being used as fake swearing in Beast Wars?
 
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Old 2010-11-12, 05:38 PM   #18
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They should just create a line where everything is as offensively named as possible and get it over with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by optimusskids View Post
Oriental is aparently a lot more of an insult in the US than it is over here.
Works like that here too. Depends on how it's used- using it to refer to Asian people? No. But a word/phrase like, say... "Oriental rug" is commonplace.

I think it depends on region for Canadians, though. Canada is big, with lots of cultural influences.
 
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Old 2010-11-12, 05:54 PM   #19
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Really shows a lack of taste, no matter how insulting it is.
 
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Old 2010-11-12, 07:00 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Cliffjumper View Post
Wasn't the reason Slag's name was changed as much to do with the word being used as fake swearing in Beast Wars?
I wouldn't be surprised if having to edit the episodes for ITV played a part in the name not being used again. Changing a bit of the packaging for foreign markets is reletively simple, but if you wind up with a tie in cartoon having to go all Action Force to change a characters name that the broadcaster in one of your major secondary markets finds unacceptable is probably to much effort, hence just a straightforward dropping of the name. Though does anyone remember if Channel 5 edited the show as well?

However, I'd be surprised if the name being made up swearing in itself had any impact on the decision, after all, the same show used Inferno as a euphemism for "Go to hell!" (which isn't really much worse than the "damn" "Slag" could be argued to stand in for) but Hasbro had no problem introducing a toy/character of that name during the run. It just meant Mainframe had to drop the term quietly in case it got confusing.
 
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