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Vintage Henshin
Morning, Computer Boys and Girls! There's been some interesting developments with Tsuburaya and Ultraman in Asia, not to mention some updates regarding the last holdouts of the decade-long legal battle. Get comfortable, we've got some unpacking to do.

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Vintage Henshin Aug 11
Replying to @VintageHenshin
Quick recap (1): For the past 10+, Tsuburaya fought to win back the international rights to the Ultra Series from Sompote Saengduenchai, a Thailand-based filmmaker who claimed to have a document granting him distro/merch/broadcast/trademark rights outside of Japan...
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Vintage Henshin Aug 11
Replying to @VintageHenshin
(2) In truth, Saengduenchai (also known as Sompote Sands), did work with TPC in getting the Ultra Series broadcast in Thailand, as well as the infamous nightmare of a film, HANUMAN VS 7 ULTRAMAN. It's, ah...a thing.
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Vintage Henshin Aug 11
Replying to @VintageHenshin
(3) Sands would claim that Noboru Tsuburaya signed over the rights post-HANUMAN, and it's his hanko seal on the doc (later known as the 1976 Agreement) that would be the dealbreaker for the 1st round of court battles. To this day, no one knows how the hell Sands got the seal.
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Vintage Henshin Aug 11
Replying to @VintageHenshin
(4) But here's the important bit: Sands divvied the rights up between UM Corporation, Golden Media Group, and later TIGA. We'll come back to this part in a sec.
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Vintage Henshin Aug 11
Replying to @VintageHenshin
(5) Long and short of it, after a series of missteps and long-fought battles, TPC finally won back the US rights after UMC tried to assert total copyright dominance over the Ultra Series. Here's the full press release:
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Vintage Henshin Aug 11
Replying to @VintageHenshin
FAST FORWARD: In a press conference event in Petaling Jaya on Fri, Masayuki Nagatake, the current president of Tsuburaya Productions, announced they were planning on making moves towards worldwide expansion, including Malaysia. And this may be the final nail in UMCorp's coffin.
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Vintage Henshin Aug 11
Replying to @VintageHenshin
Remember how the rights were divvied up? Even though the US lawsuit challenged the legitimacy of the 1976 Agreement, UM Corp & TIGA held onto rights for the first 6 Ultra Series in several Asian territories. Malaysia being one of them. But wait, who is Taigaco?
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Vintage Henshin Aug 11
Replying to @VintageHenshin
TAIGACO is a company that came out of nowhere in 2017. While TIGA reportedly wanted to distance themselves from Ultraman, Taigaco has seemingly picked up the slack. Their website features an updated legal battle timeline & new licensing opportunities.
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Vintage Henshin Aug 11
Replying to @VintageHenshin
Taigaco's website is basically a copypasta of ULTRAMAN ORIGINAL, UMC's brand designed to be hip w/ exclusive merchandise. If you've seen the really tacky gifs on Tenor/Giphy w/ the Chaiyo Ultraman logo, that's from them. They're also responsible for this nightmare:
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Vintage Henshin Aug 11
Replying to @VintageHenshin
But at some point within the last few months or so, the Ultraman Original Instagram page VANISHED. There's still a presence on Facebook with mediocre memes, but this is massive as the Insta page was really active for quite some time after the US lawsuit ruling.
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Vintage Henshin Aug 11
Replying to @VintageHenshin
So now with TPC making plans in Malaysia, which was one of the last holdouts for Taigaco/UMCorp, the plot intensifies. Never mind that I can't escape the feeling Ultraman TAIGA might be a stealth jab at TAIGAco?
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Vintage Henshin Aug 11
Replying to @VintageHenshin
But the big reason why this could be the final nail for UM Corp? Licensing opportunities. Merch, live shows...With TPC moving in, there's a chance UM Corp could be edged out. Because why set up a deal with the bootleg when the original is right next door?
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Vintage Henshin Aug 11
Replying to @VintageHenshin
And if UM Corp/Taigaco loses out on those deals, which are pretty much the only real meat of their operation since they can't make any new shows as per the court rulings they're clinging to, that could very well be it for them. Suffice to say I am counting down the minutes.
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Vintage Henshin Aug 11
Replying to @VintageHenshin
(Also fun tidbit revealed at the press conference? ULTRAMAN TAIGA will be available worldwide in 2020!) I'll be sure to keep you posted if there are any further developments, but stand by all the same, Computer Boys and Girls!
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