Whenever a new game comes to PC, there’s no doubt that Thomas the Tank Engine will appear as a mod soon thereafter. For example, there is a way to replace the gigantic snake boss in Sekiro with a Thomas the Tank Engine mod, and Resident Evil 2 has a mod that turns Mr. X into the train as well. Yet it appears that the original creator of the very first Thomas the Tank Engine mod in Skyrim got into legal trouble with Mattel, the company who owns the rights to the intellectual property.
This much comes from a recent report by publication, The Face, that took an in-depth look into why gamers keep adding Thomas the Tank Engine mods to games. The original creator of the very first Thomas mod, Kevin Brock, revealed in this report that it began out of spontaneity after receiving some Thomas models from a friend. The funniest thing he could think to do is replace dragons in Skyrim with them, and the very first Thomas mod was born.
Mattel’s response was not one concerned with what was funniest. Shortly after the initial mod was made, Mattel’s lawyers contacted Brock, and he got into “so much trouble.” The full ramifications are never fully explained, however. The law firm alleged that he had diminished the brand of Thomas by “showing him blowing up (nothing about him violently murdering people)” and issued take-down notices for the Skyrim mod. YouTube reportedly took it down the first time, but when requested a second time, YouTube stated that it was covered under parody law (with no reported prompting from Brock).
Brock even states that “Mattel pretty much [wants] me dead at this point.” He goes on to explain that it’s why his personal Fallout 4 Thomas the Tank Engine mod cannot be found online, but Skyrim is still up ironically enough. And it seems that the reach of Mattel’s lawyers was limited in scope.
This is evident by the number of Thomas the Tank Engine mods that have popped up since the golden days of Skyrim, with these mods continuously showing up in the strangest of places. The Zelda: Breath of the Wild Thomas mod may be one of the wildest, but that’s all perspective-based. What’s clear is that the modding community has its traditions, and no amount of legal interference can prevent that.
The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim is out now for Nintendo Switch, PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.
Source: The Face