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  MPLM Sustaining Engineering patch (TMNT)

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Author Topic:   MPLM Sustaining Engineering patch (TMNT)
Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 41510
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-04-2019 11:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There is something odd going on with the patch for the shuttle-era Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM) Sustaining Engineering Pressurized Carriers Group.

The patch's design plays off the names of the MPLM modules being the same as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles — both were named after the Italian artists (the MPLMs were provided to NASA by the Italian Space Agency).

Like other NASA patches featuring cartoon characters, the patch design is not in the public domain. At the time of its creation, the MPLM patch was copyright of Mirage Studios, the company behind the TMNT comic books. (It is not clear if the rights for the patch were transferred in 2009, when Viacom purchased the TMNT characters from Mirage.)

As a copyrighted design, the MPLM patch was limited to internal NASA use.

Unauthorized knock offs are nothing new and a few attempts at such have shown up over the years. And if that was all that was behind the recent sale of more than 100 patches on eBay, there would be nothing to write about here.

But then AB Emblem listed the patch on its "Lost in Space" page as "very limited" and sold out of their supply on Monday (March 4). With the exception of the occasional mistake, AB Emblem usually stays clear of the knock-off market and respects copyrights.

So what is going on here? The AB Emblem patch (at top right) differs from the patches on eBay (bottom row) and the original art (top left), lacking the "NASA/MSFC" inscription and in the thread colors chosen. All of the patches are described as 5 inches in diameter and fully embroidered.

Kevin T. Randall
Member

Posts: 939
From: Chesham, Bucks UK
Registered: Dec 2008

posted 03-05-2019 04:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin T. Randall   Click Here to Email Kevin T. Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was previously told that some of the patches listed on the "Lost In Space" page were either spare production over-runs or sample patches from "private commissions." With only a small number ranging from three or four patches to no more than ten patches that were left over.

Yet this MPLM Sustaining Engineering patch has a February 2019 SKU patch design number 406758 and probably a 2/19 20 date code? (If it has an embedded label on?)

Update: No embedded label on mine either.

Liembo
Member

Posts: 499
From: Bothell, WA
Registered: Jan 2013

posted 03-05-2019 10:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Liembo   Click Here to Email Liembo     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am surprised that the design has the NASA meatball logo. There are restrictions on using that on patches of this nature even for official, in-house NASA programs. (NASA SOFIAs designs cannot incorporate it, for example). They do allow the word "NASA" but not with serifs because even that comes too close the "NASA" typeface used in the meatball.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 41510
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-05-2019 10:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The design dates back to the early 2000s, before the current logo usage rules were in place.

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 41510
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-08-2019 11:46 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Kevin T. Randall:
If it has an embedded label.
The patch I received today from AB Emblem has no label.

Kevin T. Randall
Member

Posts: 939
From: Chesham, Bucks UK
Registered: Dec 2008

posted 04-22-2019 02:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kevin T. Randall   Click Here to Email Kevin T. Randall     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Earlier today AB Emblem released a second version of this 5" MPLM Sustaining Engineering (TMNT) patch. As far as I can make out the only difference is the all green head, no black.

This patch has the same SKU patch design number 406758 as version 1 dose. I don't know if there are embedded labels on them? I think there was only two of these patches available, as they sold out very quickly.

All times are CT (US)

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