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Preliminary name

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Oftentimes, a product goes through a name change before hitting stores. This can be for a variety of reasons - the preliminary name was deemed not good enough or better suited for something else, the preliminary name was not a name at all but a description that made it easier for the developers to talk about it, or the preliminary name was not necessary as product name and not marketing it as such saved trademark costs.

There are a few ways that preliminary names can reach the public:

  • Rejected trademarks - When a trademark is filed, there's always a chance it will be rejected because it is either not specific enough a word, phrase, or symbol, or too similar to a trademark of another person or company. Since all filed trademarks are published just for the purpose of getting people to notice in case their intellectual property is infringed on, filed trademarks are there for all too see, even if they end up useless to the one that filed them. It does, however, not often occur that a trademark is rejected, because filing them takes time and money so usually there is some research done into a trademark's viability prior.
  • Repurposed trademarks - It might happen that a company files a trademark only to find that, in hindsight, it's not what they want for the product. Thus a new trademark is filed. The old one may be abandoned or used for another product.
  • Early advertisement - Before a product is made and shipped, the stores that are to carry the product are approached with design ideas and prototypes to see if they are interested. Preliminary material thus ends up in the hands of other companies. When it is time for them to prepare advertisement and set up pre-orders, it might happen that preliminary material ends up used for this rather than the definite material.
  • Early media - Especially if the media that is to support the product is developed alongside the product, chances are that preliminary material ends up written into them and not corrected before publication.
  • Interviews - The developers say that a product had a preliminary name and disclose what that name is.

Known preliminary names

Definite name Preliminary name Discovery Change
C.A. Cupid
Chariclo Arganthone Cupid
Amore Cupid A Walmart advertisement "Amore Cupid" was probably abandoned because it has little pun to it but a double reference to the Greek/Roman god of love. "C.A. Cupid" carries the pun for "see a cupid", while the initials allow the character to possess actual Ancient Greece names.
Clawdeen Wolf Howleen Wolf Trademark The trademark for "Howleen Wolf" is one of the first Monster High trademarks filed. It fits with the other early trademarks in being a fairly direct pun, ie "howling wolf". Whether the character this trademark was meant for was proto-Clawdeen or proto-Howleen doesn't matter, because she was to be the prime werewolf character, a role that ended up going to Clawdeen.
Draculaura Ula D. Trademark "Ula D." was, like Draculaura, a pun on "Dracula". Though it ended up replaced, "Ula D." has canonically become Draculaura's nickname.
Hexiciah Steam Hexicah Steam Ghoulfriends Just Want to Have Fun It is possible that "Hexicah" is merely a typo of "Hexiciah", but it is consistently used as the first name of Mr. Steam throughout Ghoulfriends Just Want to Have Fun and is not unlikely as a name in its own right.
Holt Hyde DJ Hyde Monster High & Decorate Your Monster High Locker "DJ Hyde", a pun on "Dr Jekyll Hyde", appeared in early Monster High material and likely for consistency reasons was used throughout the first book series.
Honey Swamp Allie Gator SDCCI 2013 & Store.mattel.com Evidently a pun on "alligator", "Allie Gator" was the name written on Honey's clapperboard when she was on display during Comic-Con 2013. It identifies Allie as the director and camerawoman, confirming it to be a preliminary name for Honey. Since January 28, 2014, the name also is used on the website of Mattel's spare parts store alongside "Honey Swamp".
Skelita Calaveras Skeletrina Calaveras Argos listings Skelita's original name is a reference to La Calavera Catrina, an iconic calaca. The name has shown up in various online listings, of which Argos is most notable. Argos also used the original name in its Early 2013 UK catalogue.
Sloman "Slo Mo" Mortavitch Moe Deadovitch Ghoul Spirit & Gory Gazette & Twitter Sloman's preliminary name likely was meant to be his actual name for several years and changed only because by the time his first doll was prepared for the trademark didn't hold. "Mort" is a translation of "Dead" in several languages, so his name has been changed only a little. As well, his nickname has seen about every spelling variation possible, prior to it being trademarked as "Slo Mo".
Spectra Vondergeist Spectra Von Hauntington Amazon listings Spectra's original last name, "Von Hauntington", is an awkward blend of a German preposition and an English name. Likely, it's this discrepancy that prompted the change to "Vondergeist", which is all-German.
Viperine Gorgon Mojave Ray Store.mattel.com Probably a play on "Mojave rattlesnake", "Mojave Ray" is used on the website of Mattel's spare parts store alongside "Viperine Gorgon" since January 28, 2014.
Wydowna Spider Daughter of Arachne SDCC 2011 contest Possibly because of the unconventional design of Wydowna, she was the only one of the contenders not to receive a name prior to the contest. She eventually received the name "Wydowna Spider" in 2012, though it wasn't confirmed to be hers until 2013.
Definite name Preliminary name Discovery Change
Ghoul's Alive! It's Alive Amazon listings "It's Alive" is a reference to the famous exclamation from the Frankenstein story. Possibly because of that, it is not a strong trademark to claim, which seems why it did not end up as the definite name.
School's Out Back to School Interview While none of the early 'Signature' sublines have a marketing name, for development purposes they do have a workfloor name. For the subline the fans dubbed 'School's Out', it was Back to School.

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