If you were into He-Man and the Masters of the Universe back in the '80s, then you might remember that the toys came with minicomics that provided some additional story about bare-chested heroes fighting equally bare-chested (and surprisingly muscular) skeletons --- and if you were really paying attention, you might recall that those comics featured some early work from legendary creators like Mark Texeira and Bruce Timm.
If that's the case, you might be tempted to dig through toy bins at conventions and try to put together a run yourself, but fortunately, Dark Horse is saving us all the trouble. This October, it's releasing the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Minicomic Collection, a whopping 1,232-page hardcover that collects every single minicomic from the classic toy line, bumped up to 6" x 9" and presented in production order.
Considering that it's a franchise built entirely on going way over the top with sword-and-sorcery action, bizarre sci-fi, and a heaping helping of Jack Kirby-inspired action, you might think that Masters of the Universe would be exactly my jam. The thing is, it was just slightly before my time --- my mom has reminded me on several occasions that I was once really into He-Man, but I was so young that I don't really remember it, and I don't have a connection to the franchise today.
That said, I want Dark Horse's The Art of Masters of the Universe book so bad that I'm not sure if I'll be able to wait until it comes out on May 6. Compiled and edited by Steve Seeley and Tim Seeley --- the same Tim Seeley currently writing Grayson for DC --- the book doesn't just collect concept art for the TV show, toy line and comics, but it's an exhaustive look back at the franchise that even includes Mattel's internal guidelines on how to create a "generic Male Action Figure" that are absolutely fascinating. Check out a preview below!
Some of the most horrifying things I have ever seen in my life are those baby dolls that people buy and then paint to be ultra-realistic so that they can sell them on Etsy to people who, I assume, have truly horrible homes. Today, however, I have learned that crafting horrifying babies out of plastic is something best left to the professionals, because I have seen Mattel's new Baby Skeletor doll.
Lou Scheimer, an animation producer whose work spanned four decades, has passed away, according to his biographer. One of the founders of the animation company Filmation, Scheimer worked on several memorable cartoons, from Mighty Mouse to Star Trek: The Animated Series, but is best known for his contributions in the creation of Fat Albert And The Cosby Kids,He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe, and She-Ra, Princess Of Power.
Displaying a grasp of fake Lego mastery never before seen by human eyes, hobbyist Alex Jones (not that one, a German guy) spent two months of his life building the most amazing set of Masters of the UniverseLEGO you'll ever see, and may never buy. Check out a few of the more jaw-dropping pieces after the jump.
As San Diego Comic-Con is perhaps the only venue big enough to contain the home bases of He-Man and Skeletor, Mattel and Icon Heroes seemed happy to display their takes on Eternia's best-known landmarks at the show. Mattel displayed its fully-stocked Masters of the UniverseCastle Grayskull play set in all its 25” x 26" x 28” glory while Icon Heroes laid out its own 9.75" x 9" x 11" polystone statue version. What's more, IH unveiled an accessory kit for its castle that expands the miniature kingdom substantially, plus an unpainted prototype of a polystone Snake Mountain. It was like seeing Eternia from a magic carpet, man. Dare to compare the huge MoTU toys after the jump.
It's a pretty good time for Masters of the Universe comics, what with DC's line of MOTU books being shockingly terrific. Those new comics aren't what has toymaker Mattel and its attorneys' attention, however. They're looking back to a handful of minicomics from 30-plus years ago, the writer of which is claiming he has a stake in the MOTU franchise.
When the original He-Man and the Masters of the Universe animated series found its way to Netflix Instant not too long ago, I thought it would make perfect background noise for my work day; some nostalgic entertainment to help pass the time while working on the site. But as an adult, what I discovered in that early 1980s cartoon based on an action figure line was far more distracting and indeed more sophisticated than I ever realized as a little boy. While the animation itself is crude (and famously recyclable), the show expresses a palpable sense of otherworldly adventure and intrigue through its writing but even more so through it's surprisingly awesome art direction. I thought, this medieval-techno world of Eternia and its heroes, villains, magics and prophecies could really be great if someone wanted to really dig into it.
Despite bearing the Masters of the Universebanner, He-Man, Skeletor, and their legion of barely-dressed companions have rarely been associated with capital "Q" quality. Mattel's 1981 toyline and Filmation's ensuing 1983 cartoon are beloved generational touchstones, but are often remembered for their respective recycled sculpts and animation. And let us not even speak of live action MoTU movie sta
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