Well, today’s been…a day I was forced to live. It’s hard to be partial when you’re in a bad mood so we’ll shelve today’s plan for tomorrow. As I’m coming up on the deadline I need to have something to entertain and inform. Luckily I keep a few Filler Videos on hand that doesn’t work as just a quick post.

Masters Of The Universe may be known more as a TV show and some comics but it started as a toyline. This kind of matches up with my defense of cartoons based on/meant to sell toys. The show itself has to be good to sell toys. There’s a reason Star Trek had a ton of toys and Space Rangers didn’t, at least that I’m aware of. Plus the toys outlasted the show. It’s a story about toys for kids based on stories and artwork not for kids, a surprise hit with girls leading to a jealous girls division ruining a good idea, and a franchise that still has fans today.

In the first of a series of videos by Midnight’s Edge, host Andre Einherjar begins his look at the history with the debut of the toyline and minicomics and the debut of a cartoon that opened the door for syndicated animated series apart from the Saturday morning formula.

Catch more from Midnight’s Edge on YouTube

As of this writing the retrospective is only up to the live-action movie, and I’ll be dipping into this when I have need, like today. Hopefully he’ll get to the He-Man toyline and New Adventures show as well as the goal of the Netflix takes on He-Man and She-Ra. However, this site is about my exploration so here’s my thoughts on what was brought up in this video.

Unfortunately the documentary mentioned is on Amazon Prime so also as of this writing I can’t spare the funds (yes, I know it’s like $5 max–I have no income and more important things to spend money on at this time). Here it is if you want to check it out.

Slight correction on the minicomic (well, illustrated booklet if you want to be technical) origin. He-Man did not stumble upon the treasures. He even shows in the video that He-Man rescued the Goddess (which is essentially the Teela figure wearing her snake armor and colored with green skin in these early tales so kids would buy two Teelas to have both characters) and was rewarded with a harness that granted him superstrength and one that made him invulnerable, the latter one being destroyed in a later story. You can see my review of it here. I bring this up because it’s an important factor in this origin. He-Man saved someone, thus proving himself worthy of great gifts and powers, and the Goddess would continue to aid He-Man and friends until the mini-comics were reworked to match the Filmation series. He did so not expecting a reward but because it was the right thing to do, which is a good trait in your hero.

Umm…He-Man? The battle is BEHIND you.

This would continue even during the DC run on the mini-comic side, aka series two and my favorite of the mini-comics as written by Gene Cohn, as no evidence of Prince Adam and Cringer or Marlena’s Earth origins were seen in there. Instead He-Man and Skeletor both had the two halves of the Power Sword that served as the key to Grayskull, which was a play feature of the figures and the playset. I wish I had known that the last time I saw Paul Kupperberg and I hope I can run into him at a convention (if I ever get to go again) to ask him on camera why he added those elements–or possibly why he was told to do it. Either is possible, but while it’s become part of He-Man’s lore and I’ve accepted it if you look back then I don’t see a reason for doing it. Cohn’s take on Eternia and the series one illustrated booklet origin was fine with me. That early Prince Adam was also rough around the edges and tried to add in elements of the previous versions. I reviewed the first issue of the DC newsstand miniseries and hope someday I can get the other two.

I haven’t seen their Conan retrospective, not being a fan of the franchise myself, but there would eventually be a Conan series…in fact three of them. Two were cartoons, the syndicated Conan The Adventurer and the CBS series Conan And The Warriors Three. The two only share Conan’s character model and art style and I think only the former had a toyline. In live-action there was also a syndicated Conan show called…Conan The Adventurer. Way to confuse your audience. I only saw the syndicated cartoon and actually rather enjoyed it.

I don’t understand why it’s wrong to make a show based on an existing toyline but making a toyline based on an existing show is totally okay. Then you have the shows that did both at the same time, with the toyline helping to fund the show. You still need a good story to sell toys no matter which came first so who cares who’s selling what. Nobody complains about all the toys based on Gundam…though I guess it’s okay if you’re selling toys to adults…and that show started out not being a way to push tons of model kits. You’d also be amazed how many “sell toys shows” were shows first and they just got a merchandising deal to fund the show. Yes, even in the 1980s.

I don’t care if pre-Filmation Masters Of The Universe was or wasn’t art. They made a fun set of toys with some good mini-comic stories and the imagination is still there, whether they were cobbled together or original. It’s the end result I care about. I save worrying about art for people who put more stock into the process than the result, which often leads to terrible results and a process that’s only interesting to them rather than good stories and toys that actually make the process interesting to more than just creative types. You have to think about all of it, not just the part that makes you happy. Otherwise you’ll be the only one happy with the results.

If you don’t want to wait for me to have another off day and a looming deadline, head to Midnight’s Edge for the next parts. I will get to them eventually here with my own thoughts though.

 

About ShadowWing Tronix

A would be comic writer looking to organize his living space as well as his thoughts. So I have a blog for each goal. :)

3 responses »

  1. David says:

    Nothing in either of this video even resembles the truth. Midnight’s Edge are a channel of misogynist white supremacist extremist that spread lies about Star Trek and other science fiction franchises that don’t star exclusively straight white men. Their channel exists to recruit and radicalize fans into alt-right political extremism. One of the ways that they lure in the more angry gatekeeping fans is by making up complete convoluted lies about how the latest installments of various franchises aren’t actually canon, because of all the lies that they told in these videos.

    They are targeting He-Man, because the new show features strong females, a vital sin to misogynist alt-right extremists.

    Don’t spread lies from extremists.

    Like

    • You didn’t actually watch either video, did you? You reacted to the history of the Star Trek License resulting from how Viacom handled Paramount and CBS, which isn’t an opinion piece and says little about their opinion of modern Trek. This video is about the early years of the Masters Of The Universe franchise. While the host did mention Revelation in passing this wasn’t a review either, and I actually corrected and expanded on a few things.

      If you have issue with how they discuss modern Trek or MOTU that’s fine, I’m happy to talk about it, but neither of the videos you chose were reviews or commentaries, and they’re things I’ve heard long before there WAS a Midnight’s Edge. Maybe comment on the actual commentaries and reviews I’ve used as article starters or daily posts rather than just choosing a random post and making accusations that have nothing to do with the video itself.

      As far as MY opinion on Revelation, I’ve given it based on things I’ve heard from men and women left, right, center, and inapplicable who have given their own thoughts, things Kevin Smith has said, my own issues with Rob David’s treatment of Teela as a character, and even other defenders.

      Teela WAS a strong female character in the original. You had to be because Eternia is a #@#$ death trap of a planet and the only “weak” female character in the show has a character arc of becoming stronger. It’s why girls were attracted to the show and what led to She-Ra. “Strong female character” doesn’t mean “make her more like a dude” which is the accusation leveled against this show. Until I have a way to see it I am admittedly going by third party of both haters, defenders, and those of neutral opinion, but I’m not happy with some of what I’ve seen officially and in reviews. And I grew up with plenty of “strong female characters”, many of which still are some of my favorites. I’ve written about it and did Saturday Night Showcases highlighting their shows. There is a right and wrong way to make a strong female character just as there is a strong male character, and everything I hear from all sides makes me think Revelation may not be it. That’s not an extreme, as I push back on extremist opinion when it interferes with the story. Not that any of this matters to the video in question because it has nothing to do with the Netflix shows and just discusses the toy origins, the mini-comics, the regular comics, and the first TV show, plus the issues with the Conan rights holders, all stuff I’ve heard before over the years.

      If you want to comment against Midnight’s Edge that’s your right and you’ll notice both comments are still up, but maybe make sure your rant makes sense to the video in question.

      Like

  2. […] In part one host Andre Einherjar went over the early years of the Masters Of The Universe toyline, the early Conan influences, the DC influences, and eventually how Filmation formed the iconic version of Eternia, Castle Grayskull, and all that surround it. Part two focuses on the new addition to the family, quite literally since we’re talking about She-Ra, Adam’s sister. […]

    Like

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