A basic tenet of marketing, when creating a product, is that "Looking Good Helps". If a product looks good more people will buy it. He-man and She-ra "looked" great together.
Think of that scene in "The Secret of the Sword" where She-ra introduces herself at Snake Mountain. Remember when He-man says to her "Let's go" and they walk off together passed Teela with her mouth wide open. They made the most beautiful couple, especially with She-ra's long flowing blonde hair following them as they veered across the screen. It almost looked like He-man had his arm around her, or was leading her by the arm.
As an item He-man and She-ra would have made a much stronger, more successful product. It would have attracted a wider audience because little girls would enjoy the interplay between them like:
1) When Adora first became She-ra, and rescues He-man, he says to her
"Go get help. I'll handle this." She says "Right," in a feminine, shy girl
kind of way.
2) When She-ra appears to Man-At-Arms and Teela at Snake Mountain, Teela
asks, "Who are you!" She-ra was nervous, struggling to find the right
words and said "I'm, uh uh..." and He-man jumps in and says, "She's
my friend." And She-ra goes, "Right," again in a cute, teenage girl, way.
3) When Adora pulls down Adam's Santa Claus beard in the Christmas Special
and says, "Merry Christmas, Adam," she looks at him in a warm, tender way
with a gleam in her eye.
4) When He-man goes to the Fright Zone and confronts Adora and stops her
her from drawing her weapon, he puts his finger over her mouth to keep
her from talking. It was a very masculine and feminine moment.
Girls like a man taking charge, especially in a romantic relationship. He-man was this way with She-ra in the "The Secret of the Sword", including at the end when She-ra is sad even after winning the Battle for Brightmoon and He-man says to her "You're not coming back to Eternia with me, are you?" He always put into words what She-ra was feeling but had trouble expressing, the way a girl gets around a boy she likes.
The cross-over episodes after the "The Secret of the Sword" got away from this male-female dynamic by making She-ra take charge and making He-man look weak and in need of rescue.
Anyone not too familiar with the show would think that they were a couple because they looked so perfect together, like they were made for each other.
I think little girls might have felt a little disappointed when they found out they were just brother and sister.
Imagine the much more fun little girls could have had playing with their She-ra and He-man figures if they could have made them marry and kiss and sleep in the same bed, take walks together, dance together, go on dates, etc.
The fact is that what gave birth to and kept the Filmation cartoons going was the Mattel toy sales. By making He-man and She-ra a boy and girl in love, little girls would have bought more of the toys because they could have let their imaginations run wild (eg. He-man and She-ra entertaining as a couple, taking showers together, rolling around in the grass, the possibilities would have been endless for a girl). And, this revenue would have kept the She-ra cartoon going indefinitely.
though there is much i disagree with in your post, this one sticks out the most to me:
i was not a girl that liked romantic stuff with my toys. barbie and ken? i think i had one ken doll, and i never played with him. barbie didn't need him. she was successful without him.
Originally Posted by dura_grip
even moreso with she-ra. she didn't need a romantic interest. she was strong, independent, and completely capable -- all things i looked up to so much as a young girl. i'd say, if anything, young girls need strong women role models that teach independence and self-sufficiency without needing a man to make them happy. finding out you have a long-lost brother is incredibly emotional and can explain just about all of the responses you listed above. if they had been treated like barbie and ken in the show, i would not have been a fan, and likely many other girls also feel the same way i do. i'm not a complete anomaly! (at least, i don't think i am!)
at any rate, they did do a LITTLE with romance in the show with some of the characters having obvious crushes on others, but mostly it was in a humorous way. SO GLAD the whole show wasn't circulating around romantic relationships!
(incidentally, if a girl wanted to play with the dolls in a way that makes he-man and she-ra more like a couple than siblings, they certainly could. there's no signed agreement that you can't play with them like that.) ;)
The show and toys were created for boys and girls who are way to young to identify themselves with romantic couples. On the other hand it is created so that they can be identified with brother and sister who have the power. Those were toys which can involve both girls and boys to play together. Brothers and sisters could collect the toys and enjoy playing together. If there was something romantic about it, you wouldn't see most of the young boys near these toys.
I agree with both LadyAngora and Mantisaur. She-Ra was an excellent independent role model for young girls, as they say now: "A self-rescuing princess." She and Wonder Woman were pretty much it in that department when I grew up.
And I will never forget the fun wars that my brother and I were able to stage with our MOTU and POP figures. If it had been mushy, I think both of us would have lost interest. There were plenty of other toy lines catering to that, and I appreciated that these lines did not.
I believe that if they would have had more cross-over episodes in the She-ra cartoon, the show would have lasted longer. I wanted half of the episodes to be Adora on Eternia and half of the episodes to be Adam on Etheria.
The Christmas Special already established that it was easy to travel between the two worlds. Hordak was able to fly his ship to the palace on Eternia to kidnap the two children. And Adora was able to get to Etheria effortlessly via the Sorceress' portal to go find Mermista.
Also, Horde Prime was able to call upon Skeletor as well as Hordak.
Merging Masters of the Universe with Princess of Power would have saved the show from cancellation.
More great together scenes like these:
1) Adam and Adora riding together on Spirit in the "The Secret of
the Sword", and Adora asking Adam "Do you think they'll like
me?", talking about their parents, was adorable. Adora's shyness
and cuteness, and Adam reassuring her, was absolutely precious.
Also, Adora's nieveness about her being a princess (ie. when the
Sorceress called her Princess) and Adam having to remind her
that she's the daughter of a King and Queen was very
heart-melting. As well as the Sorceress crying as she hugged
Adora goodbye saying, "Come back to us" and Adora replying,
"I will" was especially heart-breaking and heart-wrenching.
2) Shadow Weaver telling Hordak, "Do not forget who she really is."
I think the viewers forget that Adora is Princess of Eternia
because so few of the episodes emphasized that aspect, and
I think that's a cool part of who she is that was never
developed and explored.
2) The dual, simultaneous transformation sequence and Cringer
commenting, "This looks like double trouble". As well as He-man
and She-ra crossing swords to absorb and shoot back the
harpie's power back at her.
3) The end of "Eldrich Mist" when Adora hugs Adam goodbye and
says "Come back soon, Adam" with a longing and love in her
voice. Then, Castapella ("Do you think he likes me?") and Adora
(glibly saying "A little") walking away together into the gorgeous
vanishing point art scene of the castle laughing and talking about
Adam (Castapella: "A little? Well, just give me
time...laugher---fade out) was a great girl-girl moment
that was very memorable.
4) He-man and She-ra hugging at the end of "The Price of Freedom"
with She-ra saying, "Give mother and father my love. I live for
the day when we'll all be together." I forgot exactly what
He-man replied, something like "That day will come.....", but
it was beautiful too. One of the reasons why this episode is
ranked #1 is because it showed the emotional connection
between Adora and Adam, as She-ra teared up when she
thought her brother had been killed by the cave-in and she
prayed, "Oh please be alright..." In addition to the
heart-warming scene they had inside the cave ending with
He-man saying "Thanks" and She-ra replying "Anytime". Both of
them were smiling at each other with a love in their faces and in
their voices that cannot be put into words.
It's moments like these, more of them, that could have
extended the She-ra cartoon, at least for another season. Perhaps
searing it into people's minds for generations to come.
People want to keep Adam and Adora brother and sister (ie. instead of friends and lovers) because they think it's better for little children. Fine. But then they say they don't want to see the family standing together united against the Horde. Isn't this good for little kids too, making them happy?
Maybe parents were reluctant to promote She-ra in their households because they didn't want their little girls to think leaving them to live somewhere else was cool. A lot of parents want their daughters to stay close to home, and maybe they felt threatened by the She-ra cartoon and didn't want to buy their little girls She-ra toys for this very reason. Perhaps this cost Mattel sales and revenue that would have given Filmation the go ahead from Mattel to create another season of She-ra episodes.
The marketing strategy that catapulted MOTU into a phenomenon was a combination of commercials, merchandising, and most importantly the Filmation cartoon. When the idea for She-Ra was introduced and developed, it was decided to move all efforts for the cartoon from He-Man to She-Ra - effectively cancelling He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. This was in a sense justified because half of the cast of the She-Ra show was Masters of the Universe toys (the Horde, some Snake Men and newer Heroic Warriors like Snout Spout and the Rock People). Also, He-Man appeared on an average of every 4 episodes (17 out of 65 for season 1, and 7 out of 28 in season 2), while other MOTU characters like Man-At-Arms, Orko and Skeletor popped up somewhat regularly.
Despite the inclusion of MOTU in the She-Ra cartoon, it was not enough to maintain the strong marketing that the cartoon provided. This and a combination of other factors: kids growing out of it (as bcrduke pointed out), and the increase in competing brands, caused the decline in interest in the MOTU brand.
Princess of Power's decline was for different reasons I believe. As was originally said, Princess of Power was made to be totally separate from Masters of the Universe in the toy line. Though the line was relatively successful, it was too niche and progressive to survive in the time of it's creation - too girly for boys, and to "tom-boyish" for most girls. This limited the growth potential of the brand - it could only go so far on momentum created by its marketing strategy. Along with this, the Princess of Power toy line had two divergent marketing approaches, causing much confusion. The Filmation cartoon and it's supporting fiction depicted POP as more a continuation or extension of MOTU. The POP toy line had its own SEPARATE fiction, which depicted the characters very differently from the show. He-Man rarely appeared in the fiction, and Hordak and the rest of the Horde were mostly absent - leaving poor Catra and Entrapta as the only villains.
Possibly, the idea for producing a "He-Man for girls" toy line in the first place was because of the high number of girls already buying MOTU toys. By "Barbie-fying" She-Ra, this very likely alienated the very girls that Mattel wanted to target, along with alienating the boys.
I think the best strategy would have been to release the POP characters in the MOTU line, along with making them available in the girls isle for the niche market - although their primary focus should have been in the MOTU line. The cartoon should have been split between MOTU and POP adventures - maintaining even marketing for both. So maybe 2 new He-Man episodes, 2 new She-Ra episodes, and a joint adventure would have worked better to keep both brands going.
The She-ra cartoon made her physically as strong as He-man. This was a mistake. It was enough to give her a better sword, a sidekick that could fly, and extra powers (eg. healing and talking to animals).
The cartoon should have given the distinction of greater physical power and strength to He-man. By not doing so, it devalued what made He-man so special.
If you think making He-man and She-ra romantic partners would have turned little boys off, making She-ra as strong as He-man was by far worse.
She-Ra probably hurt He-Man's viewership & toy sales by cannibalizing some of the MOTU/He-Man fans. I have to think some chunk of the girl MOTU fans ditched the guys with the furry shorts when She-Ra broke on the scene.
So dura_grip, you think the show would have last longer if she-ra were weaker, less independent and He-man's girlfriend? Interesting theory... Going by that logic, it would be on still if she were barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen making "sammiches." She wasn't intended to be a Disney princess in the
40's, she was meant to give girls a strong heroine they could identify with the way boys identified with He-man. That is why I feel they made her his sister, she could be his equal and rescue him without taking away from his uber-masculine role (c ould you imagin the reaction if He-man had to be rescued by his girlfriend?) :hmlol: It was an experiment by Mattel and considering the character is so fondly remembered after close to 30 years, I say mission accomplished.
Adora could have been a great Cinderella-like character because she was such a sympathetic character. The audience fell in love with her the moment she came on the scene.
The "Secret of the Sword" should have had a resolution. He-man and She-ra could have freed Etheria from the Horde in that movie.
Then, Adora would go back to Eternia with Adam to become his wife.
And they would live happily ever after.
The spin-off could have been about Adora adjusting to life as a princess and all the problems that come along with it.
This story path would have attracted the necessary viewership to keep the show going. Little girls would have thrown away their Barbies and bought Princess-of-Power merchandise in numbers that would have rivaled the half-billion dollars in profit from the He-man sales.
I will have to disagree with this. She-Ra being just as strong as He-Man SHOULD be expected - they're tapping into the same power source. I NEVER thought of She-Ra as better, she just expressed her powers differently. She had to be different, or she'd just be a boring carbon copy of her brother.
Originally Posted by dura_grip
WHAT TURNED ME OFF OF HE-MAN WAS THE FACT THAT HE DIDN'T HAVE ANY NEW EPISODES PERIOD. I HAD TO HOPE THAT HE'D SHOW UP EVENTUALLY ON SHE-RA'S SHOW.
If anything, She-Ra showed the potential for what He-Man could do himself - the show was just lousy at expressing it. She-Ra's morphing sword ability can be considered equivalent to He-Man producing new armors and weapons i.e. the Flying Fists and perhaps the battle axe - which he obviously did more than his sister. NA He-Man utilized his sword in more varied ways than his Filmation counterpart, able to levitate objects, produce energy blasts and create protective energy fields. As for the flying sidekick, what makes that in anyway superior to a giant armored fighting tiger? Just different is all.
What would have really pumped up the He-man fans would have been if He-man would have defeated the Horde in "The Secret of the Sword" and freed Etheria with the help of the Great Rebellion.
He could have then broken Shadow Weaver's spell on Adora with a power kiss.
Finally in the end he would carry Adora in his arms back to Eternia like he did with Teela in "The Problem with Power".
Adora could then be like Anne Hathaway's characters in "Princess Diaries" and "The Devil Wears Prada".
He-man and She-ra belong together. Teela was never really right for him. I always thought the Sorceress and He-man had a stronger connection. And Teela-nah (ie. before she became the Sorceress) was gorgeous.
If this would have happened in the "The Secret of the Sword", the He-man fans would have come out of the movie theater cheering and the girls would have come out swooning.
Both little boys and little girls would have been begging their parents to take them to Toys R' Us to buy He-man and She-ra toys by Mattel.
You're making this up to rile people's feathers, right? LOL. There's NO WAY you could actually believe what you typed.
Originally Posted by dura_grip
Just like Cersei and Jamie Lannister. :mmgrin:
Originally Posted by dura_grip
I've always thought that She-Ra's series overall was better written than He-Man's. She had the benefit of building off of what He-Man had established and the potential for cross-overs for such an expanded universe. I think it stands the test of time and I am very thankful that Adora/She-Ra came out the way they did - I definitely do not jive with the idea that Adora should be a Cinderella character and He-Man's girlfriend. I think she represented a quite competent woman, an excellent role model.
Originally Posted by dura_grip
As for cancelation, it really was more of they had enough episodes of He-Man for syndication profit and then when the toy line sales started to tank, there was no need for more episodes of the cartoon. I recommend reading Lou Scheimer's autobiography, there is a lot of information about how the cartoons came about and their ratings on television. She-Ra got excellent ratings in syndication -- shortly after her show debuted the ratings were #1 GI Joe, #2 She-Ra, #3 ThunderCats. Remember too that the market began to get saturated in general when the mid-80s hit. I think had the toys for MOTU/POP continued to sell like hotcakes, there would have been more cartoons.
Had the She-ra cartoon marketed the toys better, sales would not have tanked.
It was the responsibility of the She-ra cartoon to sell the toys, not the other way around. The reality is that the She-ra cartoon was a toy commercial, marketing vehicle, first. And a great story, piece of art, second. I think the show forgot that, which ultimately brought about its demise.
He-man was the first to market, which is a huge advantage, just as the iPhone was the first to market.
That advantage of being first to market was squandered, and not capitalized on. Had the She-ra cartoon kept the torch burning from He-man it would have lasted and the franchise would have grown. It lost its way.
It was basically greed. Mattel had the reruns to keep the toys selling. They wanted a new series and whole new line of action figures. Even back then, accountants ran the animation industry.
Would it be tough be get all the Filmation animation cells, get John Erwin and Melendy Britt, and resurrect Filmation's He-man and She-ra. The revenue needed to make this dream a reality would come from liquidating all the New Adventures and MYP toys, cartoons, books, and comics.
Filmation He-man and She-ra is and always will be the best. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
Who says you can't go back?
I get the feeling the toys might've sold better if they were better connected to the cartoon. Remembering the Horde, the rebellion, No "Jealous Beauty Catra" bull and a She-Ra doll that actually looked like how she appeared in the show. I mean, how can a cartoon sell toys when the toys they're selling don't have any direct connection to the cartoon? :/
Filmation's Adora is the most beautiful woman in the universe.
I love the way the Filmation artists and animators created shadowing and lighting effects across her face and body to show how unbelievably gorgeous she really was.
I fell in love with her from the moment she was introduced onto the scene in "The Secret of the Sword".
I'm kind of on board with this school of thought. Filmation performed above and beyond the call of duty in producing animation that was supposed to simply be marketing for a toy line, but the bottom line was that the shows were marketing for a toy line. Even towards the end of the He-Man series, there seemed to be little to no promotion for the latest toy releases.
Originally Posted by dragonrider1227
The POP toys had little to no comparison with Filmation's counterparts. Even the very concept of the toys vastly differed from their animated versions. The toys were marketed as fantasy genre Barbie-esque dolls that little girls could style and play dress up with (yes, there were swords and shields, but there were also Fabulous Fashions to dress up She-Ra and her "friends" in). The Filmation show that "supported" the toy line featured very different looking versions of the characters, and was remarkably dark in tone with the overall concept and story. There was no sitting at the vanity of the Crystal Castle's boudoir while combing one's hair in the cartoon, but that was the type of play the toys were made for. As a pre-teen boy, I remember thinking the whole thing was kind of a cluster eff. I wanted She-Ra toys that could stand in opposition to the Horde toys. Even as a noticeably effeminate proto homosexual at that time, I eschewed hair styling and dress-up for action and adventure when it came to MOTU and POP ( but i still made my mother buy me POP toys on the down low :shgrin:). Mattel, I believe, was actually ahead of their time by trying to promote a genre story concept across gender lines. The late 80's wasn't ready for that. Quite honestly, it would be tough sell to families even today and establish a big market share at the same time.
Quite simply, She-Ra didn't continue vintage MOTU's success because it confused and abandoned the audience that made He-Man a phenomenon.
Not necessarily a She-Ra thing, but despite the show basically being designed to sell toys, Lou's company weren't too keen on the idea. So while they would add in new character, Snout-Spout or whatever, I don't think they ever put much of an emphasis on trying to sell the toy. Which I understand, if you're crafting great stories to begin with, but often the stories were pretty weak. Focusing on a "toy of the day" wouldn't have hurt them that much, IMO.
Of course, it's easier said than done. Even brilliant writers, like Larry Hama, can struggle when given a decree to add in a character to sell toys.
For it to really work, you have to be open and receptive to the idea. I don't think that was ever the case with Mattel and Filmation.
Overall I've found the She-Ra series to be better written than He-Man's. It all boils down to personal opinion though.
Originally Posted by Sgt. Slaughter
I miss the choreography, how the Filmation musical compositions led up to the transformation sequences creating a sense of urgency and anticipation, and then followed up afterwards with that upbeat, rock instrumental as She-ra kicked ass. It really pumped me up. And when Adora said "For the Honor of Grayskull!" in that deep, sexy, authoritative voice I felt my spirits lift ;).