I appreciate your comments. Say hi to Murky and Lurky for me.Originally Posted by Rainbow Brite
Took me awhile to read through this thread, but it was totally worth it! What awesome, invaluable information! And what creative, great ideas! The ideas for season 2 sound totally cool to me. I would have loved to see that. And the idea for a He-Man novel is a great one too! I knew there were Star Trek novels, but had no idea there were Transformers novels and books for other similar properties. How cool would that be?? Anything that carries on the MOTU/POP universe is cool with me
..wow...i used the word "cool" way too many times in this post...lol..
I appreciate your comments. Say hi to Murky and Lurky for me.Originally Posted by Rainbow Brite
And you know who Murky and Lurky are?!? YOU ROCK!Originally Posted by Heeeere's Olesker!
I did think of an NA question for you. I watched a handful of episodes a couple months ago, having never actually seen the NA show as a child. And one of the eps i watched was the very last one. Now, my opinion is a bit changed now that i know what was planned for season 2, but i'm still curious. At the time that that episode was written, was it already known that the series would not continue? The thing that bothered me about it was the very end of the episode where Teela leaves and says a very quick "goodbye forever." It seemed so rushed and He-Man showed no concern for his friends and family who were still on Eternia. I guess i was expecting at least a "say hi to mom, dad and sis for me!" I'd love to hear your thoughts on that episode.
Understand that in those days it took about four months from the completion of writing to the actual airdate. I wrote all thirty-seven episodes in a space of about fourteen weeks. So my writing for the series was completed before the airing of the first episode. Thus, I had no way of knowing whether or not the series would go into Season 2.Originally Posted by Rainbow Brite
Yes, I know about Murky and Lurky. Rainbow Brite was produced by DIC during my time as that studio's Senior Story Editor. I co-created and wrote POPPLES, was a story editor and wrote for THE LITTLES, THE CARE BEARS, M.A.S.K. and a ton of DIC shows. In addition I created LADY LOVELYLOCKS and wrote all the episodes of that series for Mattel and after I left DIC I wrote the original development work for POWER RANGERS. I also write murder mysteries and horror novels for adults, but if there's something better than bringing a smile to the face of a child, this writer doesn't know what that might be. So I consider myself blessed to have worked in the field of children's entertainment for so many years. Noel Coward once said, "Work is much more fun than fun." Vraiment.
Ahhh, ok. Thank you for the explanation! It always amazes me how the process works.Originally Posted by Heeeere's Olesker!
Awesome!! Do you have any memories of the series or the people who worked on it? As you can see from my website, i'm a bit of a fanaticYes, I know about Murky and Lurky. Rainbow Brite was produced by DIC during my time as that studio's Senior Story Editor.
WOW!!! I don't remember watching the Popples, but i definitely had several of the toys. I totally enjoyed the Littles and have purchased both of the Littles movies on DVD. It helps that Bettina Bush (voice of Rainbow Brite) did the voice of Lucy on that show I have always LOVED the Care Bears. In fact, i have little Rainbow Brite and Care Bears toys on my desk at work right now! I watched M.A.S.K. with my brother and thought it was awesome. I had several Lady Lovely Locks toys and vaguely remember watching the show. There was a prince who turned into a dog, wasn't there? That show made me want colored streaks in my hair :-D And i watched the first one or two seasons of Power Rangers as well. I'm impressed!I co-created and wrote POPPLES, was a story editor and wrote for THE LITTLES, THE CARE BEARS, M.A.S.K. and a ton of DIC shows. In addition I created LADY LOVELYLOCKS and wrote all the episodes of that series for Mattel and after I left DIC I wrote the original development work for POWER RANGERS.
I definitely agree with you there I don't have much talent for writing stories, but i love to write and sing songs. I've always thought it would be so wonderful to be one of those people who write/sing songs for children. But i figure even if i never get to do it professionally, i'll at least do it for my future kids or my future nieces/nephews :-)but if there's something better than bringing a smile to the face of a child, this writer doesn't know what that might be. So I consider myself blessed to have worked in the field of children's entertainment for so many years.
NA was a shock for me when it came out, but now looking back I have come to be grateful for the NAs because if nothing else it gave us more He-Man and Skeletor. The cartoon is fun and I feel everyone will warm up to it once they see get the DVDs. Season 2 sounds totally fun and thrilling, it is such a shame it never came to pass. It is like the situation with season 3 of the MYP cartoon, so much could have happened there, oh well as great as He-Man is I guess it is forever doomed to be cut short. Thanks for taking the time to share your ideas, thoughts and experiences.
Erie Americana Punk Rock
Saving lives everyday!!
http://www.veganoutreach.org and http://www.peta.com
H.E.A.L. Human Earth and Animal Liberation
This will remain for as long as MOTU is under the rights of MATTEL.Originally Posted by jakobinsane
Or unless some bright executive at Mattel reads all the posts in this thread (hint, hint to some of you fans ) and realizes how incredible the idea of Season 2 is.Originally Posted by Mike Bock
They never listen to us Jack, never!!Originally Posted by Heeeere's Olesker!
They just don't care about us at all.
You know, Mike, I'm not sure about that. Maybe you're mistaking the fact that they are VERY difficult to approach and penetrate with them not caring about you. I worked with Mattel for many, many years on many, many television series based on their toys and one of the things I always enjoyed at their headquarters was the focus groups. They had this huge room -- maybe thirty by thirty -- and they brought kids in and let them play with various toys they were developing. The executives, who had spent maybe six months developing those toys, would watch. Sometimes the kids would take the toy out of the box and enthusiastically play with it. Other times they'd take the toy out of the box, look at it, toss away the toy and play with the BOX! Remember that great scene in The Wizard of Oz where Dorothy throws a bucket of water on the Wicked Witch and she melts, shrieking. Watching the reaction from those executives in that case was kind of like that.Originally Posted by Mike Bock
Anyway, my point is that Mattel is they run a lot of focus groups because investing a toy line is a massive undertaking. So they DO want to know what people and fans think. Understand that Mattel is this huge, monolithic, multi-leveled bureaucracy. But they aren'[t unfeeling droids. Most of their execs put their heart and soul into developing toys. It's just very, very difficult to penetrate through to them. When you visit their headquarters -- even as a writer who's written hundreds of episodes for them -- you have to go through this serpentine security procedure. You're sign in, and you're met in an anteroom by an assistant and you get a badge and you're escorted to the room where you're going to meet with whoever you're going to meet with and then you're escorted back to the anteroom. There's no romaing around.
I believe this is in the interest of self-preservation. The toy industry is extremely competitive and there's been a lot of industrial espionage going on in it. I was so heartened when I recently read about the Coca-cola employee who was trying to sell purloined secrets to Pepsico and how Pepsi got directly in touch with Coke and told them about it. The Pepsi executive said the soft drink industry is very competitive, but we're all in the same business and we respect each other. What a class act by Pepsi! I'm not sure that would have happened if it was in the toy industry.
Bottom line: Mattel may not be listening to you because they may not be able to hear you over all the blockers. Or they may be afraid you're a spy posing as a fan. (Some day I'll tell you a story about that.) Whatever the reason, you should realize that in their industry there's a thin line between paranoia and reality.
On the other hand, it may not really matter whether or not you're able to reach them because they're reading every single entry into every single He-man thread. (Oh, you didn't know that?) Trust me, there's an entry-level exec at Mattel whose only job it is to read these forums and anything and everything else on the web and in any media about He-man and every other toy Mattel has or has ever had. (To that exec: "Hiya! Now go ask some department heads at Mattel about who I am.") That exec is looking for a number of things, including copyright and trademark infringement, misuse of their product line, counterfeiting and bootlegging and -- last but not least -- interesting ideas that just might possibly generate more income for the company. So maybe this twenty-two year old gal (it's ALWAYS a gal, btw) reads these threads and thinks, "Hey, this Season 2 NA idea sounds kinda cool. Maybe it can cause a re-interest in He-man." So maybe she kicks the thread up the ladder. The first few execs who read it think she's nuts because Mattel's bled money on He-man in its last few incarnations. But maybe...just MAYBE, there's an exec in some office at their headquarters who gets her memo and in gnaws on them and they start thinking about it. Maybe that exec looks through "The New Adventures of He-man 1990 Annual" thread (posts #27 on, to make his job easier) and they feel the passion that you, me and all of us have for the idea and maybe they have a couple of meetings and contact me or one of the other brilliant MOTU writers and ask us to take a meeting.
And that's one way that a new series is born.
You definitely know what you are talking about, you've been there and done that, so how can I argue.Originally Posted by Heeeere's Olesker!
It's just that it is sad to know that He-Man has alot of potencial and non of those guys at Mattel know how to deal with it to make it a success again.
The new series was good but there was just not enough liberty to make it a success. Like with the times slots for example, they kept changing them, and for kids that was hard to follow. They messed up this new version again because they are definitely doing something wrong IMO.
The idea of the second season for NA sounds wonderful and I regret that this never happened back then but do you really think that there might be a slim chance of getting it? even when they think that NA was a failure for them?
Knowing that there are not as many NA fans as there are MOTU fans ? and look how the new show ended up.
I just don't know how they handle with these things. Can you tell us ( if you can of course) what they ask or tell you writers to do with a show based on a toyline? I want to know what they think, do they give you full liberty to do what you want with the characters? Sorry I am asking to many questions but it's just that it is too cool for me to even be talking to you.
Last edited by Mike Bock; August 4, 2006 at 09:39pm.
with that said about mattel. one would think it would be possible to convince them..but the problem is that too many people within the demographic that matter cause execs to feel its a doomed property. as many of us true fans from childhood to now have little impact. its the kids today that just dont care about the line. or anyline for that matter. toy companies are freaking out and having focus groups all the time trying to figure todays youth out. and tell all fail. look at sigmasix. thats a floating log if anything. but in the focus group. animesque figures were played with more over classic style. but this is a fad. a dying fad. and the companies should know better but they dont. the things that doomed action figures are as follows
mcfarlane toys - crap...tons of crap fooling people into thinking its scupted awesomely.
pvc - yes its a nice soft rubber easy to mod and such but is too fragile to the elements toxic as hell too
cardbattle games - too much focus on these and total disreguard to all else. tv and toy execs believe that kids only want these shows and toys. but the truth is kids watch whats on and play with those toys. if he-man and she-ra showed at toon times like when we were kids they would do just as well.
toybiz - a company that started with such simple figures, sure jumped down the pvc hole. and another note articultion is nice and all. but please dont be retarded about it.
i weep for the fleamarkets in 5 to 10 years. when they are full with tons of mcfarlanetoys,marvel legends and wrestlers. at least i know i wont have to walk around the hot all morning trying to find something cool. i'll stay home and sleep.
Listen, Mike, you don't ever have to apologize for asking questions of any writer. And as far as I'm concerned, it's cool that I'm talking to YOU! Fans are what a series is about -- there wouldn't be shows or writers without fans.Originally Posted by Mike Bock
When you're developing a series for a toy company, it all depends on the toy company. And the amount of liberty you get even varies from executive to executive and project to project within the toy company, because there are different groups of executives working on different projects.. I've worked for companies like Lego and Hasbro that give you almost complete license to do whatever you want. (Of course if they don't like what you've done, they'll let you know.
When I worked on Lady Lovelylocks for Mattel they gave me free reign to do whatever I wanted to do, and the series worked pretty well for what it was. When it came to NA, they specifically asked for me because they knew I'm a fast writer who has a history with them, will dewfinitely deliver and am a pleasure to work with. (Sorry if that sounds immodest, but Yogi Berra once said, "It ain't braggin' if it's true.") With The New Adventures of He-man, however, they were working with an established franchise and they had figured out their toyline waaaaaay ahead of commencement of development of the television series. So by the time they called me in, all the action figures were in place and they knew they wanted to go far into the future, away from Eternia -- for reasons I've explained elsewhere (i.e., they wanted to sell a whole new line of action figures). However, they didn't have a problem with me creating pretty much whatever storylines I wanted to and they allowed me to occasionally add new characters of my own creation like Sebrian, Drissi, Crita, the Mites and others.
I know Mattel takes a lot of heat on these forums, but I have to tell you that the two executives I worked with on NA at Mattel -- Kaaren Lee Brown and Debra Galliani -- were wonderful. I could not have asked for better people to work with. They were (and are and probably always shall be) consummate professionals and added to that they were always pulling for the writer. I'm sure the fact that Kaaren, Debra and I had a long history together gave them a confidence level that allowed them to give a certain amount of rein to my creative endeavors. But even when they didn't like something I did, their comments were always constructive rather than destructive. I'm pleased to see Kaaren is now a V.P. at DIC. They're fortunate to have her and I'm sure Andy Heyward knows that.
As for getting a new series going, well it's difficult. I always like to say that trying to sell a series to television is like trying to hit a ping pong ball out of Yankee Stadium with a broomstick handle. But I'm blessed to have a Sammy Sosa batting average, so you never know. The disappointing performance of NA not withstanding (and Mattel had no control over the time slots, btw, so it was just as frustrating to them as it was to you), I'm a known and proven element for them. I've written over a thousand episodes of children's television, so I've made Mattel and a lot of other toy companies -- and studios and networks -- a great deal of money. So I at least get a hearing when I call them.
But it takes a lot of time, effort and expense to put a killer presentation together. You have to write a knock 'em dead Series Bible that's maybe ninety pages, a pilot episode script. You have to commission and pay for artwork and then you have to fly out to L.A. or New York or Atlanata and have meetings and the process can take up to a year before you get a yes or a no and executives who like your idea could get fired in the meantime. And it's all "on spec", with no guarantee of any return. That's okay, because it's what I do and have done for 25+ years. But for right now I'm jammed with other work. Stilll, I have been inspired by these forums, so perhaps when the dust settles over the winter I'll toss and turn one December night, throw off the covers, get to my computer, hunker down in these northern, snowy regions and spend two or three months putting together a presentation package for Mattel. (Lord how I would have loved to have gotten to Season 2!)
If it goes, I'll have all you guys to thank for it.
Jack there is only one thing I have left to say after your nice reply and it is Thank you!
I hope we'll get to see you again writing for He-Man. It's amazing to have you here on these boards, you have no idea how much this rocks.
Last edited by Mike Bock; August 5, 2006 at 01:46am.
Wowsers, thank you so much for the insight, Jack!
To Mattel exec:Originally Posted by Heeeere's Olesker!
Please send a memo 'up the chain' to ask if Mattel can also work something out with Entertainment Rights on She-Ra, so that we can get She-Ra figures or at least mini-statues!!
In the past, the Brand Manager on the new MotU said that She-Ra was dependent on the success of He-Man, and had the comparison of: "She-Ra is to He-Man as The Ropers is to Three's Company", but I really think her property is showing that it has potential to be a lot more. -- The DVDs are doing incredibly well, outranking many of the newer cartoons, and there was also a strong demand for She-Ra at the most recent San Diego Comic-Con. Entertainment Rights is also doing a lot to promote the brand. It's a good time to bring her back.
thanks Mr. Olesker, I've never seen an episode of NA - it never aired in Canada. I wanted it to, I saw it in the TV guide, but that channel was not available. So reading your ideas, the task you were given and the respect that you have for the original MOTU, I look forward to purchasing the DVDs when they come out and I can watcht hem with no resentment. That is a GOOD thing, because I can maybe walk away as a fan. Even if I don't I have to say that I'm a fan of your attitude. That you came here to interact with us and to read of how much you understand and respect us just made me smile. I take issue with you though Work is more fun than fun. FAUX! my job SUCKS!! haha I want to be in the entertainment industry and I've pitched a few shows to small companies, they love my ideas and drawing but "it's not for them at this time" so i'm stuck working in the basement of a hosptial telling maintenance guys when and where a toilet is plugged. So yeah NOT more fun than fun!
It's tough and sometimes depressing, but reading what you wrote in this thread has been inspirational. Thank you for that as well. A question if you don't mind, do you think that the focus group idea is somewhat responsible for the lack of success in a toyline? I mean I can understand WHY it's done they need stats to show the accountants that an idea will work, but I think a lot of the great ideas came out of left field things that just got dropped on the general public without much research, without much testing, without much to back it up. Using your baseball metaphor, no one expects to see a home run hit with a ping pong ball and a broomstick, but if someone does it imagine what the crowds would do!
Anyway it's a shame season 2 never made it to fruition, but here's hoping that one day I'm at a point where we are colleagues and possibly even collaborators!
Thanks for your reply...and for the smile you pulled out of me.Originally Posted by The Cimmerian
I want to reply to your question about focus groups -- which is interesting. I want to take the time to answer your question properly, but I'm really under the gun (a place I love being, btw) on a project. So I'll make a post mid-week next week. For now, just wanted you to know I think you make an interesting point.
[QUOTE=What I wanted to do when we brought the series back to Eternia was to have huge changes take place in He-man's absence. MAA going to the dark side and ending up as ruler of the planet. Would Skeletor align himself with the new order? Serve at MAA's side? Doubtful. And He-man wouldn't let a dictator -- even a father figure -- rule his beloved Eternia. So what I envisioned was a tri-lateral battle between He-man, MAA and Skeletor -- any similarities to U.S./the former U.S.S.R. and China would have been intentional. And the women -- She-ra, Teela and the Sorceress...don't even get me started! I had a whole female empowerment sub-story in which they got sick of guys and their titanic battles and form their own power base.
Except for going back to Eternia,that all sounds horrible.Man-at-arms turning evil? She-ra,Teela,and the Sorceress getting sick of guys and forming their own powerbase? That's the total opposite of what they would all do. And I don't think the "womens' lib" angle would have been necessary.
Last edited by Greyskull; August 27, 2006 at 03:17am.
As for MAA turning evil, well, who would have predicted Anakin Skywalker would ever go to the dark side? And as for the women, well it's a bit tongue-in-cheek, but I do feel that conflict and change are a part of what makes characters interesting. I've always felt He-man, MAA and the other male characters were pretty macho, and that's fine for them. But looking at it from the side of the gasl, I'd think it would get a bit old after a long enough time. So while it's not really "women's lib", it is giving the guys a cuff on the chops to get them to take notice. That's why I absolutely loved Xenba -- she knew how to kick butt, whether it was a man or a woman. On the other hand, I can understand how some fans might feel a bit intimidated to have a woman become empowered. A bit sad, but understandable.Originally Posted by Greyskull
Originally Posted by Heeeere's Olesker!
But Anakin's turn to the dark side was told through many events that took place throughout his childhood to early adulthood.It didn't just happen over night.And he was always portrayed as being hot headed and irrational, unlike Man-at-arms.Well,except when Orko was around.And I can't see the women,especially She-ra,the female counterpart to He-man, and the Sorceress,the former guardian of Castle Grayskull,just giving up the fight and going to another planet.It just doesn't make sense.
Those are good points and here are my replies:Originally Posted by Greyskull
One possible explanation for MAA turning evil was suggested by another forum member when he said perhaps a spell was cast on MAA. That's an interesting suggestion, along the lines of the way Chekov was turned against Kirk in The Wrath of Khan -- although that was more of a mental deal by Khan. The point is, there are any number of ways to make the change instant.
Another possibility directly addresses your excellent point: perhaps there WERE signs all along, throughout MAA's youth and formative years; it's just that no one saw them. After all, we don't know every single thing that happened to him as he grew up. So maybe the initial episodes give flashback glimpses from several characters who NOW recall those early traumas.
The women are more problematic. It's true it would be tough for them to give up CG and the planet they love. But it was equally true that it was difficult for Napoleon to give up his France and go into exile on Elba. He simply had no choice. It's the same with the women. They would have no choice. It's either retreat and live to fight another day or die. And if they truly love Eternia and CG then they will choose to retreat and live to fight another day. As for their motive in banding together, I think it's more than just women's lib, as Mike suggested. I think it's because MAA's conversion has left them no choice. They have become, in He-man's absense -- the last best hope for Eternia. So they must retreat, regroup and return in triumph.
Of course it's all speculation and you can cut it a hundred different ways. Overall the concept has been pretty well received here. What I was looking for was a wayto bring NA and MOTU fans together and this seemed an interesting device to accomplish that.
I do welcome everyone's criticism and understand that it's impossible to please everyone. I respect your opinions as well as Mike and here I'm just trying to give justification for my thinking, rather than trying to sound intractible.
Note: *** My error. The comment and constructive criticism I was referring to came from Greyskull; not Mike.
Last edited by Heeeere's Olesker!; August 28, 2006 at 01:51pm. Reason: Correction
Good to hear from you.
A joining of NA with the classic would be what most on these forums would call a 'rectification of the NA.' I enjoy any and everything with the He-man name.
The New Line lacked a live action movie to bring in the younger generation and I hope a live movie will resurect the NA. Just remember that if you become god of the new NA
Over 40 successful trades here on the org feedback
Noted. Thanks for your input. And, btw, the only 'god' with regard to a series, is the fan, as it is the fan who has the life or death of a series in their hands -- a good thing for writers, broadcast executives and toy companies to remember BEFORE a series goes into production.Originally Posted by fishbrigade
you know your a pretty modest fellow youve been involved in so many of my fondest shows. i really have to thank you again for all your sharing here with us.Originally Posted by Heeeere's Olesker!
Heartfelt thanks to you. I don't know about my being "modest", however. I tend to roll out my writing credits -- a thousand episodes of television and five novels -- to anyone who will listen. Yogi Berra once said, "It ain't braggin' if it's true", so I hold to that when beating my chest, which one must do in my business.Originally Posted by galaxy warrior
Giving appropriate credit to fans, on the other hand, is just logical in my book. It's the fans who ultimately determine if a series is a success or a failure. So my allegiance is to the fans and that allegiance is forged from adamantine iron. I am so very, very grateful to the audience I've been blessed with over the years because they have allowed me to practice my craft. And that, of course, is the reason I'm so happy to be on this forum and to hear from fans about the good and not-so-good impressions they have about NA.