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Thread: Unraveling Vintage PoP Mysteries: What Questions Do We Have For Power-Con Guests?

  1. #1
    Council Elder Tallstar's Avatar
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    Unraveling Vintage PoP Mysteries: What Questions Do We Have For Power-Con Guests?

    First, are there any Princess of Power fans going to Power-Con who can volunteer to ask questions for all of us?

    So far - and correct me if I'm wrong - I think there are two confirmed guests who actually worked on PoP back in the day; Justine Dantzer and a mystery guest that will be discussing the Origin of She-Ra/PoP. Regarding the origin, this is a short summary of what we have been told over the years (Maybe this will help us to come up with specific questions on that front?):

    Justine is referenced and credited in Roger Sweet's "Mastering the Universe" book from 2005 for creating She-Ra. He has alleged that Jill Barad, CEO of Mattel at the time, snatched the She-Ra project from Boy Toys to develop it in Girls Toys and took all the credit for PoP's creation for herself.

    However, in Penny's interview with Mattel's Janice Varney some time back, Janice claimed that Girls Toys already had the idea to do a fashion-action doll line before MOTU existed. But the line didn't get placement at retail. When MOTU became a hit, she said they decided to reintroduce the idea and attach it to MOTU. My gut feeling, based on the evidence, is that She-Ra/Pop originated in Boys Toys, though. Unless Janice is referring to the 1979 Guardian Goddess dolls, I'm guessing the line that Janice and others worked on before MOTU came about probably didn't have much to do with Princess of Power as we've come to know it. But who knows. Maybe there is more to the story.

    Justine is also credited as She-Ra's original creator in the interview that I did with Jon Seisa. Chris McAdam, the Design Manager for the whole of Princess of Power, relayed to him that Justine did indeed create the original She-Ra when it was still part of Boys Toys.

    Basically it has been said that Justine created two things for the She-Ra when it was part of Boys Toys: A prototype figure of She-Ra and a castle for her. It is assumed that the castle she created is the same one shown in the U-Matic footage found in the Filmation archives. It looks similar to the produced version, except that the castle has a different color scheme and a bird facade with a bird's beak entrance. It was going to have an action feature that pulled the figure(s) inside of the castle. The prototype of She-Ra was more masculine and rugged than what was eventually produced. Chris McAdam said it was Girls Toys' job to feminize the figure for girls.

    Last edited by Tallstar; May 31, 2016 at 02:23pm.
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    Heroic Warrior Veronica Mars's Avatar
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    I think it would be nice to have a definitive answer about bubble carriage maiden, was she a new character or was she an off color rendition of an existing characte?r
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    Cobra Saboteur Firefly's Avatar
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    I think Justine is the mystery guest as she was not announced until after the panel information was released.

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    Awaiting Spinwit! Swift Wind's Avatar
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    I'm going to the panel. I'll try to ask some questions while I am there.
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    Council Elder Tallstar's Avatar
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    Here's some questions from the Facebook thread.

    Can you clarify whether POP started in MOTU, and then was split off into its own line?

    Why was there a lack of villains?

    Were Double Trouble and Castaspella intended to be villains? We're there other characters that were planned to be villains?

    Were there ever plans to do toys for Shadow Weaver, Scorpia, Hunga, Octavia and Wizardess?

    Did Shadow Weaver evolve from the cancelled concept of the evil Castaspella?

    Why were there so many design differences between toy and show?

    Was there ever a concern with the different approaches that the toys took versus the show? Lack of Horde for example.

    Were there ever plans to release POP characters in MOTU - similar to how DC Girls has doll and action figure versions?

    Were harder colors like blues and reds taken out because of test groups?

    Were there a lot of characters and development that never saw the light of day?

    Who was the purple cat in the umatics video intended to be? Was it an early Clawdeen, or the cat form of Catra?

    Can you explain the bird theme of the crystal Castle in Shera, and what happened to it?

    Was there Fierce competition between the boys and girls Department in regards to the development of Princess of Power?

    Quote Originally Posted by Swift Wind View Post
    I'm going to the panel. I'll try to ask some questions while I am there.
    Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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    Searchin' My Soul DisneyBoy's Avatar
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    All of those are pretty good questions I'd enjoy hearing answers to...

    I would also be curious about the issue of the crown being reversed on her face to disguise/reveal her. Why was it kept in play when it wasn't part of her depiction on the Filmation series?

  7. #7
    Historian of Eternia LORD FALLEN ELDOR's Avatar
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    Roger Sweet had cognized a wife or girlfriend for the primary hero long before he was named He-Man.
    Ted Mayer began development of a line of female figures.
    Lou Scheimer wanted to create a spin of series for He-man that focus on his long lost twin sister.
    How aware of this where action doll's designers? What influences, if any did MOTU have on POP?

    Who communicated with Filmation designers about the look of the characters?
    (keep in mind early Filmation concept art as a sort of "missing link" between toys and toons designs)
    http://bustatoons.blogspot.com/2013/...ary-day-1.html
    http://bustatoons.blogspot.com/2013/...ary-day-5.html
    http://bustatoons.blogspot.com/2013/...ry-day-21.html
    http://bustatoons.blogspot.com/2013/...ry-day-17.html

    IIRC, Larry Ditillo crafted the bible for the cartoon series. Who was responsible for story content on packaging, mini comics, media tie ins (books magazines) and commercials?

    Is there any documentation that could pinpoint when development on PoP officially started?

    Who came up the the name Princess of Power?

    Lookee was made into a toy over other more central characters such as Shadow Weaver and Scorpia. Why is that?

    Was there ever a point in development where boys department and girls department considered a more symbiotic role in the design process?
    What are the chances of something like that happening today? Something that is more gender neutral and not so hyper masculine or super feminine. After all, the only real difference between the first "dolls" and an "action figures" was marketing.
    http://kotaku.com/why-fanboys-act-like-jerks-1563379006

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    Heroic Warrior eurorko's Avatar
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    I'm interested to hear what was planned and not released. There seems to be very little info after the Star Sisters. There should have been other designed characters planned. Maybe they will reveal some of them.

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    Heroic Warrior Swanmarsh's Avatar
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    Is it true that former Princess Diana was a source of inspiration for the Princess of Power angle on the line, given the massive popularity she enjoyed over the Royal Wedding to Prince Charles?
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    Illumina & Cat please! Darkspecter's Avatar
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    I *REALLY* hope someone films this panel and the one with Garrett Sander featuring the SDCC She-Ra figure.
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    Oracle of Fabulousity Kevenn's Avatar
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    I'm going to echo the request for asking about Bubblerina - the Bubble Carriage Maiden. I'm convinced she was a character that ended up being split up into Netossa and Bubble Power She-Ra.
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    Ally of Hordak Robin Hood's Avatar
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    If it’s not too late to ask:

    • “Who came up with the names Adora and She-Ra?”
    • “Was the all-powerful and compassionate goddess Asherah, the inspiration for She-Ra?”


    I have several reasons for believing there is a strong connection with Asherah. For example, she was known as "the goddess par excellence" and the "Queen of Heaven”, which is equivalent to She-Ra’s title “the most powerful woman in the universe” and the middle five letters of the name Asherah spell out She-Ra, while the prefix ‘A’ could symbolize her alter ego Adora and the suffix ’h’ could symbolize heaven, “Queen of Heaven” or the Horde.

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    Council Elder Tallstar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robin Hood View Post
    [*]“Who came up with the names Adora and She-Ra?”
    Assistant Product Manager Cathy Larson took credit for the name Adora in a past interview.

    "By the way, She-Ra's alter ego was "Adora". I wanted to name her Dorian (which is my daughter's name) but my boss wouldn't let me so I settled on "Adora". - Cathy Larson
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    Heroic Warrior I, Harbinger's Avatar
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    Sorry I just saw this, or I would've asked Justine some of these questions. I spoke with her a bit, she had several of her original designs for She-Ra, Catra & Bow on public display for the first time ever. They were beautiful color sketches printed on tshirts, very interesting, not quite the characters we came to know in the vintage toy line, but similar. The essence of each was definitely there from the start. She said these were the designs that won the sales pitch, before she eventually redesigned them into their more traditional vintage toy art designs. I really wanted to purchase some prints, but she only had tshirts with these original color sketches on the front (I thought it was an odd choice, but she said it was a product of her last minute joining the con, for whatever reason the shirts were ready but prints weren't, tho it was something she was working on).

    Interestingly she said She-Ra actually started at Kenner, but Kenner passed. We talked about her work in the industry a bit over the years, and she said she's working on a web site/mailing list where she will share all her stories about She-Ra's genesis soon, and be selling some original art work as well, apparently she still has it all. She had a mailing list sign up sheet, and I added my contact. I'll have to post a part 2 to this, because I got her list contact info which I'll be happy to pass along to other PoP fans, as well as an article she directed me to that apparently has a lot of this information as well, I just don't have my con bag or her card with me at the moment. So more to come soon!...
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    Council Elder Tallstar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I, Harbinger View Post
    Sorry I just saw this, or I would've asked Justine some of these questions. I spoke with her a bit, she had several of her original designs for She-Ra, Catra & Bow on public display for the first time ever. They were beautiful color sketches printed on tshirts, very interesting, not quite the characters we came to know in the vintage toy line, but similar. The essence of each was definitely there from the start. She said these were the designs that won the sales pitch, before she eventually redesigned them into their more traditional vintage toy art designs. I really wanted to purchase some prints, but she only had tshirts with these original color sketches on the front (I thought it was an odd choice, but she said it was a product of her last minute joining the con, for whatever reason the shirts were ready but prints weren't, tho it was something she was working on).

    Interestingly she said She-Ra actually started at Kenner, but Kenner passed. We talked about her work in the industry a bit over the years, and she said she's working on a web site/mailing list where she will share all her stories about She-Ra's genesis soon, and be selling some original art work as well, apparently she still has it all. She had a mailing list sign up sheet, and I added my contact. I'll have to post a part 2 to this, because I got her list contact info which I'll be happy to pass along to other PoP fans, as well as an article she directed me to that apparently has a lot of this information as well, I just don't have my con bag or her card with me at the moment. So more to come soon!...
    Awesome! Thank you for all that info.
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  16. #16
    Heroic Warrior I, Harbinger's Avatar
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    Here is the article Justine referred me to on Diary of a Dorkette. I'll get the list contact info to you guys soon!

    - - - Updated - - -

    OK so, replying here though I'm not certain this is the most appropriate forum, but...

    I contacted Justine Dantzer requesting her permission to share her email contact for those wishing to be added to her future mailing list for updates on her web site, art sales, and stories of her work in the industry and the genesis of She-Ra! She's putting together some cool projects, so let her know what you're interested in seeing/hearing about...

    dantzerjustine2014@gmail.com

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  17. #17
    Defender of the Elders Red Trinity's Avatar
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    One very interesting takeaway from the panel. Justine kept showing what she referred to as "the very first image of She-Ra" which was essentially a more doll-looking version of Teela. She had the same outfit as we are used to on the Teela action figure, but accented with jewels. It looked like there was a fabric "dress" that could be attached over it. She also had long flowing (combable?) hair with rainbow streaks, and a slightly redesigned gold version of Teela's snake headdress and snake staff. Justine talked about how she had a snake staff prop around this time to demonstrate the curvature of the snake.

    It was all very confusing. Justine's story also kept referring to how well Teela was selling with young girls, and how management wanted her to focus on that for a girls' line. After the panel ended, I asked her if Teela was originally supposed to transform into She-Ra. She said no, but that this was supposed to be a "bridge line" from Masters of the Universe to little girls.

    My suspicion is that Mattel actually wanted to create a line of toys focused on Teela and that was where Justine's involvement began. Eventually this line evolved into She-Ra and POP.

  18. #18
    Council Elder Tallstar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Trinity View Post
    One very interesting takeaway from the panel. Justine kept showing what she referred to as "the very first image of She-Ra" which was essentially a more doll-looking version of Teela. She had the same outfit as we are used to on the Teela action figure, but accented with jewels. It looked like there was a fabric "dress" that could be attached over it. She also had long flowing (combable?) hair with rainbow streaks, and a slightly redesigned gold version of Teela's snake headdress and snake staff. Justine talked about how she had a snake staff prop around this time to demonstrate the curvature of the snake.

    It was all very confusing. Justine's story also kept referring to how well Teela was selling with young girls, and how management wanted her to focus on that for a girls' line. After the panel ended, I asked her if Teela was originally supposed to transform into She-Ra. She said no, but that this was supposed to be a "bridge line" from Masters of the Universe to little girls.

    My suspicion is that Mattel actually wanted to create a line of toys focused on Teela and that was where Justine's involvement began. Eventually this line evolved into She-Ra and POP.
    It definitely seems the Teela figure was at least used as a jumping off point for She-Ra, visually. Several years ago a wax sculpt of She-Ra with a different tiara showed up on eBay, along with a wax sculpt of Teela and various heads.

    It could have be a parts reuse issue, too, where they were just initially planning to stick a new head on Teela's body, give her a few tweaked accessories and call her She-Ra.
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  19. #19
    Heroic Daddy to Hermione! Uki's Avatar
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    I just sent an email to her; thanks for sharing her information!
    MOTUC Most Wanted: Skeleteen, Prince Keldor, Captain Randor, Hawke, The Great Black Wizard, Lady Slither, Spirit, Tuvar, Baddra, Cursed Marzo, and for the love of Grayskull, ODIPHUS!!!

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  20. #20
    Über Fan Adam_Prince of Eternia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robin Hood View Post
    “Who came up with the names Adora and She-Ra?”
    Larry DiTillio is credited for naming She-Ra.




    Quote Originally Posted by Robin Hood View Post
    “Was the all-powerful and compassionate goddess Asherah, the inspiration for She-Ra?”

    I have several reasons for believing there is a strong connection with Asherah. For example, she was known as "the goddess par excellence" and the "Queen of Heaven”, which is equivalent to She-Ra’s title “the most powerful woman in the universe” and the middle five letters of the name Asherah spell out She-Ra, while the prefix ‘A’ could symbolize her alter ego Adora and the suffix ’h’ could symbolize heaven, “Queen of Heaven” or the Horde.
    No. She was originally going to be named for the Greek goddess Hera (pronounced "heer-uh" but spelled "He-Ra") until the trademark was rejected. So an S was added to her name and she became She-Ra. Ra being an Egyptian sun god, a stylized sun symbol was added to her chest.

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