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Thread: Did The NA & 2002 Eras Hurt The MOTU Franchise Or Help It?

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  1. #1
    Widget Wrestler Mr. Shokoti's Avatar
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    Did The NA & 2002 Eras Hurt The MOTU Franchise Or Help It?

    Let me preface by saying this thread isn't meant to attack the New Adventures Of He-Man and the 2002 MOTU cartoons, toys, or their fans. I'm just wondering if they had any affect on the Masters Of The Universe franchise.

    Some people say that the reason that G.I. Joe and Transformers are stronger than MOTU are because they either never went away or their time away from toy shelves was brief.

    Others feel that the only reason MOTU isn't as popular as it once was is due to the misfires(ie. didn't last as long or sell as much as the vintage line or Filmation cartoon; I'm not saying either of them were misfires in terms of quality) of NA and the 2002 line. They are one of the reasons that kept MOTUC stuck on MattyCollector.com and out of ToysRUs.

    Still others think that MOTUC wouldn't have even come into existence if NA and 2002 hadn't kept the franchise in the back of people's minds.

    Maybe there's a little truth in all of these theories or maybe none of them are right and it just comes down to the differences in how Mattel & Hasbro deal with their respective products.

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    Heroic Warrior kagamigod's Avatar
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    I think if the line went exclusively NA or 200X it will hurt it as it apparent by so many so-called purists that 200X is unwelcome and NA was not popular enough on it's own to have staying power. But trickled in once every 3 to 4 months would not do any harm as most are dying to see how NA characters are going to look in this style.

  3. #3
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    I think that the driving force behind MOTUC is an 80's revival in all aspects of toy collecting. I don't think NA or 200x really hurt the brand or anything like that, if anything it broadened the range of material available.

    If anything it just lessened the ability for people to be 'journeymen' ie. I know some collectors of Transformers who have collected the brand consistantly for their entire lives. This sort of thing isn't really possible for MOTU.

  4. #4
    Heroic Master of Tugging CarKrash's Avatar
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    I think the question is did NA or 200X negatively affect the MOTU Franchise, not the MOTUC Action Figure Line. To which I reply, It's going to be a complicated answer.

    I'll start with NA... I know many are fans, and love NA.. and I'm sure it's good.. Although, I was not a fan as a child, and haven't yet watched the NA DVDs I purchased a couple months ago.. But I think NA hurt the franchise..

    In 1990 when the show was released, I was 8 years old, He-Man's target market. I had remembered the Filmation show and had many of the original toys. Even at the age of 8, I was thinking "That's not the "REAL" He-Man!" I watched one show and was upset about the leaner space-adventurer he-man. I think 1990 was a good year to reintroduce he-man.. but maybe he should not have been reinvented so much and stayed truer to the original sword and sorcery meets technolohgy on Eternia that worked so well in the past.

    In 200X the world was without He-Man for 12 years now. Transformers had multiple shows and toy lines in the mean time.. Marvel and DC characters each had multiple shows and toy lines. He-Man had already faded into obscurity in pop culture, and maybe it was too late to bring him back? Although, I was all for it. But somehow, I doubt Mattel was too interested in what 19 year old me was interested in. I think the show suffered from a lack of awareness and too much competition. You gotta remember, Filmation He-Man was the first weekday cartoon. 200X He-Man was just another show on one of the 24 hour cartoon networks.

    I love the 200X He-Man, and seeing the stores in the shelves got me to start buying toys again. So, I think 200X He-Man succeeded in bringing old collectors back to the MOTU franchise.. But did it create young fans that are buying MOTUC now? I'm not sure it did. Please correct me if I'm wrong, or if they are any fans on the boards whose first exposure to He-Man was 200X Cartoon Network Series, and they're online with us on Matty buying 30 action figures on the 15th at noon let me know.!!

    So, in conclusion.. I think NA may have weakened the brand. The absense of all things He-Man was the second blow, and 200X strengthened the prior fanbase, but failed to connect with a new audience.

  5. #5
    Eternian Jedi Knight He-Fan's Avatar
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    Chris here...

    This is a great thread - I have to say, for NA, I don't think it made much of a difference because classic MOTU had essentially had its time (as had quite a few 1980s properties around that time) and so IMO the NA period was just a footnote, if you will, to that period.

    For 200X, to be honest, I think it's swings and roundabouts. I think it, along with the commemorative reissues, helped bring MOTU back to the mind of a lot of children of the 1980s who'd partially forgotten it, and those folks probably make up a healthy chunk of the MOTU Classics' fanbase!

    But, on the negative side, the relative failure of the 200X line tainted MOTU in the eyes of a lot of people, and (at least IMO) helped keep MOTU Classics out of bricks-and-mortar stores where it would have gotten a lot more exposure, and relegated it to an "online only" collectors' line.

    So, IMO it's very difficult to gauge whether 200X has had a positive effect or a negative one on the MOTU Classics toyline - however, to end this post on a positive note, I have to say there's rarely a day goes by when I don't count my blessings for MOTU Classics, as at the conclusion of the 200X toyline I was convinced it would be 10 years or more before I'd hold another "new" MOTU action figure in my hand!

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  6. #6
    Heroic Daddy to Hermione! Uki's Avatar
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    I know that for me, 200X prompted me to get back into MOTU. I am still only beginning to catch up on the goodness that is New Adventures, but I think of 200X as my gateway drug for MOTU. I love each variation of MOTU in its own way, from the mini-comics to Filmation shows, from NA, 200X, MOTUC and its bio-continuity, and the many comic-book incarnations. Like pizza, Star Wars, and s-e-x, if it's MOTU, it's all good!
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  7. #7
    Awesome Warrior Alexx's Avatar
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    A big thing here, I think, is what Skeletortilla mentioned: we really don't know what killed the original line. To tell ya the truth, even with the radical changes made with NA (which I loved) it seems like MotU killed itself somehow. Nonetheless, had NA done something similar to the original, would it have caught on again? As much as I loved and embraced the changes, it seems like many people say the same thing: "I saw it and thought, hey! That's not the He-Man I remember!" and that was the end of it for them.

    As for 200X...I don't know. I think it just wasn't different enough, regardless of what non-fans say about how different it was from the original. Really, though, if you look at it, it was the same idea and same swords 'n sorcery updated for today's kids. I just think the barbarian thing didn't catch on with them. Can you think of any toons around the time that were the same theme? Seems like they tossed the same idea out and it didn't stick this time.

    So, in the long run, I don't think NA or 200X hurt the original idea of MotU any. NA tried to update it and do something new, while 200X just tried to update the original theme, but they didn't stick.
    Last edited by Alexx; December 15, 2009 at 10:15pm.
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  8. #8
    Lumpy Space Person Brad2dbone's Avatar
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    200x both helped and hurt the brand. It helped by being so dang awesome, and bringing MotU back into our consciousness, but it hurt, because of the way it was mishandled lead retailers to believe that MotU isn't a viable brand.

  9. #9
    Quester JonWes's Avatar
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    Nope -

    POP was hugely successful along with MOTU. They died at about the same time due to over-saturation.

    NA was barely a blip on most people's radars. I think it had very little effect. Some people enjoy it (including myself) but you're likely to find less people who rememebered it versus hating it outside the hard core fan community.

  10. #10
    Heroic Warrior sunshine's Avatar
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    MOTU, Transformers, TMNT, and G.I. Joe had a cultural impact back in the 80's and Early 90's and became a household name in almost every house in American and Abroad. Today there is nothing that can come close to what these toylines did back then. These toylines can't even do it again. Here's some reasons why:

    In the 80's and Early 90's Most Toy Lines Had:
    Reasonable Cost Parents Could Usually Afford
    Cartoon on Basic Channels
    Cartoon to Attract Kids to the Toys
    Better Advertisment
    Every Item of the Year Available Through Out the Year
    Not Many Exclusives
    Sponsors (Toy Lines were on Everything, Backpacks, Cereal Boxes, Lunchboxes, Etc.)
    Not Many ******* Buying Up the Toys Before Kids
    Better Quality Control
    Not Too Much Politcal Correctness

    Today:
    High Cost that Many Parents Can Not Afford
    Cartoon On Basic Channel that Airs Too Early Before Kids Are Up
    Cartoon On Cable Channel that Air Shows During Time Parents Want To Watch Their Shows
    No Cartoon to attract the Kids Attention
    Movies that only attract the Kids for a Short While
    Very Little Advertisment If At All (Most During Christmas if Lucky)
    Toys Not All Available Through the Year
    Too Many Exclusives
    Not Many Sponsors
    High ******* Market
    High Collector Market (Yes we are to blame for some)
    Low Quality Control
    Too Much Political Correctness

  11. #11
    Heroic Warrior JakeofEternia's Avatar
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    Did either incarnation hurt the MOTU franchise? Well really you could apply the same question to POP. How did sales go from 400 million one year to 7 million the next? Oversaturation? Perhaps.

    But to answer the question... No, neither incarnation hurt the franchise.

    While NA may have turned off some people at first, it also did help to draw in more (albeit fewer) fans to the already immense MOTU fan base at a time when popularity was waining. Sure it may have been widely rejected at the time, but now that's almost 20 years past and all we have is MOTU fans who passed up on NA the first time, or if they were like me they simply missed it, but now get to catch up with the show on DVD and through upcoming MOTUC figures, and instead of it hurting the franchise it's just enriching it more.

    Same deal with 200X. We could all come up with reasons why the show didn't work out, but there are tons of reasons why it was a great show too. The figures had some ups and downs. But what it did was reintroduce He-Man that was, at that time long out of mind of the general populace and help bring a small portion of a new generation of fans on board a franchise that many of us have known and loved for decades. It not only brought those characters we loved back into focus, but it enriched the world they live in and helped flesh out who they were as characters in a way we didn't see in the 80's. To be honest, I don't think we'd have MOTUC now if there wasn't 200X He-Man to show Mattel that interest is still out there.

    So, no... I don't think NA or 200X hurt the franchise at all.

  12. #12
    HeroicUniter PrinceAdam101's Avatar
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    My Opinions Are Only My Own

    First off, love that NA and 200X existed! Especially love that they gave more weight to the overall body of MOTU. There are lots of things that I like about them both, and I am really excited to see them get represented in MOTUC.

    That said, here's my personal OPINIONS, based solely on what I liked, thought was cool, or didn't.

    1. MOTU to me was what I saw on the Filmation cartoons (POP included).

    2. I think the toyline should have taken more cues from the look of the Filmation characters, back in the day. It was clearly two different things being emerged. Never loved that. Didn't like the mini-comics much either.

    3. I think they should have maintained focus on the core characters and less on what kind of trick they could make an action figure do.

    4. After awhile, I really wanted to see the same characters get a new design that was closer to GI JOE, which was leading the way in poseability and general awesomeness. Specifically, I thought they could be smaller, less bulky, and more poseable. Perhaps they could even sit. Or not grimace. Or touch their own faces.

    5. NA came too little, too late. And it was too far removed from the core of MOTU for me to even consider it. It tried to be GI JOE in space, which was NOT the Eternia story to me that I really loved and dwelled on.

    6. 200X was great in many ways but I really just wanted better scripts for the original looking Filmation characters.

    Did NA help or hurt at the time? Yes, it hurt the line. Went the wrong way.
    Did 200X help or hurt? Help, mostly. Toyline was mishandled.

    ***Of course, NOW I love that NA had it's own chapter. Don't like all the character designs, but I'm glad for those who do! 200X fans? I'll count myself as one; just not my first love.
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  13. #13
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    Not at all, thats the most exciting aspect of it. The fact that they have those eras makes it stronger.
    We finally have new stuff to look forward to. They give us new figures.

    POP, NA and 200x enrich the property.

    MOTUC can ( and it is on its way) become THE BEST MOTU TOYLINE EVER.
    And that's because it includes all those eras.
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  14. #14
    Heroic Warrior REX-203's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Bock View Post
    MOTUC can ( and it is on its way) become THE BEST MOTU TOYLINE EVER.
    And that's because it includes all those eras.
    I completely agree with this.

  15. #15
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    We needed all of those eras to make what MOTU is today. All of them have strengths & weaknesses, but it's because of all those eras we all have something in common today that we share here & enjoy.
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  16. #16
    Evil Lord of Dorkdom skeletom's Avatar
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    I agree with what a few others have saud. I think the only thing that has ever actually hurt the franchise has been the times when there hasn't been any sort of era. I think that NA and 200x helped greatly in keeping MOTU alive!
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  17. #17
    Council Elder Tallstar's Avatar
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    I think NA and 200X helped to shape the franchise into what it is today. Even though the NA toy line and cartoon wasn't really appreciated back in the day, it totally adds to the appeal of the overall brand in the present. Made it more interesting. It gives MOTU character.
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  18. #18
    Heroic Warrior gbagok's Avatar
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    I think the lack of something between NA and 200X was what hurt the franchise. I love 200X for giving us some new characters and firming up some of the Eternian cultures like Caligars, Qadians, Gar, etc. Finally something other than Evelyn Powers too!!

  19. #19
    Heroic Warrior Skeletortilla's Avatar
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    I think both NA and 200X hurt the franchise at first, but are now actually helping it. We've never truly been given a reason why the original MOTU ended so abruptly. Sales of the original line went from 400 million to 7 million in just one year. What happened? Nobody knows for sure.

    When the NA toyline and cartoon were launched they were too far removed from what fans had come to expect, not meaning NA was a bad idea, it just didn't have the same flavor as the original series and was not readily accepted, and still isn't by some.

    When 200X came along, MOTU returned to it's roots storywise, but style wise was again too far removed to connect with many of the now adults who grew up with the original toys. Ultimately, I think the 200X line was a terrific experiment, as it allowed Mattel to see the strengths and weaknesses of MOTU and adjust accordingly.

    MOTUC has wisely retained enough elements of 200X while pulling back enough to please vintage fans as well. Bottom line...I think if MOTUC was the toyline introduced to stores in 200X along with a new animated series, we'd still be buying them today. I could really see it having that much longevity.

    I think in looking back, NA and 200X have both been invaluable in teaching Mattel what to do, and what NOT to do with this new line. Because of this, I expect MOTUC and the franchise to be around a long time, especially if the constant sellouts are any indication. With a new movie on the horizon, I truly believe MOTU is just getting warmed up.

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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skeletortilla View Post
    I think both NA and 200X hurt the franchise at first, but are now actually helping it. We've never truly been given a reason why the original MOTU ended so abruptly. Sales of the original line went from 400 million to 7 million in just one year. What happened? Nobody knows for sure.
    My guess would be that it went down in popularity when MATTEL ended the Filmation He-Man and She-Ra cartoons. I'm sure the thinking was that these cartoons could keep playing forever in syndication, but with new cartoons coming out for Tranformers and Thundercats, some stations stopped showing He-Man reruns to show the next big thing.

    I think if they had continued to produce new cartoons, it would have kept the line going strong. Even if they only made a few new episodes a year just to feature new characters as they came out, it could have done the trick. Instead of ending the He-Man series, they should have produced 13 to 18 new episodes a year for as long as they made He-Man figures to show off the new toys.
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  21. #21
    grumpy old dragon scott metzger's Avatar
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    NA was a fairly successful toy line that lasted, what, 2-3 years on the shelves? In that sense, it was a success in it's own right, and, since most folks don't even remember it outside the die-hards, I can't see that it had much of an effect on the property as a whole.

    MOTU 2002, however, had a major impact with it's failure at retail. The toon never got a following, in large part because Cartoon Network had no interest in promoting it. But the big impact was the Smash Blade Horror, and the resulting problems the line ran into not even six months into its life. This is the main reason we all have the joy of battling the Red Screen of Doom every month for our figures: retailers aren't going to touch anything called MOTU right now without a major media tie-in behind it. Mattel's handling of 2002 (not the line itself, mind you; all reports were that sales were solid until the pegs got filled with funky blue He-Men and Mattel started having problems delivering the product to retailers) damaged the brand, and we can only hope that this new line captures enough attention to wipe away the sour taste of the Smash Blade in retailers mouth...
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  22. #22
    Heroic Reviewer of MOTUC Pixel Dan's Avatar
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    I enjoy and am happy that both NA and 200x existed. And I have to agree with Scott on what he said above.

    It does make you wonder, though. What things might have been like for MOTUC if 200x, and even NA, never existed. How would that effect the line's availabilty. Would there be a new cartoon? A movie? Would the toys be in the stores instead of online?

    It's certainly an interesting "What If?"
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  23. #23
    Über Fan Adam_Prince of Eternia's Avatar
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    In order to arrive at a meaningful conclusion, the terms need to be more precise.

    What is the determination of failure or success? If there is a disparity between the performance of the action figures and the animated series, is this regarded as a failure or a success for the franchise?

    Is success limited to performance in the United States? Both the New Adventures of He-Man and the Mike Young Productions Masters of the Universe were a moderate success in the United States, but were notably more successful in the United Kingdom and Germany.

    Moreover, is the presumption that Masters of the Universe Classics is beneficial to the franchise sound? It could be argued that the dilution of the titular character, and the aggravation many have experienced with MattyCollector is hurtful to the franchise.

  24. #24
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    Well I will say this...if it was not for 200X (toys and toon) I would not be collecting MOTUC, or anything He-man related. I was only into Transformers when 200X was released, and had zero interest in the 80s toys...200X was my gateway into MOTU, and even now it is my favourite series...although MOTUC is a pretty close second.

    Also...MOTUC has encouraged me to learn about some of the 80s roots...so I have actually begun watching the Filmation Cartoons from the 80s etc...so I would say that 200X definitely helped (from my personal experience)..also I would say that MOTUC has helped 80s MOTU for me in a backwards sort of way by forcing me to learn about the classic toys/toon/story.
    Last edited by Domercon; December 15, 2009 at 11:10pm.

  25. #25
    Widget Wrestler Mr. Shokoti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam_Prince of Eternia View Post
    In order to arrive at a meaningful conclusion, the terms need to be more precise.
    What terms? I offered up various conflicting theories that I have heard multiple times as a catalyst for conversation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam_Prince of Eternia View Post
    What is the determination of failure or success? If there is a disparity between the performance of the action figures and the animated series, is this regarded as a failure or a success for the franchise?
    Considering the franchises were based on toylines and neither NA or 2002's cartoons lasted longer than their toys, I'd say this is a moot point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam_Prince of Eternia View Post
    Is success limited to performance in the United States? Both the New Adventures of He-Man and the Mike Young Productions Masters of the Universe were a moderate success in the United States, but were notably more successful in the United Kingdom and Germany.
    While people from other countries may have liked them, they were originally made for an American audience and neither continued in other countries after they ended their runs in the US.

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam_Prince of Eternia View Post
    Moreover, is the presumption that Masters of the Universe Classics is beneficial to the franchise sound? It could be argued that the dilution of the titular character, and the aggravation many have experienced with MattyCollector is hurtful to the franchise.
    This isn't about MOTUC, this is about NA and 2002. It's too early to say if MOTUC is a success or a failure. It continues to sell out, but that could all end in a few months. It could also continue the sell outs into 2013. It's only been a year(unless you consider the preview toy that was King Grayskull).
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