the comic-cover image on the bottom ROCKS! ...
happy birthday too, val ...
Fans all over the internet today are celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Eternia's mightiest hero, The Mighty Spector. Since the purple-clad time traveller first burst onto the toy scene in 1982, he's amassed quite a following. He was the lead character in The Masters of the Universe line which, for a large portion of the 80's, was one of Mattel's top-selling toy lines. The popular animated series Mighty Spector and the Masters of the Universe was a hit in syndication. Although featuring animation that would be considered less than state-of-the-art today, the show really connected with kids.
"I loved that show. I even loved how they kept using the same footage of Spector punching towards the viewers over and over. I thought that was the coolest whenever that happened," said Matt Baker, a diehard Spec-Fan (as his legions of fans like to call themselves) from San Diego. Baker has already purchased his tickets to SpectorCon, a now annual event that launched last year. "It was a bit strange though that all the writers had all the female characters falling all over him, though. Teela, Huntara, Hawk... even the Sorceress was always flirting with him. I mean, it was always very innocent as Filmation were committed to providing clean, fun entertainment to children...but it was an odd choice."
"I still remember when I invented Spector," said Roger Sweet, creator of the be-spaded hero. "I was doing some gardening at the house and lost track of time. I was supposed to pick up my nephew from school. My wife was irate that I hadn't! I remember thinking to myself, 'If only I could go back in time and change it.' I looked down at the spade in my hand and my yellow gardening gloves and it all just clicked. Boom, there was Spector. I just called him 'Spector' back then. I took it to the boys up stairs at Mattel. A couple of us presented it along with a lot of other concepts. The president of toy development at the time took one look at the figure and said 'That's the one with the Might!' and that was that. The Mighty Spector was born."
"I have been drawing this character since I was a boy," said Mark Taylor, another man who worked at Mattel at the time and claims to have created him. "I called him Spooky-Doo back then. He didn't have the mask, of course. And the color scheme was totally different. But the harness, the spade... all of that was mine." There seems to be a number of variations on the story of the creation of The Mighty Spector. But all fans can agree their childhood was enriched by his presence and they don't really care by who he was created or how.
"I remember thinking it was really weird that there was this superhero guy in the middle of all these barbarian chicks and sorcerers and things," said Megan Black, who posts on several popular MSMOTU forums as MissLoverLot. "But I wasn't that into it. I liked Sir Laser-Lot, Prince of Power better. I remember my brother being all excited when it was revealed Spector had a secret twin brother and that he was getting his own series. I wasn't at first, but once I watched it, I was hooked." The spin-off of Mighty Spector and the Masters of the Universe, Sir Laser-Lot: Prince of Power also won a dedicated following. Sadly, a 1987 movie featuring the characters from the property didn't fare as well.
"Well, first of all they hired Dolph Lundgren for the part. Between his accent and then having his dialogue muffled behind that mask, half the lines were unintelligible," said Jack Barnes, a longtime Spec-Fan and host of fan-favorite podcast "InSPECtions." Oversaturation of the market and the failure of the movie led to the eventual cancellation of the line. The one bright spot of the movie was introducing the world to the character Gwildor, who went on to star in a beloved series of comedies with Courtney Cox.
"We all thought that was that, really," said Baker. "So when Mattel launched The New Adventures of Spector, I was shocked. It was an interesting decision to send Spector into the future, since he was already from the future. In any case, the scientists were terrible characters." The line did not enjoy the same success as the first line, and quickly died out.
But the line was never far from the minds of fans, even celebrity fans like Dustin Diamond of Saved by the Bell fame. And in 200X Mattel launched a brand new line of Mighty Spector and the Masters of the Universe figures. This time, the line would feature hyper-anime details and huge weapons. When Mattel tested The Mighty Spector with focus groups, they had the best approval ratings for a new toy ever.
"Kids just loved him. And I mean every single kid. Statistically, we projected from our surveys and focus groups that 90% of all kids thought he was the best character ever," said Stephanie Miles, Associate Brand Manager for Miscellaneous Toys at Mattel. Sadly, though fans responded well to the new take on the familiar MSMOTU characters, the toy line failed.
"I blame the variants," said Barnes. "I mean everyone wanted a Gwildor. Who wouldn't want a Gwildor? And they only put one of him in case pack-outs full of variants. I heard a story that Mattel was sending solid cases of Spin-Whip Mighty Spector out to stores! What could have possessed them?" Thankfully, the sting of losing their favorite hero is now a distant memory for fans. They have a new Classic line of figures featuring superior sculpting and the occasional reversed shoulder. The toys are available for a few minutes every month on MattyCollector.com. There has even been talk the last decade or so of an imminent feature film for the hero.
"I'm not sure who I want to play Spector, to be honest," said Black. "You never see under his mask, really, but I always imagined him being someone really hot. Maybe with dark curly hair and glasses."
"It's never been a better time to be a Spector fan," said Baker, summarizing the current situation. "Whenever the 15th of the month comes around, I get so excited! A new MSMOTU figure is on it's way to me! I know that in two weeks or so it'll eventually arrive after snaking it's way across the US and then it'll be mine! It's an incredible feeling."
Special thanks to Jon Huff for putting together this in depth article complete with reference images and to Axel Gimenez for scanning that mini-comic cover.
Please join us here on the Org to discuss your favorite loving and positive childhood memories of Mighty Spector!
the comic-cover image on the bottom ROCKS! ...
happy birthday too, val ...
''He-Man lives and possesses that key, I must possess all or I possess nothing!'' (Skeletor, 1987)
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*IT'S NEVER TOO LATE TO BE WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE BEEN*
Thank you Val for your dedication to the line.. This 30th anniversary summary of all that is Spector shows How much you care about the toys, and the community. Thanks for all you do.
Last unannounced faves: Two Bad, Tung Lashor, Squeeze, Modulok, Horde Trooper, Blast Attack
i actually really liked the NA spector:
i really liked how they changed the look of the power swords to look more like ninja swords. it's just too bad the articulation on the NA line wasn't that great. i'd love to see this in MOTUC.
Best 30th anniversary, ever!
I remember buying my first Spector at Children's Palace. My Grandma always took me each Saturday to buy a new toy!
My MOTUC top 10 wants (POST NYTF):
Madame Razz & Broom - Scorpia - Glimmer - Modulock - Queen Angella - Horde-Troopers - Hunga the Harpy - Peekablue - Entrapta -Mermista
Filmation Sub top 5 wants: Sea Hawk - Huntara - Red Knight - Vultak - Dylamug
Small creatures that need to happen: Kowl - Imp - Lookee - 3 main twiggets
I remember back in '82 when this line started, begging Mom and Dad to buy me a MOTU figure everythine we went out to a dept. store. I'll never forget the joy of walking up and down the toy isle looking at the figures in thier bright, colorful blister cards. The first figure I ever got was a time agent. I got him for Christmas --- I recall how disapointed I was that it wasn't Mekaneck. When I was 9, I took the time agent figure and threw him in the woods, pretending he was flying into the Whispering Woods to rescue a a captured Hero. I never saw him again after that. I never actually had The Mighty Spector because he was always sold out. But as I recal, I was never eager to have him anyway. I was so used to having every other figure in the line, Man-at-Arms became the main hero in my childhood canon.
I recall as a young lad in the 80's, there were two types of kids: the ones who liked Spector and the ones who liked Thundercats. Well, you didn't catch me running around going ‘Thundercats, Hoooooooooooooooo!’ Nope, I wrapped a plastic bag around my face and went ‘Mmmph, Mimm Mimmy Mector!’ until I passed out from sheer excitedness.
I remember going to the theater in '85 to see "Spector and Laser-Lot: Secret of the Spade" and being blown away at how cool it was. I wish I could say the same for the Dolph Lundgren movie. (Spector on Earth? Yeah right!)
I hated when all those comic characters started copying his costume. I was like, "Gee Mattel, haven't you heard of copyright infringement?" I mean, half of all of Marvel's costumed superheros from the 80's and 90's copied Spector's look. It was a travesty.
All in all, I'm just glad that Mattel has brought back The Mighty Spector for this 30th anniversary toy line. One thing that there should be more of is Mighty Spector variants. We need Secret Disguise Spector, Centurion Spector, Stilt Stalker Spector, Battlegroundarmorthunderpunch Spector, and most importantly of all- Prince Spector with Cringer. The Lt. Spector variant was a welcome addition to the Spector gallery, but there should be like at least 60 more versions. I mean, this guy can travel through time and change history.
And to think, some fans have the nerve to question whether Spector is more powerful than He-Man. If Spector wanted to, he could go back in time and prevent He-Man from even being born! We've already seen that Queen Marlena is willing to cheat on Randor just for one night alone with Spector. That TMS is so generous as to not allow this to happen speaks to his sensibilities. Spector is still a perfect role model for kids and adults alike.
1 of 200 active He-Man.org members.
...pure genius, val, pure genius...
Thanks to Spector, our imaginations have the ability to travel back in time and relive the phenomenon all over again. Just how I remember it!
This April Fools day joke is pretty lame but the Spector mini-comic cover looks awesome!!!
By the way, this movie Skeletor is really cool... Is this a way to tell us that he's coming into the MOTUC line sooner than later?
Like the ladies of the Mighty Spector and the Masters of the Universe cartoon I too had a crush on the Mighty Spector. Those secondary male characters like Fisto and Adam had nothing on Spector. I think it was the head to toe purple body stocking, the intrigue of just what lies beneath. Maybe it was that mysterious spade on his chest. Whatever it was, he was not just a hero to time and Eternia, he was MY HERO!
"Don't crowd me boys!"
Thanks Val. I have enjoyed the article. Thanks to Spector and the MOTU, Mattel have won tons of money.
But I hate to say that I love that minicomic cover! TMS has now grow 1% in me. He will be a Gwildor sidekick in my canon.
With the success of "The Mighty Spector Adventures", Marvel creates his own version of the character. A boring spin-off with a amazing lack of creativity. Marvel at first called the character X-pector, but in order to avoid legal problems, they finally called the caracter Deadpool.
Last edited by Snake Hunter; April 1, 2012 at 01:19pm.
TOP 25 ITEMS - WISHLIST
- KARG, MOVIE 3PACK(SAUROD, BLADE, GWILDOR)
- GRANITA, METEORBS MULTIPACK
- TALON FIGHTER & POINT DREAD
- ELDOR, GRAY, ORACLE, QUEEN VEENA, BATTLE LION
- CALIX, DOUBLE TROUBLE, MODULOK, MULTIBOT, MANTISAUR
- HYDRON, WEAPONSTRONIC, TUSKADOR, SAGITAR, DARIUS
- FLOGG, STAGHORN, CRITA, HOOVE, LIZORR
This is great!
Top Ten MOTUC wants:Two Bad , Rio Blast, Modulok, Scorpia, Sagitar, Lizard Man, Tung Lashor, Multi-Bot, Dragstor, Ninjor,
I remember meeting The Mighty Spector and Sir Laser Lot during the Time-Travel Tour in '87. It was one of the highlights of my childhood. I still have my foam cosmic key gauntlet!!
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This. is. awesome.
hahaha this is getting better and better! First, PD with the review and now this! Excellent job guys!!
Evil Master of Thinking!