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Thread: Was NA successful in its intial run??

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    Heroic Warrior sportsandstuff777's Avatar
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    Was NA successful in its intial run??

    Was wondering if NA was popular when it was first released back in 89? I mean I know it wasnt as big as MOTU from 82 to 86, but did it compete well with say TMNT? I remember not liking it when I first saw it but I now enjoy it.
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    Eternian Henchman motu77's Avatar
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    It lasted a few years (89-92) but never matched the TMNT onslaught of the late 80's early 90's. Also Mattel was trying to recapture the magic by changing to a space theme but most of the kid who collected MOTU were now teen/pre teen and had no interest in toys.

    I remember by the time my family got back to the U.S. in late 1990 most of the figures were already in the discount aisle. I picked up a few of the figures then but it just wasn't the same as MOTU.
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    Heroic Warrior Nemisythe's Avatar
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    For me personally once the Live Action movie hit, the NA felt like the nail in the coffin for me. As a kid I was kinda upset with the whole Earth thing and did learn to accept it for what it was; but when the New Adventures came out and the radical changes really made me feel the He-Man wasn't so 'powerful' anymore. What made it magic for me was the COMBINATION of Sorcery and Technology, and this Future He-Man went total tech (or at least it seemed remember I gave up after the second ep.) I felt it tried to compete with things like Transformers, GI Joe and MASK.
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    I think another huge problem was that they tried to go the economical route with the toyline and made this new, somewhat "emaciated" He-Man who looked like he needed to spend an Eternian night in the gym- they just all around felt really cheap and small. Kids had already moved on to the Eastern theme of martial arts and ninjas by the time NA was out and Mattel was kidding itself thinking they could go up against that.

  5. #5
    Super Powered Mod! markatisu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vertigoink View Post
    I think another huge problem was that they tried to go the economical route with the toyline and made this new, somewhat "emaciated" He-Man who looked like he needed to spend an Eternian night in the gym- they just all around felt really cheap and small. Kids had already moved on to the Eastern theme of martial arts and ninjas by the time NA was out and Mattel was kidding itself thinking they could go up against that.
    Yeah and by the time they corrected it with the fatter more vintage like Thunderpunch He-Man the line was already on its last legs or dead in most stores.

    As much as I love the NA toys (and am glad I got in on them in the early 2000's when they cost just a few dollars for MOC) after vintage and classics their size really was one of the missteps
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    Quote Originally Posted by markatisu View Post
    Yeah and by the time they corrected it with the fatter more vintage like Thunderpunch He-Man the line was already on its last legs or dead in most stores.

    As much as I love the NA toys (and am glad I got in on them in the early 2000's when they cost just a few dollars for MOC) after vintage and classics their size really was one of the missteps
    Yeah. I guess size does matter...or at least so I've been gratefully told.

  7. #7
    Awesome Warrior Alexx's Avatar
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    Man, I wish I could remember what it was like back then! I couldn't pay attention to what did well and what didn't...you know, no internet. So far that I saw, there was a new He-Man out and it involved Skeletor getting fried and having to put himself back together again with cybernetic parts. That was all in the minicomic, and that was all it took for me. I was HOOKED on this when it came out, yet...I just could not catch the toon! I don't know what it was. I'm not sure I have a way of finding out what channel it was on and what timeslot it was given. I watched a ton of toons around that time...why wasn't I able to catch NA He-Man?

    And I totally wanted to! I woulda watched it. The toyline took me in hook, line and sinker. I guess I was in a unique position, as I was very young for the vintage line, so I was just the right age for NA He-Man AND I was always into the space theme (and translucent plastic). On top of that, the thinner He-Man resonated with me, 'cause I was a skinny blonde kid and suddenly He-Man was almost a figure I could use as an avatar for myself (you know; if I had muscles).

    Kinda sad this was such a crazy change for most folks, 'cause it was the exact kinda change I liked at the time. Also too bad I couldn't never catch the show.
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  8. #8
    Heroic Warrior Night Stalker's Avatar
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    I don't have the exact numbers, but I have to imagine that the line sold pretty terribly. None of the chain toystores around me carried it during its initial production, but by 1990 you could find them at any of the discount stores like Big Lots or Tuesday Morning for next to nothing. I didn't even know the toyline existed until it was pretty much over with.

    I didn't catch an episode of New Adventures on television until about '92 because it came on at 5 am, which was an unheard of time for a kid like me to wake up. On top of this, it was syndicated by a local station that was the epitome of lame (think of the Weird Al movie UHF but without any charm) and it was never even listed in TV Guide-- I remember scanning the listings to find out why I never heard of the show, and it was because week after week the 5:00 and 5:30 time slots always read "to be announced." Off subject: If I recall correctly, "Romper Room" came on after He-Man. (I always woke up at 6:00, so I could catch two episodes of GI Joe on the other channel while waiting for the bus.)

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    *batteries not included Captain Atkin's Avatar
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    The only two figures I ever owned from the line were NA He-Man and Skeletor. I thought they were interesting, but they just were not as cool as the original figures. I think the line would have been much more successful if they had made them the same size as the original figures.
    Last edited by Captain Atkin; May 16, 2012 at 03:37am.
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    Cobra Saboteur Firefly's Avatar
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    I'm kind of surprised it got as many waves as it did. I still have the He-Man & Slush Head 2 pack I kept MOC. I didn't buy any other figures.

  11. #11
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    I didn't even know there was a cartoon until the box set release a few years back. ALso, I never knew there were toys until I ran accross on in 1996-97(ish) in the clearance aisle at K-Mart. Maybe it was just I hit the late teens and wasn't paying attention, but I had no idea. Had I known, I would have been all over it back then.

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    Heroic Warrior sportsandstuff777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iron_pride View Post
    I didn't even know there was a cartoon until the box set release a few years back. ALso, I never knew there were toys until I ran accross on in 1996-97(ish) in the clearance aisle at K-Mart. Maybe it was just I hit the late teens and wasn't paying attention, but I had no idea. Had I known, I would have been all over it back then.
    I remember seeing carts and carts full of clearance NA MOTU at Toys R Us back in 1992.
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    Widget Brakk's Avatar
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    I see Im sort of unique here in that it was NA that made me a fan and it was the NA series that introduced me to the mythology. I was a kid when NA premiered and I had no clue about its previous incarnation. I absolutely loved the show and was a real avid fan. Many years later I caught the original on TV and didnt know what the hell was it since I didnt know there was a different He-Man before NA. I fell in love with the dark mythical sword and sorcery look of it instantly. But NA I always held on a high shelf in my Nostalgia place, and I still enjoy the show and find it interesting how different it was, felt and looked. I find it fascinating that, just like Batman, we can have He-man in such different ways and incarnations and they all work (imo).

    My friends all loved it too and were into it when it originally ran, and none of us were aware of the original. For me it felt like it was very popular because of that fact
    Last edited by Brakk; December 10, 2013 at 01:24am.

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    Heroic Warrior wyldman11's Avatar
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    I was going into jr. high at the time I had pretty much just ended getting TMNT and G.I.Joe the last toy lines I collected in elementary (on occasion did pick stuff up later, till adulthood). I would still go into the toy stores in the malls when my parents were shopping mainly to check the video games then see what new toys were out, I remember seeing them and no one really looking at them. My thought was that isn't He-man. My brother told me there was a new cartoon but it came on really early (he tended to wake up early and watch stuff with my dad). He also said he didn't really know anyone who was buying them.
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    Master of New Adventures!
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    Ultimately -- as with most things in life -- the question of 'success' is one of perspective.

    For me, I wrote a series bible and thirty-seven episodes in a space of seventeen weeks. So financially, for me, it was a tremendous success. It was also personally successful because I had a close working relationship with my dear friend, Mark Taylor, who is now heading up production at Dreamworks after a long stint at Nickeldeon. Mark and I had so much fun on NA, so many laughs and such great creative sessions.

    From the perspective of NA's run, a lot of people make the mistake of thinking it was only one or two seasons. The reality is that it was sixty-five episodes. If you consider that a season for a Saturday morning series is thirteen episodes, then we had a very successful five-season run.

    Yet...yet... I'm always honest with myself and the fact is that for Mattel the series was not successful. It did not accomplish what it was supposed to. People can debate that it might have been different if Turtles and G.I. Joe had not happened at the same time or if Mattel had explained that we would return to Eternia in Season Two. All of that is for naught. As the creative person in charge of bringing the series to life I take complete responsibility for the series' lack of success. Mea culpa. People say it sucked, it wasn't the original He-man, there was too much humor, Skeletor's eyes, the scientists, etc., etc. None of the particulars matter. For me that's important is that it wasn't a commercial success. Throughout my three decades in the entertainment industry and over an expanse of 1,200 episodes of television that I have written, NA stands alone as a hole in my heart. We all tried very hard. We didn't set out to create and produce something the fans WOULDN'T like. But that's how it turned out and to this day, despite some fans graciously accepting NA as canon and 'a different adventure for He-man', NA's lack of success still saddens me...and it saddens me greatly. I don't like to disappoint.
    Last edited by Heeeere's Olesker!; December 11, 2013 at 12:09am.

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    Widget Brakk's Avatar
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    I think its all a matter of preconceived notions. People who knew the original series were repulsed by the drastic change, but I think coming up with He Man in a different flavor only shows the strength of the character and creates a very interesting variant. Its like Adam West Batman and Bale Batman, theyre so different yet they still work and theyre still Batman. I love that we have the same with He Man. And again, I wasnt aware of the original series when NA aired, and yet, on its own strength and terms, NA made me a huge He Man fan and was, among with TMNT, my favorite series, and it was for many of my friends who werent familiar with the original. So again, I think knowing the original series which was sword, magic and dragons vs early 90s scifi dilutes one's view and judgment. And again, I think its phernomenal that the series had such distinctive and different incarnations

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    Master of New Adventures!
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    Thank you for that, Brakk. You made my night.

    For you and anyone that wants a comprehensive behind the scenes look at how the series was developed and where we hoped to go with it, I'd respectfully suggest that listening to the Masterscast interview with me is time well spent. Here's a link:

    http://masterscast.com/?p=46

    Quote Originally Posted by Brakk View Post
    I think its all a matter of preconceived notions. People who knew the original series were repulsed by the drastic change, but I think coming up with He Man in a different flavor only shows the strength of the character and creates a very interesting variant. Its like Adam West Batman and Bale Batman, theyre so different yet they still work and theyre still Batman. I love that we have the same with He Man. And again, I wasnt aware of the original series when NA aired, and yet, on its own strength and terms, NA made me a huge He Man fan and was, among with TMNT, my favorite series, and it was for many of my friends who werent familiar with the original. So again, I think knowing the original series which was sword, magic and dragons vs early 90s scifi dilutes one's view and judgment. And again, I think its phernomenal that the series had such distinctive and different incarnations

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    Widget Brakk's Avatar
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    Thanks. Im definitely gonna give it a listen once I get out of work

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    Heroic Warrior wyldman11's Avatar
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    Well I was all of 12 at the time, my response today would likely be different. While I haven't picked up any of the NA figures in MOTUC this has more to do with no nostalgia for them. I do have part of the series and plan on watching it one day to give it a fair treatment.

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    Widget Brakk's Avatar
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    I just listened to the podcast, good questions and interesting answers

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    Master of New Adventures!
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    Thank you, Brakk. In fairness, as I said during the podcast, hindsight is 20/20 so I have the advantage of distance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brakk View Post
    I just listened to the podcast, good questions and interesting answers

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    Heroic Warrior Masamune's Avatar
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    I just recently got through watching all of the episodes. Though I had to remind myself that this was a kids show developed in the early 90's I still found it fairly enjoyable once you get past the lack of carry over from the previous cartoon. Personally I think the second half of the show is better written than the first and is arguably where things hit their stride. Though I have to admit I'm a bit iffy on the games portion of the story.

    Apart from that I would perhaps say that I felt like the show took too long to introduce and set up the heroes outside of He-man and a core few. I don't think it helped that some of the Guardians had some fairly similar costumes (further compounded by colouring mistakes in early episodes lol). It would have been nice to have seen the characters who were updraded later in the series look more toy accurate to the variant toys they were (I'm assuming) meant to represent.

    Also I found it odd that the Guardians generally used laster pistols in battle rather than their own themed weapons/powerset. I'm not sure I even seen Hydron use his scuba gear to swim or see Flipshot fly at all (although later introduced characters like Spinwit & Artilla seemed to fair better when it came to their abilities). I think the show and the characters could have benefited from seeing the characters use their own powers more regularly which would have further distinguished themselves from one another.

    However saying that I still very much enjoyed it even as an adult (NA He-man even has some of my favourite characters). Though watching the cartoon and listening to the Mastercast I can't help but think it would be nice to a direct to dvd feature length episode (or two) that returns He-man to Eternia and wraps up the story.
    Last edited by Masamune; December 23, 2013 at 08:35pm.
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  23. #23
    Master of New Adventures!
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    Love your last paragraph. Let's hope the powers-that-be at Mattel are listening. If they're game I'd be on it in a heartbeat. That said, I'm not holding my breath.
    Quote Originally Posted by Masamune View Post
    I just recently got through watching all of the episodes. Though I had to remind myself that this was a kids show developed in the early 90's I still found it fairly enjoyable once you get past the lack of carry over from the previous cartoon. Personally I think the second half of the show is better written than the first and is arguably where things hit their stride. Though I have to admit I'm a bit iffy on the games portion of the story.

    Apart from that I would perhaps say that I felt like the show took too long to introduce and set up the heroes outside of He-man and a core few. I don't think it helped that some of the Guardians had some fairly similar costumes (further compounded by colouring mistakes in early episodes lol). It would have been nice to have seen the characters who were updraded later in the series look more toy accurate to the variant toys they were (I'm assuming) meant to represent.

    Also I found it odd that the Guardians generally used laster pistols in battle rather than their own themed weapons/powerset. I'm not sure I even seen Hydron use his scuba gear to swim or see Flipshot fly at all (although later introduced characters like Spinwit & Artilla seemed to fair better when it came to their abilities). I think the show and the characters could have benefited from seeing the characters use their own powers more regularly which would have further distinguished themselves from one another.

    However saying that I still very much enjoyed it even as an adult (NA He-man even has some of my favourite characters). Though watching the cartoon and listening to the Mastercast I can't help but think it would be nice to a direct to dvd feature length episode (or two) that returns He-man to Eternia and wraps up the story.

  24. #24
    Heroic Warrior nicholighkun's Avatar
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    I was born in 80, so if it was released in 90 (I can't recall), I was only 10. I loved the show, but had gripes, even at 10, that SOOOOO many characters were left out. Battle Cat was my favorite character from the original show, so not having him in NA was the single biggest sin of the series, from my perspective. To me Battle Cat was 50% of He-man (the man, not the series). The scientists weren't all bad. Gepple was very well voice acted, and had a unique design. The other voice actors portraying the other three scientists and doing so with such a high pitched and whiny voice is the main reason they come off as so annoying. Actually Meldock isn't all that bad either, but Krex and Alchon are like nails on a chalkboard to me. But, as a kid, I didn't really notice that. My friends and I all loved the show, so from where I was sitting, it was a success. Unfortunately it was on at such an early time slot that I almost never got a chance to see it (like 5:00 or 5:30 am ). The single best thing about that era to me was the live action Skeletor from the commercial below. Just ranting and giving my opinion, with almost no real reason, nor to any specific purpose. : )


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    Animator Zentron's Avatar
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    Never got to see that ad, cool find!

    Bizarrely, I still have the first episode broadcast of the series on UK national TV on VHS somewhere, thankfully it wasn't on at 5am/ish

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