January 26, 2013, 10:58am
Heroic Master of 200X
A Pre-Filmation feel, but with a cross of Pre-Filmation and MYP canon.
Although Kenner's Star Wars was my first toyline (I was born in 1975), I was a fan of He-Man from the very first commercials. When I saw the MOTU figures and watched the spring loaded He-Man figure "punch the *****" out of the Skeletor figure, I was hooked! Thanks to the lighting in that commercial, my young mind thought the ripped muscles were fleshy and somehow real! Hungry for more MOTU, I eagerly read the mini-comics that came with the figures so I could read how to play with He-Man and his allies and enemies with my friends. I have such great memories of the darker, older canon, where there wasn't a Price Adam, Orko, Cringer or Sorceress (at least at first for Adam and Cringer, as they showed up in the DC comics). Teela was a blonde, Skeletor was a demon from another dimension and Randor was an elderly king. If there was a canon that I enjoyed, I read their comics and books as well as watched their shows.
The Power of Point Dread/Danger at Castle Grayskull Record book that came with the Talon Fighter and Point Dread was my first experience with MOTU in media. Filmation kiddified the canon that I fell in love with, but I still watched every episode moreso for the new characters that the mini-comics never reached. Unfortunately the focus was on Adam, Teela, MAA, Orko and Cringer all day, everyday. He-Man was largely non-violent and his villains were goofy bumblers that were easily defeated. Episodes with Buzz-Off, Fisto, Webstor, Kobra Khan, Clawful and other characters were a breath of fresh air to me.
In 1989, when New Adventures came around, I was thrilled that He-Man had returned and read those four mini-comics as eagerly as I read the original four. Except for He-man himself, I didn't care that the figures were slimmer. I was happy that things were continuing. My friends hated the Jetlag cartoon, but like Filmation I watched as it explored the world of NA and even developed characters that I liked, such as Hydron, Sagitar and Mara. Compared to other DIC cartoons at the time, NA was lighter on comedy in comparison. However, I hated the DIC comedy that did surface in NA (usually coming from Flogg and Slushhead) and Skeletor's Joker-like personality.
Years later, 200X was such a dream come true to my older and modern sensibilities-- Classic MOTU characters were given unique and detailed sculpts by McFarlane's sculptors and a more serious continuity driven cartoon that didn't constantly focus on the same five cast members! Stinkor, Sy-Klone, Roboto, Two-Bad, Zodak, Fisto and the Snake Men were given origins and regular appearances past their first appearances. Heck, EVERYONE in the canon had regular appearances, even Man-E-Faces, Buzz-Off and Mekaneck. Count Marzo and Evilseed were revamped from their silly former appearances. He-Man had epic, hard fought battles that rooted my friends and I to our seats. It wasn't all perfect though. 200X figures were extremely hard to get at retail. The shelves were filled with variants, instead of characters. I had to get most of my figures from LCBS or eBay, starting with Mer-Man. And MAA was pushed so hard in MYP, He-Man played second fiddle to him; MAA was the leader of the Masters while He-Man was more like the MVP of the team.
When Classics came about, I thought it was an enormous step back. MOTU had lost the detail and uniqueness that I so loved -- it was jarring. Fortunately, the Pre-Filmation fan in me appreciated getting the cardback versions of the chracters. Mer-Man in particular made things much nicer. Still missing 200X, I AGGRESSIVELY pushed HARD for 200X elements to be included along with the figures and fought constantly with "vintage p_____", a pejorative I coined for "close-minded and selfish" vintage fans who didn't want any other eras in Classics. I was also that firebrand who created petitions and pushed for changes on characters before Mattel went into production and argued with Toyguru himself on Mattel's 200X policies.
While I still desire more 200X elements in Classics (particularly 200X heads), I've mellowed out from my "wild days". Now I look at my Classics collection with pride instead of wishing that they were super articulated 200X figures (although I wouldn't ever mind those) and remain just as passionate about Classics as I was during 200X and Pre-Filmation. This is the top toyline that I collect.