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.
The Blonde Teela Thread
The Cloak and Dagger Evil-Lyn Thread
Sagitar (Jetlag) Horde Wraiths Azdar Belzar Chazdar Cloak and Dagger Evil-Lyn 200X Teenage Prince Adam 200X Teenage Teela 200X Sorceress General Rattlor (MYP) 200X King Randor and Queen Marlena 200X Battle Armor King Randor and Battle Armor Queen Marlena Ice Armor He-Man WMD Roboto