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Thread: The mysterious Savage He-Man variant formerly known as "Wonder Bread He-Man"

  1. #1676
    Heroic Warrior only vintage's Avatar
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    Kazoo???

    Did you mean that?

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  2. #1677
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    I had mentioned this in a different post but I had received one through the mail when I was a kid. My mother ordered it and thinks the offer came with a figure but she does not quite remember since it was so long ago. I know this isn't concrete proof, but it may be something to look into. I do know that it was not from Wonderbread because we never ate that brand.

  3. #1678
    Heroic Warrior Sgt. Slaughter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sweet-T View Post
    I had mentioned this in a different post but I had received one through the mail when I was a kid. My mother ordered it and thinks the offer came with a figure but she does not quite remember since it was so long ago. I know this isn't concrete proof, but it may be something to look into. I do know that it was not from Wonderbread because we never ate that brand.
    Yeah any bread would work. You just needed to mail in four loafs and Mattel would send you He-Man and a Kazoo.
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  4. #1679
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    I don't remember getting a kazoo, just the figure.

  5. #1680
    Flight Team Enemy centurn's Avatar
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    I'm sure this has been speculated before but I don't wanna read all 68 pages of this thread. Did Mattel have licences to other comic characters like DC, Marvel or what-have-you? Is it possible that Savage guy isn't supposed to be He-Man or from the MOTU at all? Maybe just some jungle/barbaric character like Ka-Zar etc and Mattel just used the He-boy sculpt for this supposedly "give-away" figure?
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  6. #1681
    Historian of Eternia LORD FALLEN ELDOR's Avatar
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    If anyone has the SDCC art book, look at page 11. We see a picture of a He-Man test shot with black plastic furry shorts...Scott with all the resources of Mattel couldn't find an answer to this decade long search for truth. He even said "it could be a Mexican bootleg for all we know" and shrugged his shoulders at me this year at SDCC. I think we are focused too much on finding this mythical promotion when we should be focusing on "why". IF WB/Savage He-Man was made by Mattel, why would they have made a brown haired with black boots& shorts variant deco?

    At what stage in development was He-Man's hair decided to be blond?

    Before this point what other color schemes where discussed?

    In 1981, what toys did children play test with?

    What are the earliest He-Man figures that reached the market in 1982?

    I still believe this deco variant originated with Mattel. WB/Savage He-Man looks to have a very detailed sculpt, something that would be lost if it was bootlegged off a real He-Man...The truth is out there, we just have to ask the right questions...
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  7. #1682
    Door with dental plan. Jawbridge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LORD FALLEN ELDOR View Post
    If anyone has the SDCC art book, look at page 11. We see a picture of a He-Man test shot with black plastic furry shorts...Scott with all the resources of Mattel couldn't find an answer to this decade long search for truth. He even said "it could be a Mexican bootleg for all we know" and shrugged his shoulders at me this year at SDCC. I think we are focused too much on finding this mythical promotion when we should be focusing on "why". IF WB/Savage He-Man was made by Mattel, why would they have made a brown haired with black boots& shorts variant deco?

    At what stage in development was He-Man's hair decided to be blond?

    Before this point what other color schemes where discussed?

    In 1981, what toys did children play test with?

    What are the earliest He-Man figures that reached the market in 1982?

    I still believe this deco variant originated with Mattel. WB/Savage He-Man looks to have a very detailed sculpt, something that would be lost if it was bootlegged off a real He-Man...The truth is out there, we just have to ask the right questions...
    I too see that it seems to (99% convinced anyways) originate from mattel as it has a very clean and detailed casting, much like the very early figures, which also leads me to believe it was made 81-82. I like your idea that it could have been an early version, and maybe due to litigation the change was needed. But there seems to be an awful lot of them for that, and this is a production quality figure. So like you said maybe a play test fig. Does anybody here know the process of product testing Mattel would have used back then, and if Mattel would have been up to changing the hair color to make it look nicer or something early on, and would a tested figure be production quality?

    What if the figure was a factory error (might explain lack of accessories)? Then Mattel had stock it wasn't going to use, and eventually this stock was passed out at a local event because they needed to bring something. Working at Toys R Us I saw a lot of that actually, and they had even more events back then than they do now.

    We need insider info. And old insider info at that. It feels so hopeless.
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  8. #1683
    Heroic Warrior Ram_Man_21's Avatar
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    I think if we keep pressing on we'll find the answer soon. I like the theory presented here. It sounds more logical than anything that has been presented so far. I feel we're getting closer to an answer now. Let's not give up hope.
    Who would win in a fight between He-Man and Wonderbread He-Man?

  9. #1684
    "Calm like a bomb." thexxwatcherxx's Avatar
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    Don't forget that there is still that old Conan theory hanging about. That originally Mattel was supposed to make toys for the film but backed out due to the rating, violence and nudity in the film. I could imagine that after they changed the viking helmet head a very early version of He-man may still have had the black hair and brown and black attire. I believe Mattel was sued or was threatened with a lawsuit by the makers of the film for breaking the contract, but I am not sure of this. Anyone please feel free to correct me if I am wrong. Anyways to avoid any further legal trouble since the He-man figure still looked way to much like Conan, they changed the colors again in favor of a friendlier look. Some of this is speculation on my part on some of the facts that myself and shuptrine have discussed. He knows more about this then I do. We just kinda used the facts to draw possible logical conclusions. What do you guys think? Thanx Paul~
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  10. #1685
    Heroic Elder Hoffrod's Avatar
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    Actually, I think they created the mail away to get rid of the stock they created that looked too much like Conan once the lawsuit started.
    Sadly, on the other note, I have gotten nowhere with the newspaper trying to get copies of archives. They have yet to e-mail me in return or find someone on the phone worth talking to that has any knowledge.
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  11. #1686
    Court Magician Tordek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LORD FALLEN ELDOR View Post
    If anyone has the SDCC art book, look at page 11. We see a picture of a He-Man test shot with black plastic furry shorts...Scott with all the resources of Mattel couldn't find an answer to this decade long search for truth. He even said "it could be a Mexican bootleg for all we know" and shrugged his shoulders at me this year at SDCC. I think we are focused too much on finding this mythical promotion when we should be focusing on "why". IF WB/Savage He-Man was made by Mattel, why would they have made a brown haired with black boots& shorts variant deco?

    At what stage in development was He-Man's hair decided to be blond?

    Before this point what other color schemes where discussed?

    In 1981, what toys did children play test with?

    What are the earliest He-Man figures that reached the market in 1982?

    I still believe this deco variant originated with Mattel. WB/Savage He-Man looks to have a very detailed sculpt, something that would be lost if it was bootlegged off a real He-Man...The truth is out there, we just have to ask the right questions...

    Good line of thinking there, Lord Fallen Eldor. Mattel did make some interesting variations of the runs of some of the other figures: hump back Two-Bad, red-neck Rattlor, etc, and given your observation that a bootleg would like have less detail, I also still think it's the real deal...but real what? Maybe Mattel already knows and they're just holding back until Jan. when Wun-Dar comes out...

    Here's something interesting to add to all this: in cryptozoology, there might be something called a "thunderbird"(basically a huge bird of prey). Well, over time, the search for the thunderbird has gone from a search for the creature itself, to a search for a SUPPOSED PICTURE of the creature. Lots of people claim to have seen this picture of several men standing in front of a huge bird carcass nailed to the side of a barn, yet the pic can't be found. It seems to MOTU community has it's own "thunderbird mystery picure" search in it's quest to find the mail-away information to "Savage He-Man". Lots of people seem to recall getting this figure as a mail away, but the mail away offer can't be found... duhn duhn duuhhhnnnn So, was there no mail-away at all, and people are concocting "false memories" based on the idea there might have been a mail-away(an idea offered in the "thunderbird photo mystery")?
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  12. #1687
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    Ever since I first heard of this "Wonderbread He-Man", I've always wanted to know what it was.

    Now I know.

    It's the mail-away "Master Of The Universe" my brother and I got when we were little.

    The figure is stamped [copyright] Mattel.Inc 1981 Tawain on the back.

    The deal as I remember it, and it could be up to 28 years ago, was that you bought three Masters figures and sent in the UPC (probably plus some money for shipping,) and in some ungodly long amount of time (I was at least three, and a month is FOREVER to a little kid) Mattel would send you a "Master Of The Universe".

    Which when he arrived was He-man repainted with black belt and boots, brown hair, and a different colored loincloth, which matches his hair. (He-man proper has a more redish brown on the loincloth, which matches He-Man's boots, then the unnamed "Master".)

    Now, here comes the part where it's been 28 years. I know he DIDN'T come with black Zodac armour or a black version of Zodac's gun. Those came in the Weapon Packs. We always played with him having the brown "Man-E-Weapons" sword, and talking to my brother, he thinks that's all the unnamed "Master" came with. BUT, in my collection is all of "Man-E-Weapons" weapons. Which leads me to suspect that we had "Man-E-Weapons" and not "Man-E-Faces" like we thought. And if THAT is the case, then the unnamed "Master Of The Universe" mail-away had no weapons or accessories of any kind.

    I've always assumed that my mom kept a copy of the order form (she always made sure we didn't get screwed on mail-away offers,) but when she moved last year I didn't find a copy in her files.

    I'm pretty sure I can pinpoint WHEN the offer was valid, because my dad's cousin's kid was living with us when we got the three figures we used to get the mail-away, and she only stayed with us for a short time. I'll have to talk to my mom about that.

    Regarding the whole "He's a Conan prototype", checking through my old Toyfares, issue #12 had a Toy Story on MOTU, written by Dallas Middaugh. In the article he writes:

    "Martain Arriola, now a senior staff designer with Mattel, was a designer on Masters for most of its initial six-year run. He remembers that the company was performing market research into doing figures based on Robert E. Howard's popular Conan the Barbarian character. Renderings of the Cimmerian Warlord were created, one of which was by staff artist Mark Taylor. Arriola saw that what Taylor was creating was just little bit different. "It was Conan-like," Arriola says, "but he had blond hair instead of dark. We also had renderings for Skeletor and Beast Man."
    Though Arriola won't swear this is exactly how it went down, to the best of his knowledge these drawings were added to the market research already being performed for a potential Conan line. Faced with a choice between Conan and He-Man, more kids chose He-Man." -Toyfare #12, August 1998, page 55 first two paragraphs.

    So, He-man was a variant of Conan.

    In Toyfare #62, October 2002. They did a 80 crazy facts about the eighties article, and the first 13 were He-Man facts. #13:

    "13. POINT OF ORIGIN He-Man is Conan? Not bloody likely. One of the most persistant rumors regarding the creation of Masters of the Universe is that the toy line was originally developed for Conan the Barbarian, Arnold Schwarzenegger's star-making 1982 film. Supposedly, the movie was so bloody and violent that Mattel redesigned the toy line as He-Man to better appeal to children. Not so, says Mattel. According to them, they never even had the Conan license, and He-man was an entirely original concept." -Toyfare #62 October 2002, page 40, last item on page. Written by Tom Root and Keith Chow.

    Which at the time confused me. The designer of the line says He-man was a variant of Conan, yet four years later, He-Man was an "entirely original concept". So what happened?

    My guess: Mattel was trying to avoid a lawsuit in 2002 from the estate of REH. AND, I also surmise that Mattel was developing the Conan line without having secured the rights. The design art was probably being put together as a sample of what the line would look like if Mattel got the license. Since the story of He-man's design beating out Conan is admittedly hearsay, I think it more likely Mattel didn't get the license for Conan, and just ran with the Blond Conan concept that tested well.

    AND AND I highly doubt Mattel would have made more than a prototype for Conan if they didn't have the license. So the "WB He-Man is really supposed to be Conan" theory sounds dumb to me on that basis.

    (Although as an aside, my brother did call our mail-away Master: Conan.)

  13. #1688
    Sorcerer of Zalesia bcrduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mouseskullmatt View Post
    Regarding the whole "He's a Conan prototype", checking through my old Toyfares, issue #12 had a Toy Story on MOTU, written by Dallas Middaugh. In the article he writes:

    AND AND I highly doubt Mattel would have made more than a prototype for Conan if they didn't have the license. So the "WB He-Man is really supposed to be Conan" theory sounds dumb to me on that basis.

    (Although as an aside, my brother did call our mail-away Master: Conan.)

    It is possible that it went more like this:

    1) Mattel decides to start work on a new boys line of action figures...

    2) they settle, finally, on a design... and then there is word that the company that owns the rights to CONAN is making a movie, and they are looking to license the toy rights to a company...

    3) Mattel says, "HEY! Why don't we use the 'he-man' toys and produce some in Conan colors, and send them off as a way to pitch our hat into the ring?

    4) The Conan people say, "Sorry, Mattel, we are going with this other company."

    5) Mattel walks sadly back to the He-Man table and continues to design what would be their ba-billion dollar property.

    6) they have a bunch of early test-run "Conans" and get rid of them with the mail-away offer

    that would explain why Mattel COULD say that the He-Man toys were not based on Conan... they would have been the opposite...
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  14. #1689
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    I don't think it's ever been proven that He-Man is based on Conan. There's no doubt that the design is inspired by Conan since that was a big thing at the time. So in that sense you can say it's based on Conan. But that's also like saying Tinkerbell was based on Marilyn Monroe, which she wasn't.

  15. #1690
    Heroic Warrior slgcmg's Avatar
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    Okay, time for me to get one. The mystery is killing me, and my time machine won't be here until next Tuesday.
    Like anyone could even know that

  16. #1691
    Evil halfbrother of THOR Loki's Avatar
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    Has anyone ever asked Roger Sweet? In his book he seems to remember most of the patent numbers and who helped design them. Maybe he knows something about this. Since he says he is the one who created He-Man and ran the department for most of the line he should know.

  17. #1692
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    I think he's as clueless as us on this topic......sadly
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  18. #1693
    Heroic Warrior only vintage's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mouseskullmatt View Post
    It's the mail-away "Master Of The Universe" my brother and I got when we were little.

    The figure is stamped [copyright] Mattel.Inc 1981 Tawain on the back.

    The deal as I remember it, and it could be up to 28 years ago, was that you bought three Masters figures and sent in the UPC (probably plus some money for shipping,) and in some ungodly long amount of time (I was at least three, and a month is FOREVER to a little kid) Mattel would send you a "Master Of The Universe".

    Which when he arrived was He-man repainted with black belt and boots, brown hair, and a different colored loincloth, which matches his hair. (He-man proper has a more redish brown on the loincloth, which matches He-Man's boots, then the unnamed "Master".)

    Now, here comes the part where it's been 28 years. I know he DIDN'T come with black Zodac armour or a black version of Zodac's gun. Those came in the Weapon Packs. We always played with him having the brown "Man-E-Weapons" sword, and talking to my brother, he thinks that's all the unnamed "Master" came with. BUT, in my collection is all of "Man-E-Weapons" weapons. Which leads me to suspect that we had "Man-E-Weapons" and not "Man-E-Faces" like we thought. And if THAT is the case, then the unnamed "Master Of The Universe" mail-away had no weapons or accessories of any kind.
    I think your on the right way man!
    A collector from Germany packaged a Savage He-Man out of his sealed Baggie and he cames NOT with black Zodac armor!
    You can also see on grayskullmuseum.com Picīs of sealed Savage He-Manīs and all got no Zodac armor!!!

    Back to the MINT Savage from the collector - this Flyer which was enclosed to the figure say the same what you remember - Buy 3 get 1 free! The Flyer is printed 1983 by MATTEL! So i would say this Promotion started not earlier than 1983!


    In my Opinion these facts are true for sure:

    - Savage He-Man is 100% an orginal Mattel-Product and nothing else!

    - he was sealed only with the maroon sword and axe!


    In these Szenario iīm not 100% sure but i think that could be so

    - Savage He-Man is an production fail/error from the supplier in Taiwan!
    (when this company started to produce the 1. Charge of He-Man and make the fail with that colour of his pants and hair)
    - Mattel get these error He-Manīs for free/gift, put some weapons in and started this Promotion "Buy 3 get..."


    Did any collector asked these questions hisself???

    1. why he is marked with Taiwan and not with Mexico as the most of the He-Man Figīs from the 1. Wave??? So he must be produced later in Taiwan.
    At this time Masters of the Universe Toyline was already publicated!

    2. in which year Man e Faces was sold with the xtra weapons? In 1983!
    The same year as the Promo-Flyer is dated!!!

    Iīm not believe that Savage He-Man is an earlier concept from Conan!

    This is only that what i think about!
    Make you own impression...



    I will never call him Wonder Bread!
    Iīm tired and sick of seeing this Figure with black Zodac armor on eB.y!
    Last edited by only vintage; October 27, 2009 at 02:47am.
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  19. #1694
    ORGER of the North™ Tuukka's Avatar
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    Remember there's 3 other toylines in the same flyer, so I don't think they started it because of some error He-Men !
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  20. #1695
    Court Magician
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    This was not a He-Man figure. He may look just like him, probably even used the same moulds, but this was just a figure made by Mattel for the Wonderbread promotion. It never actually came with the bread, a certificate came with the bread. You would fill out your name and address and send 3 Wonderbread upc's with the certificate and 6-8 weeks later, you received the toy.

    This was a very popular promotion in Canada (even though many of you say it was never done in Canada) and many of my friends had these on the playground when we were kids.

    Is it really that big of a mystery?
    Last edited by goneinsane; October 27, 2009 at 02:46pm.

  21. #1696
    "Calm like a bomb." thexxwatcherxx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goneinsane View Post
    This was not a He-Man figure. He may look just like him, probably even used the same moulds, but this was just a figure made by Mattel for the Wonderbread promotion. It never actually came with the bread, a certificate came with the bread. You would fill out your name and address and send 3 Wonderbread upc's with the certificate and 6-8 weeks later, you received the toy.

    This was a very popular promotion in Canada (even though many of you say it was never done in Canada) and many of my friends had these on the playground when we were kids.

    Is it really that big of a mystery?
    The Savage He-man was not part of the Wonder-bread promotion. The only thing to ever come from Wonder-bread was ths sticker set. Like many have said this is all heresay until someone actually produces proof to back up their claim.

    Not trying to be a jerk but many people have 20 something year old recollections, but time is not kind to what we remember. Things get obscured. I remember hunting down an old Kung Fu movie that I remember charcters from and events happening in. Turns out I combined two movies that I remembered as a child into one and was hunting down a movie that never actually existed.
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  22. #1697
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    Quote Originally Posted by thexxwatcherxx View Post
    The Savage He-man was not part of the Wonder-bread promotion. The only thing to ever come from Wonder-bread was ths sticker set. Like many have said this is all heresay until someone actually produces proof to back up their claim.

    Not trying to be a jerk but many people have 20 something year old recollections, but time is not kind to what we remember. Things get obscured. I remember hunting down an old Kung Fu movie that I remember charcters from and events happening in. Turns out I combined two movies that I remembered as a child into one and was hunting down a movie that never actually existed.
    Even if it wasn't wonderbread, maybe some other bread or hamburger buns, it was definitely a send in promotion where you had to collect 3 upc's. I remember it and I remember my friends fought over what his name should be because he was not an actual he-man character.

  23. #1698
    Council Elder Tallstar's Avatar
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    He probably wasn't even part of any official promotion.
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  24. #1699
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    Here are 2 more 100% facts:

    That coupon was never ever proven to be associated with that toy. And even if it were it would make no sense for the coupon to come with something you are meant to get from it.

    The association with wonder bread is an Internet guess that caught on. Nothing more, nothing less.

  25. #1700
    ORGER of the North™ Tuukka's Avatar
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    Yep, those are basicly only things we know for sure!
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