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Thread: Axel Giménez's official designs and sketches for MOTU Classics

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    Ancient Master of Arts AXOR's Avatar
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    Axel Giménez's official designs and sketches for MOTU Classics

    One of the most interesting aspects of working for Mattel at the time, doing minicomics and other projects, was the need to create designs for new characters and fortresses. Since then, I've been posting many of those designs here and there, but I think it's time to start doing it in an organized way and in the right place.

    I think the first designs on which I worked, was HANS HAMMER HOLDER, who initially among various concepts, would be based on a character from the Spring 1985 issue of the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Magazine Create a Character Contest. Later the idea would be discarded, giving way to the final design of the character that appeared in the minicomic #5 included with the Unnamed One figure.

    Obviously, one of the main premises to create this new character, was to reuse parts from the Ram Man figure.

    Hans Hammer Holder (Final Design).jpg

    The colors suggested for him, based on the early descriptions from minicomic #5 script.

    Hans Hammer Holder (Early Notes Colors).jpg
    Last edited by AXOR; June 26, 2017 at 08:56pm.

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    Yuengling danielsan52's Avatar
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    Yes! Love your take on those characters!
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    Heroic Warrior Lich Leech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AXOR View Post
    One of the most interesting aspects of working for Mattel at the time, on minicomics and other projects, was the need to create designs for new characters and fortresses. Since then, I've been posting many of those designs here and there, but I think it's time to start doing it in an organized way and in the right place.

    I think the first designs on which I worked, was Hans Hammer Holder, who initially among various concepts, would be based on a character from the Spring 1985 issue of the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Magazine Create a Character Contest. Later the idea would be discarded, giving way to the final design of the character.

    Obviously, one of the main premises to create this new character, was to reuse parts from the Ram Man figure.

    Attachment 110777Attachment 110778
    I love Hans Hammer Holder. I think my favorite is the version with the horned helmet and no facemask. I'd buy one in a heartbeat!

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    Color'licious! JVS3's Avatar
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    Awesome! Can't wait to see more!
    Hope to see you at Power-Con 2018!
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    Wow, cool Axel! Looking forward to more!
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    Heroic Warrior PantherCult's Avatar
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    First off - I am a huge fan of all of the character design and turnarounds you have done for all of the original characters created for MOTUC. I have most of the sketches saved already for the likes of Fang-Or and the Great Black Wizard. But a thread archiving the evolution and describing your process on designing these characters is a fantastic idea. I will very much look forward to any further entries on this thread.

    On another note - what are the 4 little colorful character designs in the bottom corner of the first image? One looks like Lodar with a tech upgrade. But I really like the striped cat-dude on the left. Were these other character ideas for MOTUC or something else?

  7. #7
    Shezar in MOTUC please! The All American's Avatar
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    This is a little off-topic, but can you please draw Shezar! All your stuff is so amazing, and she deserves the Axel treatment.

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    Heroic Warrior wayne-klops's Avatar
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    Man, I hope we get that Hans Hammer Holder someday!
    Most wanted: 1) Lizorr, 2) Sagitar, 3) King Miro, 4) Hunga, 5) Hoove, 6) Kayo, 7) Artilla, 9) Master Sebrian, 10) Masks of Power Demons, 11) Twiggets, 12) Raj-Jar, 13) Hans Hammerholder, 14) Staghorn, 15) Spinwit, 16) Kittrina, 17) Vizar, 18) Butthead, 19) Nocturna, 20) Melaktha, 21) Stridor, 22) Uncle Montork & Dree-Elle, 23) ABC Giants

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    Royal Guard chuc98's Avatar
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    Love seeing your work!!
    200X fan? Classic fan? What does that mean? I'm a MotU fan!!!

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    Heroic Warrior gbagok's Avatar
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    Axel, I love your work! Hans Hammerholder was probably my favorite of the Defenders of Trolla (though I loved Robo-Woman, Man-Crystal, and Jet Pack too). I love seeing the early ideas, but I really love his Gimili-esque beard in the final version.
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    master of accessories facet's Avatar
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    Super excited to follow this thread, especially looking forward to characters like Beast lord, Snarll the snow thief, Golden rod, Streach Nekk, Vypor, Slob Boar, Evermean and Spin Whizz!
    Last edited by facet; December 17, 2016 at 02:07am.

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    Heroic Warrior
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    I'm really looking forward to seeing what pops up in this thread. Thanks for sharing!

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    Great Axel!!!

    I' m so happy that you are sharing your awesome artwork and your ideas about MOTU with us! It's a huge honour that MOTU has such an amazing artist to bring this fantastic Universe in life, through your artwork! Keep them coming please! And i' m even more happy that Super 7 will continue the partnership and work with you for the brand. This alongshide with the 4H are the best guarantee for the future.

    Hans Hammer Holder is the character that i wanted more as a figure since his first appearance in the mini comics. Even if he would not be a dwarf, i love his badass dwarf style and attitude (huge dwarves and Fantasy fan here).
    Last edited by granamyr80; December 17, 2016 at 02:36pm.

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    film noir warrior maltesefalcon's Avatar
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    any chance of seeing a mockup of the evil-lyn based on the son of he-man design that was cut from the minicomics
    when your world turns upside down, laugh at the people standing on their heads!

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    Heroic Warrior MJOLNIR's Avatar
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    Wow, great use of the Ram Man build. I'd love to own this figure!

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    Heroic Warrior Dinobot's Avatar
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    I've seen your sketches on Facebook, and I'm really looking forward to seeing more in this thread! I hope this line goes long enough to get them all in figure form. Put me down for a Hans Hammer Holder, please!

  17. #17
    Pillar of the Community hadley's Avatar
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    I strongly believe that Axel belongs on the Mount Rushmore of MOTU artists. Easily as talented and evocative as Alcala and Texiera, but in his own way.

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    SAY10 is coming... dedset13's Avatar
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    It's awesome that you've started this thread, Axel!! I can't wait to see what else you've got to share with us!!
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    Ancient Master of Arts AXOR's Avatar
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    Hey, thank you all for the good comments about my work.

    It was great and meant a lot to me having the chance to design new characters for Masters of the Universe.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by PantherCult View Post
    First off - I am a huge fan of all of the character design and turnarounds you have done for all of the original characters created for MOTUC. I have most of the sketches saved already for the likes of Fang-Or and the Great Black Wizard. But a thread archiving the evolution and describing your process on designing these characters is a fantastic idea. I will very much look forward to any further entries on this thread.

    On another note - what are the 4 little colorful character designs in the bottom corner of the first image? One looks like Lodar with a tech upgrade. But I really like the striped cat-dude on the left. Were these other character ideas for MOTUC or something else?
    In the Spring 1985 issue of the He-man and the Masters of the Universe Magazine, they introduced the Create a Character Contest. They had a 2-page spread of example pages for reader to use to make their own characters. There were "4" different character bodies that could used to make someone with.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by The All American View Post
    This is a little off-topic, but can you please draw Shezar! All your stuff is so amazing, and she deserves the Axel treatment.
    When I get a chance to draw her, I will. There are a lot of characters that I haven't yet drawn, but, "time is the essence" ...

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by facet View Post
    Super excited to follow this thread, especially looking forward to characters like Beast lord, Snarll the snow thief, Golden rod, Streach Nekk, Vypor, Slob Boar, Evermean and Spin Whizz!
    You know, unfortunately, I didn't get the chance to work on a final design for all those characters. I'd like to have at least a description of what would have been the action feature of each of them, if they had existed as figures in the times of the original line. That would be a guide at the moment of thinking about their designs.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by maltesefalcon View Post
    any chance of seeing a mockup of the evil-lyn based on the son of he-man design that was cut from the minicomics
    You know, in the nightmare of tight times, which was to work on the latest minicomics, there simply was not time to work on a final design for several of the characters that appeared in the story. Especially considering that each design of a new character, or redesign of an existing character, should be thought of as a potential figure, reusing as many existing parts as possible. SOH Evil-Lyn was one of the redesigns that I couldn't do.
    Last edited by AXOR; May 16, 2017 at 06:14pm.

  20. #20
    Shezar in MOTUC please! The All American's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AXOR View Post
    When I get a chance to draw her, I will. There are a lot of characters that I haven't yet drawn, but, "time is the essence" ...
    Thanks, looking forward to it when you get the opportunity!

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    THEIR KILLIN TEH LIEN !! uaxuctum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AXOR View Post
    In the Spring 1985 issue of the He-man and the Masters of the Universe Magazine, they introduced the Create a Character Contest. They had a 2-page spread of example pages for reader to use to make their own characters. There were "4" different character bodies that could used to make someone with.

    Attachment 110827Attachment 110828
    These four have been among my most-wanted remaining "concept" characters for a while. I think they're cool designs and would make fun figures. I really hope they get made eventually; though, unfortunately, the chances seem rather slim.

    I don't think they've ever even been named, or any kind of bio or info adscribed to them. Any idea(s) on this?
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    Heroic Warrior Dinobot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AXOR View Post
    You know, unfortunately, I didn't get the chance to work on a final design for all those characters. I'd like to have at least a description of what would have been the action feature of each of them, if they had existed as figures in the times of the original line. That would be a guide at the moment of thinking about their designs.
    Interesting you should ask that, as that very question was answered in a Matty Q&A from 2014:

    1. RocketPunch: The vintage Masters Of The Universe, Princess Of Power and New Adventures toylines are well known for the action features, with many of the original characters being defined by their unique gimmicks. Can you give us some idea of what action features these newly created characters may have had, as if they had existed back in the 80s/90s: Bandwidth, Beast Lord, Despera, Fang-Or, Gladiator, Goldenrod, Great Black Wizard, Hans Hammer Holder, He-Ro II (Dare), Lady Slither, Red Shadow, Robowoman, Skeleteen, Snarrrlll The Snow Thief, Standar, Strettch Nek, Tufos, Unnamed One, Vypor.

    Some of those figures were indeed designed with an action feature in mind. Others; not so much. So for some of them we have an answer:
    Bandwidth - real working AM radio in his chest
    Beast Lord - swivel waist like Beastman
    Despara - slashing double swords
    Fang-Or - elongating fangs push down from mouth with back lever
    Gladiator - swivel waist. Lots of weapons
    Goldenrod – Magnets in chest and back
    Hans Hammer Holder - smashing arm with back lever
    He-Ro II - Swivel waist
    Lady Slither - swappable bottom torso with legs and snake tail
    Red Shadow - color change in water
    Robotwoman - guns snap into shoulders and legs
    Skeleteen - swivel waist
    Snarrll The snow Thief - color change in freezer
    Standar - Light up chest
    Strettch Nek - expanding neck (like Mek)
    Tufos - Swivel waist
    Unnamed One - accessory would have a feature like Orko in vintage line
    Vypor - swivel waist

  23. #23
    Squirrel that can type Lewd_Squirrel's Avatar
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    These all look great, but then again, what would you expect?
    Does Galactus fart?

  24. #24
    Heroic Warrior PantherCult's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AXOR View Post
    Hey, thank you all for the good comments about my work.

    It was great and meant a lot to me having the chance to design new characters for Masters of the Universe.

    - - - Updated - - -



    In the Spring 1985 issue of the He-man and the Masters of the Universe Magazine, they introduced the Create a Character Contest. They had a 2-page spread of example pages for reader to use to make their own characters. There were "4" different character bodies that could used to make someone with.

    Attachment 110827Attachment 110828
    Very cool - I was not familiar with that at all. It seems like at least the "cat guy" and the "purple guy" are pretty easily cobbled together out of existing pieces. I think the Panthro classics head could be modified a little to work as the Tiger fella... Those were neat to see. Thanks for including them, and explaining them to me

  25. #25
    Ancient Master of Arts AXOR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dinobot View Post
    Interesting you should ask that, as that very question was answered in a Matty Q&A from 2014:

    1. RocketPunch: The vintage Masters Of The Universe, Princess Of Power and New Adventures toylines are well known for the action features, with many of the original characters being defined by their unique gimmicks. Can you give us some idea of what action features these newly created characters may have had, as if they had existed back in the 80s/90s: Bandwidth, Beast Lord, Despera, Fang-Or, Gladiator, Goldenrod, Great Black Wizard, Hans Hammer Holder, He-Ro II (Dare), Lady Slither, Red Shadow, Robowoman, Skeleteen, Snarrrlll The Snow Thief, Standar, Strettch Nek, Tufos, Unnamed One, Vypor.

    Some of those figures were indeed designed with an action feature in mind. Others; not so much. So for some of them we have an answer:
    Bandwidth - real working AM radio in his chest
    Beast Lord - swivel waist like Beastman
    Despara - slashing double swords
    Fang-Or - elongating fangs push down from mouth with back lever
    Gladiator - swivel waist. Lots of weapons
    Goldenrod – Magnets in chest and back
    Hans Hammer Holder - smashing arm with back lever
    He-Ro II - Swivel waist
    Lady Slither - swappable bottom torso with legs and snake tail
    Red Shadow - color change in water
    Robotwoman - guns snap into shoulders and legs
    Skeleteen - swivel waist
    Snarrll The snow Thief - color change in freezer
    Standar - Light up chest
    Strettch Nek - expanding neck (like Mek)
    Tufos - Swivel waist
    Unnamed One - accessory would have a feature like Orko in vintage line
    Vypor - swivel waist
    Hey, thanks for all that information. I know I had read it at the time, but I had no idea where to look for it. I wish that Super 7 could develop the final designs of all those characters, and if not, I'd like to find some free time to do it on my own

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