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Thread: The relationship between Mattel and Filmation may have caused the downfall of MOTU?

  1. #1
    A big fan of Slush Head
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    The relationship between Mattel and Filmation may have caused the downfall of MOTU?

    This is of course my opinion and why I think this might have been the cause of MOTU's early death.
    When Mattel released the MOTU figures the line started with good sales, then Filmation took the line and changed some of the original concepts and made it a success. Everything at the beginning started great, Mattel and Filmation were coordinated at this point, the action figures that were going to be released appeared in the cartoon, an excellent strategy. MOTU was a boom! An excellent cartoon with awesome figures. What kid wouldn't want to have a MOTU figure back then huh?!
    Then something happened and Filmation writers didn't listen to Mattel and viceversa. I feel somewhere along this lines is when the downfall of MOTU began. Basically this is somewhere between MOTU season 2 and She-Ra.
    I think the writers were "new" and wanted to prove that they could do a great job even if that was ignoring the fact that they had to sell figures for the toy company and left that aspect secondary and this also happened with Mattel, they totally ignored the cartoon. Neither of them cared for each other as long as ratings and toys were selling well.How could Filmation ignore a character just becuase they couldn't figure out what to do with it huh? This is the case of Stinkor. You don't do that, hell you figure out what to do with it but put it on screen for crying out loud. Filmation changed some of the toy designs drastically, you couldn't even figure out who a character was, if they didn't tell you the name in the toon you pretty much had to especulate (Clawful,Tung lashor to name a couple).

    Filmation created many good characters that deserved action figures, but Mattel didn't care and came up with their own designs. Kids were not getting the characters that appeared in the cartoon and the figures that they loved just by the fact that they were great designs didn't show up in the toon, this might have caused frustration in many children. This relationship between the two companies might have screwed MOTU. While other shows like GI Joe or Transformers showed basically every character they put out in their respective cartoons, by doing this they kept their sales strong enough to keep it going for years.
    But saddly MOTU ignored this fact and kept the same strategy. Why do I think MOTU died before the others? Because there was not enough coordination between toon and toys.

    They decided to make She-Ra the spin-off series of He-man but instead of running it along with a third MOTU season they decided to showcase their 1986 MOTU figures in a "girls" show. Sure She-Ra is a great series, well written and even better than MOTU in some aspects we all know that now but many little boys back then would have rather watch MOTU. She-Ra was for "girls", where am i going with this ? well since many boys didn't watch She-ra they never found out that characters like Snout Spout or The rock warriors showed up and they lost interest at this point in the new products Mattel was putting out. They found them lame and boring.We didn't get Randor or Sorceress till 1987, inspite of being characters that showed up in the toon from the start. Look at the 1987 series, almost every character from that series didn't show up in the cartoon: Mosquitor, Ninjor, Scareglow,Twistoid, Rotar, Clamp Champ etc. How do you expect to sell toys and make them interesting if they don't have some sort of exposure? At this point Hasbro started to win the war. I am not a Transformers fan but hell they are so big right now cause they kept their stuff in the childrens eyes. GI JOE and Transformers lasted waaaaay longer than MOTU beacuse of this. Their products were on the screen.

    I am almost positive that if Mattel had listend to Filmation and Filmation to Mattel more often we might have had MOTU till 1994.

    I know it's long read but I wanted to share this with all of you here and to hear your opinion regarding this issue.
    Last edited by Mike Bock; December 14, 2010 at 04:37am.

  2. #2
    Heroic Warrior Canadian_He-Man's Avatar
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    I agree.

    From a story-telling/making a successful cartoon POV, the She-Ra series made loads of sense.

    From a toy manufacturers POV, a third season of He-Man (introducing a lot of the toy characters that hadn't have showed up yet in the cartoon), made loads of sense.

    Perhaps it would have been best to have a season of each running side-by-side.

    In watching She-Ra, I don't get that 'product placement' feel that I sometimes get with He-Man.

    My own view is it's best for toy manufacturers to look at how a cartoon is developing, and take the better character designs to come out of that. For example, there should have been a Sea Hawk toy, and a General Sundar toy, and those characters probably should have showed up a bit more in the PoP cartoon.
    "I'm not just crying for Hordak. I'm crying for the saddest thing I know - a wasted life. To be given that most precious gift - the gift of living, to do with as we choose. I'm crying, because this man has chosen to throw it away, and when he goes, nobody will care..." - She-Ra ( "My Friend, My Enemy")

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    Ancient One zodak74's Avatar
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    That's why, as a kid, I loathed the Filmation show. It wasn't MOTU to me because it wasn't "the same" as the box art, the mini-comics (though the later ones aped the feel of the cartoon, and don't think I didn't notice it even then! LOL...), and the characters with their respective powers, the two halves of the Power Sword, etc etc weren't what "they should have been" when Filmation brought them to the small screen.
    Now, as a big ol' grown up, I'm at peace with the Filmation series and have grown to have a great appreciation for them. Would I change stuff to make it more in-line with the toy lines? You betcha. But I also sit and think "Mattel should have made an Evilseed figure, or a Queen Marlena, or a..." etc.
    So you've got a great point. I don't know if it's what caused or contributed to the downfall of '80s MOTU but both toy and 'toon would have been a LOT stronger had they worked in tandem and not appeared so random from one another.

    This is why it's such a shame that the 2002 line didn't succeed. Toys and 'toon and comic book seemed to go hand in hand from the get-go. Heck, even the overseas-released PS2 videogame featured the environments and creatures introduced in the new cartoon. It should have worked, but it didn't.

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    Winning Skeletor Wacky Martin's Avatar
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    I agree, they didn't even use the characters they did have all that well. Man E Faces only appeared in two episodes out of 130, same with other characters. Filmation created soooo many one shot characters and villains, when they could have drawn upon the huge ammount of toys available and developed them.

    Though it does look like they were more on the ball with the New Adventures at least, as every figure and vehicle made it into the cartoon, and before the toyline was cancelled, they were starting to make figures based on characters from the cartoon. And Mattel did make figures of the most prominent Filmation characters, Orko, Randor, Adam and Sorceress

  5. #5
    Human... Robot... Maniac Spacedust's Avatar
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    I agree that Filmation changed too many of the concepts and origin stories, and much of the look and features of the characters, which at times created quite a gulf between the cartoon and the toyline.

    But personally, I think the thing that killed off the line the most, was that by the end of the Filmation run, it had become far too childish (even for a childrens cartoon, if you see what I mean). As much as I love the cartoon, some of the late episodes were of a very poor quality, and rather babyish in places.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spacedust View Post
    But personally, I think the thing killed off the line the most, was that by the end of the Filmation run, it had become far too childish (even for a childrens cartoon, if you see what I mean). As much as I love the cartoon, some of the late episodes were of a very poor quality, and rather babyish in places.
    Oh yeah that is also one strong reason. I guess that was becuase they al focused on She-ra instead of MOTU. If you compare the two you can totally tell which one was getting all the attention. MOTU's season two was a thing of the past for Filmation or at least that's the feeling I get.

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    Human... Robot... Maniac Spacedust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Bock View Post
    Oh yeah that is also one strong reason. I guess that was becuase they al focused on She-ra instead of MOTU. If you compare the two you can totally tell which one was getting all the attention. MOTU's season two was a thing of the past for Filmation or at least that's the feeling I get.
    I agree, although some of 'She-Ra's episodes weren't all that great, and rather childish too. (And I'm saying this as a MOTU and POP fan!)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spacedust View Post
    I agree, although some of 'She-Ra's episodes weren't all that great, and rather childish too. (And I'm saying this as a MOTU and POP fan!)
    Oh yeah I agree, maybe they had an age range for their cartoon shows. Like 3 to 8? Sometimes I feel Filmation underestimated their viewers.
    I love Filmation MOTU and POP but I am not blind.

  9. #9
    Warlord of the Elders Dr. Omega's Avatar
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    Gotta disagree 100%.

    Then or now, cartoons are expensive to produce. MOTU was paid for by Mattel because they wanted to sell toys. The show didn't come out until MOTU was already out for about a year. So, with two season's worth, that put the show to about the 3rd year of MOTU, where sales were HUGE. With 130 episode airing each weekday, there were enough episodes to run for quite some time (about 2 full runs of 130 eps per year).

    Mattel tried to capture the girl's market and shifted focus to She-ra. They sold She-ra as a one hour block with MOTU reruns, putting it at MOTU's 4th year of toys or so. While they were at it, they added MOTU characters into the She-ra episodes where they could.

    What killed the original MOTU was retaillers getting stuck with too much merchandise. I remember walls and walls of Stinkor as a kid. When it came time for buyers to place orders for He-ro, the stores were still flooded with too many toys and didn't order. No orders meant He-ro never went into production. With no new orders, Mattel pulled the plug.

    I remember watching the show as a kid and wanting a Lizard Man or Icer, but it was never confusing. The Filmation characters were mostly one-shot wonders, or like Lizard Man, only showed up in a handful of episodes. Most kids probably didn't really care.

    While the show was good for plugging new toys, kids in the day usually just looked at the back of the package (Super Powers, Star Wars, MOTU) or on inserts included with the toys (ala GIJOE and MASK) to find out the new figures for the year. I don't know anyone who relied on the toys for updates as to what was for sale.

    Yes, characters like Clawful didn't look anything remotely like the toy. That was not Filmation's fault. They most likely got in-production artwork from Mattel and were told to have the character on screen by a certain date to make sure it coincided somewhat with the toy release. Again, this never confused me or my friends as a child. It was more of a "huh, that's wierd.." and we would move on and not give it a second thought.

    I think Filmation's show only helped MOTU to become popular and helped to keep it there for years, but I don't think it ever hurt MOTU's sales.


    Dr. Ω

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    That PlanetEternia.de guy Sir Reilly's Avatar
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    I totally agree with Dr. Omega.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Omega View Post
    Gotta disagree 100%.
    Dr. Ω
    First of all I am not blaming Filmation for the downfall. I am blaming the relantionship between Mattel and Filmation just in case.

    Then or now, cartoons are expensive to produce. MOTU was paid for by Mattel because they wanted to sell toys. The show didn't come out until MOTU was already out for about a year. So, with two season's worth, that put the show to about the 3rd year of MOTU, where sales were HUGE. With 130 episode airing each weekday, there were enough episodes to run for quite some time (about 2 full runs of 130 eps per year).
    This is exactly what I said, I've never denied this fact, I even stated that the toys were succesful before the toon and when the toon came out it boosted the sales up. The amount of episodes is not the issue, is the interest they generated. It's a tag team. If you want to sell toys, you need to make the kid interested on it otherwise they'll end up picking something they actually recognize and desire. All of us are MOTU fans we all loved it but there were other options in the 80's that started to draw kid fans away from this show just because of the fact that they put on screen every single toy character and didn't limit their appearances to single shots that would eventually dessapear from the kids minds. The exposure of the product is very important. Sure MOTU has 130 episodes but how many action figures showed up frecuently? Only the same characters got decent screen time.


    Mattel tried to capture the girl's market and shifted focus to She-ra. They sold She-ra as a one hour block with MOTU reruns, putting it at MOTU's 4th year of toys or so. While they were at it, they added MOTU characters into the She-ra episodes where they could.
    And it did but why didn't it last longer is the question. Yes many characters were placed in the She-ra series but they were not in He-Man and MOTU they were placed in the "girls" spinoff series. Many kids who were into He-man didn't watch She-ra because of that stupid reason " kids don't watch girl shows" and many of those figures that showed up in pop started to become peg warmers becasue they never showed up in MOTU, they didn't show up were they should have. I watched both shows as a kid but many of my friends would rather watch Transformers or Mask over She-ra just because those were cartoons for boys.
    If they had placed those same characters in MOTU many of the not so strong He-man fans would have been kept interested and they would at least have kept the sales pretty much the same.

    What killed the original MOTU was retaillers getting stuck with too much merchandise. I remember walls and walls of Stinkor as a kid. When it came time for buyers to place orders for He-ro, the stores were still flooded with too many toys and didn't order. No orders meant He-ro never went into production. With no new orders, Mattel pulled the plug.
    Exactly and why ?! because he never showed up in the cartoon and the regular buyer would rather buy stuff they were familiarized with, wether it was Transformers or Joes etc. Toys that actually were kept in the kids eyes more often. Those are the ones that leave the shelves. You are actually agreeing with me. Giving me this examples proves what I've been saying from the start.

    I remember watching the show as a kid and wanting a Lizard Man or Icer, but it was never confusing. The Filmation characters were mostly one-shot wonders, or like Lizard Man, only showed up in a handful of episodes. Most kids probably didn't really care.
    Probably not confusing but if Mattel had created this characters back then as figures they would have had better sales than say ....characters like Twistoid or Rotar and the sales would have been better and Mattel would've had more money and desire to expand the brands life.
    Icer a one shot villian, he was created by Filmation sure no body cared but what about the one shot characters that actually had a toy and had to have more screen time like Faker? or Jitsu huh? You said it, kids probably didn't care and this is why they didn't move from shelves.
    Imagine what a non apperance would do to that interest. There would be none. Which is what happened to almost the entire 1987 series. Cero screen time. Dark characters all.

    While the show was good for plugging new toys, kids in the day usually just looked at the back of the package (Super Powers, Star Wars, MOTU) or on inserts included with the toys (ala GIJOE and MASK) to find out the new figures for the year. I don't know anyone who relied on the toys for updates as to what was for sale.
    And this was enhanced once they showed up in the toon. Maybe the toy was lame and generated cero interest but if the character was cool in the toon and was considered a major player that kids would buy anyway just because they know who he is and what he does. The cartoon made it cool.

    The relationship between the toy company and the animation studio has to be strong and consistant. Which was not the case with MOTU and Filmation. Both of them had different ideas and they ended up doing what they wanted even if it was two totally different ideas for the same character/s.

    Simply compare the mini-comics with the cartoon, two different MOTU worlds right there and I am not talking about the early minis I am talking about the later ones who had the " Filmation story ". Totally different.

    Yes, characters like Clawful didn't look anything remotely like the toy. That was not Filmation's fault. They most likely got in-production artwork from Mattel and were told to have the character on screen by a certain date to make sure it coincided somewhat with the toy release. Again, this never confused me or my friends as a child. It was more of a "huh, that's wierd.." and we would move on and not give it a second thought.
    This also points out the desorganisation between the two, which has been my point all along.

    I think Filmation's show only helped MOTU to become popular and helped to keep it there for years, but I don't think it ever hurt MOTU's sales.
    It did and big time but if Mattel and Filmation would have kept a more consistent product out there MOTU would have expanded its life for at least 3 more years.
    Last edited by Mike Bock; January 12, 2007 at 06:06am.

  12. #12
    Warlord of the Elders Dr. Omega's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Bock View Post
    And it did but why didn't it last longer is the question.
    It boosted sales and would be fine for a few years in rerun. Why spend more $$. It sucks for fans, but that is how corporations look at it. It's the same reason they cancelled JLA/JLU. They knew it was popular, but they had enough episodes for syndication.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Bock View Post
    If they had placed those same characters in MOTU many of the not so strong He-man fans would have been kept interested and they would at least have kept the sales pretty much the same.
    Pure speculation on your part. Scare Glow and Rio Blast weren't in the cartoon. They seemed to sell just fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Bock View Post
    Exactly and why ?! because he never showed up in the cartoon and the regular buyer would rather buy stuff they were familiarized with, wether it was Transformers or Joes etc. Toys that actually were kept in the kids eyes more often. Those are the ones that leave the shelves. You are actually agreeing with me. Giving me this examples proves what I've been saying from the start.
    Not at all. The "regular buyer" of toys, then and now, is parents who don't watch cartoons. MOTU was popular and retail buyers overstocked their stores. Had nothing to do with the cartoon, which had been in rerun for two/three years at that point, or off the air.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Bock View Post
    Probably not confusing but if Mattel had created this characters back then as figures they would have had better sales than say ....characters like Twistoid or Rotar and the sales would have been better and Mattel would've had more money and desire to expand the brands life.
    Pure speculation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Bock View Post
    Icer a one shot villian, he was created by Filmation sure no body cared but what about the one shot characters that actually had a toy and had to have more screen time like Faker? or Jitsu huh? You said it, kids probably didn't care and this is why they didn't move from shelves.
    Faker and Jitsu seemed to sell fine.. ??? Both came out right about the time the cartoon debuted..

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Bock View Post
    Imagine what a non apperance would do to that interest. There would be none. Which is what happened to almost the entire 1987 series. Cero screen time. Dark characters all.
    Movie characters all, actually. The 87 line was Saurod, Blade and Gwildor..

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Bock View Post
    The relationship between the toy company and the animation studio has to be strong and consistant. Which was not the case with MOTU and Filmation.
    Says who? I have never heard that there were any issues with their relationship then. Also, MOTU was the first cartoon based on a toy in almost 20 years when it came out due to an FCC law. There was no guide or strategy to work from. They were writing the book as they went along..

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Bock View Post
    Both of them had different ideas and they ended up doing what they wanted even if it was two totally different ideas for the same character/s.
    Says who? Mattel seems to have had a decent amount of input. Yes, it was different than the mini-comics, but the writer of the original minis has stated he was making it up on the fly and that it was just a job for him. Filmation's ideas actually meshed better with the DC Comics presents story that came out about the same time as the fist wave of toys..

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Bock View Post
    This also points out the desorganisation between the two, which has been my point all along.
    No, this just shows that Mattel changed their mind once they hired Filmation and had more professional writers handling things.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Bock View Post
    It did and big time but if Mattel and Filmation would have kept a more consistent product out there MOTU would have expanded its life for at least 3 more years.
    Again, pure speculation. The issue was the store buyers. Mattel should have simply waited about 6 months for shelves to sell off old stock and tried the He-ro/POG line again and it probably would have been fine.


    Dr. Ω

  13. #13
    That PlanetEternia.de guy Sir Reilly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Omega View Post
    IFaker and Jitsu seemed to sell fine.. ??? Both came out right about the time the cartoon debuted..
    Faker even was Mattel worth enough to officially re-issue and -reintroduce him in wave 6. No other previously-released figure got even some cardfront artwork added. Mattel surely wouldn't have done that if they had some good faith in this figure.

  14. #14
    Council Elder Tallstar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Bock View Post
    and many of those figures that showed up in pop started to become peg warmers becasue they never showed up in MOTU, they didn't show up were they should have.
    Gotta disagree with you there. When She-Ra was on TV, (1985/1986 time peroid) those were the best selling years for the Masters of the Universe brand. I don't have Roger's book in front of me at the moment, but I think it went like this:

    1985 - $250,000,000
    1986 - $450,000,000 (Zenith for MotU)

    Something happened towards the end of 1986/start of 1987. I really think it was too much product like Dr. O said.

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    Heroic Warrior
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Omega View Post

    What killed the original MOTU was retaillers getting stuck with too much merchandise. I remember walls and walls of Stinkor as a kid. When it came time for buyers to place orders for He-ro, the stores were still flooded with too many toys and didn't order. No orders meant He-ro never went into production. With no new orders, Mattel pulled the plug.

    I remember watching the show as a kid and wanting a Lizard Man or Icer, but it was never confusing. The Filmation characters were mostly one-shot wonders, or like Lizard Man, only showed up in a handful of episodes. Most kids probably didn't really care.
    Dr. Ω
    Hey I liked Stinkor I remeber seeing tons of POP & Sorceress hanging around on clearance at Kb toys for 3 for $5.00

  16. #16
    Heroic Warrior
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    Lou Scheimer had the real reason...too many ****ing accountants.

    the accountants see 130 episodes and think that that is enough to keep kids interested...but it doesn't happen that way - kids WILL keep watching reruns but they will also quickly leave something old for something new if the reruns keep going and no new content arrives the kids stop watching, - so THAT is what killed MOTU retailers ordered too much?? yep but there weren't new episodes to keep the sales up as high as they were. MOTU should have never left the public eye but the accountants screwed it up.

  17. #17
    Council Elder Tallstar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Cimmerian View Post
    MOTU should have never left the public eye but the accountants screwed it up.
    I don't think it would've made that big of a difference. In 1987, the year that MotU plummeted to $7 million, from the previous years $450 million, you had the live-action film out. That's huge exposure. All the toys based on the movie, Gwildor, Sauod, Blade should've been selling like mad and stimulating sales on all the other stuff, but it just wasn't happening.

  18. #18
    A big fan of Slush Head
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Omega
    It boosted sales and would be fine for a few years in rerun. Why spend more $$.
    Because you need to update your product to keep it fresh.

    Pure speculation on your part. Scare Glow and Rio Blast weren't in the cartoon. They seemed to sell just fine.
    Yeah I don't think so then how come Rio Blast is one of the less popular MOTU characters? Even fans in here said they hated this guy when they were little and many and I mean many didn't pick him up. Scareglow was ok but many kids were into other stuff by the time he came out. This is not a personal example since I was into MOTU till the end but many lost interest cause the characters never got their interest.

    Not at all. The "regular buyer" of toys, then and now, is parents who don't watch cartoons. MOTU was popular and retail buyers overstocked their stores. Had nothing to do with the cartoon, which had been in rerun for two/three years at that point, or off the air.
    But parents buy what their kids like. Children ask for the stuff parents pay. That's the way it works.

    Pure speculation
    Common sense

    Faker and Jitsu seemed to sell fine.. ??? Both came out right about the time the cartoon debuted..
    That's because MOTU was at it's peek at the time and anything with the MOTU logo was hot, but you can't deny me that they deserved more screen time and the characters deserved development.

    Movie characters all, actually. The 87 line was Saurod, Blade and Gwildor..
    NO :
    1986-1987
    KING RANDOR
    SORCERESS
    CLAMP CHAMP
    SCARE GLOW
    NINJOR
    FAKER II
    BLAST ATTAK
    3068
    1787
    3073
    3072
    3069
    4489
    1710


    BUZZ SAW HORDAK
    MOSQUITOR
    1732
    1191


    SSSQUEEZE
    SNAKE FACE
    1417
    1967


    ROTAR
    TWISTOID
    3024
    3025


    GWILDOR
    SAUROD
    BLADE

    http://he-man.org/primary_sects/toys...motucl_i.shtml

    Says who? I have never heard that there were any issues with their relationship then. Also, MOTU was the first cartoon based on a toy in almost 20 years when it came out due to an FCC law. There was no guide or strategy to work from. They were writing the book as they went along..
    So you think it was consistant ? If so how come they had two different worlds of Eternia? Cartoon world vs Toy world. They made a nice job but it was not that consistant. They seemed to work independently sharing only the basics. They didn't go hand by hand. Compare MOTU with other toy lines that had a cartoon to go along like Visionaries, Transformers,GI Joe, Cops, Inhumanoids, Gobots etc. What you see is what you get.

    Again, pure speculation. The issue was the store buyers. Mattel should have simply waited about 6 months for shelves to sell off old stock and tried the He-ro/POG line again and it probably would have been fine.
    This is speculation as well. There was not enough demand for the product due to lack of interest.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tallstar
    Gotta disagree with you there. When She-Ra was on TV, (1985/1986 time peroid) those were the best selling years for the Masters of the Universe brand. I don't have Roger's book in front of me at the moment, but I think it went like this:

    1985 - $250,000,000
    1986 - $450,000,000 (Zenith for MotU)

    Something happened towards the end of 1986/start of 1987. I really think it was too much product like Dr. O said.
    Oh yeah you are totally right but at the end of 1986 and early 1987 years we got reruns that didn't show the new toys and the brand product sank. It was not kept fresh while Hasbro put out new toons and toys. This is Mattel's fault because they were too stupid to think that reruns will be more than enough to sell their new stuff.
    If MOTU and POP would have gotten new season MOTU would have lasted longer. This is my personal opinion.

  19. #19
    Warlord of the Elders Dr. Omega's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Bock View Post
    Because you need to update your product to keep it fresh.
    The product was updated. It was just the cartoon that wasn't. Not saying I agree with the practice, just that is the way big corporations work. Bottom Line and $$$$ override fan demand any day. And again, they flooded the stores with too much product.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Bock View Post
    But parents buy what their kids like. Children ask for the stuff parents pay. That's the way it works.
    In my experience, it works this way: Kids asks parents for stuff. Parent tries to find stuff, but doesn't know the name or look of the figure/character. Parent buys something from the same toyline and figures "close enough"

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Bock View Post
    That's because MOTU was at it's peek at the time and anything with the MOTU logo was hot, but you can't deny me that they deserved more screen time and the characters deserved development.
    As a fan, I think it would have been cool to give them more screen time, but really any line usually focuses on the main hero and villain (Prime vs Megatron, Superman vs Luthor, Batman vs. Joker, Duke, Snake Eyes, Flint vs Cobra Commander and Destro). Lack of focus on background characters is more of Mattel's nonsense marketing data that tells them fans don't like secondary characters. They touted that crap in the new line and I'm sure they believed it back in the day too. At least in the old show we did get occasional episodes that focused on characters like Fisto and Mekanek.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Bock View Post
    So you think it was consistant ? If so how come they had two different worlds of Eternia? Cartoon world vs Toy world. They made a nice job but it was not that consistant. They seemed to work independently sharing only the basics. They didn't go hand by hand. Compare MOTU with other toy lines that had a cartoon to go along like Visionaries, Transformers,GI Joe, Cops, Inhumanoids, Gobots etc. What you see is what you get.
    Again, MOTU came out with toys and mini-comics, etc. at least a year before the cartoon came out. Mattel hired writers to just make something up on the fly. Once the cartoon was out there and established, the mini-comics, magazine, Star (Marvel) comics, etc seemed to follow the basic cartoon universe. And again, MOTU was the first line in 20 years to have a cartoon company and toy company working together. GIJOE and Transformers never established a story with the toys prior to the cartoon. There were Marvel comics and figure file cards and that was about it. The shows don't follow the Marvel comics continuity (nor the file cards). Surprising considering Marvel made the cartoons (Sunbow = Marvel + Hasbro). Also, their shows seemed to come out very soon after the toys were released. I don't know for a fact, but I would guess that they saw how well it was working for MOTU and wanted to copy the same angle. Visionaries, Inhumanoids both had only one series of toys, and the JOE/TF formula was already established with Hasbro, so the toys and toons came out at the same time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Bock View Post
    This is speculation as well. There was not enough demand for the product due to lack of interest.
    Of course this is speculation. 20/20 hindsight and all that. It is the same as with the 2002 line. Stores were clogged with Spin Blade He-man and Skeletor. Demand was still there for the line, there was just no new product because stores were overstocked with the same product people had already purchased. The overstocking of figures is documented. I believe it was in the Roger Sweet book and here:
    http://www.he-man.org/site_sects/arc...ticle_15.shtml
    Whatever the reason, Mattel flooded the toy stores with He-Man product, and in doing so, doomed the line. Masters of the Universe toys were still in stores as much as two years later. The toys were so common (and filled so much shelf space) that people just lost interest in them and simply stopped buying.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Bock View Post
    If MOTU and POP would have gotten new season MOTU would have lasted longer. This is my personal opinion.
    And I think that regardless of a new toon, Mattel and toy buyers flooded the stores and killed it, just like they did with the 2002 line.

    Dr. Ω

  20. #20
    Heroic Warrior
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    This post is the smartest thing that anyone has written on this site in a long time. Mattel Marketing sucked then and now, and is why both the old and new line has come to a END.
    Jessie Shuptrine

  21. #21
    waiting for Geldor Toymaker's Avatar
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    I know it helped kill off the new line, but I actually think some more variants in the old line would have helped!

    Think about it, Man-At-Arms and Teela were in nearly every episode in the old cartoon, and each made a couple of appearances in POP, yet neither had had a figure out since the first wave. Even a film version of each would have been better than nothing. Any kids that came into it late, unless they could find an old MAA or Teela, would not have the other 2 main characters to go with their Flying Fists He-Man!

    I personally think that instead of creating new characters, the 1986/7 line should have concentrated on the movie, the biggest marketing tool there was that year. Using the 6 heroes, 6 villians of previous waves:-

    Heroic warriors

    Film He-Man
    Film Teela
    Film Man-At-Arms
    Film Sorceress
    Gwildor
    LUBIC!

    Evil Warriors

    Film Skeletor
    Film Beast-Man
    Film Evil Lyn
    Blade
    Saurod
    Karg

    Vehicles

    Gwildors car
    Skeletors Throne
    Hoverboard
    Tweet Me!

    I've just changed my profile picture because we got Geldor in MOTUC!

  22. #22
    Über Fan Adam_Prince of Eternia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Bock View Post
    Filmation changed some of the toy designs drastically, you couldn't even figure out who a character was, if they didn't tell you the name in the toon you pretty much had to especulate (Clawful,Tung lashor to name a couple).
    1. Animating a cartoon is a lengthy process, and the design of a character may be changed before it is produced as a toy. For the appearance of a character in Masters of the Universe or Princess of Power to have coincided with the release of its toy counterpart, Mattel had to submit its character design to FILMation months in advance.

    2. Animating a cartoon is expensive. For FILMation to cost-effectively produce a cartoon for Mattel, the design of a character may need to be simplified, e.g. nearly all of the Princess of Power characters.





    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Bock View Post
    Filmation created many good characters that deserved action figures, but Mattel didn't care and came up with their own designs. Kids were not getting the characters that appeared in the cartoon and the figures that they loved just by the fact that they were great designs didn't show up in the toon, this might have caused frustration in many children.
    Mattel did not own the rights to FILMation-created characters, e.g. King Randor, Queen Marlena, Prince Adam, Orko, Sorceress, etc. For Mattel to produce figures based on these characters, they had to pay FILMation a licensing fee.




    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Bock View Post
    They decided to make She-Ra the spin-off series of He-man but instead of running it along with a third MOTU season they decided to showcase their 1986 MOTU figures in a "girls" show.
    The Princess of Power cartoon was well into production when the Masters of the Universe cartoon was cancelled. The only way to advertise a new Masters of the Universe figure was to write its character into Princess of Power.

  23. #23
    Heroic Warrior
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    the changing marketplace

    I think everybody is making great points, and I think all are right in that no one thing led to the downfall of MOTU. Another thing that I think contributed is that MOTU went from setting the standard to scrambling to follow what they felt kids wanted in the wake of Transforming toys, and the attempt to appeal to girls with the POP line. That and the toys just started to be of lesser and lesser quality, creativity, and all around coolness with things like meteorbs, twistoid, snout spout, the stone warriors, none of which were as cool as the earlier toys or their contemporaries like randor, the sorceress, faker, extendar. This is all just opinon, but I think what it comes down to is that they started to follow instead of lead, at least int heir own minds.

    And when you make Barbie, who the hell cares about an aging money cow like He-man.

    adam

  24. #24
    80sMasters.com Brian Ozone's Avatar
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    All I can say is WOW! This is probaly the best thread I have ever read here. The views and points are all great and can all be argued to the bitter end. I agree that the two companies didn't listen to each other, and if they did that the toy line would have been around longer and stronger. YOu may go even father and say that they are the reason why the line failed. I also feel that the cartoon and the toyline would have supported both to over come the new transformers and GI joe. Which took the theory behind MOTU of having both the Toyline and Cartoon interact. SO the idea that rose MOTU to its high also took it to its low, by helping other's do excatly what it did. But the others never gave up on the idea. And both GI Joe and Transformers are doing pretty good to this day. Dam you MOTU! Your too good for yourself.
    Check out the Masters Of The Galaxy Podcast. And also check out Masters of the Galaxy Facebook page

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  25. #25
    Heroic Warrior EMILE's Avatar
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    Yeah Yeah

    Call me crazy, or whatever, I think I barely played with my MOTU, I loved putting them on shelves for me to admire them, look at them; and I DID get upset when clawful, tung, etc came out and didn`t look like the cartoon, I agree this was a turn off for us fans, same with many characters that didnīt see the light, I blame all of them, damn producers in both companies, too focused on making money and they totally disregarded what should have been done, at Mattel AND Filmation. Kids ALWAYS tell their parents what to buy, they even write it down for them to not screw up. So, thatīs the way it works. If they had continued with the show, and been honest, they shouldīve done it right and we wouldīve continued buying toys until today, they didnīt have to catch a new audience, they had us!!! We got older, got jobs and now we have money to buy new toys!! Our generation would have played along. Last comment, scare glow DID NOT SELL WELL as some say, and thatīs the reason why it is probably the most expensive character today!! Because most of us DO NOT HAVE HIM! So, it is selling well... now...

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