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Thread: Why did 2002 He-man fail?

  1. #76
    Heroic Warrior Captain Greyskull's Avatar
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    I am in the middle of watching the second season of the filmation series and I think a lot of the problems with the 200X series was that MYP didnt really have a handle of the He-man character.

    Filmation He-man had a John Wayne quality that came across and he was even a litttle snarky at times which gave him a likeable charm.

    MYP He-man acted like an out of touch Youth Pastor at times

    Despite Filmations over use of the same stock footage and the same voice actors, I think they were able to do a better job with the awesome backgrounds, sound effects and music to give the show an other worldly feel that was just never there in the 200X series.

    200X had its moments but it was just average. I am sure more money could have helped.
    Last edited by Captain Greyskull; October 24, 2009 at 12:03pm.

  2. #77
    Court Magician
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    I loved the show and the toys from the beginning. But, I also remember noticing how when I went to check out the toy ailes for MOTU and Transformers figures I never saw kids looking at the MOTU stuff. Maybe they weren't bold enough in re-imagining he-man for a new generation.

  3. #78
    Established 1981 nutnog's Avatar
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    " In my opinion and not reflected from the owners of this forum," the cartoon was crazy ridiculous because of the anime wannabe factor, shortpacking was insane, and advertising was pathetic.

  4. #79
    Heroic Warrior King Miro's Avatar
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    Honestly, I think it was because the original series of toys and cartoon were FUN. The new series of toys and cartoons were SERIOUS. Yes, there were humorous moments in the MYP show, and the new toys did have some fun action features, but the new show had a much more serious tone, and the new toys looked more like display statues than action figures. As an adult collector, I LOVE the Horsemen sculpts, but I don't think kids appreciated them as much. They didn't look like toys, they looked like posable sculptures.

    So in short,
    Original Series = Light hearted fun
    New Series = High stakes seriousness

    The latter works for box office and winning Oscars, but not so much for selling toys.

  5. #80
    Heroic Warrior King Tycho's Avatar
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    I completely agree with the last two posters, that the show had too much anime influence, and was too serious. That being said, i still think it was a good show for the most part, and given proper advertising, and a decent time slot, could have been more successfull. The bigger failure was the toys. The failure of the toys ensured the failure of the show whatever it's merits may have been, and the toys failed due to serious mismanegement on Mattel's part. Judging from the way things are going with the classics of late, it also appears Mattel learned nothing from the experience.

  6. #81
    Widget Chris-at-Arms's Avatar
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    I don't think the show failed. The toy relaunch wasn't successful.

    The biggest factor I think is that at the time Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter were extremely popular and kind of consumed the sci-fi and fantasy market. It didn't really appeal to many new fans at the time. I think also kids are a little different now. Younger kids seem to be gravitating to slightly older material now (or maybe it because cartoons are so serious now).

    When I think of shows in the 80's, not just He-Man but Ninja Turtles and G.I. Joe, I see much more light hearted fun. They never got too heavy which allowed much younger kids to enjoy them. When I was young I liked He-man from about 4 to about 8 years old. I don't think the MYP show appeals to a lot of 4, 5 or even 6 year olds (although my son is 5 and enjoys it!). I think the tone of the MYP show (while great for older fans) kind of limited its audience, especially since it was on at 8:00pm once a week (or whenever Cartoon Network decided to air them) and the Filmation show was on daily after school.

  7. #82
    Heroic Warrior artodron's Avatar
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    Truthfully I dont think it was any one thing. It was more a "to many Chefs at one pot." sort of thing.
    Teela the Warrior Goddess is my homegirl.

  8. #83
    Former fan fic writer Hordak Alpha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris-at-Arms View Post
    I don't think the show failed. The toy relaunch wasn't successful.
    Of course, only reason why the toyline aspect of the MOTU revival failed was Mattel's fault. I only ever remember seeing THREE commercials for the MOTU 2002 toyline and that was the year it launched. So, without commercials, kiddos couldn't get into the toys. PLUS, what also should've been taken into account is not all families have cable/satellite television. Yes, the majority do, but not all. So the ones that didn't never got to see the subliminal advertising created with the cartoon show. Plus, considering kids in 2002 and now in 2009 only like anime imports that have funny looking guys in spiky hair fighting bad guys with monsters they summon from playing cards, the MOTU 2002 toyline never had an honest fighting chance.


    But, I'm just happy it happened. It gave me a chance to get figures of characters I missed out on in the classic days and finally get a TRUE collection of MOTU. Prior to the commem reissues or the MOTU 2002 figures, I only owned the classic Skeletor, Teela, BA He-Man, Battle Cat, Man-At-Arms and Orko. So, I'm ECSTATIC that I now am able to have MOTU figures ALL over my bedroom.
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  9. #84
    Rider of the Night MyBroGotAllMyFigs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DynastyMasters View Post
    I can't stand the whole Astro Boy, Speed Racer, Voltron, Maya The Bee, New Adventures of He-Man, Pokemon and Sailer Moon look! YUCK!
    Most of what you cite there is either really old or cheaply mass-produced animation aimed at selling games and toys.

    Anime is usually orders of magnitude better than most of the toons that are mostly aimed at kids over here.

    Seriously, you should watch Evangelion, Gurren Lagann, Last Exile, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, or movies like The Sky Crawlers, Tekkon Kinkreet, Blood, Summer Wars, Paprika, The Wings of Honneamise, The Girl who Leapt through Time, and all the Studio Ghibli films.
    Last edited by MyBroGotAllMyFigs; November 5, 2009 at 04:56am.

  10. #85
    Return of Ganon JustariusX's Avatar
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    The 2002 show was awesome.

    The toy line ate it because of horrific repaints, 500 he-man and skeletor variants, shortpacking the better figures, and the like.

    When you have cases with like 1 Teela, 1 Orko, and 4 Peg Warmer He-Men, stuff is over before if starts.

    Personally I liked the new cartoon. Skeletor actually won one here and there. "See how they run, the Masters of failure!" Incredible stuff.

  11. #86
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    Like I said the newer version of He-man seemed to resonate more with international audiences than the US fans.

    http://www.comicsbulletin.com/news/107529819219032.htm
    Last edited by dwanyewest; November 5, 2009 at 01:09pm. Reason: missing t

  12. #87
    Tired of factions DJ_Convoy's Avatar
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    I thought the cartoon was fantastic. I don't think that there was "too much anime" (I'm not even sure what that means) or that it was too serious. I think it had the correct ratio of fun to drama. I'd say that Cartoon Network and it's asinine scheduling problems (which continue to this day) was the biggest drawback to the show.

    I liked the new toys, as well (for the most part)- until I couldn't get the toys I wanted. The shelves choked with He-man and Skeletor repaints sure didn't help... and I wasn't willing to pay insane prices from price gougers online (hey- history repeats itself!)... The inability to get the figures I wanted absolutely killed my interest in the line.

  13. #88
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    Honestly i didnt see any failure in the series...it was mattel that dropped the ball

  14. #89
    Heroic Warrior Dr Kain's Avatar
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    It failed because Cartoon Network could not keep the show in a concrete time slot. It went from Fridays at 5pm to Saturdays at 7pm to Saturdays at 12pm to Sundays at 7pm to Fridays at 4:30pm all within 9 friggin months. Not to mention half of those time changes went along unannounced. I remember turning on CN a little after noon back in early 2003 after whatever I was watching on WB at the time was, and they were about 6 minutes into the episode Buzz-Off's Pride. I couldn't believe it, as not only did I miss a new episode (I had been recording them to keep at the time), but I never even got to see the beginning of the episode until the other night when I finally watched it on the DVDs.
    Can someone PM me the US number for Matty? I want to talk to someone who might has a clue of what is going on.

    Evil will always triumph because good is dumb.

  15. #90
    Heroic Warrior moltak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heidi
    Kids just were not interested, and collectors alone do not keep a mass retail toyline alive.
    Yeah, nobody wants to admit this, but it is correct.

    Most of us are passionate, nostalgic fans. We love to overanalyze the situation and make up excuses, like blaming Cartoon Network or the multiple variants, etc. Doing so makes us feel smart, empowered, and comforted.

    Some of those factors may have played a (small) part, and in 20/20 hindsight, maybe things would have been done differently. But let's be honest with ourselves and each other. The real reason this revamp ended up down the drain is that children were never interested. Only a small percentage of classic series revamps actually succeed, and this one simply did not have the magic in nearly any respect.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sgt. Slaughter
    They lost a lot of the older audience after their debut episodes. I remember Cartoon Network hyping it as a big deal and then when I watched it, it was barely better than the original toon.
    This is absolutely spot on. Again, nobody wants to admit it, but it is.

    Personally, I love the show. But I am a lifelong MOTU fan. A loyal lifelong fan at that. And I certainly did not love it when it debuted; I thought it was incredibly boring. And if an 18-year-old childhood fan thought it was boring, what did the new generation of children who had never seen or heard of He-Man think of it? They were not head-over-heels in love with it, that is for sure.

    Yes, as the series progressed, and we started to see the Snake Men and the Horde, I got really into it. But by then the potential mass audience had already flown the coop.

    It was definitely no BTAS.

    -break-

    One way or the other, the show and the toy line faded away and will likely never return. It sucks, but that is the reality.

    We should be grateful for what we got when we got it, and we should accept that it is over and move on.

  16. #91
    Heroic Warrior Dr Kain's Avatar
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    Barely better than the old cartoon??? Are you kdding me. Let's see, the new series had:

    -Ongoing plot lines.
    -Action that was more than just flailing arms around.
    -Music done by the great Joseph Deluca.
    -Designs that looked down right realistic.
    -Villians that looked scary.
    -Skeletor was threatening, not to mention he sounded like he was evil.
    -People died.
    -Characters you couldn't give a damn about before now had a purpose.
    -Teela was not an idiot.
    -An origin story.
    -A back story to the entire series.
    -Quality voice acting.
    -Great animation.
    -Oh yeah, action.
    Can someone PM me the US number for Matty? I want to talk to someone who might has a clue of what is going on.

    Evil will always triumph because good is dumb.

  17. #92
    Heroic Warrior
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    I agree with Dr Kain statements I would use similar arguments for the most of 2003 version of Ninja Turtles. I really do believe nostalgia blinds a lot of 80s fans to flaws in 80s toons. I really don't seem how anyone can seriously suggest He-man 2002 is more poorly animated than the 80s version.

  18. #93
    Heroic Warrior moltak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Kain View Post
    Barely better than the old cartoon??? Are you kdding me. Let's see, the new series had:

    -Ongoing plot lines.
    -Action that was more than just flailing arms around.
    -Music done by the great Joseph Deluca.
    -Designs that looked down right realistic.
    -Villians that looked scary.
    -Skeletor was threatening, not to mention he sounded like he was evil.
    -People died.
    -Characters you couldn't give a damn about before now had a purpose.
    -Teela was not an idiot.
    -An origin story.
    -A back story to the entire series.
    -Quality voice acting.
    -Great animation.
    -Oh yeah, action.
    Half of these things do not make one iota of difference with a child-based audience. Ongoing plot lines, quality voice acting, and a back story, to name just a few, are adult critiques and therefore do not explain the splash in the children's market that never happened.

    Plus, most of the rest of your list is highly subjective and opinionated, not factual. Villains that "looked scary," animation that was "great," etc, is up to people's individual interpretation. Some people think the Filmation show was superior, and they are entitled to their opinion the same as the rest of us.

    We can talk all day long about how good or bad we think the show was. I will repeat for the record that I love the MYP show personally. But that is irrelevant to the topic at hand.

    The argument is that the show failed to grab children's attention, regardless of time slots, promotions, and so forth.

  19. #94
    Heroic Warrior Dr Kain's Avatar
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    To be honest, how was it geard towards kids? It had all of the elements for a show that only teens and older would watch. Kids shows are now the crap you see 4Kids release.
    Can someone PM me the US number for Matty? I want to talk to someone who might has a clue of what is going on.

    Evil will always triumph because good is dumb.

  20. #95
    Master Of Illusion Rou-man's Avatar
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    Lets not forget that the 70's/ 80's was the era of sword & magic (conan the barbarian - Beast master ets..) the cartoon and toy line just fitted in perfeclty, todays is the age of manga & anime .. even if the style is similar the plot doesn't have enough appeal.

  21. #96
    Heroic Warrior moltak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Kain View Post
    To be honest, how was it geard towards kids? It had all of the elements for a show that only teens and older would watch. Kids shows are now the crap you see 4Kids release.
    Exactly, and that was kind of the problem. Mattel and company approached the work as something that would thrive based on the monetary commitments of both nostalgic adult fans and a new generation of young fans. They found success in the former only.

    Without kids, a toyline sold in major stores, like Toys R Us and Walmart, and a cartoon on a major network in a prime time slot cannot survive. There are simply too many other competitors. The show must get ratings and the figures must fly off the shelves, or the network and retail stores will bump it for another prospect.

  22. #97
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    The animation and the storylines were better than the 80s version but the show was more suitable for teens or older. Rather than very young kids.

  23. #98
    Former fan fic writer Hordak Alpha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Kain View Post
    To be honest, how was it geard towards kids? It had all of the elements for a show that only teens and older would watch. Kids shows are now the crap you see 4Kids release.

    Yujioh triple D comes to mind. Now there are spin-offs of the anime imports that basically retread on similar plots from the previous incarnation.
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  24. #99
    Expect 10 inches Rain's Avatar
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    you wanna know what the main problem was... I never saw a commercial for the series... unless it was airing durring an episode of the show. Oh I saw plenty for Poke'mon and Teen Titans durring MOTU episodes... but never, NEVER once did I see a commercial for MOTU air durring any other shows on CN... not once

    And I also only saw 1 commercial for the toy line the entire time the figures were being sold.

    Top that off with the fact that it had no online connection (if you want it successful today it needs a free online gimick game) like all of the other CN shows.

    And it had no game releases for the major platform systems. And it's not like there isn't an entire series of games that could have been made... everything from sidescrolling adventures and RPGs to Fighting games and Puzzle games could have been easily made... I mean hell Ben 10 and the Fairly Odd Parents have games on all systems...

    Also around that time trading card based characters were rediculously huge... Motu I am thankful to say didn't go taht route.

    What it boils down to is not enough expossure to younger people. I got all ALL of my information regarding the toys and episode airings from right here on He-man.org. I mean hell the people directly involved in the show hung out here on the boards lol... I spent days in the chat room talking to Gary Hartle right here on the org... which only managed to bum me out, because I was gonna be animated in the background of season 3... but then it got axed (how cool would that have been). No kids are gonna go online and discover He-man.org by accident and then say oh this looks cool... episodes air on Tuesday at 6PM... So unless they caught an episode and did a google search for Masters of The Universe, they would have never even known about it.


    For the record my kids and nephew and the neighbor kids loved the show, but they were exposed through me. I gave the toys out for Halloween one year just to try and expose kids to it. And at least 2 of the kids that recieved those figures started watching the show and loved it. But none of them knew what it was before I told them.


    Also the other killer was too much distance between the original and that line... Kids love characters that were around from way back, because they stayed in the lime light and are recognisable... examples being Batman or Spiderman. Those two characters are loved by kids today just as they were loved by kids 40 years ago. They never went away for 20 years to return again.



    The only way I could see our beloved MOTU back in the hands of kids would be for an awesome movie or to take a cartoon in a totally different approach. Don't follow just He-man as the main character, but follow a group new Masters and have He-man as a background character. And by new masters I mean use existing characters like Clamp Champ, Rio Blast, Teela, Roboto and another new female character (random choices for ethnicity) and treat it kinda like Teen titans or X-men on another planet lol once that gets a hold of the kids then you can focus on He-man again
    Last edited by Rain; November 10, 2009 at 07:12pm.
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  25. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rain View Post
    you wanna know what the main problem was... I never saw a commercial for the series... unless it was airing durring an episode of the show. Oh I saw plenty for Poke'mon and Teen Titans durring MOTU episodes... but never, NEVER once did I see a commercial for MOTU air durring any other shows on CN... not once
    I watched a lot of kids shows at the time and now...and commercials for toys in general is down a LOT. If it isn't Barbie, Hot Wheels, or tied to a major new motion picture, there is little to no advertisement for the product, especially action figures. Transformers and GI Joe really never saw much advertising, and both lines ran pretty well.

    And it had no game releases for the major platform systems.
    Actually it did, the Game Boy Advance got a game as did the Playstation 2 (though the PS2 title only saw release in Europe). Transformers Armada didn't get a game until mid-2004 (nearly 6 months AFTER the line ended)

    Also the other killer was too much distance between the original and that line... Kids love characters that were around from way back, because they stayed in the lime light and are recognisable... examples being Batman or Spiderman. Those two characters are loved by kids today just as they were loved by kids 40 years ago. They never went away for 20 years to return again.
    If you asked some older fans or parents, you'd think Transformer hadn't been around since the mid-80s until the live action movie came along. Transformers has had a cartoon and toyline around and active in some form since 1996. But it didn't get pop culture attention until the live action film (of which most press releases noted the thing as a remake of "a popular 80s cartoon" rather than acknowledge its low key successes of the past 15 years).


    Again, I ask: Transformers had the same problems with lack of advertising and a wonky airing schedule (in fact, Transformers was probably treated worse than He-Man, especially during the Cybertron series). GI Joe had NO new cartoon, and the original was only shown on TV well after most kids had gone to bed.
    So why did the Transformers "relaunch" last? How did Hasbro still manage to get nearly four years out of the GI Joe relaunch? He-Man was easily doing better business than GI joe in 2002 and early 2003, so how did Joe outlast MOTU which had a regular airing (for most of its run) cartoon series?

    Kids WERE buying the product, retailers were willing to give the line a second chance with the Snakemen revamp, but Mattel dropped the ball. They dropped it by over packing He-Man and Skeletor (again, the line had two assortments, one for good and bad, and the Smash/Spin blade variants were shipped 4-5 per case. Each case only had 6 slots), and then threw in the towel by not shipping Snakemen to mass market retailers.

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