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

  1. #3026
    Heroic Warrior Universe's Avatar
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    You know, it's never occurred to me before, but I'm suddenly wondering why Skeletor was released with half-painted boots, but Zodac - who shares the same leg mold - always had fully painted boots! Did Mattel do away with spray on boots as early as the release of Zodac? Or is this observation totally unrelated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Springor Spanior View Post
    In the second picture we see a 3/1 promotion, also from April 17, 1983, with FAKER! I can't believe I missed that one.
    Attachment 124179
    Yep. We know Faker was released at least as early as Man-E-Faces, and both Man-E-Faces and Faker were probably available prior to the Man-E-Faces extra weapons promotion of April '83 based on cardbacks, minicomics, and your personal Faker timeline.

    And lastly, we see a 3/1 promotion with a sketch of Skeletor and an inset drawing of the maroon weapons. This is from May 22, 1983.
    Attachment 124180
    I guess whoever printed the ad didn't realize that buying Skeletor would not in any way get you those weapons.

    That promo image was probably created by Mattel, however, and its the first time I've seen the promotional art of the maroon weapons. Neat.

  2. #3027
    Court Magician Springor Spanior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Springor Spanior View Post
    Did anyone else on the thread find a 3/1 promo ad prior to April, 1983?
    I finally found a 3/1 promo ad from March, 1983. This one ran in the Sheboygan Press (Wisconsin) on March 29, 1983. It has MEF, Evil-Lyn and another inset drawing of the maroon weapons.

    Buy 3 Get 1 MEF Weapons March 1983.png

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    Quote Originally Posted by Universe View Post
    You know, it's never occurred to me before, but I'm suddenly wondering why Skeletor was released with half-painted boots, but Zodac - who shares the same leg mold - always had fully painted boots! Did Mattel do away with spray on boots as early as the release of Zodac? Or is this observation totally unrelated.
    I always thought it was because Zodac actually wore boots, whereas Skeletor wore shin guards strapped to his hideous feet. They made one mold, of course, but painted Skeletor's in a way to mimic shin guards. I just assumed that when Mattel switched to the dipping method, they concluded they couldn't do the shin guards, and just gave him boots like every other figure.
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  3. #3028
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    Quote Originally Posted by Springor Spanior View Post
    I finally found a 3/1 promo ad from March, 1983. This one ran in the Sheboygan Press (Wisconsin) on March 29, 1983. It has MEF, Evil-Lyn and another inset drawing of the maroon weapons.

    Buy 3 Get 1 MEF Weapons March 1983.png
    Wow, nice find! Moving the ol' timeline up! Does this mean that Mattel's April '83 push to promote the maroon weapons was actually behind when they were available at stores? Perhaps this explains the Man-E-Faces we've seen that had the weapons included but no "bonus weapons" burst on the card?

    And, wow - Evil-Lyn! I had no idea she was available this early! Can you read what the text next to her says? It doesn't say, "Coming soon!" or anything like that, does it?

    EDIT: Ah, March 29... so it only moves the timeline up by a week or so. Still cool, though!

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    I always thought it was because Zodac actually wore boots, whereas Skeletor wore shin guards strapped to his hideous feet. They made one mold, of course, but painted Skeletor's in a way to mimic shin guards. I just assumed that when Mattel switched to the dipping method, they concluded they couldn't do the shin guards, and just gave him boots like every other figure.
    Yeah, it's a little schizophrenic. Skeletor's cross sell art showed actual shin guards, but the toy came with "shin guards" that also covered the tops of his feet. Would it really have been that hard to paint shin guards like he was intended to have? Mer-Man, of course, had the same shin-guards, but Mattel decided to cheap out and not paint them on at all (which is too bad, because he would have looked pretty awesome with yellow gloves and shinguards.)
    Last edited by Universe; November 24, 2020 at 11:10pm.

  4. #3029
    Court Magician Springor Spanior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Universe View Post
    And, wow - Evil-Lyn! I had no idea she was available this early! Can you read what the text next to her says? It doesn't say, "Coming soon!" or anything like that, does it?
    Hopefully, this one reads a little better.

    Buy 3 Get 1 Evil-Lyn March 1983.png
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  5. #3030
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    Quote Originally Posted by Springor Spanior View Post
    Hopefully, this one reads a little better.

    Buy 3 Get 1 Evil-Lyn March 1983.png
    What's interesting is that Evil-Lyn's card art was clearly designed after Man-E-Faces and Ram Man. Her card uses the standard vertical action feature diagram on the left and character taglines with the cross sell art (although not yet using colored text the way Trap Jaw and Tri-Klops do). And yet, it seems that in addition to Man-E-Faces, Evil-Lyn and Faker were available by as early as March, 1983. Which makes me think that Ram Man may have also been available, just not promoted, the same way Faker and Evil-Lyn weren't promoted. Which then makes me think... perhaps Trap Jaw and Tri-Klops were also available!

    This **** is throwing me for a loop. I'm gonna need a stiff drink after this one. :P

    Attached: The earliest cardbacks for Teela and Evil-Lyn, respectively.

    teela8back4.jpg

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    And yet... Barb Hackenberg didn't mention owning a SINGLE wave 2 figure in her letter to Mattel. It seems very strange that she would have responded to her local grocery store's promotion for the "buy 3 get 1 free" promotion and then NOT purchased a single second wave figure unless they weren't available at her store when she responded to the ad. Which leaves two other possibilities: either Thrifty Acres advertised the "buy 3 get 1 free" deal (which included a picture of Man-E-Faces) despite not having any stock of the newer figures yet, or Barb responded to an even earlier advertisement for the "buy 3 get 1 free" ad than we've suspected.
    Last edited by Universe; November 25, 2020 at 03:03am.

  6. #3031
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    Quote Originally Posted by Springor Spanior View Post
    Did anyone else on the thread find a 3/1 promo ad prior to April, 1983? The earliest one I am finding is from April 14, 1983 (Chicago Tribune). April, 1983 was very heavy with the 3/1 promos in newspaper ads. I am finding ads from 1982 with rebates, like buy 2 get a rebate, but not a 3/1 promo specifically.
    Quote Originally Posted by Springor Spanior View Post
    I finally found a 3/1 promo ad from March, 1983. This one ran in the Sheboygan Press (Wisconsin) on March 29, 1983. It has MEF, Evil-Lyn and another inset drawing of the maroon weapons.
    Yep. I sent a link to that ad to Val and Lich Leech earlier this month. I stopped posting "Buy 3 Get 1 Free" ad links from newspapers.com to the thread after the Meijer Thrifty acres one because Val wants to do an article on everything Savage He-Man (Special Edition He-Man) over the years. I wasn't sure if he wanted the "new" Buy 3 images to be a "surprise", so I just stopped posting them. - Just in case.

    But now that the cat is out of the bag... .... I think Evans may still be around:

    https://www.facebook.com/EvansStores

    https://www.sheboyganpress.com/story...lers/81222520/

    It looks like they had two store locations in 1983 and six stores at their peak.

    And yet, as I am looking at the Battle Ram Blog profile of Savage He-Man, the description of the promo mentions that purchases as early as January 2, 1982 qualify. That is very interesting. Does that suggest the promo was offered much earlier than I thought? Unclear.
    I don't think it started in 1982, as all four brands shown on the coupon (MOTU, Dazzle, Barbie, Monchichi clip-ons) are listed in a catalog for the 1983 Spring "White Space sale" along with other promotions/sale categories. "Buy 3 Get 1 Free" is next to all of them. Mattel probably allowed 1982 purchases to qualify. (Most folks would have thrown out the packaging by the time the coupon surfaced, though) Also - and I could be misinterpreting what it says in the catalog - buyers seemingly had to pick a specific amount of promotions to "run" from all of the ones that were listed in each category.

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