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

  1. #3101
    Heroic Warrior Springor Spanior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jzguitars View Post
    I've been speculating that the Special Edition He-Man was produced during the re-release of He-Man and Skeletor which hit shelves in 1983 as "The Original".
    I'd like to add some observations about "The Original He-Man" and then try to tie it back to the topic of the thread.

    By my observation, Mattel switched production of He-Man from Taiwan to Mexico sometime in either late 1982 or early 1983. As early as with the G3 8-back cards, we see He-Man made in Mexico. For those who subscribe to my Toys R Us sticker theory, we see stickers indicating these cards were on the shelves in 1983. These are the carded figures usually with the Magic Stealer comic printed in USA, but there is not yet "The Original" on the card. Mattel was also at that time producing Trap Jaw and Tri-Klops in Mexico, so not surprising I suppose that they would produce He-Man there, but I've always wondered why they bothered to change a good thing. And then it occurred to me that this was also the time when they were manufacturing Faker figures in Taiwan, and I wonder if they concluded there would be less interruption if they simply moved He-Man to Mexico while cranking out Fakers in Taiwan.

    And then we move to the G4 12-back cards. Again, many of these are Mexico manufactures but I believe I may have seen a G4 Taiwan and it was in fact stamped "The Original". I think this is probably still in 1983. But it's not really until you get to G6 cards (which is 1984/1985) where we see production of He-Man has now returned entirely to Taiwan, and all of these cards are marked "The Original". So, my thinking is, the "Original" burst was denoting a return to the original Taiwan manufacture. This also happens to coincide with the discontinued manufacture of Faker in Taiwan. Of course, I think that "The Original" burst appears consistently from G6 on through the final Malaysia years, but nevertheless, I think it was initially intended to denote the return to Taiwan, which may have been made possible by the discontinuance of Faker.

    I think we have a similar phenomenon with Skeletor, but the timeline is a bit different. Mattel continued to produce Skeletor in Taiwan through the G4 cards, and then we start to see Hong Kong Skeletors on G4 cards as well. By the time we get to G7, production switched back to Taiwan and there again we see "The Original" burst. So, once again, I have always thought the initial use of the "Original" burst denoted a return to Taiwan. But I'm not sure if I've seen a large enough sample size of Skeletor cards for that to be definitive.

    OK, so what does this have to do with SE He-Man? Not much, really, except that I find it interesting that I've never, ever seen a standard He-Man figure with a belt gap. Nor have I seen a Faker figure with a belt gap, and I'd love for someone to find one.
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  2. #3102
    Heroic Warrior jzguitars's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Springor Spanior View Post
    I'd like to add some observations about "The Original He-Man" and then try to tie it back to the topic of the thread.


    OK, so what does this have to do with SE He-Man? Not much, really, except that I find it interesting that I've never, ever seen a standard He-Man figure with a belt gap. Nor have I seen a Faker figure with a belt gap, and I'd love for someone to find one.
    Yes, that's the real question. Which figures, from Taiwan, have the belt gap matching SE He-Man? That may help narrow the timeline.

  3. #3103
    Heroic Warrior Universe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Springor Spanior View Post
    Mattel was also at that time producing Trap Jaw and Tri-Klops in Mexico, so not surprising I suppose that they would produce He-Man there, but I've always wondered why they bothered to change a good thing.
    I would guess that Mattel simply found they could save money by manufacturing figures in Mexico rather than Taiwan, and they needed to crank up production for the line, anyway. So they expanded their operations so that they were manufacturing in both countries.

    Of course, I think that "The Original" burst appears consistently from G6 on through the final Malaysia years, but nevertheless, I think it was initially intended to denote the return to Taiwan, which may have been made possible by the discontinuance of Faker.
    I've seen Malaysia "The Original" He-Man figures all the way through G9. I've never seen a G10.

    I'd be surprised if "The Original" burst was specifically intended to denote a difference in the country of manufacture. I think it was probably just a refresh on the marketing of the figure and the timing was coincidental. I would think they stopped producing Fakers just because his sales were probably down by this point. He-Man sales probably had remained steady.

    OK, so what does this have to do with SE He-Man? Not much, really, except that I find it interesting that I've never, ever seen a standard He-Man figure with a belt gap. Nor have I seen a Faker figure with a belt gap, and I'd love for someone to find one.
    Me, either, but I've only seen a small sample size. I went through a bunch of my figures a few years ago looking for belt gaps (probably ~150 figures), and I came across two at the time: a Mer-Man and a Beast Man. It's likely that Mattel quality control noticed and fixed the belt gap at some point after SE He-Man was produced.

    Quote Originally Posted by jzguitars View Post
    Yes, that's the real question. Which figures, from Taiwan, have the belt gap matching SE He-Man? That may help narrow the timeline.
    Sorry, but I'm afraid that isn't the real question.

    The real question is: Is made in Mexico Special Edition He-Man real or a hoax???

    I've always suspected hoax, but after confirmation of SE He-Man's origins, we now know that SE He-Man was produced at pretty much the same time that Mattel expanded their manufacturing operations to include Mexico. So while it still seems unlikely, perhaps we should revisit this particular question!


    Attached: interesting He-man sample. Mexico, G4, Magic Stealer comic, no "Original" burst. Accessories are produced both in Mexico AND the USA while the comic is Taiwan.

    heman12backsample1.jpg
    Last edited by Universe; January 26, 2021 at 03:58am.

  4. #3104
    Heroic Warrior jzguitars's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Universe View Post
    The real question is: Is made in Mexico Special Edition He-Man real or a hoax???

    I've always suspected hoax, but after confirmation of SE He-Man's origins, we now know that SE He-Man was produced at pretty much the same time that Mattel expanded their manufacturing operations to include Mexico. So while it still seems unlikely, perhaps we should revisit this particular question!


    Attached: interesting He-man sample. Mexico, G4, Magic Stealer comic, no "Original" burst. Accessories are produced both in Mexico AND the USA while the comic is Taiwan.

    heman12backsample1.jpg
    Well, since every example of an SE He-Man is stamped Taiwan, I don't think a Mexico version exists. And certainly no Mexico figures with the belt gap.
    Very interesting though that you've seen a Merman and Beast Man with the gap. Do you recall if they were also Taiwan figures?

  5. #3105
    Heroic Warrior Universe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jzguitars View Post
    Very interesting though that you've seen a Merman and Beast Man with the gap. Do you recall if they were also Taiwan figures?
    I believe so. I posted about this at the time, it's somewhere buried in this thread some years back (somewhere betwen 2013 and today. )

  6. #3106
    Heroic Warrior Springor Spanior's Avatar
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    I am certain they were Taiwan figures. I have found the gap on Taiwan Beast Man, Mer-Man, Zodac, Man-At-Arms and Stratos. If you go back to around 2013 in the thread, someone posted a picture of a Taiwan Skeletor as well (although the picture is gone now). What all of these figures have in common is that they: (1) are all Taiwan manufacture and (2) they are not the early test release, but subsequent releases.

    But I've not yet found a Taiwan He-Man or Faker with the belt gap. It makes me wonder why He-Man and Faker would have been the only Taiwan figures produced exclusively with the original higher quality early mold. It's almost as if He-Man was designated exclusively for the original mold, and they continued that with Faker as they moved production of He-Man over to Mexico. And is it just a coincidence that around the time Mattel discontinued Faker around 84/85, they re-started manufacture of He-Man in Taiwan again? I haven't found a gap on those later Taiwan He-Man figures, either. Perhaps as Universe says, it was "corrected", meaning they stopped using the lower quality mold.
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  7. #3107
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    my self made customs. Wundar and Savage He-Man
    IMG_40631.jpg

    I wouldn't mind an authentic Special Edition He-Man especially now he is confirmed legitimate, but am content with my customs.

  8. #3108
    Evil Villain!!! adam03's Avatar
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    Both my Taiwan 1981 Webstors have the belt gap but those are the only 2 that have it.

  9. #3109
    Heroic Warrior Universe's Avatar
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    I believe I've also seen a picture of a Prince Adam with the belt gap. Might be back in this thread somewhere.

  10. #3110
    Heroic Warrior Lich Leech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Universe View Post
    I believe I've also seen a picture of a Prince Adam with the belt gap. Might be back in this thread somewhere.
    Yes, Tokyonever posted that one maybe a year or two back

  11. #3111
    LittleSpinny TOKYONEVER's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Universe View Post
    I believe I've also seen a picture of a Prince Adam with the belt gap. Might be back in this thread somewhere.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lich Leech View Post
    Yes, Tokyonever posted that one maybe a year or two back
    Picture was posted by Mantisaur82

    Here it is:

    Quote Originally Posted by Mantisaur82 View Post
    You might find this interesting.... Early release (with "New" burst on the top left corner) of Prince Adam also has the space in the shorts. Showing about the same time of production (and same mold with error used) as Savage He-Man.
    http://www.he-man.org/forums/boards/...chmentid=69407
    photo by Calendor (this MOC figure is from his collection)

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