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Thread: What were your expectations for Masters of the Universe in 1981/1982?

  1. #1
    Shezar in MOTUC please! The All American's Avatar
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    What were your expectations for Masters of the Universe in 1981/1982?

    This question probably only applies to those born 1977/1978 or earlier with enough vivid memories to remember how they felt when the line first came out. To answer it, you had to be there when it started too. I was born around the time the line started so I can't remember a time when Orko or Evil-Lyn wasn't part of the line. This is a pre-Filmation and pre-second wave (pre-Ram Man, Trap-Jaw, Tri-Klops, etc...) kind of question. You only had the 8 back characters, maybe the DC mini-series, and a few other things.

    What were your expectations for Masters of the Universe in the beginning, in 1981/1982?

    Did you think there were more Heroic Warrior allies for He-Man beyond Stratos? Did you imagine Skeletor having more new minions beyond Mer-Man and Beast Man? Were you anticipating more beasts, playsets, and vehicles? How did you feel once that second wave finally came, and the following waves?

  2. #2
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    I love memory games .

    I believe I saw the toys just before the cartoons . I was impressed but after seeing the cartoons I was sold . Before that my life was Maya the Bee , Smurfs , Green Forest , Yearling and Tom and Jerry.

    My only expectations were that the Cartoons and Toys are the same but they were not . Castle Greyskull did not belong to Skeletor , Zodak was a bad guy . HeMan ran around with a shield and axe . Teela had Snake Armour . Some Stratos had blue wings and blue beards and who was this Fakor ? I never saw him in the toons at that time .

    Another expectation was that all toys be available if they were in 90 percent of the cartoons but Orko took a while to show up and Sorceress took forever .

    No i never imagined more than what wave was available at the time . Too busy enjoying the current wave i suppose . I never thought HeMan or Skeletor had too few minions . I was just glad to get one . I did not get em very quick . I got HeMan for Christmas 84 , Man At Arms Easter 85 and Teela and Battlecat and later a Zoar for my Birthday June 85 .

    At that time my parents decided buying a Skeletor monster or his minions were not going to give me nightmares but I got the "Evil Zodak" first . I guess because he did not look very scary . I think those gothic horror images on the vehicles / playsets kept my parents nervous . It was much easier for me to beg for a Heroic Warrior then an Evil one . I suppose i should be grateful for getting a scary Battlecat . The filmation toons helped to dumb down the scary villains for my parents .

    < Ironically Skeletor gave me a nightmare or two after i was allowed to get Evil Warriors >
    Last edited by MOLKROM; January 22, 2015 at 06:36pm.

  3. #3
    Heroic Master of 200X MegaGearMax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The All American View Post
    What were your expectations for Masters of the Universe in the beginning, in 1981/1982?

    Did you think there were more Heroic Warrior allies for He-Man beyond Stratos? Did you imagine Skeletor having more new minions beyond Mer-Man and Beast Man? Were you anticipating more beasts, playsets, and vehicles? How did you feel once that second wave finally came, and the following waves?
    Everyone in Wave One didn't come out at once. I couldn't wait until Blonde Teela and Blue Mer-Man came out, as first introduced to me in the mini-comics. Not only for the figures, but for the additional Alcala mini-comics that they would be sure to come with.

    BUT...

    Mer-Man was GREEN, not blue and Teela was a redhead, not blonde like she was established as being. They were my first major disappointments.

    Another disappointment was that Alcala didn't draw the second batch of mini-comics and that the storybook quality of the comics changed to a traditional comic. Everything felt so different from the Thundarr the Barbarian-esque wasteland that was established previously. We had kingdoms and villages -- more people. Everything felt more civilized. Even Skeletor had a lair somewhere. The newer characters like Trap Jaw and Man-E-Faces seemed more sci-fi than barbarian. Those characters still worked, mind you (Even Thundarr had techy characters)...the setting just seemed less...desolate from what I was used to.

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    Sagitar (Jetlag) • Azdar • Belzar • Chazdar • 200X Evil-Lyn • 200X Teenage Prince Adam • 200X Teenage Teela • 200X Sorceress • General Rattlor (MYP) • 200X King Randor and Queen Marlena • 200X Battle Armor King Randor and Battle Armor Queen Marlena • Ice Armor He-Man • WMD Roboto

  4. #4
    Life is good Dice's Avatar
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    I had no idea that the line even existed when I recieved my first He-man figure. I got him and a few days later I was given Man-e-Faces. I loved these things so the next time my brothers and I went to the store, we got Trap-Jaw, Tri-Clops and a third figure that my memory can't recall. That christmas we got loaded with figs: Ram-man, Buzz off, Kobra Khan, clawful, He man with Battle Cat (i think it was the battle armor version???) and battle Armor Skeletor. Greyskull and others followed but I can't remember the order. The last two figures I ever got were Ninjor and Blast Attack. I still kick myself for not getting SSssqueeze because I bought the three dinosuars instead.

    Living in Alabama over the years it seemed like we got stuff a little later than everyone else.
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    Ancient One zodak74's Avatar
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    When I was a kid collecting the first ones, I never gave any thought as to future figures. I went by what was on the backs of the boxes and who was featured in the mini-comic. I do recall that shortly after getting "all of them", my mother surprised me with Man-E-Faces for getting all A's on my report card. But at that point, I don't think I was actively seeking more Masters Of The Universe in the stores (it was also the first action figure line I ever collected, so the concept of "waves" wasn't something I was aware of). But around the time I think the third wave came out, and the backs of the minis had that list on the bottom of all the figures, I remember seeing names I didn't know (like Whiplash) and then actively started checking stores for them. I remember finding Buzz-Off for $5.99 at a Woolworths and thinking that was more expensive than the earlier ones (I feel like $3.99 on sale and $4.99 regular price were what previous figures had gone for in other local department stores). Later down the road, I remember thinking because they were introduced as their own faction, that surely Rokkon and Stonedar had more Rock People/Comet Warriors coming, a la The Evil Horde and Snake Men. Imagine my disappointment!
    Anyhoo... I started out not knowing anything about He-Man and then slowly acquiring the original 8 back characters and Battle Cat (vehicles like Battle Ram I seem to remember coming later as Christmas presents down the road, not right away). So I guess I had zero expectations and just went for the ride. Some things have changed 30+ years on (expectations up the wazoo, now that Classics is winding down, ha ha), and some have not (still going along for the ride).
    Last edited by zodak74; January 19, 2015 at 06:33pm.

  6. #6
    Totally Dyslexic
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    I remember seeing my first MOTU figure. It was at a birthday party for a kid in my neighborhood. He got Skeletor for his birthday and we all were excited and jealous.
    And i think he came with the mini comic "vengeance of Skeletor" and i loved Teela with her blonde hair and the golden horse!

    We never got the horse but my own first figure was Teela and back than i had Star Wars C3-PO and i was so disappointed when they didn´t match height wise and i could´t play with them together. So i switched from Star Wars to Masters completely .
    The other thing that was disappointing was her brown hair. My figure had brown hair, not blonde and not red, no a brown ponytail instead of flowing blonde hair… i was disappointed but i got over it.

    I know we ended up getting all of the items of the first wave including Castle Grayskull and i loved the mini comics stories and those two parts of the sword.

    Soon after i discovered the FILMATION series and of course i loved it but i missed the old stories and i never really liked Orko and could´t understand everything since i was five or so and english wasn´t my native language but thanks to MOTU i learned english
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  7. #7
    Heroic Warrior Lich Leech's Avatar
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    I got in at the beginning, and have good memories of thumbing through the Alcala mini comics and the first golden books (especially The Trap and Thief of Castle Grayskull). So He-Man was established for me from those sources as an awesome barbarian hero. I expected the cartoon to be similar.

    I wasn't expecting Prince Adam, who spoke in a high voice and wore a pink shirt and purple tights. Definitely not cool to six year old me. I definitely didn't like Orko - he was too goofy, and I didn't think of MOTU as goofy. I wanted MOTU to be awesome, and these two guys weren't awesome. I did like the transformation sequence though, and most elements of the rest of the show.

    Imagine my chagrin when I got both figures as presents in 1984.

  8. #8
    Heroic Warrior sircory-1's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure my first vintage figure was Skeletor and I just remember being absolutely fascinated by an action figure that had a skull for a face. Although I was aware of the Filmation cartoon at the time, I never really watched it when it originally aired because I couldn't get home from Kindergarten in time to see it. Thus, I had no idea who Adam was, but for some reason I figured out who Orko is and my parents bought me Orko. I remember a friend of mine showing me his Prince Adam figure and I was both confused and shocked. Why did he look so much like He Man and how was it that I never heard of him before?

    I never really understood the concept of "waves" of action figures as a child and although my parents let me collect a lot of MOTU (all of the first wave, some of the 2nd wave), I wasn't really exposed to any of these until I saw them sitting on pegs in stores. Thus I have very strong memories of going to Target and seeing the latest MOTU figures - most of which were complete surprises to me. It was often the highlight of my entire week.

    For some reason, I don't remember reading the Alcala mini comics that much as a child, but after recollecting them as an adult and reading them I do remember a majority of the artwork. So it must have been the artwork that pulled me in and not the stories at the time. Although, I do remember really enjoying listening to the stories on records (like the one that came with Point Dread) and tapes and practically having those memorized since I listened to them so much.
    Last edited by sircory-1; January 22, 2015 at 09:18am.

  9. #9
    Human Mutant Power! carlo's Avatar
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    all i remember when me n my brother saw these figures that they were very cool looking and begged our mom to buy them for us. we didn't see them or notice them until early 83, a yr after they were released. by then a few of the second wave had been released and we had them all by summer 83
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  10. #10
    Midwestern She-Raver Salamandra's Avatar
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    Had the toys well before the cartoon ever came out. I got Teela first, then Skeletor and Panthor. There definitely wasn't a full stock of MOTU toys at the store, so it seemed to come out in dribs and drabs. I was very excited to get a female action figure that wasn't Barbie-doll pink with shoes that would inevitably get lost on the first trek outdoors.

    I remember thinking that the cardbacks were very cool and that I wanted everything on the cardback. I loved the toys and the mini-comics, especially the monsters. I was a little disappointed with the cartoon - it seemed so much sillier and fluffier than the toys actually were.

  11. #11
    Clown Prince of Darkness Benedict Judas Hel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The All American View Post
    What were your expectations for Masters of the Universe in the beginning, in 1981/1982?
    None. I was just a dumb kid.
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  12. #12
    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Arkangel's Avatar
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    I was born in 83 and didn't really mind the show, all i saw was moving action figures <3

  13. #13
    Queen of the evil Horde AlexisLasek's Avatar
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    I had none as I was only a kid (Born in July 1978), but I do remember hating the original mini-comics (OO-Lar) as they were mini story books and were imo even then stupid. Now, I still prefer Filmation over the "OO-Lar" era, but I thought 200X was the best in story.
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  14. #14
    Heroic Warrior kevin's Avatar
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    this is a great thread idea, both for the nostalgia factor, and for its under-the-surface call for some perspective in our modern collecting mindsets. truly.
    my first figures received were from my grandmother for Christmas, and I did not know they existed prior to. The three I initially received were Man-At-Arms, Skeletor, and Mekaneck (so, I am pretty sure this was Christmas 1983.) Reading those first mini-comics really got my little mind going as to how to play with the toys, and seeing the cross-sells on the back of the package and comics made me instantly yearn for MORE! I didn't know anything about "waves", but I vividly remember going routinely with grandma to the Gold Circle Mall to see if we could find any "new guys." not sure of any order I got them in thereafter, but I remember next getting a couple GoldenBooks, and shortly thereafter learning from TV Guide that a cartoon was going to be coming! excitedly rushed home from school each day to see it, and as new characters showed up on the toon, I had new wants for toys! (some of whom, like Lizard Man, I waited over 30 years for until finally getting THIS WEEK! lol.) it never really dawned on my young self that there were style and story discrepancies among the comics/books/cartoon... I just loved ALL of it. My bedroom BECAME Eternia as I grew up from there, and EVERY birthday, Christmas, etc from then on was dominated by MOTU!, right up until it all ended. Each new action feature gimmick had me SO excited and anticipating what they'd come up with next! I still recall putting the Eternia playset together with my dad on my grandparent's living room floor that Christmas. Vividly recall dad taking me to see the 1987 movie, and buying me the Marvel comic adaptation they were selling in the lobby (still have it!) Well, I still have ALL of my He-Man toys! Even after it had died, yet was still loved by me, I remember being in a Hills store and seeing the "He-Man" designation on some figures... my heart JUMPED at first, until I got a good look and it SANK! WHAT was this, and what had they done to my beloved hero and his friends? My mom came over and I can still hear her say "that's not He-Man." (I never knew of the NA toon until being grown, and I have since gone back and gotten the entire toon collection and all the original toy characters and Starship Eternia and Nordor, and NOW love them for what they are.)
    Anyway, I got a bit off topic I suppose, but this thread made it fun to reminisce back to the very beginning!

  15. #15
    Heroic Warrior
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevin View Post
    Well, I still have ALL of my He-Man toys! !
    Wow that is a feather in your cap . Which survived , which look like dogs breakfast and which ones look brand new ?
    Last edited by MOLKROM; January 27, 2015 at 02:57am.

  16. #16
    Heroic Warrior kevin's Avatar
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    to be honest, nearly everything survived in pretty fantastic shape, since I was anal and careful, even as a kid! (sometimes even now thinking back to just how much I loved and routinely played with this stuff, I'm amazed at the condition it's all in on my shelves!)
    every single figure's legs are still attached, and really only about 4 are so wobbly that it becomes a chore to get them to stand. I also still have all accessories, except moss man's club! lol. (but, I bought a replacement on ebay.)
    every single thing (vehicle, snake mountain, eternia, beam blaster and artilleray, etc) that operates on batteries still works!
    the "casualties" are: I was missing the radar atop talon fighter (got a replacement from here on the org!), my grayskull is missing the weapons rack and weapons for some reason; parts of the fright zone tree, and the Tyrantisaurus gun had broken off (and I had to superglue them back on), and some mice got into the storage and took refuge in my snake mountain, so the stickers on the floor were all chewed up and there is a very slight chew mark on the one corner of the one bottom plastic shell.
    but that's really about it, amazingly. I had every single thing ever released in the 80s (grandma spoiled me rotten!) except for the giants, the laser lights, and a few meteorbs and terror claws skeletor (all of which I have now acquired and thus completed the collection as an adult), and every single thing is on display in my basement!
    thanks for asking!

    Quote Originally Posted by MOLKROM View Post
    Wow that a feather in your cap . Which survived , which look like dogs breakfast and which ones look brand new ?

  17. #17
    Heroic Warrior InThe80s's Avatar
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    He-Man was part of my life for as long as I can remember. There were no expectations. I have vague memories of getting He-Man toys for Christmas without ever asking for them in 1983. I feel like I went from watching Sesame Street right into He-Man and never looked back. I was so wowed and awestruck by the toys and the cartoon series that no other franchise could excite me like He-Man. Still to this day 30+ years later nothing could match the power that He-Man had over me. Everything recent just feels like a disappointment and a let down.

  18. #18
    Heroic Warrior Poweron's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure that my first exposure to MoTU was the Castle Grayskull commercial with the Dad playing with his kids (the one where Beast Man falls through the trap door). I must have been about 8 years old at the time, and when I saw how cool these toys were I asked for as many as I could get.

    My best friend at the time was super into them too, and we collected it all. I remember building a house on top of my desk in my bedroom to represent MAA's house in the wilderness; He-Man kept Battlecat in a cage; and to me both Beast Man and Mer-Man were just representations of some generic group of characters (a Beast Man and a Mer-Man). He-Man killed a Beast Man almost every time Skeletor attacked Grayskull (which was a cardboard box made to look like the Castle until I could get the real deal). Wasn't aware of the "waves" just excited when new stuff came out.

    I remember the DC Comics first as any new media beyond the mini-comics. Filmation didn't surprise me too much with the Prince Adam idea, because I saw it there first. My friend and I were super excited to hear of the upcoming cartoon series, and when we watched the first episode to air (starts out with He-Man saving a couple of nobodies in what's apparently supposed to be an Attak Trak (?) from an exploding volcano - can't remember exactly what episode that was). It was okay, but we were a little bit flummoxed. Filmation both delighted and angered us as it wore on. It was cool to see the action figures in cartoon form and have a fun show to watch, but everytime someone like Lizard Man, Negator, Jarvan, Ileena, General Tataran, or any other brand new character appeared I could only remember being frustrated that they were making new characters when so many toys had yet to appear as characters.

    I stuck it through, and was rewarded in Season 2 with many of the toys finally making it on-screen, but by then it was wrapping up and turning into She-Ra. I saw Secret of the Sword in the cinema and liked it well enough, but I don't think I made it to the end of the She-Ra cartoon - they took the goofy elements that ran sort of underneath the He-Man cartoon and blew them up all over She-Ra. By then, the story wasn't really going anywhere except for a hint of a future and final battle in the Star Comics and the Dolph Lundgren movie. I think even He-Man magazine was hinting at a similar story. I was about 14 years old at that point. That was what I wanted.

    I wanted the story to go into the future and tell us the final fates of many of the characters. I wanted the ultimate, final battle between Hordak and She-Ra. The revelation of the magical secrets of Grayskull. Skeletor's ultimate fate. A retired He-Man and an Eternia that was dealing with it all. Instead, the line just fizzled. New Adventures came in under the radar, however, and tried to do much of that, but by then it was too late - and it missed the mark. I was 16 and Marvel Comics had grabbed my imagination.
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  19. #19
    Heroic Warrior Jox's Avatar
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    I remember seeing the commercial on TV (with the gregorian "He-Man, He-Man"!) and the toys at the store (can't remember which was first), with my mom being a little disdainous about it (like it's ugly or too violent or something). That did a big first impression on me and I didn't forget.

    Then later came the cartoon and that was it, I was hooked, and since it was rather inoffensive, my mom got into it as well and it became no big deal.

    Then I had to wait months to get the He-Man and Skeletor figures for my birthday... When I got them the mini-comics also did a big impression on me and that's still what is the real MOTU myth for me (as well as the film but that's another story).

    I'm from 1979 by the way (but the toys didn't come to France before 1983 or something I guess...
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benedict Judas Hel View Post
    None. I was just a dumb kid.
    Same here. It's amazing how many of the minute nit picks that we adults notice all the time that as I kid I never even noticed. Like parts reuse. It never even occurred to me that Faker was a waste of money because he was just a recolored He-man... he was a totally different character. Same with panther and Battle Cat. The biggest one was Moss man and Beast Man... I had broken beast man a few year prior I guess... but when I got Moss man I NEVER noticed the reuse on him... like, not for 30 years till I joined this website... It blew my mind.

    My earliest memory of MOTU was seeing Castle Grayskull at a local store. I knew NOTHING about he-man. No commercials... nothing. Just that box art that looked AMAZING. I had never 'collected' a toy line before. I had a lot of little things like dumpsters and farm toys and things... but this was the first and coolest MUST HAVE that I can remember.

    Mom made an agreement with me that if I sold some of the toys I didn't play with at the upcoming rummage sale, I could get it... and I rmemeber pestering every potential customer to come look at the toys if they had kids....

    When I finally got it... I was a bit bummed out because my Tonka or little people or some oddly proportioned construction workers and dump truck drivers didn't fit in the throne... so mom and dad took me to Toys R us to find 'the real' figures. Man at arms and He-man were the only two there. everything else was sold out apparently. I got almost all of the first 8/12 back for Christmas and somewhere in there I got the early vehicles too.. Zoar, Attak Trak, Wind Raider, Battle Ram....

    It was a glorious time. I think Screech, Faker and Stratos are about the only ones I didn't have for the first 3-4 waves/years. Not until battle armor and variants did I start getting hit and miss.

  21. #21
    Master of Physics VZX's Avatar
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    Well, I was born in 1974, so I do remember having the figures well before I even heard about the cartoon. I only had Man-at-arms and He-man for a while, but I loved the Alcala mini comic and read and re-read it countless times. I absolutely loved them as they were my first exposure to a fantasy/sword & sorcery type of setting and I've been a huge fan ever since. My expectations were not much, only that I wanted the rest of the characters and Grayskull. I first heard about the cartoon when it was mentioned during an episode of Bozo the Clown.
    And then after watching the cartoon I was just so jazzed that I was watching an animated He-man show. But after a while I realized that the show was not the same as the early mini comics, and was more for little kids. It lost that edge.
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  22. #22
    Heroic Warrior Palazzolor's Avatar
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    I was born in 1977 and I would say I probably started collecting them in 1983. I had no expectations as a young kid but I know I watched the cartoon first. When my mom saw how much I loved it, she started buying me the figures. My mom was really good at keeping a checklist of what I had too. I was only missing 25 items from that whole vintage collection. If I remember correctly, He-man, Skeletor and Man-at-Arms were my first 3 figures. I remember sticking pins in He-mans face and then asking my mom if she'd go back to the store to get me another He-man (back then you could go to Toys R Us or Children's Palace and you'd have a good chance at finding the figure you wanted). Very hesitatingly, she agreed but said that if I ever did that again to any of my figures she'd never buy me another one again. She taught me to take care of them when I was done playing. Oh, I drew a moustache on Man-at-Arms too but I think I had to keep that one...lol I can still remember how or where I received certain figures. Anyway, they were my favorite toy line then and these new ones are my favorite now. It would be nice if the fun spirit of collecting was still there like it was back then but high prices, online sales and secondary market sales pretty much killed that. It's just something we all have to make the best of unfortunately. I wish I would have stopped my dad from throwing my vintage collection out but who knew back then that I'd still be a collector today.

  23. #23
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    I had NO expectations. I was not even exposed to commercials yet. Most of my time was focused on playing with the figures, collecting any figure or accessory on the back of the mini-comics, and reading the mini-comics over and over.

    The cartoon is the thing that set expectations later on: I was longing for Orko, Adam, The Sorceress, and King + Queen.

  24. #24
    Heroic Warrior HarryCanyon's Avatar
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  25. #25
    Heroic Warrior Chris85's Avatar
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    I wasn't even born then :-) When the show was sold on VHS in early 90s and I was introduced to it, I had no idea there were toys and any other merchandise accompanying the show.

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