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Thread: Hostile Makeover: The Man Who Hijacked Masters of the Universe

  1. #201
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantom1592 View Post
    Honestly, I think Scott's bios had more soul and passion than anything that came before for sure. There was a LOT of research, and a drive to combine every continuity into one cohesive narrative. Admittedly "I" didn't like some of it... okay, a lot of it... and I would have preferred a more 'tech spec' concept detailing each character and their powers rather than pushing the narrative... but whatever you want to say, that doesn't happen without 'passion'. It would have been a LOT easier to only pick one continuity or just make up your own... but there was a lot of work put into that.

    As for the original teams... My all time favorite quote from 'The Toys that Made Us' was regarding Battle Cat.

    Boss man #1: Use the tiger from Big Jim.

    Dude #2: Have you seen it? It's too big. It's as big as a horse

    Bossman #1: Then put a #&@#^@^ Saddle on it then!!


    Yeah, not a lot of 'soul' back then. Especially when I read the interview from teh author of the first 4 mini-comics... Bitter dude who couldn't understand why anyone would care about this crap 30 years later. He wrote it, forgot it, and moved on to something else immediately after. As a fan from the first releases... pre-filmation was always my favorite minicomics... and that was very depressing to read.







    I think the problem is that Adult Collector's are not 'nothing'... and whether it's between 1% and 20% but they absolutely are a whole lot less than they they think they are.

    Even on these forums there is a lot of entitlement and screaming that kids don't buy toys, Adults have the money, so cater to them!!

    Hyperbole or not, Sometimes they need to have it pointed out just how small their influence really is.
    I genuinely believe adults are enough to keep major lines going. Look at Origins with it's somewhat obscure but now mainstream repaints making up wave numbers. It's the same with store exclusives and endless Transformers fan channel repaints. McFarlane's entire catalogue almost. Same with NECA's multiple genre lines. The collector market is so obviously growing year on year. I don't believe the influence is small any more, not at all. Hasbro, Mattel, Mcfarlane and NECA all have direct to consumer sites now to align with what goes to stores. They all engage with the fans through livestreams, social media, interviews... the Internet changed everything.

  2. #202
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    Im listening to this now in the background and man RB is painful to listen to. What happened to the sarcastic dude that showed how he repaired old toys?
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  3. #203
    Heroic Warrior Lich Leech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoffman View Post

    The only difference between those and Scott's bios is that you like one and you don't like the other. The original teams didn't have any more soul or passion for it than Scott did. They were doing a job.
    I think Mark Taylor was the exception. He was really passionate about it, often working all night on MOTU. Another Mattel designer (Colin Bailey) even did a sketch showing Mark exhausted after working on his "dark project."

    Rudy Obrero said this about Mark:

    "I don’t remember the conversations [with Mark Taylor about the MOTU line] but I remember the feeling I got. I left there thinking this guy is really into it. He’s really into this. And that’s why I always thought he created it. It just felt like it was his baby."

    For just about everyone else, yeah, it was a paycheck.

  4. #204
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    Quote Originally Posted by JVS3 View Post

    Before ever going to comic conventions, I remember being told "Never meet your heroes." In a way, that's proven a bit true when it comes to stuff like this. Finding out so many creators (not all, but many) just did things for a paycheck and have no actual attachment to the things I love can be a kick in the pants. But, that's just how it is. It was my choice to mistakenly assume they loved these creations as much as I do.

    I think it's because whenever I create anything... I love it like a child. Even the paint/toy/game etc that kind of sucks... I still love it because I made it.

    Really a kick to the gut to find others didn't

  5. #205
    Loco Motu Vato ehenyo's Avatar
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    Is Scott making Classics again?
    "I wouldn't be surprised if this movie has Adam as a skinny nerd from Earth battling another skinny nerd-hacker from Earth that used an alias of Keldor. They then enter Tron-style to a cyber world called Eternia, where they control muscle-bound avatars to battle (called He-Man and Skeletor). And these same avatars come to life and continue to battle in present-day Earth." - VZX

  6. #206
    Heroic Warrior Stygian360's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lich Leech View Post
    I think Mark Taylor was the exception. He was really passionate about it, often working all night on MOTU. Another Mattel designer (Colin Bailey) even did a sketch showing Mark exhausted after working on his "dark project."

    Rudy Obrero said this about Mark:

    "I don’t remember the conversations [with Mark Taylor about the MOTU line] but I remember the feeling I got. I left there thinking this guy is really into it. He’s really into this. And that’s why I always thought he created it. It just felt like it was his baby."

    For just about everyone else, yeah, it was a paycheck.
    Scott N. had a whole video devoted to the idea that MOTU was actually more of a group effort with many cooks, even in the gestation phase. Sure Roger named the barbarian-esque character He-man and the then head of Mattel was quoted as saying "those have the power" in regards to Roger's designs, but Scott alludes to the fact that more than likely Roger borrowed his ideas from drawings he was seeing from Mark Taylor and probably even the design work that was ongoing at the time for the Conan movie and Jack Kirby New Gods as a toy line.

    That said ultimately boiling it down to just Roger Sweet and Mark Taylor is unfair as although Mark was the designer, and as you mention Leech he poured his heart and soul into those designs, there were so many others besides who really 'made' He-man. When I first became aware of the controversy around who actually created He-man I did my research and even read Roger's book, but fast forward many years and I don't see a clear single creator. Everything added to the whole and without marketing, design, and the story creators you have a barbarian concept with some sci-fi thrown in to appeal to the Star Wars zeitgeist of the era.

    Quote Originally Posted by ehenyo View Post
    Is Scott making Classics again?
    I can't tell if you're being serious, but if you are that's a likely huge no. Not only has he been sharing the secret formula for Coca-Cola (i.e., his time with Mattel) for months now via his YouTube channel to create content, but as I understand it he was pretty much driven out of Mattel. That last part could be conjecture or outright false, but regardless I don't see him being involved in anything Mattel perhaps ever again. Just my two cents.
    Last edited by Stygian360; September 30, 2021 at 10:07am.
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  7. #207
    Heroic Warrior Durendal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lich Leech View Post
    I think Mark Taylor was the exception. He was really passionate about it, often working all night on MOTU. Another Mattel designer (Colin Bailey) even did a sketch showing Mark exhausted after working on his "dark project."

    Rudy Obrero said this about Mark:

    "I don’t remember the conversations [with Mark Taylor about the MOTU line] but I remember the feeling I got. I left there thinking this guy is really into it. He’s really into this. And that’s why I always thought he created it. It just felt like it was his baby."

    For just about everyone else, yeah, it was a paycheck.
    Mark Taylor is the one that stands out. Even a brief glance at his many sketches in the early days of MOTU clearly indicate that the whole damn thing was essentially his baby. His designs and vision are the heart and soul of the brand, and permeate it to its core to this very day.

  8. #208
    Heroic Warrior Lich Leech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stygian360 View Post
    Scott N. had a whole video devoted to the idea that MOTU was actually more of a group effort with many cooks, even in the gestation phase. Sure Roger named the barbarian-esque character He-man and the then head of Mattel was quoted as saying "those have the power" in regards to Roger's designs, but Scott alludes to the fact that more than likely Roger borrowed his ideas from drawings he was seeing from Mark Taylor and probably even the design work that was ongoing at the time for the Conan movie and Jack Kirby New Gods as a toy line.

    That said ultimately boiling it down to just Roger Sweet and Mark Taylor is unfair as although Mark was the designer, and as you mention Leech he poured his heart and soul into those designs, there were so many others besides who really 'made' He-man. When I first became aware of the controversy around who actually created He-man I did my research and even read Roger's book, but fast forward many years and I don't see a clear single creator. Everything added to the whole and without marketing, design, and the story creators you have a barbarian concept with some sci-fi thrown in to appeal to the Star Wars zeitgeist of the era.
    It's interesting, because in old (15 year old) interviews Roger actually admits that Mark designed the costume for his He-Man prototype. I mean without the costume design, is it really He-Man? Or just a Big Jim doll with extra muscles?

    He-Man more than any other first wave figure probably had more input from people other than Mark - regarding the build, the action feature, the name and hair color.

    Castle Grayskull was all Mark's design, but a few others, including Roger Sweet, worked on the patent for the trap door mechanism.

    All in all I would say wave 1 of MOTU is mainly down to Mark Taylor, Tony Guerrero, Ted Mayer and Jim Openshaw, with some important ancillary (I say ancillary but the business end is important too) contributions by Roger Sweet, Derek Gable, Mark Ellis, and others. But as far as visual design goes, it's 89% Mark Taylor for that first wave, 10% Ted Mayer, and 1% everyone else (based on my research of course).

    Of course packaging was critical too, so Rudy Obrero and Bob Nall were very important too. But even then Mark provided some direction for that (his original job was packaging design).

    ETA: can't forget Alcala and Glut for the comics as well!
    Last edited by Lich Leech; September 30, 2021 at 02:11pm.

  9. #209
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lich Leech View Post
    It's interesting, because in old (15 year old) interviews Roger actually admits that Mark designed the costume for his He-Man prototype. I mean without the costume design, is it really He-Man? Or just a Big Jim doll with extra muscles?

    Interesting concept... What makes He-man, He-man? For me the costume was a big part... but Even by Filmation that Costume was gone and has been altered a dozen times over and never seen again. There were so many knock offs that the basic concept and figure shape doesn't 'make it He-man'...

    For me it's the Lore and the 'world' The Anything goes world of Eternia which combined Sci-fi and Barbarians... and eventually ninjas and space cowboys.. But that giant 'anything and everything fits' really made the toyline for me...

    And of course Castle Grayskull That original Box Art was the most amazing thing my 5 year old eyes had ever seen and I had to have it.

    So really, for me the true 'creators' of He-man were the mini comics (I wanna say Donald Glut?) and Rudy Obrero. Designs are one thing... but it's the story that sparks the imagination and makes the property unique and come alive Otherwise you end up with the Galaxy Warriors or Warlord figures..

  10. #210
    Heroic Warrior Stygian360's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lich Leech View Post
    It's interesting, because in old (15 year old) interviews Roger actually admits that Mark designed the costume for his He-Man prototype. I mean without the costume design, is it really He-Man? Or just a Big Jim doll with extra muscles?

    He-Man more than any other first wave figure probably had more input from people other than Mark - regarding the build, the action feature, the name and hair color.

    Castle Grayskull was all Mark's design, but a few others, including Roger Sweet, worked on the patent for the trap door mechanism.

    All in all I would say wave 1 of MOTU is mainly down to Mark Taylor, Tony Guerrero, Ted Mayer and Jim Openshaw, with some important ancillary (I say ancillary but the business end is important too) contributions by Roger Sweet, Derek Gable, Mark Ellis, and others. But as far as visual design goes, it's 89% Mark Taylor for that first wave, 10% Ted Mayer, and 1% everyone else (based on my research of course).

    Of course packaging was critical too, so Rudy Obrero and Bob Nall were very important too. But even then Mark provided some direction for that (his original job was packaging design).

    ETA: can't forget Alcala and Glut for the comics as well!

    I agree with everything you said about Mark Taylor. In fact after watching TTTMU ep re: TMNT, and seeing Mark's input into that first wave of TMNT figures in the 90's, you can clearly see he has an eye for 'toyetic' design and should even receive the lion's share of the credit for those early He-man designs. However, you make my point with the rest of what you said as you went down a nice list of names that contributed to the whole. All true and accurate-- and even from the mouths of those involved-- but still doesn't discount that He-man was literally about the team and not just one lone dude calling the shots and making He-man 'stick' in children's hearts. You've got the bare bones designs, the name He-man, the mini-comics thanks to marketing, the cartoon thanks to marketing and Filmation, and on and on. I won't labor over ever aspect as there are far better on this very messageboard to do that, but the broad strokes say to me... group effort almost from the jump.
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  11. #211
    Heroic Warrior Durendal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantom1592 View Post
    Interesting concept... What makes He-man, He-man? For me the costume was a big part... but Even by Filmation that Costume was gone and has been altered a dozen times over and never seen again. There were so many knock offs that the basic concept and figure shape doesn't 'make it He-man'...

    For me it's the Lore and the 'world' The Anything goes world of Eternia which combined Sci-fi and Barbarians... and eventually ninjas and space cowboys.. But that giant 'anything and everything fits' really made the toyline for me...

    And of course Castle Grayskull That original Box Art was the most amazing thing my 5 year old eyes had ever seen and I had to have it.

    So really, for me the true 'creators' of He-man were the mini comics (I wanna say Donald Glut?) and Rudy Obrero. Designs are one thing... but it's the story that sparks the imagination and makes the property unique and come alive Otherwise you end up with the Galaxy Warriors or Warlord figures..
    Didn't Earl Norem do some of the box art?

  12. #212
    Heroic Warrior Lich Leech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantom1592 View Post
    Interesting concept... What makes He-man, He-man? For me the costume was a big part... but Even by Filmation that Costume was gone and has been altered a dozen times over and never seen again. There were so many knock offs that the basic concept and figure shape doesn't 'make it He-man'...

    For me it's the Lore and the 'world' The Anything goes world of Eternia which combined Sci-fi and Barbarians... and eventually ninjas and space cowboys.. But that giant 'anything and everything fits' really made the toyline for me...

    And of course Castle Grayskull That original Box Art was the most amazing thing my 5 year old eyes had ever seen and I had to have it.

    So really, for me the true 'creators' of He-man were the mini comics (I wanna say Donald Glut?) and Rudy Obrero. Designs are one thing... but it's the story that sparks the imagination and makes the property unique and come alive Otherwise you end up with the Galaxy Warriors or Warlord figures..
    Right. By relying on Roger's words I'm trying to make the most charitable case that Mark was the primary designer. But from both Mark Taylor and Ted Mayer's words, it was Roger who came by Mark's cubicle looking for ideas, saw Mark's personal artwork hanging on his cubical walls, and decided to use it to pitch a new line to his bosses. Roger didn't actually run the line until after Mark quit - then Roger took over starting with the 1983 line of figures.

    Story is important, although I'd say in the early years a lot of the story was mainly communicated by the artwork and the designs for the figures themselves. Some of Mark's story ideas did make it into the minicomics, although most of them did not. I know for me, I mainly relied on pictures at the time, so my sources for story were Alfredo Alcala, Rudy Obrero and the figures themselves.

    All of this is kind of a tangent - originally I was just saying not everyone involved in the creation of MOTU was just doing it for a paycheck - it was a passion project for Mark, the principal visual designer.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Durendal View Post
    Didn't Earl Norem do some of the box art?
    No, he did poster art. William George did a lot of the box art from 1984 onward.

  13. #213
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    153F68BD-910B-4EB7-8807-D1469D85ADDB.jpeg

    Someone made this and I got quite a laugh out of it.
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  14. #214
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    Quote Originally Posted by hlinhk128 View Post
    153F68BD-910B-4EB7-8807-D1469D85ADDB.jpeg

    Someone made this and I got quite a laugh out of it.
    hahahaha accurate.
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  15. #215
    Über Fan Adam_Prince of Eternia's Avatar
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    I have not been happier that I unsubscribed.

  16. #216
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    I like how his "evidence" was hand written quotes with "conspiracy theory guy with red string" lines all over it.
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  17. #217
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    I feel we were simply lucky enough to have had someone who cared enough about, and to carry the torch of this brand through the darkness for the decade plus that it lasted…and we all true fans would’ve done the same or something similar.

    So thank you Scott. Nuff said.

    – No comment.

  18. #218
    Heroic Warrior Durendal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neutro View Post
    I feel we were simply lucky enough to have had someone who cared enough about, and to carry the torch of this brand through the darkness for the decade plus that it lasted…and we all true fans would’ve done the same or something similar.

    So thank you Scott. Nuff said.

    If I had been the brand manager, I would have stuck around to ensure the entire roadmap got fulfilled. There's no way I would have trusted anyone else at the company to pick up the slack and see the project through to completion in my absence. There's too many missing gaps. Classics is the MOTU equivalent of Schubert's Unfinished Symphony - it's great and extremely impressive as is, but nevertheless lacks key elements.

  19. #219
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam_Prince of Eternia View Post
    It also inadvertently proves Neitlich's point that if it was profitable, an entity would have already identified the opportunity, and filled that void. It currently does not exist, because no one has found a way to make money doing it.
    Scott missed the killer blow by simply not asking Michael why he didn't create such a company since he considers it such a guaranteed money maker.

  20. #220
    Heroic Warrior Rikki Roxx's Avatar
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    I think it's perfectly reasonable for anyone, at this point, to be both grateful for what the guy did Then and still annoyed by the way he conducts himself Now.

    Like Then, he maybe was a true "superfan" who lucked into a dream gig and did his best to give all the other "superfans" what they wanted. That's fine.

    But NOW? He comes off as a bitter ex with a vindictive streak and an ax to grind. Like if Mattel were a woman, he'd be all over her FB, sending PMs to anyone who Likes her status saying "You know she picks her nose and eats it, right? Just figured you should know." That's the guy he is Now.

    One doesn't necessarily have to overshadow or supersede the other. I, personally, live in Right Now and so am inclined to care more about Right Now Behavior. But am I grateful for his contributions Then? Absolutely.

    I just wish that Right Now, he wasn't coming off like such a petulant child at times. I have no idea what went into the "divorce" between he and Mattel, but it clearly wasn't good and he's clearly still not over it.

    I'm not even subscribed to the dude, I've watched ONE video he ever made, but his videos about "Why MOTU Sucks Now/Is Failing" are constantly in my recommendations and it's super annoying.
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  21. #221
    Heroic Warrior Mark M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rikki Roxx View Post
    I'm not even subscribed to the dude, I've watched ONE video he ever made, but his videos about "Why MOTU Sucks Now/Is Failing" are constantly in my recommendations and it's super annoying.
    I recall Scott did a video talking about bad descissions with various action figure lines but he didn't mention any MOTUC or DCUC figures.

  22. #222
    Heroic Warrior Rikki Roxx's Avatar
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    I missed DCUC when they were fresh. I only started buying any a few months ago, I like 'em fine. I mean, I definitely don't like how many of them are $200+ on eBay. But as figures I really like them.

    I missed any controversy/scuttlebutt. Enlighten me, what were people mad about with DCUC back then? Just curious.
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  23. #223
    Heroic Warrior Mark M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rikki Roxx View Post
    I missed DCUC when they were fresh. I only started buying any a few months ago, I like 'em fine. I mean, I definitely don't like how many of them are $200+ on eBay. But as figures I really like them.

    I missed any controversy/scuttlebutt. Enlighten me, what were people mad about with DCUC back then? Just curious.
    There were lots of things but mostly distribution issues, quality control and some really questionable sculpts and paint on some characters.

  24. #224
    Heroic Warrior Rikki Roxx's Avatar
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    So "the usual", then.

    The Toys R Us over here used to be filthy with the damn things. I was only collecting wrestling figures in that moment except for DC Direct, which I was really big into, so I had no impetus to pick up the DCUC figures at that time. Like everything else, I got interested in it way too late and now I'm literally paying for it.

    You can imagine how often I've cursed myself out for not buying that damn Robin figure for ten bucks or whatever when I had the chance. IT WAS IN MY HAND, DAWG!!!
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  25. #225
    Heroic Warrior Mark M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rikki Roxx View Post
    So "the usual", then.

    The Toys R Us over here used to be filthy with the damn things. I was only collecting wrestling figures in that moment except for DC Direct, which I was really big into, so I had no impetus to pick up the DCUC figures at that time. Like everything else, I got interested in it way too late and now I'm literally paying for it.

    You can imagine how often I've cursed myself out for not buying that damn Robin figure for ten bucks or whatever when I had the chance. IT WAS IN MY HAND, DAWG!!!
    They were at retail here in the UK. I bought a Superman and when it arrive it had two right knees. Shazam's face sculpt and proportions also looked really odd. And that's juts some of the ones i bought.

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