In a world of movie tie-ins and "cinematic universes", it's easy to forget that the transmedia trend began with He-Man. From his creation in 1982, the blond, sci-fi barbarian battled his way across toy store shelves, the pages of comic books, the pixels of video games, multiple animated series, and even a Hollywood movie. Along the way, he changed the way we were entertained: the beloved cartoon He-Man and the Masters of the Universe was the first animated series based on an action figure, and the 1987's cult classic Masters of the UniverseÃ‚ (starring Dolph Lundgren and future Academy Award nominee Frank Langella) was the first time a toy became a live-action feature film. But this new ground was not broken easily. He-Man faced adversaries more dangerous than Skeletor: entertainment lawyers, shady Hollywood executives, and even the Reagan administration.
This sly and scholarly book breaks down the history of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, from the characters' contentious creation to their big screen breakthrough and beyond. The heroes and villains of Eternia did more than shape the childhoods of the toy-buying public, they also introduced the modern landscape of entertainment.
How He-Man Mastered the Universe: Toy to Television to the Big Screen is an unofficial guide from McFarland Books, and is due on shelves in early 2017. The cover was provided by forum member Eamon O'Donoghue. Brian C. Baer is a lifelong He-Man fan and pop culture writer from Spokane, Washington. His first novel, Bad Publicity, was published in 2015. He can be found on Twitter @briancbaer
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