28 November 2010

Memories #30 - The saga of Trap Jaw and Tri-Klops!

In an effort to make a note of all my He-Man and She-Ra childhood memories I've decided that every once in a while I will make reference to them here! There is no particular order to these; just amusing little anecdotes from years gone by.

If you were to mention to my father the names of Trap Jaw and Tri-Klops no doubt the first thing he will recall is how impossible those two action figures were to obtain! Strangely, even though our local toy store Jennings had pretty much every single Masters of the Universe figure, Trap Jaw and Tri-Klops were rarely ever stocked; or simply sold out incredibly fast! Eventually we had to travel an hour or so away to a toy store in Potters Bar, just outside of London. When we arrived at the toy store I remember being overjoyed upon seeing both Trap Jaw and Tri-Klops in stock. This may be why the two of them became my favorite villains in the Filmation cartoon...

27 November 2010

Memories #29 - That's what I call timing...

In an effort to make a note of all my He-Man and She-Ra childhood memories I've decided that every once in a while I will make reference to them here! There is no particular order to these; just amusing little anecdotes from years gone by.

My parents would take me on holiday once a year, but I was always concerned whether or not I would miss an episode of He-Man. One time in particular I remember being worried that we would not make it home in time to see the latest episode. My brother Shaun had already started recording the episode when we arrived home, but the episode was already more than halfway through. Amazingly when I switched on the television I was greeted by the image of Prince Adam stood in front of Eternia's two moons preparing to raise the Sword of Power. Yes, I somehow timed my arrival to coincide with one of the greatest moments in the history of the cartoon!


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25 November 2010

Memories #28 - Thief!

In an effort to make a note of all my He-Man and She-Ra childhood memories I've decided that every once in a while I will make reference to them here! There is no particular order to these; just amusing little anecdotes from years gone by.

Our local toy store Jennings not only sold all those wonderful Masters of the Universe action figures, but also the books published by Ladybird. I remember going into Jennings one day and seeing that Ladybird were now publishing She-Ra books! I was so excited when I picked up "She-Ra and the Dark Pool" and saw that it featured He-Man! In excitement I raced out of the shop with the book still in hand and ran up to my father, who was in another shop, and asked him if I could buy it! I was of course blissfully unaware that I had just committed a theft! My father looked at me with an expression of shock and horror and raced me back to the shop with the book. Luckily the shop owners knew that I was not a thief and my father promptly paid for the book. Oops...


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19 November 2010

Memories #27 - Jennings...

In an effort to make a note of all my He-Man and She-Ra childhood memories I've decided that every once in a while I will make reference to them here! There is no particular order to these; just amusing little anecdotes from years gone by.

When I was a kid our local toy store Jennings was by far my most favorite place to visit. It was a very small, very traditional shop, but it was absolutely packed out with all the latest toys! Their Masters of the Universe display was not a display as such, but a rack that awkwardly divided the tiny shop. This rack in particular was loaded with Masters of the Universe figures to the point that if you were to try and grab one, you would have to quite literally wade through the dense forestry of the other carded figures! It was always a nice surprise to venture into the shop only to see a new wave of figures I knew nothing about. Remember folks, this was before the days of the Internet. I remember walking in one day and suddenly there was Dragon Blaster Skeletor, Moss Man, Spikor, Sy-Klone, Thunderpunch He-Man, Two Bad, etc. The first thing I would always do is look at the back of the cards to see the other new figures that were available. In late 1996 I actually went back to Jennings for the first time in years and purchased numerous carded Masters of the Universe figures. I wish I had a photo of the Jennings toy store in the eighties. It was like a magical grotto!


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18 November 2010

"My Friend No More" #5

Here are the final three pages from the memorable story "My Friend No More", as seen in issue thirty-one of the UK Masters of the Universe comic. Check out the incredibly creative layout on page sixteen!


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17 November 2010

Memories #26 - First He-Man figure!

In an effort to make a note of all my He-Man and She-Ra childhood memories I've decided that every once in a while I will make reference to them here! There is no particular order to these; just amusing little anecdotes from years gone by.

Amazingly I have photographic evidence of my first Masters of the Universe action figure. I always tend to forget that I actually started buying the toys prior to the animated series airing in September of 1983. For some reason I took my first action figure, He-Man, on holiday in early 1983 when my family and I went to a wedding. Here is a photo that is a part of the family photo album; I kid you not!


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15 November 2010

The Snake Armor.

In my personal opinion one of the greatest things to come out of the 2002 Masters of the Universe toyline was He-Man's Snake Armor. Up until that point the in the toyline the He-Man figure variants had been pointless, and more than often just plain silly. Snake Armor He-Man not only served a purpose within the toyline, but creatively was one of the best-looking He-Man variants since the Masters of the Universe brand started in the early eighties! Usually I am not a fan of asymmetrical costume designs, but something about this costume worked incredibly well. While the cartoon gave the armor credibility, the toy itself was beautifully sculpted, and one of the few from that line that I actually wanted to own...


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14 November 2010

Memories #25 - Mattel book on show.

In an effort to make a note of all my He-Man and She-Ra childhood memories I've decided that every once in a while I will make reference to them here! There is no particular order to these; just amusing little anecdotes from years gone by.

Back in the day my local toy store really championed the Masters of the Universe toyline. Their display was nothing special, but they had a lot, and I do mean a lot, of the action figures, vehicles and playsets. One of the most interesting things they had on display was a book which was sadly not for sale. The cover featured the Masters of the Universe logo on a predominantly orange background. Inside were pictures of all the action figures released up to that point. Best of all though, many of them were actually prototypes and differed from the final designs. Over the years we have all seen the prototype images that appeared in the UK annual from 1984, but these were images of characters like Buzz-Off, Jitsu, Mekaneck, Webstor, Whiplash, etc. To this day I have never been able to find the book. I believe that this prototype of Jitsu, scanned by Emiliano Santalucia, was a part of the book. Maybe one day I will see it for sale somewhere...


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13 November 2010

"My Friend No More" #4

Here are pages twelve to fourteen from the memorable story "My Friend No More", as seen in issue thirty-one of the UK Masters of the Universe comic. As the story begins to reach its conclusion we are treated to a somewhat surprising cameo from a certain water-based Evil Warrior...


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10 November 2010

Memories #24 - Big battles!

In an effort to make a note of all my He-Man and She-Ra childhood memories I've decided that every once in a while I will make reference to them here! There is no particular order to these; just amusing little anecdotes from years gone by.

As a kid playing with the Masters of the Universe figures was pretty straightforward. In the early stages of buying the toys I would recreate the stories I saw in the early minicomics. Then when the cartoon began to air the characters took on a new lease of life. My older brother Gary made playing with the Masters of the Universe figures something special. Basically he and I would combine the Masters of the Universe figures with the Remco figures of Warlord and the Warrior Beasts. The decision was always made that these characters were no longer He-Man characters. My brother would divide up the characters into groups, but not groups that we were used to, but new groups entirely. For example he would pair up characters that had a certain look to them; so Fisto, Jitsu, and Trap Jaw were part of a "pirate gang". Eventually we would declare war and then all the characters would fight for literally about one to two hours! In the end only one character would be left standing, and rarely if ever was it He-Man...


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09 November 2010

Shocked Skeletor!

"Of Shadows and Skulls" from She-Ra's season one featured some unique moments of Skeletor-centric animation. It was as if the animators were overjoyed to be illustrating Skeletor once again, who was a favorite amongst the staff at Filmation. In this image you can see Skeletor looking so surprised that his hood almost falls away from his skull! I was always a fan of the somewhat comical expressions for Skeletor, even though by rights his skull should not express any emotion! Then again, Skeletor is a talking skull...


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08 November 2010

Memories #23 - Summer morning re-runs.

In an effort to make a note of all my He-Man and She-Ra childhood memories I've decided that every once in a while I will make reference to them here! There is no particular order to these; just amusing little anecdotes from years gone by.

As I have said before the He-Man series was only ever shown twice on terrestrial television. When the series was repeated it was pretty much always shown during the school holidays, which meant we had an episode for every day of the week Monday through Friday; something other countries were already quite familiar with! My favorite batch of reruns occurred when I left junior school, as we were treated to four weeks of He-Man episodes at 9.25 in the morning. This was actually when I began to record a lot of episodes onto VHS, as I never had a chance to record them the first time around. Funnily enough during the last week of school ITV had already begun to show the series once again, but I missed the first two days of episodes. I managed to catch the Wednesday episode "Ordeal in the Darklands" just by chance when I had the day off school. The same day my brother Gary came around and we had a big battle involving all the action figures. More on the big battles in the next memories post. I remember coming home from my last day of junior school on Friday the 22nd July 1988 and watching "Masks of Power"...


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07 November 2010

"My Friend No More" #3

Here are pages nine to eleven from the memorable story "My Friend No More", as seen in issue thirty-one of the UK Masters of the Universe comic. Be sure to look out for Modulok's style of fighting...


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04 November 2010

Memories #22 - He-Man returns in 1984!

In an effort to make a note of all my He-Man and She-Ra childhood memories I've decided that every once in a while I will make reference to them here! There is no particular order to these; just amusing little anecdotes from years gone by.

As the He-Man series was shown in the UK in batches, sometimes months would pass by without any episodes. For example even though the UK was the first country in the world to air the He-Man series, only four episodes actually aired during September of 1983, with no more episodes shown for the remainder of the year! Another batch of episodes aired between January and March of 1984 and then the series took another hiatus. Months later I recall seeing a preview on a kids show introduced by UK comedian Tony Slattery. The show previewed a clip of Prince Adam falling through the sky, transforming into He-Man, and saving a flying disc-like ship. On the 30th July 1984 the He-Man series started again and the first episode was "A Friend in Need", which featured the aforementioned scene.


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03 November 2010

Glimmer's crazy purple hair!

The She-Ra season one episode "Glimmer's Story" is by far one of the worst episodes of the entire series. This is often a depressing episode for me, as Glimmer is one of my favorite females from the She-Ra series; and visually one of my favorite character designs. So it becomes even harder to accept the episode when the script dictates that Glimmer's gorgeous pink locks should be replaced with a giant purple wig! Of course the gag is that the wig is supposed to look ridiculous, but the fact that it remains on her head for seventy-five percent of the episode does not help ease the pain!


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02 November 2010

Memories #21 - When Prince Adam appeared...

In an effort to make a note of all my He-Man and She-Ra childhood memories I've decided that every once in a while I will make reference to them here! There is no particular order to these; just amusing little anecdotes from years gone by.

Thinking I knew everything about He-Man as a kid, and hearing the lie that a Queen Marlena figure had been released, I was somewhat skeptical of anyone telling me that a certain figure was available. I remember a cold wet winter's day; a few of us were in the playground sitting by the outdoor table during lunch. Another kid in the playground was talking about the figure of Prince Adam he had just bought. I distinctly remember flat out refusing to believe that a figure of Prince Adam existed. Days later I was proven wrong...


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