Posts Tagged ‘Rare Toys’

Welcome Back Heroes..a huge thanks to everyone who joined us for the last round of Super-Blog Team Up.  Hopefully if you were new to The Super-Hero Satellite you like what you saw and will once again join our mighty crew to race back into the glorious 1980s for more Retro adventures. Satellite File: In 1981 Mattel Toy Company developed the first glimpse of the Masters Of the Universe Toy-line. Their plan however would blaze trails. It would be the first show based on a toy-line and TV series that would air in unison with each other.

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Begin Transmission: Feb. 20 2015

I may have been one of the biggest Masters Of the Universe in my home town. I had a great collection of figures, vehicles , Play-Sets and animals. I was a big He-Man fan and the He-Man and The Masters of the Universe animated series was a staple in my home. I digested all the MOTU as I could. I devoured the television animated series from Filmation. To this day when I see the scrolling Filmation logo and chime… it means He-Man! I loved the Masters of The Universe comic books from DC and Marvels STAR Imprint. The Marvel Masters Of The Universe title maybe the single best Masters title out there and was 100% faithful to the source material of the cartoon! Plus my figure collection could stand up to anyone else’s in my home town. I thought I knew it all about the original Masters Of The Universe collection. I knew about every character..episode or comic book. If there was a trivia competition I would have bet the farm on myself…To Clarify my knowledge stopped at the original series. After its cancellation in the late 80s I did not keep up my level of fanaticism for the newer updated series in the 90s-2000s.

 

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That said..I knew my stuff…that is until I heard of He-Ro: Son Of He-Man and The Masters Of The Universe?? You may as well wonder what I am talking about. After the cancellation of He-Man and The Masters Of the Universe Series a prequel(She-Ra: The Princess Of Power not forgotten either!!) was in production without He-man in the lead role! Confused? I think its time we fill our data banks with knowledge. He-Ro originated as the proposed lead character of a new series “The Powers Of Grayskull”. At the very end of the Masters Of The Universe toy-line a prototype action figure of a brand new character called He-Ro…who at this point was NOT meant to be He-Mans son..but rather a relative who was not the most powerful man in the universe like He-Man..but rather the most powerful WIZARD in the universe…weird huh?

 

 

Satellite hero prototype

“Powers Of Grayskull” would be a direct prequel to the He-Man and The Masters Of the Universe series that in the mid eighties, had reached its life expectancy. He-Ro was a figure prototype created to showcase the new lead star of the show..the Wizard, He-Ro. Interestingly enough poor He-Ro had two specific origins both totally unrelated. The first of which was as a direct ancestor of He-Man. The Powers of Grayskull show itself would be based in “Preternia” the precursor to what would become Eternia….essentially it was its prehistoric predecessor. It promised to deliver the complete back story to He-Man and the entire Masters Of The Universe lineage. All He-Mans secrets would be revealed. Like He-man himself, He-Ro was the secret identity of the man known as “Gray” would hold his hand to his chest and utter the words “Magic & strength tempered by heart..I stand For Peace “ and would transform into the “Mightest Wizard In The Universe”..He-Ro!

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The line was cancelled before many of these properties went into the development stage. The 1987 Mattel Toy Catalog published pictures of the proposed toys from the “Powers of Grayskull” line, including an action figure of He-Ro. Three of the dinosaur toys from the line actually made it to stores, and the two “giant” action figures saw release as exclusives in Italy, but He-Ro was never released as a toy.

 

Powers Of Grayskull figures

Though much has been speculated concerning the character in the intervening years by fans of the He-Man franchise, He-Ro remains as much a mystery today as he was in 1987, when a perplexed He-Man was forced to ask, “But who is he?” The show died before it was green lit and the concept was seemingly aborted..that is until Lou Shiemer, the original shows producer ,took ownership in creating a brand new sequel a few years later that would be known as HE-RO: Son Of He-Man and The Masters Of The Universe.

 

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This time the rules changed. In fact everything about He-Ros origin was washed away and now He-Ro was now actually He-Mans adopted son rather than a descendant  and did NOT live in the Pre-Eternian age but rather after the events featured in the original Masters Of The Universe television cartoon series. As the story goes He-Ro was raised in the plush jungles of Eternia by an indigenous creature known as a She-Bearcat who found the child shivering in the jungle and took him in as her own and raised him until his teenage years. He-Ro who took on the skills and senses of his jungle family could not only speak english but could communicate to the animals as well. He had heightened senses of speed, and smell and took on the acrobatic skills of his jungle friends and could swing through the jungle like an Eternian Tarzan. His animal mother passed on, as a result orphaning He-Ro to the Jungle once again. Meanwhile Adam , who as we all know as He-Man, is  for-told of the boy who would one day take his place as the holder of the Power Sword of Grayskull. He-Man climbs aboard his friend Battle Cat Kringer and summons his trusty friends Man At Arms and Orko and heads off on a blind quest to find this folklore legend “The Lost Child Of The Jungle”.

 

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The Wild Child is No Myth..

 

 

He-Man, after the events of MOTU TV Series had defeated Skeletor and his army, had married Teela and now reigned over Eternia as King and Queen. History of Pre-Eternia and several other concepts post TV series were seemingly dropped from cannon.What is interesting is that Shiemer had written an actual ending to the original animated series in which He-man with the help of The Sorceress not only defeated Skeletor and his goons but vanquished him off of Eternia in a frozen state never to be seen or heard from again..

 

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The Original Ending To Masters Of The Universe.

 

 

 

That is until Skeletor discovered a way to free himself of the spell of the Sorceress and He-Man. He then gathers his original army and begins a march upon Grayskull but not before hearing the tale of the Boy would be the new Most Powerful Man In The Universe..He-Ro..or at this point, the Lost Boy. Was this a mere legend? Could this possibly be true?…Parties in both good and evil camps could not risk the other finding out. So a parallel search begins with Skeletor and his army of thugs hunting for the same mystery child that He-Man and friends are searching for!! This potentially mythical “Wild Child” was now the crux behind the power struggle for Eternia.

 

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The BOSS is Back..

 

 

Skeletor’s hordes included some familiar faces such as his heavy Beast-Man, Evil-Lyn, the aquatic warrior Mer-Man (Who appeared to have taken on one of the most dramatic look changes) and Trap-Jaw (who literally does not resemble the mold of the original character!) Many more would be involved (not pictured) Such as ToungeLashor, Odar (Like Skunk face??), Missle -Toe, Evermean (a plant-based villain) and a metal toothed character named Saw Tooth.

 

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Skeletor’s army

 

Skeletor is first to actually find the Wild Child and begins poisoning his mind right away.  He tells him that He-Man and his friends being responsible for his mothers demise!!! Skeletor sets up shop on the top on the Mountains Of Fire (No Snake Mountain??) and sets a series of traps and obstacles in He-Mans path. Meanwhile Skeletor and the evil Sorceress Evil-Lyn have all but cast a spell over the Lost Child and are slowly weaning him to their dark intentions. He-Ro swears revenge on He-Man and his friends. He-Man and friends battle all of Skeletor’s hordes and manages to succeed in getting past the traps and enemies standing in the way of the child.

 

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“We Have The Power!!!”

 

 

Finally, an age-old rivalry is reborn as Skeletor and He-Man go to war one more time with the fate of the child hanging in the balance. Now aligned with Skeletor and his army, He-Ro finds out in short order that Skeletor is not what he says he is.  The Evil warrior brutally almost kills He-Ro’s bird friend, Craven while attempting to get to He-Man. The Wild Child lays his life on the line to defend He-Man and his friends and with all their forces combined, Skeletor and his army is driven away!! He-Man and the Eternian warriors return to his kingdom with the child. From there the boy is adopted by Adam and Teela and is named officially Dare. In an interesting note, by the age of 13 He-Ro is now resembling a hero he is able to seek the heroic transformation from Dare to He-Ro with the magical power sword bestowed to Adam years earlier. What is surprising is that only in circumstances of extreme situations He-Man and He-Ro cannot appear together..only one or the other can transform at a time. Only in dire times the dual transformations can occur as they share the power sword and repeating their individual transformation tagline and “We have the power!” .

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He-Ro would have lots of help defending his fathers Kingdom!

 

He-Ro, like He-Man in his prime was surrounded by a great supporting cast. Some familiar faces make up He-Ro’s new contingent of Eternian Defenders. He-Ro’s answer to He-Mans love interest Teela of course would be Kay-La. Like her mother she has an affection for strong men not weaklings like Dare. Joining the supporting cast would be Ram-Man, who was a carry over from the original MOTU cartoon. He is seen in a revised state here with improved armor. As an aside Ram-Man, was always one of my favorite original MOTU action figures!!

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Ram-Man, A crude but great figure from the original Masters Of The Universe line.

 

 

The cast included a couple of newer characters as well that would have been easy money for Mattel at the toy stores..Air bag and Forklift!! (Not so sure on the Air Bag name..but I digress.) With them as well would be a very “Metamorpho” (Editors note: Metamorpho is a classic DC comics Super-Hero) looking Man-E-Faces who like Ram-Man, was also a classic MOTU character re-imagined!! Of course old favorites like ORKO (Not pictured) would return as well!! This would be Eternia`s finest! So back to Dare and Kay-La..

He-ro Supporting cast

 

Dares love interest is very similar to He-Mans and Teelas, who, not coincidentally, was the Daughter of Man At Arms. Well looks like that runs in the family as Dare is paired with Kay-La, Man At Arms Niece to be taught the ways of the warrior. At first Kay-La thinks that this assignment is a pure inconvenience but grows to respect Dare. With a new cast of Heroes we are off to the races…this new version of He-Man was ready to hit the mass market…Toy companies would have had a new batch of MOTU to line the shelves of retailers all over the world..the classic Filmation Logo would have tinkled across the screen for another trip back to Eternia ..but it was not meant to be. The concept would go no further than Lou Shiemers “He-Ro and the Masters Of the Universe Bible”..and the project was permanently shelved when the production company DIC didnt express any further interest in developing the series. fans who want to read the complete details on this project by all means check out http://old.he-man.org/cartoon/exclusivefeatures/exclusive-heroseriesbible-intro.shtml for the complete production proposal!!

Our time on Eternia is almost done Heroes…it is time to head back to the iso-quarters of the Satellite and shut down the archives for a short time..until we return with the next installment of Super-Blog Team Up where we tackle…well..take a look for yourselves!!

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Take care Heroes..see you soon when the SBTU Returns for round 6!!

 

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End Transmission.

 

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Welcome Back Satellite Subscribers!

All Heroes report to the briefing room, you are all about to get your flash memory sync on classic 80s toys..Today we got a rare one for you, Revells 1983 Action Figure LinePOWER LORDS!! Revell was a popular plastic model company who made its fortune off of model cars which up until 1980 was a very lucrative business in North America as well globally as well. The plastic model market first showed sign of drying up and thus the effects were felt on the company’s bottom line. Revell looked to expand outside of the model market and create new and exciting properties which would keep the company profitable. One of the waters they chose to test was The lucrative Action Figure market which was booming in the 1980s. The Result was Power Lords: The Extraterrestrial Warriors.

 

E.T. The Extraterrestrial had won audiences hearts at theaters in 1982 and so the buzzword in the early 90s was Extraterrestrial. Revell was a model company that made many models for lines such as Star wars and many sci-fi based themes so it only made sense to play in the science fiction toy pool. So came Power Lords. The story in a flash :

Adam Power an Earthling (A fact which is in dispute as the DC comic book series hails Adams planet of Origin as Toran!) is chosen to get the most powerful piece of cosmic bling this side of the infinite gauntlet..THE POWER JEWEL so he is able to ward off the intergalactic threat of the insectoid Arkus and his alien insectoid hordes! The Jewel gives Adam the power to transform himself into a powerful extraterrestrial, and joined by Shaya, The Queen Of Power and Sydot the Alien intellectual they are on a mission to save the world! Sounds amazing huh?

The actual promotional campaign for the toys was not great but Power Lords seemed to click with their target audience, The Saturday Morning Cartoon demographic..which was me! Damn right! Revell had high hopes for these toys and launched an advertising campaign in all the usual suspects like comic books and select TV spots! The actual commercials and ads said little about the actual origin of the characters and there was never an animated series to follow-up the toy line which was suicide in the 80s. If you were not on TV or the silver screen your concepts fell on deaf ears. Despite minimal promotion..Revell felt the early launch would be a success. Revell even published a document or media flow chart for potential sellers of the products and investors that dictated the “invasion” of the Power Lords brand on the toy market! If I was in a board room looking at these figures I would have thought this toy line was the second coming of Star Wars.

 

But were the toys any good? The answer in one mans opinion was yes and no. They were over-sized and didn’t play well with popular lines of the day such as GI Joe and Star Wars. Their uniqueness was a standout feature there was nothing on the market like them! Each toy had a unique action move that was triggered by depressing a button usually located on the lower back of the figure. Adam Power himself with a flick of his back-switch completed twisted his torso to become his unusual alien counterpart “Lord Power”. The figure itself was unusual because no matter what form you had Adam in, the other side of him was visually exposed on his backside! Adam resembled an incredibly alien like conjoined twin. (Thats not a knock on those kids,god bless them, that`s just what it looked like!) Others were less unusual, Shaylas hidden form was concealed by a hood and cape, Arkus wings flapped and Gripptogg simply turned his head to reveal another alien head!! You get the point! The molds were also made of very hard plastic with very little give plus the joint screws were not replaceable if one came loose so if a Power Lord broke..good luck to ya. My Adams arms met a cruel fate but were revived two more times thanks to the fine folks at Crazy Glue! The Crackle for Lego Movie fans!

Power Lords had some very basic vehicles like the Power Ship (Creative name!) and Trigore, The Creature Crusher which looked like some one threw up a lizard. Both toys were awkward and didn’t really play well as well it was a minor struggle getting the figures in or on these machines. These would improve in the next generation of Power Lord toys.No Toy Line would be complete in the 80s without a great play set! Masters Of The Universe had Castle GreySkull and Snake Mountain, G.I.Joe had the PITT and The U.S.S. Flagg..and Power Lords had Volcan Rock! A Volcano play set with computer technology that was simply great!! See for yourself!

 

 

 

Power Lords didn’t hit massive hysteria like peaks that Revell had predicted and was not on every lunch box and T-Shirt, but did manage a second wave of figures and vehicles. Wave two upped the caliber of Vehicles but the figures themselves did not continue the theme of the original line and adopted patterns often found in popular figure lines such as Masters Of the Universe. The Part man, Part Machine ,Beast Machines were VERY inspired shall we say. Check out Beast machine Savor and tell me that isn’t He-man!! So close that some one in creative should have been worries that the copyright cops were close on their heels!

 

As the line expanded so did the volume of vehicles and characters. Without the support of another comic book series or cartoon show, few fans (outside of diehard collectors ) recall the second generation of Power Lords and their newer bigger better and badder vehicles!

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The Power Transporter and The Power Patroller were two very cool toys for the collection! The Transporter was actually a double for a carrying case which was all the rage in the era! If you had a serious collection like Star wars or GI Joe or even Barbie you had a carrying case or some sort! Power Lords were no exception. The transporter was a Spaceship case, slick white, which held up to 10 Power Lords!! Sadly only a prototype was ever made and it never saw official production! The Power Patroller presented a slick single glider style vehicle for Adam Power  who was one of the few Power Lords that could actually fit in this ship! Spyzor The Adam Crusher (Which was a horrible name). yet another disappointing vehicle for Arkus. The vehicles were a big upgrade however for the collection and far superior to the original Power Ship and Trigore!

 

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Generation 2 featured obscure Power Lords , Bakatak, Tork, Drrench, and Disguyzor. Very Master Of The Universe like, these characters did not have the market penetration of the first wave but served to up the rogues gallery for Adam Power and his small group! In addition to the Beast Machines Adam Power was grossly outnumbered!! Sadly both versions of the second wave are not often referenced when discussing the Power Lords collection and were left off the 2013 Power Lords reissue.

 

Powerlords mini playsets never produced

 

Boulder Blaster, Trap Rock and The Exploder were also three very cool but unproduced mini playsets for the collection that was only ever shown in the Revell Toy catalog in 1984, Alas in 1984 Power Lords went away as quick as they came and these were the last of the toys produced at the time!! Power Lords however did carry on into other meduims…most notably the Comic Book World with DC comics launching a 3 issue mini series of the property of which I owned two issues! Thats right I have never finished that series and dreaded the fact that I had the opportunity to complete this collection several times in the past and passed up on the opportunity stupid like! So as my cheap plug..if any super fan of this little blog has an extra copy of the mini and would love to gift it to old Charlton Hero here I do accept gifts LOL!

 

DC Powerlords comic collection

 

The Power Lords franchise also found moderate fame in the gaming world with a reasonably rare board game!

The description on the box reads..”

You are Adam Power. Using the Power Gem, you become Lord Power, a being of supernatural strength!

“The evil dictator Arkus, and his monstrous servants, Raygoth, the Goon of Doom, and Gripptogg, the four fisted brute, have taken over a starbase near the edge of the galaxy. Arkus must be stopped. You must make your way through the space maze, acquire a secret weapon, and gather your allies. Shaya, the Queen of Power and Sydot, the Supreme do battle with Gripptogg and Raygoth and prepare for the ultimate conflict with the evil Arkus. Accept the challenge, fire up your power ship, and jump into hyperspace. Meet your enemies and drive them from the galaxy to win for all of us.”

 

 

I did not have the honor of buying or playing this gem of a board game so if anyone out there has a review on this thing by all means send it in on the comments section on this post! The board featured first generation Power Lords characters and some decent artwork. The picture of Adam Power on this board is pretty hilarious!

No collection is complete without a coloring book!! Notice how Adam looks different again in this artists depiction!

How about the Power Lords puzzle!! Seems Revell TRIED to make the most of this ill-fated toy-line!

The Coup de Gras of all Power Lords merchandise was The Power Lords: The Extraterrestrial Warriors video game for the Odyssey 2 video game console!!

The game got a mediocre review and upon reviewing the game play looks like a whole lot of Power Ship flying around killing a giant snake. Hmmm..Not the best. Perhaps a prototype that was unreleased for the Probe console and The Atari VCS would have been better. The Atari version was not much better and featured two alternating screens but basically was no wonder why it did not make an official release.

 

In 1984 Power Lords were benched. Revells big new property was a mere flicker in the scope of the universe. Power Lords however had a devoted following who kept the concept alive. In 2013 4 Horsemen Toys re-released the Power Lords line to great fan fare at SDCC in 2013. They and are currently available at the Four Horsemen Studios online store.

 

Climb on to your Power Patrollers Power Lords and lets re-engage on the deck of The Satellite. Our time in 1983 has been well served but we have other years to discuss so strap in tight..Till next time subscribers..This has been Super-Hero Satellite. Hope you have enjoyed the journey! By all means feel free to leave a comment below, or contact me on the Twitter  and use the #SuperHeroSatellite