Many thanks to Richard Sánchez Guirao and Fernando Seage Tomé from La Cueva del Terror and Mundo Masters Magazine for sharing this scan from the 1986 Mattel Spain catalog with the readers of Battle Ram: A He-Man Blog. As always, their partnership is greatly appreciated. Be sure to check out their excellent podcast, website and magazine at the links above!
MOTU products for overseas markets were often delayed from their initial US releases, which is why you see mainly 1984 and 1985 toys in this 1986 catalog.
I previously wrote about the 1982 Mattel Wish List, in the context of juxtaposing some early MOTU product imagery and the presence of rare early variants and unfinished prototypes in those photographs.
The 1983 Wish List doesn’t seem to feature any prototypes or rare variants, but it’s still fun to flip through the pages and see 1983 through a child’s eyes again. To that end, here is the entire mini catalog, which features Barbie, Poochie, the Smurfs, Tuff Stuff, Hot Wheels and of course Masters of the Universe. Happy holidays!
Courtesy of Olmo (catone82), I’d like to share some images he scanned from a hard-to-find copy of the German version of Mattel’s 1984 dealer catalog. All of the images he shared feature hand-painted finalized prototypes with beautiful matte paint jobs.
In this image we can clearly see that Whiplash has been put together using some donor arms from Skeletor, as seen in the paint wear on his hand. The early Whiplash prototype is shown elsewhere with a purple spear (it was orange in the final toy). This one instead features the “Man-E-Weapons” brown sword.
On the Buzz-Off prototype below, we can see that Mattel cast his legs using a pink material, and his wings are cast in clear plastic with an uneven yellow paint job. His eyes are painted metallic blue rather than the metallic green used on the production figure. This photo appears to have been image flipped – Buzz-Off’s open claw should be on his left. Buzz-Off features the “Man-E-Weapons” axe, rather than the modified axe he would eventually come with.
On the Mekaneck prototype below, we can see that he has been hand painted with a combination of matte and metallic paints.
This is another beautiful hand-painted prototype. The fact that it’s hand-painted is most evident in the area around the leg joints. For some reason Webstor is holding one of Trap Jaw‘s attachments in his left hand.
You can see the paint coming off on Mer-Man‘s hands and sword, which were cast in a white material. His paint job appears more blue than green in the photo, although that could easily be the lighting distorting the color. Interestingly he lacks the green belt, which was present on first release Mer-Man figures, but not in later figures.
This early prototype Stratos features a chest from He-Man rather than Beast Man, and lacks the feathery detailing on his harness. He appears to have been cast in a gray material.
This early Teela prototype appears to be unarticulated, with a greater level of detail on her costume and shield than the production toy. She features white tops on her boots, and a golden spear and shield.
Thanks again to Olmo for sharing these images with me!
In collaboration with Club Masters del Universo and Yo Tengo El Poder, and in celebration of the 35th anniversary of Masters of the Universe in Spain, I’d like to present the first Mattel/Congost dealer catalog, dating from 1984. Images come courtesy of Dani Ramón Abril. All of the photos in the catalog were taken in Spain, with the exception of the Attak Trak photo, which was originally taken for the 1983 US Mattel catalog. The catalog largely focuses on first wave figures and vehicles. Although those toys were first released in the US in 1982, this was their debut in Spain, so Mattel/Congost started with that wave. The only exception is Attak Trak, which in the US was a “wave 2” vehicle
The photos themselves include lots of great rocky dioramas, with a bit of fog to give the scenes some extra mystery and drama, making the figures seem larger than life in their Spanish market debut.
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