Early MOTU Newspaper Ads (Part 1)

If you look through newspaper archives for Masters of the Universe advertising, you see a steady evolution of the size and sophistication of posted ads. In the first year of the line, most of the ads took up little space on the page and relied mainly on cross sell, license kit, and line art. Later ads would include more photos and take up much more space.

In this post I’d like to show a sample of the 1982 ads I could find. In Part 1, I’ll show every unique ad I could find from May (the earliest month for which I could find ads) until the end of September 1982. In Part 2 I’ll finish off the year with October through December ads. I hope you enjoy!

Daily News, May 13, 1982:

Daily News, June 9, 1982:

Daily News, June 13, 1982 (note the prototype Teela figure):

The Central New Jersey Home News, June 18, 1982:

The Chico Enterprise Record, June 23, 1982:

The San Francisco Examiner, July 7, 1982:

The Daily Breeze, July 11 1982:

Reno Gazette Journal, July 21, 1982:

Herald and Review, July 21, 1982:

Courier Post, July 22, 1982:

Standard Speaker, July 26, 1982:

The News Journal, July 29, 1982:

Citizens Voice, August 3, 1982:

Standard Speaker, August 5, 1982:

Star Tribune, August 12, 1982:

St. Cloud Times, August 16, 1982:

The Herald Palladium, August 16, 1982:

Lansing State Journal, August 16, 1982:

The Daily Register, August 17, 1982:

Fort Worth Star Telegram: August 26, 1982:

Chicago Tribune, August 26, 1982

The Morning Call, August 27, 1982:

The Spokesman Review, August 30, 1982:

Chicago Tribune, September 5, 1982:

The Orlando Sentinel, September 8, 1982:

The Charlotte Observer, September 12, 1982:

Asbury Park Press, September 19, 1982:

The Daily Journal, September 23, 1982:

The Daily Item, September 30, 1982:

9 thoughts on “Early MOTU Newspaper Ads (Part 1)

  1. I hadn’t before seen either illustration of He-Man wrestling with Skeletor (Courier Post, July 22, 1982) or He-Man with a spear (various). Might they have been drawn in-house by the publications hosting the ads?

  2. Very nice job of documentation, as always.

    Here in Spain we had to wait two years (early 1984) more for the first ads in magazines.

    I love the new background too.

    Good Journey!

  3. Very interpreting compilation – interesting to see how much that image of He-Man with the spear(so similar to the one fromthe Castle Grayskull instructin sheet that I had to double check them!) is used. The intresting July 22, 1982 Courier Post although looking like it’s drawn in house, feels that, from it’s general intricate layout, that it is an in-house redraw of an early piece of art, and yet one that we’ve never yet seen elsewhere. Would love to find out if any version(s) ever appeared anywhere else.

    I started doing a similar search for early UK newspaper ads a few months ago. Not a whole lot of note turned up – a few similar very early figure ads, a colouring competition (of stock art), a couple of early VHS release reviews, a note on Children’s ITV buying the series, and a “Come and meet He-Man and Skeletor in person” even that toured various toy shops – including one where the actor inside He-Man overheated, and had to take a break and a nice cup of tea (very British!)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.