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, from Germany. 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. He apparently features a blue paint job (unless the lighting is distorting the color). Most versions of the mass produced toy had more of a blue/green skin tone.
This early prototype Stratos features a bare chest and lacks the feathery detailing on his harness. He appears to have been cast in a white or light 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!