I don’t have any particular memory of Snout Spout, although I’m sure I must have seen him in the toy aisle at some point. Aside from the Snake Men, the 1986 line didn’t grab me too much as a child. The heroes in particular seemed a bit weak compared to previous years, despite having a lot of money spent on new tooling.
From the 1986 Mattel dealer catalog, featuring a resin prototype of Snout Spout. Image is from Orange Slime.
Design & Development
According to The Power and the Honor Foundation Catalog, Snout Spout (first called Hose Nose) was conceived of by Roger Sweet, with Ted Mayer following up with the visual design:
Image source: The Power and the Honor Foundation Catalog
The design was further refined by Mattel designer Mike Barbato, whose design closely resembles the final figure, with the exception of the tusks, which were cut:
Image source: The Power of Grayskull documentary
As was the usual process, a prototype silicon mold was made at Mattel, and a resin prototype of the figure was created. The prototype show below is very close to the final figure, although the tip of the trunk is a bit different from the actual toy:
Image source: The Power of Grayskull documentary
The cross sell art for the figure is again based on the prototype, which you can see mainly again from the shape of the trunk:
The test shot (below) of the figure from the factor shows the same feature:
Image source: Cafewhaa
The test shot below is unpainted and not sonic welded together. It does however have the finalized version of the trunk:
Removed chest showing water squirting mechanism.
Toy & Packaging
The final figure is certainly bright and colorful Compared to other water-spraying figures like Kobra Khan and Dragon Blaster Skeletor, his water squirting feature gave more of a stream of water rather than a spray or a mist:
Special thanks to Larry Hubbard for the figure donation!
The artist who did the scene on the back of the packaging is, unfortunately unknown:
Image source: KMKA
Style Guide & Annual
The 1987 Style Guide characterized Snout Spout as a tragic figure – an Etherian peasant transformed by the Evil Horde:
Role: Heroic water-blasting firefighter
Power: Has the ability to douse the raging forces of evil firepower
Character Profile: Snout Spout was an Etherian peasant who was turned into a bizarre creature by Hordak. After crossing the plane into Eternia with the Evil Horde, Snout Spout escaped and joined He-Man. Snout Spout is very self-conscious about his appearance, he feels that everyone is always laughing at him. However, his power to drench evil attacks makes him a true hero in Eternia.
Original artwork by Errol McCarthy. Image via He-Man.org
The 1989 UK MOTU Annual expanded on the outline from the Style Guide, giving him super strength, going into more detail about his lack of self-confidence, and adding some information about his friendship with Orko:
Snout Spout’s story is fleshed out in the minicomic, Eye of the Storm, written by Eric Frydler. Frydler also came up with both his official name Snout Spout and his early working name Hose Nose, as detailed in this interview.
Snout Spout is feeling rather useless because he isn’t athletic like He-Man’s other allies. But when Skeletor causes a fiery storm to engulf Eternia, the elephant-headed warrior comes into his own. In the artwork, his appearance is based on the earlier Ted Mayer concept art (images are from the Dark Horse minicomic collection).
Images: Dark Horse
Snout Spout appeared in the She-Ra cartoon under both his working name Hose Nose and under his official name. As with many Filmation designs, his look is somewhat simplified. His head looks a bit like the second concept drawing shown earlier in this article, but with smaller tusks. Also the colors of his belt, harness, gloves and boots are altered:
Image via the Dark Horse He-Man & She-Ra guide.
UK & US MOTU Magazines
Snout Spout makes an appearance in issue 41 one in the 1987 series of the UK MOTU Magazine. A fairy named Mystika transforms Snout Spout into his original form. Bizarrely, he looks just like He-Man. Eventually he is returned to his elephantine appearance, a result of sacrificing himself to save He-Man and Rio Blast:
He also appears as a minor character in stories in the Fall 1986 and 1988 US MOTU Magazine:
Snout Spout appears in William George’s 1986 Eternia poster (images courtesy of Jukka Issakainen):
He also appears in several pieces by Earl Norem, including in his Christmas wrapping paper illustration:
Snout Spout In Action
Øyvind Meisfjord has kindly contributed the following image and video of Snout Spout in action:
Special thanks to Jukka Issakainen and Øyvind Meisfjord for their assistance with this post.
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12 thoughts on “Snout Spout: Heroic water-blasting firefighter (1986)”
awww… Snout Spout… head too flat… also a bit dull.. still fair enough..
they really buggered up all story for him didn’t they?
“Snout Spout is very self-conscious about his appearance”.. which is why he either wears bright orange so everyone can see him.. or as in some versions appear to be, he has bright orange skin and he just wears the lion cloth and… a really iffy body harness..
He isn’t athletic! Despite the figure being muscle bound like crazy, like the whole Point of Masters of the Universe (hey, Super7, you here that? the point of the figures were MUSCLES! ¬_¬)..
anyway.. yeah.. they never really got a decent character for him, like they couldn’t be bothered, despite having quite a lot of money in new tooling.. shame really..
also.. erm.. yeah.. that UK Rioblast.. that Head gear.. I can see it was LOOSELY based on the over hear guns of the toy but.. ohhh… that an’t good..
Oh also.. Look at Odd Rattlor’s Staff.. Just under it, that is a not very well hidden signature.. MT it looks like.. we can exclude Mark Taylor of course… Don’t think I mis-read that M for a E.. and it’s not the normal sig so we can exclude Errol McCarthy.
I think we need a index of people that worked on various bits sometime..
Yes, I think that does read MT. Good eye! Unfortunately I don’t know what it stands for. Someone recently pointed out to me that on the Clamp Champ artwork it reads “G Fierro.” Not sure what the G stands for but it looks like there were a number of artists used toward the end.
Looks like Mark Texeira artwork from that period, which would explain the initials. He signed his name several different ways over the years before settling on his “TEX” sig.
Also, “G Fierro” was likely Gustavo Fierro, a freelance Filipino artist that did some inking work for Marvel in the seventies and eighties. Very little is known about him, other than that he was brought in during the Filipino comic artist boom of that era and he died fairly young. His MOTU work may have been some of his last art, as he’s thought to have died in 1987.
Ohhh, I have heard of both of them names… I’ll look into some bits but, yeah, sounds great
Great stuff! A weird character, but a fun one.
I never had Snout Spout as a child, and never particularly wanted him. Rather like yourself, Batteram, the 1986 figures never really grabbed me – by this stage, I found things very gimmicky in the line, with the latest action feature taking priority over the personality that was given to the early figures, and I also missed the under-riding barbarian feel of the early line, which had been replaced with “anything goes”. I wasn’t even taken by the Snake Men – cool designs maybe, but Skeletor would always be the Big Bad for me – it was bad enough Hordak was already on the scene to rival him.
But anyway, nope, I didn’t have Snout Spout. In fact, a few times over the years I’ve even ranked him as the worst figure of the line. Which is a little harsh; I think he just sums up that anything-goes gimmick feel that was so prominent (and arguably which contributed to the demise of the line). Any maybe that dislike is a little extreme… he’s a cool figure on his own merits, and the whole “sad character trapped in a hideous body” (definate echoes of John Merrick in there!) ought to have appealed to me, in looking back now much of me should have really loved this character; maybe he was just introduced too late in the line and got lost amongst all the other gimmick characters.
I wonder how he would have fared in say, the third wave, with less unique tooling but a more individual feel. Have to say, by the way, that I much prefer his prototype name of Hose Nose – wonder why they changed it (maybe already copyrighted)?
The earliest known concept art of his interesting – very close to the final figure, but decidedly more sinister looking (it’s the eyes!); I wonder if he was one of the many cases where they came up with the concept, then decided if he should be a Heroic or Evil character as the concept progressed?
Anyway, wonder if anyone else has spotted the error on the back-of-box scan? …Roboto and Sy-Klone are labelled up the wrong way ’round!
…Just to add, his visual appearance in ‘Eye of the Storm’ is clearly based on that first concept art – with the more ‘evil’ eyes and the circular detail in the centre of his forehead.
I never liked his head design but now that I see it I like a lot how he looks in the original concept art and mini-comic: far less dumb and more badass.
Snout Spout was one of the first figures I was reminded of/exposed to through X-Entertainment, and he remained my go-to Masters of the Universe non-sequiteur when gushing about the strangeness and simplicity of the line (“It’s all just the same chest with different heads! Inn’t that weird?”) Of course, I’ve since learned how much difference the figures actually had, and my initially ironic appreciation has deepened to a sincere one over time.
Conceptually, Snout Spout fits in with all the animalistic machinery in Masters. It would’ve been pretty simple to portray him as an Eternian firefighter with fancy futuristic firefighting gear, but why go simple when you can have multiple conflicting origin stories spread across multiple comics and cartoons?
(Again: that’s sincere. I like my Masters with the weirdness dial cranked up.)