Artwork

Masters of the Universe Cross Sell Art – US Variants

The artwork for this set comes from Axel Giménez, Tokyonever, Plaid Stallions (for the Monogram Talon Fighter), and my own scans and photos. This is not meant to be exhaustive – it merely represents the variants in US cross-sell art that I am aware of.

Teela

Teela shows up with brown boots and armor in the early 8-back cardbacks, but she can also be found with red armor/boots on some of the early vehicle packaging. It’s possible that this is just a variation in the way the print was set up, but the change may have been deliberate, in order to more accurately reflect the colors of her action figure.

Mer-Man

Mer-Man shows up with blue skin in early 8-back cardbacks, but he can be found with green skin on much of the vehicle packaging as well as later figure cardbacks. I believe the change was deliberate, in order to reflect the skin tone of his action figure. Of course the cross sell art still looks quite a bit different from the toy, regardless.

Trap Jaw

Trap Jaw’s cross sell art is something of a curiosity. It’s very common to find a version of it where he is missing not only his jaw but also his chest armor. On the other hand, only the jawless version features the skull and crossbones design on his belt. There was actually a catalog that featured a jawless version of the figure itself, making me wonder if the art wasn’t based on an incomplete sample, and the artist wasn’t aware of that fact.

Evil-Lyn

I found the flesh tone version of Evil-Lyn on the back of Dragon Walker packaging, and the yellow version on Fisto’s cardback. I don’t know for sure whether or not the change was deliberate or a printer artifact, but the flesh tone version recalls the character’s animated appearance.

Zoar

Zoar typically shows up with a two-tone orange color scheme and green armor on the backs of minicomics. Conversely, he appears in the toy-accurate orange and blue color scheme with red armor on the back of vehicle packaging. I believe the version with green armor represents and early, abandoned color scheme for the figure.

Attak Trak

The Attak Trak variants are the most subtle of this group. The cross sell artwork appears in both orange and red. There are also some orange versions of the toy, although most are red. I believe the earliest releases are orange.

Talon Fighter

The Monogram model kit Talon Fighter looks much different than its Mattel counterpart, and so of course does its cross sell art. The Monogram version represents, I believe, an earlier Mattel design for the toy.

Masters of the Universe Cross Sell Art:

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History

Copyrights in MOTU (Part Two: 1982)

licence kit kid

In previous posts I’ve covered trademarks and patents in Masters of the universe, and organized the material into a cohesive Masters of the Universe Timeline. In this post I’m going to be covering Mattel’s He-Man-related copyrights, sourced from the US Copyright Office, for 1981. Eventually I’ll fold these dates into the MOTU Timeline article as well.

Some of the copyright entries have some interesting details and comments, so I’ll include most of the original text (errors and all), eliminating some redundancies and the registration numbers.  Each entry has multiple dates, but I’ll sort according to “Date of Publication”. I’ll do a separate post for each publication year.

Sometimes, however, date of publication actually refers to a piece of material that a new claim was based on. So a new set of stickers could be made in 1984, but based on material published in 1982. Typically you’ll see that where the registration date is much later than the publication date. Some discernment is needed to interpret this information.

Please note that I have not been able to locate images for all the materials described, and some of the images I have located could be misplaced. Any assistance from perceptive readers is always appreciated.

1982

January

Type of Work: Visual Material
Registration Date: 1983-11-28
Title: Masters of the Universe fast male action for licensees.
Notes: Cataloged from appl. Only. Based on Mattel’s Masters of the Universe He-Man figure toy and other Masters of the Universe figure toys.
Date of Creation: 1981
Date of Publication: 1982-01-26
Basis of Claim: New Matter: “two dimensional rendition of a three dimensional figure toy, artwork, text, and photos.”
Copyright Note: C.O. correspondence.

February

Type of Work: Serial
Title: Mattel toys . : [catalog].
Serial Publication Year: 1982
Imprint: Hawthorne, CA : Mattel Toys.
Description: print material.
Frequency: Annually.
Description based on: 1982 issue.
Authorship on Application: Mattel, Inc., employer for hire.
Issues Registered: 1982. Issue title: Success for all seasons. Created 1982;
Pub. 1982-02-10; Reg. 1982-04-06; 1982.

Type of Work: Serial
Title: Mattel toys . : [catalog].
Serial Publication Year: 1982
Imprint: Hawthorne, CA : Mattel Toys.
Description: print material.
Frequency: Annually.
Description based on: 1982 issue.
Authorship on Application: Mattel, Inc., employer for hire.
Issues Registered: 1982. Issue title: Success for all seasons. Created 1982;
Pub. 1982-02-10; Reg. 1982-04-06; 1982.
Issue title: Mattel success for all seasons : repro art book. Created 1982; Pub. 1982-04-20; Reg. 1982-11-18;
Other Title: Mattel success for all seasons
Makin’ it with Mattel
Mattel dimension ’78.
Mattel ’79.
Mattel movin’ ahead 1980.
Mattel makes it happen.
Success for all seasons.

Type of Work: Visual Material
Registration Date: 1983-12-02
Title: Puffy stickers, Masters of the Universe : [no.] 82-289(1)
Notes: Cataloged from appl. only.
Date of Creation: 1982
Date of Publication: 1982-02-10
Previous Registration: Appl. identifies Masters of the Universe Fast male action
for licensees art book as preexisting material.
Basis of Claim: New Matter: “new artwork, addition of color.”
Copyright Note: C.O. correspondence.
Other Title: Masters of the Universe Fast male action for licensees art
book Fast male action for licensees art book

Type of Work: Visual Material
Registration  Date: 1984-06-04
Title: Puffy stickers–Masters of the Universe : no. 82-289 (2)
Notes: Cataloged from appl. only.
Date of Creation: 1982
Date of Publication: 1982-02-10
Previous Registration: Prev. reg. as Masters of the Universe fast male action for
licensees art book, 28Nov83, VA 151-306.
Basis of Claim: New Matter: “new artwork.”
Copyright Note: C.O. correspondence.
Other Title: Masters of the Universe fast male action for licensees art
book

Type of Work: Visual Material
Registration Date: 1984-06-04
Title: Masters of the Universe.
Series: Puffy stickers ; 82-289
Notes: Cataloged from appl. only.
Date of Creation: 1982
Date of Publication: 1982-02-10
Previous Registration: Appl. states derived from Masters of the Universe fast male action for licenees [i.e. licensees] art book, prev. reg. 28Nov83, VA 151-306.
Basis of Claim: New Matter: “new artwork.”
Copyright Note: C.O. correspondence.
Other Title: Puffy stickers ; 82-289 Masters of the Universe fast male action for licenees [i.e. licensees]

Type of Work: Visual Material
Registration Date: 1983-12-02
Title: Masters of the Universe : puffy stickers : no. 289.
Description: 5 works.
Date of Creation: 1982
Date of Publication: 1982-02-10
Previous Registration: Appl. states derived from Masters of the Universe fast male
action.
Basis of Claim: New Matter: new artwork.
Copyright Note: C.O. correspondence.
Other Title: Masters of the Universe fast male action.

Type of Work: Visual Material
Registration Date: 1983-12-05
Title: Super puffy stickers–Masters of the Universe.
Notes: Cataloged from appl. only.
Date of Creation: 1982
Date of Publication: 1982-02-10
Previous Registration: Appl. identifies Masters of the Universe fast male action
as preexisting material.
Basis of Claim: New Matter: “new color versions with new and additional
drawing material.”
Copyright Note: C.O. correspondence.

Type of Work: Visual Material
Registration Date: 1983-02-22
Title: Battle cat : [no.] 81-5048.
Description: Figurine.
Date of Creation: 1981
Date of Publication: 1982-02-20
Date in Notice: notice: 1981
Previous Registration: Tiger figure toy sculpture prev. reg. 1983, VA 118-557.
Basis of Claim: New Matter: addition of new sculptural material.
Other Title: Tiger figure toy

Type of Work: Visual Material
Registration Date: 1984-12-11
Application Title: He-Man and Castle Grayskull heat design 82; Heat design number 3350.
Title: He-Man.
Description: Iron-on transfer.
Series: Masters of the Universe ; 3350
Notes: Based on He-man figure toy & Castle Grayskull toy castle.
Date of Creation: 1982
Date of Publication: 1982-08-23
Authorship on Application: artwork on heat transfer material: Factors Et Cetera, Inc., employer for hire.
Previous Registration: Figure toy prev. reg. 1982, VA 111-545 & toy castle prev. reg. 1982, VA 111-541.
Basis of Claim: New Matter: “new version in two dimensional form.”
Other Title: Masters of the Universe ; 3350 Castle Grayskull He-Man and Castle Grayskull heat design 82 Heat design number 3350.

Type of Work: Visual Material
Registration Date: 1984-12-11
Application Title: Skeletor heat design number 3351 82; Heat design number
3351.
Title: Skeletor.
Description: Iron-on transfer.
Series: Masters of the Universe ; no. 3351
Date of Creation: 1982
Date of Publication: 1982-08-23
Authorship on Application: artwork on heat transfer material: Factors Et Cetera, Inc.,
employer for hire.
Previous Registration:
Prev. reg. as figure toy 14Nov82, VA 111-542.
Basis of Claim: New Matter: “new version in two dimensional form.”
Other Title: Masters of the Universe ; no. 3351
Skeletor heat design number 3351 82
Heat design number 3351.
Names: Mattel, Inc.
Factors Et Cetera, Inc.

Type of Work: Visual Material
Registration Date: 1983-01-04
Title: Masters of the Universe : [no.] 2827.
Description: Col. prints ; 1 v.
Series: Sticker Fun
Date of Creation: 1982
Date of Publication: 1982-10-04
Other Title: Sticker Fun

Type of Work: Visual Material
Registration Date: 1983-02-17
Title: He-Man meets Ram Man.
Series: 82-comics
Notes: Cataloged from appl. only.
Date of Creation: 1982
Date of Publication: 1982-10-15

Type of Work: Visual Material
Registration Date: 1983-05-16
Application Title: The Magic stealer mini-comic book, 82-comics.
Title: The Magic stealer.
Description: 1 v.
Series: Masters of the universe
Date of Creation: 1982
Date of Publication: 1982-10-15

Type of Work: Visual Material
Registration Date: 1985-12-02
Title: The Menace of Trap Jaw : mini-comics : 82-comics.
Notes: Cataloged from appl. only.
Date of Creation: 1982
Date of Publication: 1982-10-15

Type of Work: Visual Material
Registration Date: 1983-02-17
Title: The Ordeal of Man-E-Faces.
Series: 82-comics
Notes: Cataloged from appl. only.
Date of Creation: 1982
Date of Publication: 1982-10-15
Names: Mattel, Inc.

Type of Work: Visual Material
Registration Date: 1985-12-02
Title: The Power of Point Dread : 82-comics.
Notes: Cataloged from appl. only.
Date of Creation: 1982
Date of Publication: 1982-10-15

Type of Work: Visual Material
Registration Date: 1985-12-02
Title: The Terror of Tri-Klops : 82-comics.
Notes: Cataloged from appl. only.
Copyright Claimant:
Mattel, Inc.
Date of Creation: 1982
Date of Publication: 1982-10-15
Names: Mattel, Inc.

Type of Work: Visual Material
Registration Date: 1983-04-01
Title: Masters of the Universe : Pop-Up game : for 2 to 4 players, ages 6 to 12.
Description: Kit.
Notes: Includes instruction folder, gameboard, pieces & spinner in box.
Date of Creation: 1982
Date of Publication: 1982-12-03
Authorship on Application: text & artwork: Mattel, Inc., employer for hire.

Type of Work: Visual Material
Registration Date: 1983-01-04
Title: Masters of the Universe : 10 posters to paint or color : [no.] 2110.
Notes: Cataloged from appl. only.
Date of Creation: 1982
Date of Publication: 1982-12-06
Variant title: Masters of the Universe : 10 posters to paint or color

Type of Work: Visual Material
Registration Date: 1983-01-04
Title: Masters of the universe : no. 2803, a coloring book.
Notes: Cataloged from appl. only.
Date of Creation: 1982
Date of Publication: 1982-12-06

Type of Work: Music
Registration Date: 1983-03-15
Title: Attack track / by Mattel, Inc.
Description: 1 p.
Notes: Music.
Copyright Claimant: Ogilvy & Mather, Inc. & Mattel, Inc.
Date of Creation: 1982
Authorship on Application: Mattel, Inc., employer for hire.
Names: Ogilvy & Mather, Inc.  Mattel, Inc.

Type of Work: Music
Registration Date: 1983-03-15
Title: Faker / by Mattel, Inc.
Description: 2 p.
Notes: Music.
Copyright Claimant: Ogilvy & Mather, Inc. & Mattel, Inc.
Date of Creation: 1982
Authorship on Application: Mattel, Inc., employer for hire.
Names: Ogilvy & Mather, Inc. Mattel, Inc.

Type of Work: Music
Registration Date: 1983-03-15
Title: He man / Mattel, Inc.
Description: 1 p.
Notes: Music.
Copyright Claimant: Ogilvy & Mather, Inc. & Mattel, Inc.
Date of Creation: 1982
Authorship on Application: Mattel, Inc., employer for hire.
Copyright Note: C.O. correspondence.
Names: Ogilvy & Mather, Inc. Mattel, Inc.

Type of Work: Music
Registration Date: 1983-03-15
Title: Ram man / by Mattel, Inc.
Description: 1 p.
Notes: Music.
Copyright Claimant: Ogilvy & Mather, Inc. & Mattel, Inc.
Date of Creation: 1982
Authorship on Application: Mattel, Inc., employer for hire.
Names: Ogilvy & Mather, Inc. Mattel, Inc.

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Resource

Parts Reuse in MOTU, Part Two: 1983

Masters of the Universe, for all its diversity and creativity, was quite an economical toyline, creatively (and sometimes uncreatively) using and reusing the same molds over and over again throughout its run. Sometimes this was done fairly invisibly, and other times it was as plain as the nose on Faker’s face.

In this series I’ll be cataloging the reuse of existing molds, in context of what is known and what is likely about which figures were created in what order. For example, He-Man’s prototype was almost certainly finished before Man-At-Arms, so Man-At-Arms reused He-Man’s legs, rather than vice versa. I’ll also include parts that were reused from other toylines.

Sometimes existing parts were modified for use in new toys. For example, Beast Man’s chest seems to have been based on He-Man’s chest sculpt, albeit with a great deal of hair added to it. This didn’t save money on tooling, but it did save some time and effort for the sculptor. I’ll point this out whenever I see it. Whenever a modified part is used again, however, I’ll refer to it as belonging to the toy that used it first (for example, Stratos and Zodac reuse Beast Man’s chest).

I won’t comment on “invisible” parts, such as neck pegs or waist springs that are normally not seen.

First, the toys from 1983 that had (at the time) all new parts:

Ram Man

Man-E-Faces

Point Dread & Talon Fighter

These toys from 1983 reused some existing parts:

Man-E-Faces – free weapons offer

Trap Jaw

Tri-Klops

Evil-Lyn

Faker

Savage He-Man

Panthor

Zoar

Screeech

Attak Trak

Parts Reuse series:

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Artwork

Tomart’s Action Figure Digest #202

Tomart’s Action Figure Digest #202 features one of several articles from the magazine dedicated to the vintage Masters of the Universe toyline. Almost all of the concept art in the article below comes from former Mattel designer Ted Mayer.

The author of the article (who is not named) gets the general thrust of the history of the toyline right for the most part, although there are several factual errors. For instance, the author identifies several variant He-Man and Skeletor designs made midway through the line as early concept versions of the original figures. They also conflate Ted Mayer’s green witch concept with Evil-Lyn (they’re unrelated) and seem to place Vulture Man before Screeech or Zoar (Vulture Man came after).

Still, it’s a fun article with lots of interesting concept art and prototypes. Selections from issues 89, 90 and 91 are available from both He-Man.org and Grayskull Museum (there is definitely some overlap between those articles and this one), but I’m not aware than anyone has shared scans from this particular issue before.

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