Tag Archives: Battle Cat

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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Lords of Power Collection: at the dawn of He-Man

Update: this post has been recently updated with slightly nicer quality images, plus a new picture not previously shared. Many thanks to Andy Youssi.

A rather incredible set of pictures has recently surfaced, showing early Masters of the Universe prototypes. Shared by Andy Youssi, son of freelance artist John Youssi, these images come from a collection of slides set in a View-Master-like apparatus. Apparently this was a very early promotional item.

John Youssi (known for his pinball machine illustrations) did illustrations for MOTU retail display cases and marquees, and Mattel shipped him these early prototypes, as well as the pseudo View-Master. Andy had the good fortune of being able to play with these prototypes for a month, while his father used them as models for his illustrations.

Andy describes his experience playing with these amazing prototypes:

Hold onto your seats for this, but after these slides, Mattel actually shipped the prototypes to my Dad for a month so he could illustrate the characters & Castle Grayskull in detail for some of the promotional posters & display shelves put up in toy stores. My introduction to loving Masters of the Universe was seeing & falling in love with those Lords of Power prototypes as a 5 year old kid, before the public knew what any of this was! I think the saddest day of my childhood was when my Dad’s illustration jobs were finished, and he had to pack the prototypes up & ship them back to Mattel… but that month with them made me a fan for life before they even hit stores! One of the most exciting emotions I had was the anticipation of them being released in stores, and building the collection up again, knowing we could actually keep it this time!!!

It’s been known for some time that “Lords of Power” was an early working title for Masters of the Universe. In an interview (conducted by Jukka Issakainen) with packaging designer Bob Nall, the artist said:

I designed logos and packages for many brands and settled on Boys items (mostly Hot Wheels). When the product designers developed He-Man (largely designed by Mark Taylor – who worked in the same group) I had the opportunity to look at the retail face of the brand. We looked at many names before coming up with MOTU – it was almost called ‘Lords of Power’ but many thought that was too religious in nature.

Image source: Jukka Issakainen

In the first image below, we see that this is the “Lords of Power Collection”. Interestingly, this set also comes with the Masters of the Universe logo as well. We’ve seen some of these prototypes before – He-Man, Mer-Man and Skeletor, certainly.

The Beast Man and Man-At-Arms prototypes in the image below have not been shown publicly before to my knowledge. Man-At-Arms’ design brings to mind his cross sell artwork and Alcala minicomic appearances (complete with fur-lined armor and large mace); those illustrations were almost certainly based on this model. The model, in turn, is based on the original Mark Taylor B-sheet design.

Beast Man, however, is a very primitive design indeed, resembling an early Mark Taylor Beast Man sketch, but recolored in the orange, red and blue color scheme that has come to be associated with the character. This appears to have been done before Mark Taylor’s final B-Sheet for the character.

From interviews with Mark Taylor, it appears that Teela was sculpted very early on, but for some reason was not included in these photos. Perhaps it was because early versions of the figure were considered by some to be too “sexy”.

For comparison, here’s a very early Mark Taylor concept drawing of Beast Man:

Image via Grayskull Museum

And here’s Mark Taylor’s finalized B-Sheet design for Beast Man:

Below are He-Man and Man-At-Arms as they appeared in He-Man and the Power Sword, illustrated by Alfredo Alcala. Note that they are both based closely on early prototypes:

Man-At-Arms as illustrated by Alfredo Alcala

This next image that Andy shared focuses in on He-Man and Man-At-Arms, with Battle Ram and Battle Cat in the background. Battle Cat is the early prototype with a striped tail and orange around his mouth. The Battle Ram is also an early prototype, more detailed than the final toy. All of these toys have finer paint applications and most of them have greater sculpted detail than their mass-produced counterparts. We can clearly see Man-At-Arms’ armored fist, a detail absent from his final toy. His boots are brown, while He-Man’s boots are two-toned red and yellow.

Here’s a clearer view of this early Battle Cat’s paint scheme:

Image via Tokyonever

Here’s a somewhat clearer view of the He-Man prototype:

Image via He-Man.us

Below we see another image focusing on He-Man, Man-At-Arms, and Battle Ram. You can see that Man-At-Arms has a fully armored left forearm. In profile we see that his metal “glove” is actually a flat piece covering what looks like an unfinished left hand.

Here’s another view of the Battle Ram prototype, with an earlier, helmeted version of He-Man piloting it.

Image courtesy of Ted Mayer.

In the image below we get a front-on view of the prototype Castle Grayskull – an angle we’ve never seen before. We can also see, for the first time, the front of the jaw bridge in this image – it doesn’t have the wood details of the final toy. This particular prototype may be a different casting of the prototype than the one we’ve seen before. It certainly seems to have more green paint than that version (shown four images down). An article going over the differences between the prototype castle and the final toy can be found here.

In the image immediately below, Skeletor holds the castle, while the heroes launch an assault.

Note that in the image above, the back of He-Man’s harness crosses in an “x” shape. This is also seen in artwork by Alfredo Alcala:

Another view of the prototype castle, with moat. This one seems to have less green paint.

In the image below, Man-At-Arms stands at the foot of the castle. We can see the back of his armor, which is solid, as opposed to the thin straps on the final toy.  Beast Man operates the laser turret, which is put on the opposite side of the castle from where it normally sits. We can see a flag that appears to depict He-Man’s axe – which is certainly different from the twin sword design of the mass-produced castle.

The two-sided light/dark flag design used on the commercially-available Castle. The artwork was done by Mark’s wife, Rebecca.

Here we see the entire castle opened up. Skeletor and Beast Man seem to have been victorious. We see that the opposite side of this flag depicts a skull with two enlarged canine teeth. It looks somewhat like the castle’s face. Note also that this prototype version of Skeletor does not have a skull face, but rather a decomposing face.

Here’s another view of the Skeletor prototype, with unfinished staff. Note the decaying face. He also has bare human feet and arms with no fins.

Image source: He-Man.org

Here’s an image that wasn’t shared the first time around – labeled “He-Man Collection”. We get a nice view of all the toys at once, including a nice front view of Mer-Man.

Finally, here’s that Masters of the Universe logo:

Thanks very much to Andy Youssi for kindly sharing these images and for telling his story. Stay tuned – he is also planning to share some of the artwork done by his father for Lords of Powe… er, Masters of the Universe!

Update: some somewhat clearer shots from the Power of Grayskull documentary:

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Battle Cat Box Art Scan

Rudy Obrero’s Battle Cat packaging illustration was the first piece of box art done for Masters of the Universe, which I think affords it a special place among the myriad of other pieces of ingenious artwork created for this toyline. I would put it in my top three personal favorites (the other two being Castle Grayskull and Battle Ram, with the He-Man and Battle Cat giftset artwork coming in a close fourth). When it comes to MOTU box art, there is a great deal of amazing work to choose from. Rudy’s work is my favorite, but of course I also love the art of the late, great William George.

Rudy Obrero was hired by Mark Taylor to paint Frank Frazetta-like artwork for the fledgling Masters of the Universe toyline, and that feeling is perhaps most evident in the original Battle Cat illustration.

I shared the original scan several months back in another post, but I’ve since done some digital manipulation to remove the most obvious wear marks and the horizontal packaging fold that goes across Battle Cat’s legs. Enjoy!

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Parts Reuse in MOTU, Part One: 1982

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 1982 that had (when they were created) all new parts:

He-Man

Teela

Castle Grayskull

Battle Ram

Wind Raider

These toys from 1982 reused some existing parts:

Skeletor

Beast Man

Man-At-Arms

Mer-Man

Stratos

Zodac

Battle Cat

Parts Reuse series:

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