Tag Archives: Teela

Box Art From A-Z, Part Two: 1983

One of the best things about getting new He-Man toys as a kid was the box art. The toys were of course amazing and fun, but personally I spent almost as much time staring at the boxes as playing with the toys. I remember being pretty heartbroken when my mother made me throw away my Castle Grayskull and Battle Ram boxes. She saw them as clutter, but for me they were almost stories in and of themselves. You could see whole adventures unfolding in a single painted scene.

Unfortunately, good photographs or scans of the original art are not available for every piece. If you happen to have a nicer images than I do (higher resolution, better composition, etc), please do feel free to share, and I’ll make an update! For pictures of the packaging itself, a neutral (white or black) background is preferred. High resolution scans of the artwork, where it appears without logos, would be ideal. Bottom line – if you have better images than I do, please share them!

One final note: I’m defining box art as the front-facing painted artwork that appeared on boxed Masters of the Universe toys. The illustrations on blister card packaging, then, are outside the scope of this series.

Part Two: 1983

Name: Attak Trak
Year: 1983
Artist: Rudy Obrero
Description: He-Man pilots the Attak Trak over rough terrain. Skeletor and Mer-Man are ready to attack, while Man-At-Arms and Teela stand in defense of Castle Grayskull. The artwork below was scanned by me, with box damage repaired by Retroist.

Name: Battle for Eternia
Year: 1983
Artist: William Garland
Description: Panthor swipes his claws at Man-E-Faces, as Man-E-Faces takes aim with his blaster at Skeletor, who is riding atop the savage cat. Twin moons hang in the smokey sky.

Artwork courtesy of Tokyonever

battle-for-eternia-original

Name: Panthor
Year: 1983
Artist: William Garland
Description: Skeletor and Panthor navigate alien terrain. A pterodactyl-like creature swoops in the air and two alien moons set on the smokey horizon. Castle Grayskull stands in the background, shrouded by mists and blowing sand.

panthor-best-quality

Name: Point Dread & Talon Fighter
Year: 1983
Artist: William Garland*
Description: He-Man and Teela sit inside the Talon Fighter’s cockpit, as its jet engines flair. Skeletor, Tri-Klops and Mer-Man race toward Point Dread, which is defended by Man-At-Arms. Twin alien moons hang in the night sky. Castle Grayskull looms in the foggy distance. (*Artist name not confirmed for this particular piece, but the art seems to match the style of the Panthor illustrations.)

point-dread-talon-fighter-logos-removed

Name: Screeech
Year: 1983
Artist: Rudy Obrero
Description: Screeech is depicted both soaring through the smokey skies of Eternia and standing on his perch, which sits on top of a castle turret.

screeech

Name: Skeletor and Panthor
Year: 1983
Artist: William Garland
Description: He-Man clashes swords with Skeletor, who sits astride the savage Panthor. A tiny gargoyle-like creature leaps from harm’s way. Man-At-Arms swings his club at Beast Man in front of the ominous Castle Grayskull.

skeletor-panthor-hi-res

Name: Skeletor and Screeech
Year: 1983
Artist: Rudy Obrero
Description: Skeletor stands at the edge of a lava-filled crevasse with Screeech perched on his arm. Two rodents run away in terror.

skeletor-screeech-largest

Name: Teela and Zoar
Year: 1983
Artist: Unknown
Description: Teela stands atop a rocky mountain peak as Zoar swoops through the skies at sunset. A snowy mountain range is visible in the distance.

teela-zoar-largest

Name: Zoar
Year: 1983
Artist: Rudy Obrero
Description: Zoar swoops through the skies as He-Man and Skeletor do battle on a rocky, volcanic landscape. Castle Grayskull looms in the distance.

zoar-no-logo3

More articles in this series:

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The top 20 posts of 2016 (and part of 2015)

The end of the year seems to be a traditional time for top 10 and top 25 lists. It seems like an American ritual to tabulate lists of the most popular things we did, said, ate or watched over the course of one trip around the sun.

I didn’t do this for 2015 (it would have seemed somewhat meaningless, as I didn’t start this blog until August of that year), so I thought I’d formulate the top 20 articles I’ve written to date (by number of views).

I’ll post them in ascending order of popularity. Try, if you can, to imagine this list read by David Letterman:

#20: 1982 Mattel Wish List

#19: Castle Grayskull prototype – a closer look

#18: Masters of the Universe Trademarks Timeline

#17: Masters of the Universe store display (1982)

#16: Panthor – Savage cat (1983)

#15: Battle Ram – Mobile Launcher (1982)

#14: Stratos – Winged warrior! (1982)

#13: Rudy Obrero: Heroic master of illustration

#12: Ted Mayer: Virtuoso of vehicle design

#11: Beast Man – Savage henchman! (1982)

#10: Mark & Rebecca Taylor on the origins of He-Man

#9: Man-E-Faces – Heroic human…robot…monster! (1983)

#8: 1982 Mattel Toys Dealer Catalog

#7: Mer-Man – Ocean warlord! (1982)

#6: Teela – Warrior goddess (1982)

#5: Faker – Evil robot of Skeletor (1983)

#4: Battle Cat – Fighting Tiger (1982)

#3: Castle Grayskull – Fortress of mystery and power (1982)

#2: Skeletor – Lord of Destruction! (1982)

#1: He-Man – Most powerful man in the universe! (1982)

And that’s the list! Thanks everyone for reading and commenting. I appreciate all the kind support and encouragement from all the readers, and for all those who have contributed to my blog with information, images, and corrections. Special thanks to Mark, Rebecca, Ted, Rudy and Martin for taking the time to let me interview them. Here’s hoping for a great 2017.

Good journey!

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Teela’s Charger

In some of the earliest media produced for Masters of the Universe, Teela is often depicted riding a golden horse or unicorn. The animal is never given a name, but is referred to as a “unicorn charger”. Fans have taken to calling the steed Charger for that reason.

Charger’s origins may lie in a January 1, 1981 “He-Man Vehicles & Accessories” idea disclosure form filed by Roger Sweet. In the form, Roger writes:

The Barbie horse, fixed or poseable legs, can be adapted to He-Man by changed color and added parts of armor, etc to make a horse vehicle.

In fact, there was a Barbie horse named Dallas, released in 1980 or 1981, that bears close resemblance to Charger as depicted in the first series of mini comics.

Several Masters of the Universe toys were reused from previous Mattel toylines, including Battle Cat, Panthor, Zoar and Screeech. Charger was never released in the vintage MOTU toyline, but I think he/she would have fit right in.

A concept drawing of a unicorn with a female rider was published in Tomart’s Action Figure Digest issue 90. The artwork is cropped, and we’re not given any information on the artist or the date. It’s possible that this is related to Teela and Charger, but it very well could be an unrelated concept (possibly for She-Ra):

Image courtesy of Jukka Issakainen

Charger appears as a unicorn in the first comic, He-Man and the Power Sword, illustrated by Alfredo Alcala. The mini comic was shipped with the first wave of 1982 figures, and was probably in production in late 1981:

There is a similar scene on the cover of the Masters of the Universe Friends and Foes coloring book (cover by Fred Carillo), published in 1984:

Image source: He-Man.org

Charger appears as an ordinary horse in subsequent mini comics released in 1982, including Battle in the Clouds and The Vengeance of Skeletor. My speculation is that it would have been expensive to add a horn to the Dallas buck, so the concept was simplified to require no additional tooling. Of course it’s possible that this is just a fluke and not a planned change to the design of Charger.

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Charger appears a few more times in various forms. One of the most interesting is the Grenadier “Raid of He-Man” paint and play minifigures set. The set includes Teela seated on Charger (as a unicorn), along with Skeletor, He-Man, Ram Man, Stratos, Man-At-Arms, Zodac and the Castle Grayskull weapons rack (images via He-Man.org)

Something that looks like it might be Charger appears in a 1983 MOTU puzzle, illustrated by R.L. Allen:

Charger appears in the 1983 Ladybird story, A Trap For He-Man, as well as in the 1984 story, Castle Grayskull Under Attack (images via He-Man.org):

Charger makes an appearance in issue 43 of the Italian Piú comic book series:

Image via He-Man.org; scanned and edited by MotuFlashes and Tommy.

Charger also shows up in various sticker and coloring books released throughout the first few years of the toyline (hat tip to He-Man.org user Whiplash7):

Finally, Charger (this time with a white coat) makes an appearance in the 1984 German audio story, Höhle des Schreckens (thanks to the anonymous commenter below for the tip):

Image source: He-Man.org

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Rice Krispies He-Man Puffy Stickers Promotion (1984)

The only non-toy He-Man related items I tried to collect as a kid were the puffy stickers offered inside specially marked boxes of Kellogg’s Rice Krispies cereal in 1984. As any blind box toy collector can tell you, collecting stickers like this was as exciting as it was frustrating. You will inevitably get multiples of anything you’re trying collect (I got several copies of Evil-Lyn, as I recall, but alas, no Skeletor). And of course, I could only cajole my mother into buying so many boxes of Rice Krispies.

The stickers came in waxy envelopes, with a coupon for 20 cents off of a variety of “Kellogg’s talking Krispies” cereals. Incidentally, the coupons are still good, as there is no expiration date. But 20 cents was a better deal in 1984 dollars.

kelloggs-collection
ba-he-man
ba-skeletor-best
teela
evil-lyn
orko-best
coupon

I think was really sold me on these as a kid (aside from the He-Man characters) was the facts that the stickers were plastic and puffy. That gave them a sense of permanence that typical paper stickers lacked.

The artwork comes from a couple of different sources. The Teela sticker is directly based on Teela’s cross sell art, albeit with more vivid colors:

Evil-Lyn’s sticker is also based on her cross sell artwork, although they’ve modified the position of her left arm, and given her a blue version of Teela’s shield. Her coloring also seems influenced by Filmation’s version of the character:

Battle Armor He-Man, Battle Armor Skeletor, and Orko do not seem to be based at all off the cross sell artwork. Stylistically they somewhat recall Errol McCarthy’s extensive body of Masters of the Universe illustrations. I have not found any examples of his artwork that are compositionally identical to either He-Man or Skeletor as they appear here. However, Errol did a version of Orko that may have influenced the design of the puffy sticker:

Note that Orko’s hat is off model on the sticker – it’s colored yellow rather than orange. I suspect the reason for that was to save on the number of colors being printed per sticker. The same shade of yellow is used in Orko’s bursts of magic.

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