The origin of the Red Skull has had numerous revisions over his nearly eight decade history. Likewise his appearance has also changed. With this Fall Exclusive, Mezco presents the Red Skull in the classic green jumpsuit he wore during his 1st encounter with Captain America in 1941.
With the militia force of Hydra’s army at his disposal and harnessing the untold power of the Cosmic Cube, the Red Skull is a constant threat to all of humanity.
Featuring over 30 articulation points, intricate sculptural work and incredible costume detailing, the final product creates an iconic vision with a “real world” look.
The One:12 Collective Red Skull Fall Exclusive figure joins the One:12 collective with a comprehensively detailed outfit and unique character specific accessories.
This limited edition Mezco Fall Exclusive is only available via our website and at the Mezco NYCC booth #1954 while supplies last.
THE ONE:12 COLLECTIVE RED SKULL FALL EXCLUSIVE FEATURES:
Two (2) Detailed head portraits
One:12 Collective body with over 30 points of articulation
Classic green jumpsuit
Hand painted authentic detailing
Over 16cm tall
Six (6) interchangeable hands including
One (1) pair of fists (L & R)
One (1) pair of gun/ cannon holding hands (L & R)
One (1) Cosmic Cube holding hand (R)
One (1) posing hand (L)
Classic green jumpsuit
Harness for fuel tanks
Sculpted belt with blaster holder
One (1) Cosmic cube
One (1) Blaster
One (1) Blaster holster (attaches to belt)
One (1) cannon
One (1) Cannon fuel tank (attaches via hose to cannon)
One (1) Harness (holds fuel tank)
One (1) One:12 Collective display base with logo
One (1) One:12 Collective adjustable display post
Each One:12 Collective Red Skull Fall Exclusive figure is packaged in a collector friendly box, designed with collectors in mind, there are no twist ties for easy in and out of package display.
Fox Entertainment’s classic films
PREDATOR and ALIEN are now joining Dorbz!
Dorbz’s Science Fiction series features an
array of creepy yet adorable characters!
The lineup features the powerful PREDATOR
with his super-human strength!
Look for the clear version of PREDATOR,
only at Toys “R” Us
1 in 6
Available only at Toys “R” Us!
Collect them all this Fall… coming to scare you in November! Dorbz: Sci Fi Series – Tron & The Rocketeer
This series features some Disney classics with an adorable new take.
Characters from the classic movie Tron – featuring Tron and Sark!
Look for the glow chase version of Tron.
A rarity of 1-in-6!
Collect them all this Fall!
1 in 6
Also, The Rocketeer now joins the Dorbz line.
Look for the black and white chase of The Rocketeer.
A rarity of 1-in-6!
1 in 6
Coming in November! Dorbz: Sci Fi Series – Star Trek
Spock, the loyal human-Vulcan and Starship
Enterprise officer, is now joining Dorbz!
Look for the alternative universe chase of Spock!
A rarity of 1-in-6.
Add Spock to your collection this Fall!
Funko Specialty Series
Every store deserves an amazing Funko exclusive!
In an effort to recognize our most special accounts and loyal retailers,
Funko is continuing our Specialty Series. Every month, we’ll be announcing
two major exclusives – one Pop! Vinyl and one Dorbz – that
can be acquired through the Specialty Series.
Why is it so special? You’ll only be able to find these Specialty Series
exclusives in boutique retail, specialty stores, local comic book shops and
from qualified online retailers. This is your chance to help support local businesses
and smaller retailers, and you’ll pick up an amazing exclusive item in the process!
Our latest exclusives are Thundercats Tygra
Pop! vinyl and Masters of the Universe Orko Dorbz!
Remember, these two fantastic pieces are exclusive to the Specialty Series.
So pay a visit to your favorite specialty store or your local comic book
shop and let them know to order the Specialty Series from Funko.
Keep following Funko and subscribe to our newsletter to find out
about next month’s Specialty Series exclusives!
Coming this November the Dorbz line will now have The Rocketeer. Sold in both a colorized version as well as a 1 in 6 chaser silver color, The Rocketeer will be blasting off into your collection this fall.
Without a doubt, Wolverine is one of the most iconic X-Men. His gruff personality and claws of adamantium have turned him into one of the most popular superheroes today, with an enormous fan base. That’s why we’re incredibly excited to announce this Fall Exclusive, Wolverine in his yellow and blue X-Men uniform.
Perhaps his most iconic costume of all, Wolverine has worn it in countless comics, cartoons, and video games. It’s also one of the most requested One: 12 Collective figures we’ve ever gotten. That’s why it was an incredible experience getting to bring the the character and costume to the One:12 Collective format. Like previous One:12 designs, we took Wolverine’s costume and mixed it with a bit of real world grittiness, creating a figure and costume that could face combat in the real world. This can be seen in the all-terrain design of his boots, and strong combat shoulder pads.
Wolverine will go on sale next Wednesday, the 13th on the Mezco website and will be available at The New York Comic Con this October.
Power-Con is this weekend and if you are a fan of He-Man and She-ra you do not want to miss this convention. Here is this weekend’s programming that you do not want to miss including the debut of two He-man documentaries.
6:00pm – 8:00pm – Early Attendee Pick-up – STRONGLY ENCOURAGED!
Pre-ordered passes are available for pick up on Friday, September 8, 2017 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm. All items for which you’re eligible must be picked up at the same time (passes, t-shirts, exclusives redemption tickets). If you pre-ordered your convention pass, we encourage you to please pick up your items on Friday evening. If you cannot pick up pre-ordered passes on Friday evening, or for attendees wishing to purchase passes to the convention, you may do so starting at 8:00am on Saturday.
6:00pm – 8:00pm – Early Toy Exclusives Pick-up – STRONGLY ENCOURAGED!
The Toy Room (located in the corner of the Main Showroom adjacent to Registration), is where you will pick up your pre-paid exclusives. You must FIRST check in at Registration and get your passes and other items. You will also be given your redemption tickets during Registration check-in. At the Toy Room, you must present your redemption tickets, photo ID or passport, and then fill out and sign the release agreement before you can claim your exclusives. Given that this process is slower than Registration check-in, we encourage you to do this on Friday night if you are present at the hotel. Lines WILL be cut off promptly at 8:00pm. If you are in line when this happens, please return at a later time during the convention when the Toy Room is open.
9:00pm – 10:30pm – Playtime Masters: Our Memories of He-Man
Playtime Masters is a new documentary by John F. Carroll exploring fans’ childhood memories of He-Man and She-Ra. The documentary is approximately one hour and there will be a brief Q&A after the film.
10:30pm – 11:00pm – Finding Frank Langella
Roast Gooble Dinner’s own Rob Base sets out on a comedic journey to meet and talk with Frank Langella (Skeletor) for the 30th Anniversary of Masters of the Universe film. Follow him and his friends as they attempt to get the elusive actor to open up about his most iconic role.
11:00pm – 11:15pm – The Lost
Johnny Bilson wrote and directed this short based on ‘The Lost Boys.’ It introduces a new gang of vampires prowling the streets of Santa Carla in 1987. Come see this extended trailer for the next film, which is being written as a feature-length film set in the same universe.
Saturday, September 9:
8:00am – Registration opens – COME EARLY to buy or pickup pre-ordered passes! Lines tend to be long Saturday morning.
9:30am – Power Pass holders allowed into the convention.
10:00am – Power-Con officially opens to the public.
10:00am – 12:00pm – Toy Room open to public.
10:30am – 12:30pm – 1987 He-Man Movie Live Commentary
Join members from the cast and crew of the 1987 He-Man and the Masters of the Universe film, as they offer up a live commentary about the movie. Relive memories and discover things you never knew about before.
Featuring: Anthony De Longis, Chelsea Field, Meg Foster, Gary Goddard, William Stout
Moderator: Duvien Ho
12:30pm – 1:30pm – Masters of Vintage Masters of the Universe Marketing
Discover the origins of the vintage line and what was involved in taking it from concept to a worldwide action figure success.
Featuring: Paul Cleveland, Mark Ellis, Rudy Obrero
Moderator: Aidan Cross
1:30pm – 2:30pm – The Origins of He-Man.Org and the Episode Review Website
We travel back to the early days of the internet as we learn directly from the pioneers who established the early roots of the online He-Man and She-Ra fan community along with some of the most prominent internet resources.
Featuring: Zadoc Angell, James Eatock, Matt Ratzloff, Adam Tyner
Moderator: Jon Kallis
2:30pm – 3:30pm – Super7 Super Awesome Panel
The current and retro MOTU toy product has officially changed hands, and Super7 is now at the helm! Find out what they have in store for awesome new He-Man and She-Ra products.
Featuring: Brian Flynn, Josh Herbolsheimer
Moderator: Jon Kallis
3:00pm – 5:00pm – Toy Room open to public.
4:00pm – Registration closes.
3:30pm – 5:30pm – The Power Tour Unleashed
For the first time, see excerpts from the 80s MOTU stage show The Power Tour. Members of the cast will provide commentary to scenes from the Tour and reveal never-before-revealed secrets previously known only to children lucky enough to see the tour.
Featuring: Forbes Candlish, Zack Hoffman, Gus Park, Eric Van Baars, Jack Wadsworth, Leslie Wadsworth
Moderator: Danielle Gelehrter
5:30pm – 6:30pm – Cosplay Contest
Cosplay embodies the creativity of fans, who spend countless hours making toy and cartoon character designs a reality! Come see those cosplayers bring their creations to life on the stage before your eyes.
Master of Ceremonies: Gabe Khouth
6:00pm – Main Showroom closes to the public for the day
All attendees, Power Pass holders, and press must be off the convention floor at this time.
6:30pm – Main Showroom Locked Down
All persons, including exhibitors, guests, volunteers, and staff, must be off the convention floor at this time.
After Hours Events
7:00pm – 8:00pm – The Lusty Horde
LA improv comedy group The Lusty Horde joins Power-Con to present a special live MOTU improv comedy show. Based on your suggestions during the show, The Horde will create a hilarious, completely improvised adventure set in Eternia and beyond. This is an all-ages show.
8:00pm – 8:45pm – Hee-Man: Panel of None
Many fans do not know of the 1985 Filipino live-action film that spoofed the 1983 Filmation MOTU cartoon. Watch as Daniel Benedict, Rachel Crockett, Rob Herreman, and Val Staples provide comedy commentary about different moments of the film.
8:45pm – 9:30pm – ‘The Return of Faker’ Fan-Made Filmation Episode
James Eatock will showcase both the development and completed scenes for his and Dušan Mitrovic’s Filmation fan cartoon that is sure to make many a jaw drop!
9:30pm – 11:30pm – ‘Power of Grayskull: The Definitive History of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe’ Documentary
Come watch the reveal of this latest documentary from FauxPop media that digs into the rich history of what has become one of the most beloved and enduring pop culture icons for millions of fans worldwide. You won’t want to miss this one!
11:30pm – 1:30am – The Power Tour Returns!
You got to see segments early today during a panel at Power-Con, along with commentary from cast members. Now watch the whole show, uninterrupted and with no commentary.
Sunday, September 10:
9:00am – Registration opens
9:30am – Power Pass holders allowed into the convention.
10:00am – Power-Con officially opens to the public.
10:00am – 12:00pm – Toy Room open to public.
10:30am – 11:30am – 200X Masters of the Universe Action Figure Adventure
Fifteen years ago, MOTU was relaunched with a new and exciting toy line that brought with it a fan resurgence that continues today. Come relive memories and learn new secrets about the 2002 Masters of the Universe toy line from Mattel with the talent who helped make it a reality.
Featuring: Four Horsemen, Jeremy Padawer
Moderator: Brian Galbreath
11:30am – 12:30pm – 200X Masters of the Universe Comic Book Celebration
Fifteen years ago, MOTU saw the debut of a new comic book that was licensed by MVCreations. Join the original staff of MVCreations who share memories about what it took to get the license and relive memories behind its creation.
Featuring: Leanne Hannah, Jonboy Meyers, Val Staples, Matt Tyree
Moderator: ‘Pixel Dan’ Eardley
12:30pm – 1:30pm – The Vivacious Voices of the 200X He-Man Cartoon
They brought the characters in the 2002 MOTU cartoon to life. Now you can hear the 2002 He-Man cartoon voice actors bring those characters to life before you while they look back at an amazing time for He-Man and friends.
Featuring: Garry Chalk, Cam Clarke, Brian Dobson, Paul Dobson, Michael Donovan, Gabe Khouth, Scott McNeil
Moderator: ‘Pixel Dan’ Eardley
1:30pm – 2:30pm – Extra! Extra! The He-Man Newspaper Strip Spectacular
Fans finally got to discover the mysteries of this lost treasure, thanks to the He-Man Newspaper Strip collection from Dark Horse. Now learn all about what it took to make this four-and-a-half-year-long story a reality from the creators behind it.
Featuring: Gérald Forton, Connie Schurr, Chris Weber, Karen Willson
Moderator: Danielle Gelehrter
2:30pm – 4:30pm – The Power of the Whip! A Weapons and Combat Showcase with Anthony De Longis
Blade from the 1987 He-Man movie was no showboat. Those swordsman skills are real! Come witness his talent first-hand as Anthony De Longis and his wife Mary show you what it takes to be a true Man-At-Arms with a live weapons demonstration.
Featuring: Anthony De Longis, Mary De Longis
3:00pm – Registration closes.
3:00pm – 4:00pm – Toy Room open to public.
5:00pm – Main Showroom and the Convention as a whole closes to the public. Thank you for coming, and we hope to see you next time!
In 1914 Italian immigrant Antonio Pasin came to America in search of his dream. He held several labor jobs before saving enough money to begin his own company, using his cabinet making skills which he learned from his grand-father & father to create phonograph cabinets. The company was named The Venetian Furniture Company after his home town near Venice Italy. A creative person, he built a wooden coaster he called The Liberty Coaster after the famous statue & soon he was creating & selling more wagons than cabinets. Soon he began using steel instead of wood to create the wagons. This is how the company became known as Radio Flyer, after the first steel wagon they built.
For 100 years Radio Flyer has been the leader in great wagons & has even created those based off of popular television shows or movies, like in the 1950’s when they teamed with Disney to put out wagons based off of the famous Walt Disney Mickey Mouse Club & Davy Crocket.
While Radio Flyer has had quite the impressive history, I think nothing could be cooler than their most recent release, something I wish was out when I was a child, an actual working Star Wars Landspeeder. Based off of Luke Skywalker’s X-34 speeder from Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, the Radio Flyer Landspeeder can sit 2 children. The speeder comes with an interactive dashboard which features lights, actual sounds & dialogue from the movie (for sounds you get the Engine startup/shut down & the flying noise, while the dialogue has three lines, one from Luke Skywalker, “Look it, there’s a Droid on the scanner. Dead ahead. Might be our little Artoo unit. Hit the accelerator”, beeping noises of R2-D2 & from C3-P0, “There are several creatures approaching from the South East”. These are the actual voices of Mark Hamill & Anthony Daniels.)
The speeder has a shift which can make it go between 2 to 5 miles forward, or 2 miles in reverse. It runs on a 12 Volt rechargeable battery & also comes with the charger. The weight limit is 130 LBS & is for ages 4 & higher. In Toys R Us it sells for $499.00.
Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future was a groundbreaking toy line that successfully incorporated interactive technology with a live action tv series.
Created by Gary Goddard and Anthony Christopher in the late 80s, Captain Power tells the story of Earth in the 22nd century following the Metal Wars, a cybernetic revolt that resulted in the subjugation of the human race by intelligent machines. Captain Jonathan Power and a small group of guerrilla fighters, called “The Soldiers Of The Future,” oppose the machine forces that dominate Earth.
After Goddard’s success as the director of the live action Masters of the Universe movie, he brought Captain Power to Mattel and created a unique interactive toy line. Not only could you create your own stories with the action figures and vehicles but you could also play with the tv show as either a Soldier of the future or and evil Bio dread.
If you decided to join the resistance as a Soldier of the Future then your vehicle would be the PowerJet XT-7.
The interactive power jet comes in a sturdy regular box that features a drawing of the jet shows that you can use the jet to interact with the tv show. (Something that has never been done before)
The back of the box show a “top secret” schematic of the ship itself and details the features that the XT-7 can perform.
The top of the box shows other features that the Jet can perform when the tv show is not on. You can interact and play with other vehicles and playlets that were also part of the toy line.
Besides the instructions the Jet also comes with
an information card to get acquainted with your new PowerJet.
Outside of the box the PowerJet XT-7 is a Power Jet that has aged very well. This particular jet on the eraser like rubber tip has very minor yellowing. The Stickers are still attached and have not faded at all.
The vehicle itself can stand alone with the help of the rear handle on the ship to balance it out. The ship itself must only weigh a few pounds because it is truly a light weight toy.
The red button in the middle lights up and acts as a score keeper. You can press the button and hear tones as it lights up, each tone represents your score.
One of the nice design features that I appreciate on this Jet is the fact that this is not a gun. Yes there is a handle and a trigger in the rear of the jet to shoot at objects but the aerodynamic looking wings hide your hand so it looks like you are flying. Anyone can play with this Jet and get lost with their imagination by “flying” it and not get stuck in reality by seeing your hand as it takes a turn in mid air.
The top of the Jet includes an open and close cockpit (but more on that later) and the bottom features a speaker where you can hear the Jet: fire weapons, your score tones and laser blast “hits”.
On the top of the Jet are two engines, they are the interactive parts of the Jet. The engine on the left shoots out a blast of pulsating light towards your target. (The signal it sends is your laser fire and how you may earn points when playing). The engine on the right is your signal receiver and how you would get hit by enemy fire. (If you lose all of your points, you lose the game and it effects your cockpit).
There were different ways you could play with this Jet: you could play when the tv show Captain Power and the Soldiers of the future was on.
You could shoot at the enemy target (The Bio Dreads, the enemy Jet the Phantom Stryker and their base.)
You could play with your friends if they had a Cape. Power vehicle or playset and shoot at each other, or you could have been the lucky kid on your block and watched the 3 training videos on tv anytime you want.
The cockpit on the Jet has a plastic hood over the cockpit to secure your figure in the Jet. The cockpit itself is made up of a separate plastic seat that you can place your figure. The cockpit is also interactive during play because you attach the seat to a red lever in the cockpit. If you are getting hit by enemy fire, enough hits you loose your point and when you lose all of your points…
Your figure is automatically eject from the Jet and the game is over.
Some people over the years have complained that the Jet only does something if you lose. A cry that creator Gary Goddard heard and agreed with. If the show and the toy line continued, Goddard wanted to create another jet that would’ve rewarded the player by having more action features as you gained more points.
I enjoyed playing Captain Power as a kid and revisiting this Power Jet has been highlight of my toy collecting. The Jet itself has held up well over time, even the features still function properly. If you can find an old tv and one of the videos you can get lost playing as a Soldier of the Future for hours.
Mattel no longer produces these vehicles and the only way to get one is in the aftermarket like E-bay or Amazon but I have seen them at Toy shows.
Gary Goddard and his production company Goddard Entertainment has been trying to bring back the show as Rising Phoenix, hopefully it will happen one day so I can enjoy a new generation of Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future.
Since we have him I might as well review the Captain himself, Captain Jonathan Power.
Captain Power came in a regular card with the figure and weapon featured in a plastic bubble.
Removed from the bubble the figure stands at the 1:18th scale which is about 4 inches which is ideal since he has to fit inside vehicles and other playsets.
On the show Captain Power was portrayed by Actor Tim Dunigan but with 80s toy technology this is as close to the actor’s likeness as you are going to get. Basically the figure looks like a futuristic GI Joe figure.
The articulation is good for the time this figure was produced: The head has full rotation and joints at the shoulders, elbows, thighs and knees.
The only downside is that the figure cannot stand on its own. You would need a stand or just keep him in a vehicle.
The paint application are clean and nice (they held up for a figure that is 30 years old) The chest has a vac metal gold shine that has also held up nicely over time (no flaking). The center of his chest is hollowed out with a clear plastic cap in the front that displays the Soldiers symbol. (This is a nice feature for when the figure is in front of the Power On Energizer, his chest would glow with “Power”.
This figure has held up nicely after 30 years and everyone involved in his production should take a bow because after all this time this figure can still be played with the best of them.
Have you ever wondered what makes a brand great? Is it the long hours that creative people spend expanding on an idea? Is it a stroke of luck? One filmmaker believes it is the passion of the fan that makes or breaks a brand.
The hardworking consumer that puts down their (or their parents’) hard earn money to support a product that a great majority of collectors have found a common interest in. This is what makes a great brand transcend into something beyond a product or a simple toy; the fans.
Filmmaker John Carroll has realized this and has created a documentary to celebrate the community of fans that have made Masters of the Universe the number 1 toy line of the 1980s. Carroll’s documentary Playtime Masters tells the story of how He-man and the Masters of the Universe meant so much too so many.
Toy-Lines: You originally had a GoFundMe account for the movie?
John Carroll : I had an Indiegogo account. So I tried to raise ten thousand dollars because ultimately what I wanted to do was get more research, kind of get into more archives and things like that, and more of the historical archives of it, and you’ve got to go through copyrighting clearance for a lot of stuff.
But we only raised like a thousand dollars. And also part of that ten thousand dollars was printing the DVDs and printing the Blu-ray and all of that stuff, and getting things mastered correctly, and all the postproduction stuff, and getting the audio mix just right. And I have to hire for people for that, but we didn’t raise that kind of money. So basically I was left to my own devices, which is fine, but I can only do so much and my expertise really doesn’t get into things like audio mixing and color correction.
I don’t have a law degree, so I can’t get into copyright and clearance and all that stuff. So I’ve had to really have a fine line between what I was going to present and what I wasn’t, so anything that I have gotten through archives I’ve had to do through fair use, which basically means there’s a fair use clause in the US copyright law where if you’re commenting on something for educational purposes, criticism, that kind of thing, then you can use little clips and generally it’s defensible in court, so if I do get in trouble I can rely on that. But you don’t want to go too far with that kind of stuff, because that’s a really gray area, and so I’ve really relied on people’s own photographs or videos from their own childhood to tell the story. Like if somebody mentions something very specifically, a figure or a moment, some people will talk about this thing that happened in a commercial, I can show a clip of that because it very specifically talks about that specific moment in an interview, and that’s fair use. That’s critiquing something or commenting on it, but you just don’t want to go too far. I’ve been very careful with what my money can do.
TL: So most of it has been self-financed?
JC: Yeah. I’m hoping that everybody who is part of the documentary would get a free copy of it, a free download, and then anybody that contributed through Indiegogo would get a copy of it, but I am hoping that through Power-Con and just Facebook and social media that I can get the word out enough that I can at least recoup some of my own costs. Because it’s expensive doing this stuff.
I’m glad I got to do it, because I think it really tells a story that a lot of people don’t really hear because we’re so focused on what’s the new figure coming out, or people talk about the cartoon or the upcoming cartoon or the upcoming movie. Not a lot of people will talk about their own stories.
TL: It’s a true labor of love…
JC: Instead of capturing the idea of the history of the brand or who did what in the brand, this is a story about us.
It’s like what we experienced is what made Masters of the Universe so popular in the first place, and I don’t think that story gets told as much as it probably should.
I think it’s fun and there’s so much passion in the community and there’s so much talk about different aspects of what we like and what we are critical of, but in looking at something like this documentary, at least for me, it really reminds me of what the good stuff is.
Why we like this in the first place, and I think people will walk away from it with a really great nostalgic feeling and be a little more energized about why they like Masters of the Universe, or why they collect toys, or why they kind of hold onto some of those childhood memories so strongly.
Because it came from a really great time in our lives and a great period of history, where things were not quite so crazy and there was a lot more discovery and mystery about things.
TL: Besides He-man, was there any common themes or expressions that you noticed?
JC: One of the things that keeps reoccurring so often is that there was no internet, there was no anything. When you discovered a new toy, it was because you saw it in the store, and that was a really magical moment for us. And I think we’ve lost some of that and at least again for me, and I’m not trying to say that oh my God my documentary is so freaking awesome, but I do think it is awesome.
I’m really happy with the way it turned out because it tells a story that I really wanted to go tell and it really reminds you of those moments in your life. No matter who you were or where in the world you were or what language you spoke, everybody’s story has a lot of similarities to it, and it’s why we all love this property so much. And even if somebody watches this and they’re not a big Masters of the Universe fan, they can relate to a lot of these stories, because you can fill in the blank with whatever it is that you collected as a child. You know that a lot of these stories really kind of cross over into whatever it is you collected or did.
TL: Do you also mention any other toy lines or just specifically Masters?
A: For the most part it’s Masters of the Universe and Princess of Power. That’s really what I concentrate on. And really mostly Masters of the Universe. We talk about She-Ra in that it came along and there were a lot of stories about kind of how that played into a lot of people’s collecting, and I won’t spoil anything for you, but a lot of people did talk about when they kind of grew out of He-Man they went into GI Joe, or they started collecting Transformers, or any number of the other ’80s toys. So we may reference things kind of in that aspect, but for the most part I decided I want to concentrate on what Masters of the Universe meant to people and I think I do a pretty good job of keeping that in line with what I wanted to do.
TL: So for some people, He-Man was like a gateway toy line?
JC: Oh yeah, yeah. I mean, I was born in the early ’70s and I’ve talked to several people who grew up with either the knowledge of or playing with the 12-inch GI Joe stuff. I played with a lot of the little Remco monster toys and so I loved that stuff. I loved monster anything and I think that’s one of the things that attracted me to Masters of the Universe initially.
But like really the heyday of the action figures and the playsets and the vehicles really came along with Masters came in and GI Joe. Those were the two properties, at least in my research and my experience, that really brought in this really cool world that you could build and that complemented each other. And when I say complemented each other, all the vehicles, playsets, and figures complemented the world of GI Joe or Masters of the Universe.
Not to say — I mean, they could cross over if you wanted to, but the ’80s brought in that kind of timeframe. So really, this could have been a documentary about GI Joe or Transformers or any of those lines that had all of the stuff. But what it really was about is that connection with your friends, your family, your brothers and sisters. There were so many stories about playing with your brother and forgetting the canon of Masters of the Universe. They would dump out their figures and they’d just like I want that one and I want that one and I want that one. No matter what, if they were good guys or bad guys, you’d build these armies and have this great time.
So it spurred this huge amount of imagination and I think the ’80s were great for that. Back in the ’70s, I don’t remember — I mean, there was some with GI Joe, of course, but those 12-inch figures were so big, you couldn’t have this huge playroom full of vehicles and playsets and figures and all the stuff like you could with the smaller toys like Masters or GI Joe.
It lent itself to this huge world that you could build in your room with your brothers and sisters and friends and people could bring over their stuff and there’s so many stories about that. Whole neighborhoods would get together and you don’t have that anymore, this communal playtime. Maybe you do with videogames, but it’s just not the same. It’s an interesting point in history that I don’t think we have anymore, and that’s one of the reasons why I wanted to document this.
TL: Why did you gravitate to Masters though? You can do the same thing with the Transformers or even GI Joe?
A: Sure. I gravitated to Masters because that’s what I enjoyed when I was a kid. I did collect GI Joe and I had a few Transformers, but Masters of the Universe was really the thing that stuck with me. Even now, clearly, I love Masters of the Universe. There was just something about it — and again, going back to my love of monsters and all of that kind of thing. It just really plays into all of the little things that I love about the property. You’ve got the fantasy and the monsters and it really lends itself to this huge part of your imagination and in talking to people that imagination kind of spurred on into their adulthood where they did a lot of creative things themselves. I connected with that and Masters is just that thing that I never really grew out of. I loved GI Joe. I loved all of the playsets and the characters and so forth with it. But there was just something about Masters of the Universe that just really gelled with me and I never really let that go and I let GI Joe and all that other stuff go. I don’t know, but that’s why. I’m a fan to this day, and that’s why I decided to concentrate on this.
TL: The movie itself– how much is fan stories versus history? Is there a balance, or just all fandom?
JC: Oh, some history. All of it is fan stories. Originally — when I say I was going to add some history, what I meant was there are other projects and there are other things that came out on other DVDs with the cartoons and so forth that talk about the history of the brand. My point was I didn’t want to concentrate on that stuff. I wanted specifically talk about fans’ own memories, and if any of the history of the Masters of the Universe property connected with the memory specifically, then I might say here’s what they’re talking about.
But beyond that, all of this is specifically fans talking about their memories, so there’s very little history of the brand. I’m letting other people who have more research ability to do that than me, so this is really all fan stories. And you’ll see it connects. Everybody, individual interviews will connect with each other and they didn’t mean to. It’s what we lived through and that’s kind of how we played with each other, so it’s really awesome.
TL: Without giving too much away, what stories have you heard? Anything you could share?
JC: Absolutely. Even talking to you, one of the things you said that really stuck with me is you used the mini comics basically to learn to read, or partially to learn to read, and I heard other people who had similar experiences.
One thing was the discovery of She-Ra without knowing anything about it and the excitement when that kind of spinoff came in. There were stories about, snow days and how all these people in the neighborhood would come out to a central location and they’d build snow forts and all this stuff, and they’d have all their He-Man figures out there with it, and have these epic battles and stuff.
A lot of memories of playing with their dad and their dad being very involved in that playtime and in the collecting and so forth, and you run the gamut from people like me who were pretty spoiled and got a lot of toys to people who didn’t have a lot and lived in countries where it might have been almost impossible to get these figures, but they had the cartoons or they had the comics or they had something that they connected with and they would create their own stuff.
A lot of the German fans — it was probably twice as expensive to get those toys as it was here in the United States so they would get what they could, but they would create from paper or cardboard playsets and things. So it’s really interesting to see people’s imagination and what they did to create their own world with this stuff, and I think it was really awesome. I think it really showed a lot of ingenuity in what we did back then as kids.
TL: Did you meet a lot of customizers? Is that how some of them got their start?
JC: I think pretty much everybody that I talked to customized in some way. I mean, I talked to Chris at Hunter Knight Customs. Chris was from Peru, so he lived during this period when there was not an embargo, but it was basically forbidden to get the imports of those figures until like the ’90s, so he would take stuff and basically customize it to make whatever, whether it was Masters of the Universe or some other toy property. But he would talk about that and that’s kind of what led him down the road to customizing.
A lot of people were artists and they would draw stuff and create things, or they would see stuff in the stores that they’d never seen before but couldn’t get yet, so they’d very quickly draw something so that they could learn more about the character. And again, this is all pre-internet. So it’s really cool to hear — it’s so much more interesting to me when stories like this come up, other than like I just googled it and there was all the information. But as far as customizing like that, yeah, we got a lot of stuff like that, but only a few people are still customizing figures and so forth. People would do things back in the day to create the figures they wanted. Like the Sorceress is a great example. We didn’t have that until much later in the line and some people never got her, so they would take their Teela figure and put wings on her or something to create the Sorceress. There was a lot of stuff like that.
TL: Have you interviewed anybody that’s currently involved, like Val Staples or any of the Horsemen?
A: I have not., Val has been very supportive of this documentary, so I certainly understand if somebody doesn’t want to be on camera then that’s totally fine. I did not reach out to the Horsemen. A lot of it was time and when I was at Power-Con last year, I was doing kind of that last stretch of interviews and people were so busy, me included, that it was just difficult to get time to do a sit-down proper interview.
I did talk to Pixel Dan and he has a reviewer’s mentality and to have him reminisce about his own experiences, because when you get people back to that (time)you really discover why they’re doing this. And one of the things I loved about listening to Pixel Dan’s story is of course he’s got his own child now and he is watching his kid discover these things and you kind of have to take a step back and go, oh yeah, that’s why there’s action features, or that’s why there’s this in these toys, is because it makes kids happy. It’s not because as collectors we’re like why does this have to be there and so forth, but toys aren’t made for us, they’re made for the kids, and it’s that moment of discovery and a toddler figuring something out for the first time. It’s really great to have those reminders, and that’s one of the stories I love to hear in this documentary, because sometimes we need to get a little bit of a reality check in our own collecting.
“Pixel” Dan Eardley
TL: You’re going to premiere the movie at Power-Con?
JC: Yeah. We’re showing it at Power-Con on Friday night at nine o’clock so it will be good.
JC: And I’ve got a table. I’m printing a limited number of DVDs because they’re so freaking expensive, but yeah, I’m doing that and then I’ve got basically postcards to tell people where to go and get it if they want to download it. So it will be good.
TL: How much are the DVDs going to be?
JC: They’ll be twenty bucks.
TL: Any extra features?
JC: All the Skype interviews are going to be sort of its own feature, just because the video and audio quality is different from the main feature, but there are really good stories so I just put it as its own thing and then there’s the main feature, which is an hour long. So I think it’s really good. You get the feature and you get the Skype interviews. It complements each other and I think it’s really good. I’m very proud of it.
TL: Besides the documentary, you also contributed to some He-man books?
JC: Yeah, I contributed to the Dark Horse Comics Masters of the Universe Encyclopedia. I mean, there was me and a team of other people, but I contributed to that. I’m mostly a playwright, but I’ve kind of done little bits and pieces all over the place. I just recently published two plays that I wrote. One is “Night of the Living Dead,” and of course George Romero just passed away so I’m getting a lot of traffic over that play, and “Nosferatu,” which is, of course, based on the silent film which is based on Dracula. I’m also going to have both of these at Power-Con if anybody wants to take a look at them. I’m very proud of those as well. We had a lot of really good feedback on those plays and people seemed to really enjoy them. The audiences did, for sure.
TL: Now that the movie’s complete, do you have any more upcoming projects?
JC: I’m a voice actor, so really what I’m doing now is just really concentrating on my voice acting career. I don’t have any specific video projects coming up but never say never. I’m always trying to stay busy. But I think probably my He-Man stuff is about tapped out, so I’ve done everything I’m probably going to do within Masters of the Universe, but I’m always wanting to do something creative, so we’ll see. I don’t know. I’m probably going to work on some other things down the road, but I don’t know what those are. Right now I’m just really concentrating on my voiceover career and doing that work.
Playtime Masters will premiere this weekend at Power-Con in Los Angeles.
Special thanks to John Carroll for taking the time to speak with us.