The 1980’s were a good time for toy companies. Some of the most memorable boy’s toys were first released in the early to mid 80’s.. Toys like The Transformers, GI Joe and Star Wars filled the shelves and inspired many kids with their plastic figure and play sets. One of the more memorable ones was the Masters of the Universe line. I remember characters such as He-Man, Skeletor, Teela, Beast-Man and Man-at-Arms inhabiting a world that was part Star Wars, part Conan the Barbarian. I remember play set and vehicles like the Battle Ram and Point Dread. Like many toys properties, it had its tie ins: cartoons, lunch boxes, clothing and even a live action movie. The book, The Art of He-Man and the Master of the Universe looks at the toy lines 30+ year history covering the various toy lines (including Princess of Power) media and tie-ins.
The book is a large full color book with glossy pages and photos. The book starts with the beginning of the line, reproducing memos, concept art and shows prototypes of what would become He-Man. Skeletor and Beast Man. It goes into the line, showing early sketches of produced characters (and some that weren’t) and interviews with those who worked on the line. It also goes into the mini comics, comic book adaptations and the cartoon series from Filmation, both He-Man and the Masters of the Universe and She-Ra: Princess of Power. it even goes into the movie starring Dolph Lundgren., subsequent revivals (The Adventures of He-Man from 1989-1991 and the revived Masters of the Universe cartoon from 2002-2004) and the current subscription line from Mattycollector.com.
There is really a lot in this book. There are pages from the mini-comics that I haven’t seen in years and art work of characters that I have forgotten about or never knew existed. The authors of this book, Tim and Steve Seely really delve into the history of the franchise, bringing sketches and artwork to light that would have remained forgotten. Interviews with people who worked on the toys, the various cartoon series and the comic books really go into detail about their experience with the line.
The Art of He-Man and the Maters of the Universe is a great book for anyone that was or is a fan of the property. There is so much information about the toy line and the cartoon, you are bound to learn something new. The only thing missing is full reprints of the original mini comics but you will have to get another book for that (and there is no room in this book anyways.) I highly recommend this book.
As they say on Eternia, “Good Journey”