ROCKS 19A - He-Man

Discussion in 'Other Cartoons & Collectables' started by LiamABC, Jan 20, 2019.

  1. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    WELCOME EVERYBODY TO THE FIRST DISCUSSION IN THE NINETEENTH STRAND OF "R.O.C.K.S." - REWATCHING OLD CLASSIC KIDS SHOWS! A big thanks to everyone that are joining us through all of this.

    The next few weeks we're (finally!?) covering one of the biggest shows from the 80s, He-Man and his female counterpart She-Ra. A

    This week we're covering the following He-Man episodes:

    - The Cosmic Comet
    - Teela's Quest
    - The Dragon's Gift
    - Eye of The Beholder

    Just a friendly reminder to everyone that, whilst fans are obviously welcome to passionately discuss and give their views on these episodes, please remember to keep things on a friendly footing and respect your fellow posters.
    Also, please do not post where or how to find the full episode online. And do not post asking others to PM it to you. You are however allowed to watch the show in whatever manner you want.
     
  2. Wilycub

    Wilycub Staff Writer and Artist TC.org Staff

    Good choice of episodes guys! :thumbsup

    Like a million other kids in the 80s, I too was hooked on He-Man from the moment I saw it. I had a dozen or so episodes on VHS and I used to watch them over and over (Hopefully one of them will be picked for our ROCKS discussion! :)). But the limited animation was something that became a bit tiresome very quickly. That is probably why when I was introduced to ThunderCats and it's awesome animation, I pretty much forgot all about He-Man. But recently when I decided to re-visit the series I still found it enjoyable. On to the episodes:

    The Cosmic Comet
    A pretty decent pilot episode. The story was good, even if a bit far-fetched for a pilot, which I feel should focus more on introducing and developing the characters. But there was very little continuity between the He-Man episodes in general. Most of the episodes were stand-alone and could be viewed at any point in time. I expected that it would tell us a bit about how Prince Adam became He-Man but I learned from @Mark M that that is never explained in any episode. I guess the intro was all the explanation we got about He-Man and the other characters.

    Teela's Quest
    A much better episode as it focused more on developing the character of Teela. We get to learn about her history and how she is the Sorceress' daughter. But it's a pity that Teela didn't inherit any of her mother's powers. Even if they remained latent for the beginning of the series and then manifested themselves later, it would have made Teela fit in better with the rest of the superheroes. The Sorceress wiping Teela's memory reminded me of Superman's "mind-erasing kiss" from "Superman II". I also liked the moral at the end about how an adopted child can get as much love (if not more) from his/her adoptive parents as they can from their birth parents.

    The Dragon's Gift
    This was a fun quest/adventure episode. It was nice that neither He-Man's sword nor the Sorceress was able to cure Man-At-Arms (I'm looking at you, dues ex machina Sword of Omens!! ;)). The design of the dragon was pretty good. When he first appeared on screen, I expected him to have a baritone James Earl Jones type of voice. It was funny to hear him talk with a JARVIS kind of voice. :biggrin I'm surprised that He-Man even agreed to first go and get the tree. It's not like he doesn't know that trees are living things. Only after he encounters a talking tree does he decide not to go ahead with the task. But it was nice to see Teela display genuine emotions. Her anger and frustration just show how much she loves her father.

    Eye of the Beholder
    This episode reminded me a lot of ThunderCats. The title was used for a ThunderCats episode, He-Man's encounter with the insect-like characters was a bit like Lion-O's encounter with the a number of Third Earth beings (e.g. Under-earthmen, Unicorn Keepers) who initially are wary of him but later become good friends and help him, and the moral of "beauty is only skin deep" was used in "Good and Ugly" as well. It's strange that Skeletor has the exact same oxygen canister that Man-at-Arms "invented". Maybe Duncan has been doing some secret illegal trading, eh? LOL! :laugh The science is a bit far-fetched, especially when the Bunsen Burner fails to light up. For that to happen the oxygen would have to be really low and everybody would have been long dead. Also He-Man asking Man-at-Arms as to why a lack of oxygen would make them feel tired was just plain silly. I mean He-Man can't be THAT dense!

    A great start to an iconic series and I look forward to more episodes! :biggrin
     
    Mark M likes this.
  3. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    Thank you @Wilycub. I selected the epiosdes.
    I actually only ever seen a few epiosdes of He-man growing up. a couple on TV that I recorded and the first one being the Cat And The Spider which I got on VHS and was the first one I ever seen.
    Whilst I didn't see much of the cartoon until it came out on DVD I did have a quite a few figures. Ironically all mostly bad guys. Every few weeks we would go to a cash and carry to get tools and equipment my Dad needed for work. At the front of the shop they had a big toy section with lots of He-Man figures, Defenders of Earth, Visionaries and Galaxy Rangers etc. Every time we were there my Mum and Dad would buy me one. I don't recall ever seeing many good guys there. I only ever got two good guys there, Mossman and Stonedar. I got He-Man in a local supermarket in town and Zodak at a Safari Park. I didn't even know Zodak was a good guy until years later. I didn't have Skeletor...well the Masters of the Universe version, I did have the New Adventures version. I did have Hordak though and a few of his warriors so he was the main villain for my He-Man to fight. My cousin had the Battle Armour Skeletor so I sometimes got to play with it and use him in battles with my other figures. :D
    I got to know the characters and lore of Masters of the Universe more through the minicomics with the figures rather than the cartoon. I did enjoy the cartoon but I think my lack of exposure to it kept me from liking it as much as the other cartoons at the time like Thundercats, TMNT and Ghostbusters etc which I was able to watch every week on TV.

    The Cosmic Comet.
    I must admit I made a mistake selecting this episode. Whilst He-Man didn't exactly have an origin story as the pilot episode, it is The Diamond Ray Of Disappearance that is really the pilot episode with an introduction to Skeletor's minions.
    The Cosmic Comet is an okay episode. Just a regular He-Man episode so sets the tone for the entire series. Skeletor coming up with a plan to get into Castle Greyskull and He-Man stopping him.
    I wasn't too keen on the plot but it is an okay episode. Definitely not one of the best in the series.
    One thing I should mention about this episode is the Attack Track vehicle. It is a pretty cool looking van but looks absolutely nothing like the toys. It still had the rotating track feature but thats it. Not even the same colour. I never had the toy but I must say I would have preferred the toy to look it did in the cartoon as it could hold more figures for adventures like the TMNT, A-Team and Scooby Doo van etc lol.

    Teela's Quest.
    I really liked this episode. There is a few really good episodes focussing on Teela. It was hard picking one. Overall I really like this one as it explores her history and reveals the Sorceress to be her mother.
    This was a theme also carried across to the 2003 series which was explored in more detail. It also implied that Man-At-Arms is in fact her biological father.
    I do prefer what they did with Teela and Sorceress in the cartoon rather than the minicomics which is a bit confusing. In the comics she is a clone of the Sorceress Skeletor created but after being defeated by Sorceress and MAA she intrusts the child Teela, named after her, to MAA to look after.

    The Dragon's Gift.
    The all the other episodes I never seen any of these growing up but I was very familiar with this episode as it was adapted into a minicomic that was included with the action figures. I got it with Beastman. Strange since he isn't even in the comic. I would actually say the comic adaption is superior in some ways top the cartoon. But there is only slight differences, for the most part it is very faithful.
    I actually really did not like Granamyr's design and found it quite silly looking. I was also quite surprised by his voice as it really isn't how I would imagine a talking dragon to sound.
    He-Man only knew he had to cut down a tree to get the spell to undo Skeletor's spell on Man-At-Arms. He wasn't aware that Sky Tree was actually a talking living tree.
    Even though Sky Tree is willing to let He-man cut him down to save Man-At-Arms, He-Man cannot do it and knows that MAA would not approve of such an action being done.
    I really like how He-Man confronts Granamyr and tells him he cannot take a life for a life and is willing to take whatever punishment he will give him for not chopping down Sky Tree. which impresses Granayr and he gives them the spell.

    Eye Of The Beholder.
    Like Wilycub said this is a very good episode. Although the explanation about oxygen did seem a little silly but I suppose that was put in their to teach children...although I think it would have been best suited the lesson at the end.
    It handles teaching people not to judge others because of how they look very well. Much like the Thundercats episode Good and Ugly. It also reminds me of a Star Wars Expanded Universe novel I read years ago with Obi-Wan Kenobi having to go to a planet of insect people and how he cant judge them based on their appearance as they all looked so alike etc.
    There is a cool scene where He-Man tells He-Man to kneel which is quite similar to a scene in the live action movie.
     
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  4. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    Good point.:laugh;) .Perhaps Duncan had been plotting to rule Eternia all along. In The New Adventures of He-Man series the plan for the unproduced second season was going to involve He-Man returning to the past/Eternia in which Man-At-Arms has become a tyrant and taken over Eternia.
    I actually quite liked New Adventures..but I ignore the time travel aspect of the TV show and prefer the comic storyline of him just going into space and a different planet which makes lots more sense.
     
  5. Wilycub

    Wilycub Staff Writer and Artist TC.org Staff

    That's just a bit too bizarre! Sounds a bit like how Gargamel created Smurfette! LOL! Good thing they didn't go that route for the cartoon.

    Did Teela ever have any type of magical/superpowers in any comic or cartoon incarnation?
     
    Mark M likes this.
  6. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    Kind of. In the minicomic it states Teela's warrior abilities come from her being clones/a part of the Sorceress.
    In the Filmation cartoon there is an episode in which Teela has to stand in for Sorceress and were her outfit as she is destined to take over from her mother.
    In a comic from a few years ago that was included with the MOTU Classics figures she also took over as the Sorceress of Greyskull.
    Teela made an appearance in the New Adventures cartoon but I don't believe she had any magic abilities in it. Ironically He-Man's sword was very magically, a little like The Sword of Omens, being able to shoot lasers etc.
    It has been a long time since I watched the 2003 series but I don't recall her having any magical abilities in that series.

    Smurfette's origin was bizarre LOL. I really liked the Smurfs cartoon. :D Perhaps we will cover it eventually in R.O.C.K.S.

    The minicomic origin is quite bizarre...especially when you factor in in the comic Skeletor states he plans to raise the baby then make her his bride so they can rule Eternia together.

    Even the original Teela toy is quite interesting in it connection to the sorceress.
    In the first original minicomic The Goddess as she is first called is exactly like the Teela toy except with green skin.
    As the comics went on Goddess becomes known as Sorceress and looks exactly like the Teela toy with the snake armour headdress and staff.
    Interesting Aside from blonde hair Teela's clothes look just like Sorceress without the headdress armour.
    Perhaps this was a money saving tactic Mattel had in mind basically allowing them to produce two figures for the price of one.
    I could be wrong on this but I believe it was the Filmation cartoon series that created the Sorceress' iconic bird headdress look.
    During the minicomics the bird headdress look appeared as completely white and completely pink in some issues before being coloured like the Filmation cartoon, so I would assume perhaps the colours for the carton were no finalised when the comics were printed.
     
  7. Wilycub

    Wilycub Staff Writer and Artist TC.org Staff

    Thanks for all the info about Teela, Mark. Very interesting and kinda disappointing that her character was never developed well. I didn't expect the original cartoon series to do that as we all know that it was just a glorified commercial for the toys. But I thought that the later series and the comics might have really made her a much stronger character. But I guess they couldn't make her too strong otherwise she overpower She-Ra. I feel sorry for Teela and Bow. :(

    I LOVED The Smurfs cartoon!! It would be awesome if we covered it in ROCKS but also quite a challenge to pick a few episodes as there were so many. Well I already have one episode in mind which would be my pick. "The Smurfs and the Money Tree". That was always my fav! :biggrin

    Wow! That sounds more like a Woody Allen biography! LOL!!! :laugh
     
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  8. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    Yes it's definitely an odd story and not one I think they would get away with now. Then you factor in Teela being with He-Man, He-Man being Prince Adam, Skeletor being Adam's Uncle Keldor and Keldor being Randor's half brother...
    Almost like something that would be on the Eternian version of Jerry Springer...Springor?. ;) On todays show we have He-man who is going to tell his love Teela about his secret double life as Prince Adam. Teela wants to confront her mother who abandoned her and a DNA test to prove if Duncan/Man-At-Arms is her father or if she is a clone created by Skeletor, He-Man's arch enemy...or as He-man will soon discover, his uncle! Keldor will confront his family, Father Miro, half brother Randor and nephew Adam!

    She is a far stronger and more interesting character in the 2003 series.
    I cant comment on the more recent DC comics as I have not read them to know what any of the characters are like.

    I was quite disappointed with the actress cast to play her and her overall design in the live action movie....then again I was disappointed with a lot of choices made in that movie LOL.

    There are indeed lots of episodes. I can't recall any specific episode titles but I do recall one where I believe Handy Smurf makes a mechanical Smurf that appeared in a couple episodes along with a human character.
     
  9. Wilycub

    Wilycub Staff Writer and Artist TC.org Staff

    I have actually never seen the whole movie. I once started it but 20 minutes later stopped as I found it to be too far off from the cartoon series. A lot of the decisions for that movie were based purely from a budget point of view and how to save as much money as possible.

    But I think the present time and technology is perfect to make a new live action MOTU movie. It could be something like "Thor Ragnarok", both visually and story-wise. A live-action ThunderCats movie is a bit tricky. Since the main hero characters in MOTU cartoons were humans, it's easier to translate that to live action. But TCats can pose a problem. Should they go with actors wearing prosthetic make-up and wigs? That might look a bit ridiculous. Should they go with completely CGI characters? That could end up looking bad as well if not done correctly.
     
  10. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    I do have fond memories of the movie. I recall seeing it on TV some times and even renting it once or twice.
    Even though I hadn't seen that much of the cartoon it was still very jarring seeing how different they were in the movie to the cartoon.
    In the early 90's, maybe around 93, I got an ex-rental VHS from the Sunday market. I still watched that tape loads. I recall accidentally letting the tape play on one day while I was sitting drawing and was really surprised when I discovered the post credit scene at the end like the Marvel movies. The He-Man movie did it first! LOL.
    It defintely had a lot of problems and it wasn't the way the director intended as they had a limited budget, hence why so much of the movie is set on present day Earth rather than Eternia. I read that Jack Kirby's New Gods comic was a big influence on the movie. I think they should have took more influence from the cartoon.
    It did have some cool scenes.

    I recall getting the DVD around 2004/5 and I was so amazed at how it looked compared to the old played out VHS.

    Visually they could probably do a really good He-Man movie now...if the correct writer/s and director is involved. The has been in development since around 2004 with new writers and directors joining the project every year and re-writing it etc.

    I know I like things as close to the source material as possible but strangely enough I would have to say I think Thundercats would benefit from not sticking to close to the cartoon for the heroes designs. I think they really need to make them more animalistic and do all the heroes and villains with CGI like TMNT, Transformers, Hulk etc. If they kept them more human looking they would probably look ridiculous.
     
  11. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    I do remember watching He-Man a lot as a kid, but it never stayed in my memory the way other shows did. Maybe it was the timing of it. I remember it was on ITV on weekday mornings, during the school holidays I think. I never recorded any episodes on tape as a kid, unlike Thundercats, Defenders Of The Earth, Visionaries, Ghostbusters, TMNT, DuckTales and so on.

    I remember even at the time having a problem with the animation style - but then every Filmation show had that same problem. Lazy animation. The reuse of stock footage does grate, especially with the sword sequence - every time he uses it, it shows him standing outside Castle Grayskull, regardless of where his current location is in the episode! There may have been a couple of exceptions during the series, but . . . it's probably one of the key reasons the show never became a favourite.

    Actually, watching these episodes now, I only just learned that Castle Grayskull is where the Sorceress lives, not where Adam and his family live! That basic detail slipped right by me, no doubt because of that bit of stock footage . . .

    A few thoughts on the title sequence:

    Firstly, yes it's all the explanation we get in terms of the characters' origins. This is another reason the show never cemented its place in my memory. Thundercats, DotE, Visionaries all had proper establishing stories and that really helped to understand the whole premise of the series.

    Second, yes, the music is pretty iconic, that trumpet motif is great. And just like Thundercats, TMNT and Ghostbusters, reused as the "saving the day" theme in the episodes. The incidental music was pretty good overall too.

    Third, that line in Adam's narrative - "fantastic secret powers were revealed to me the day I held aloft my magic sword . . ." - I will assume you know what my punchline is here.

    OK, onto the episodes themselves:

    The Cosmic Comet - an OK episode, I liked it. It has a curious story, but the moral worked well enough. The characters using some sort of celestial object to amplify their powers is a recurring motif in cartoons I find.

    Teela's Quest - I've seen this one before as an adult, about a decade ago. Familiarity helped me here. It worked as an early episode in that we get to learn about Teela and Man-At-Arms' past, not to mention the Queen's! It did seem like they were trying to shoehorn together two story elements that didn't quite fit, namely the action sequences and the revelations.

    The Dragon's Gift - another one I saw in 2009. It's basically the same "you can't exchange one life for another" moral that appears in so many different cartoons (let's face it, they were all trying to teach us the same moral lessons so they did copy each other's ideas a bit!). King Arthur And The Knights Of Justice did it with "To Save A Squire", one of the show's better episodes (from a very mixed bag). Visionaries did a more interesting take on it with "Horn Of Unicorn, Claw Of Dragon" where it is one unicorn and one dragon to save all the magic users on Prysmos, so the yardstick of "the greatest good of the greatest number" comes into play there. For this reason, I was initially a little harsh on the MOTU take on it here, but it's OK enough. The voice of the dragon sounds like, I can't place it. I think it's meant to sound like one of the great British actors from decades gone by like John Gielgud or someone, not quite sure.

    Eye Of The Beholder - yes, very much chimes in with Thundercats for all the reasons quoted above. A good episode and a valuable lesson in not forming initial judgements based on someone's appearance. Probably the best of this bunch.
     
    Mark M likes this.
  12. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    @LiamABC I guess you could call it ''lazy'' but considering how time consuming and expensive animation is I think cheap would be more appropriate.
    I can understand them re-using the stock footage of the transformation sequence but the constant re-use of the rotoscoped action sequences was quite lazing/repetitive.
    Filmation used an animation technique called rotoscoping for a lot of their action sequences. It's a process of filming a live actor doing the movements then animating the character on top of the movement. Filmation re-used the rotoscope sequences in various cartoons like Flash Gordon, Tarzan, He-Man, She-Ra, Blackstarr and Bravestarr...although with the latter the animation budget was significantly higher so a lot less re-use of animation.
    Personally I am not too keen on rotoscoping technique. Granted the movement it captures is done very well, but so many other great cartoons were able to capture great movement without rotoscoping like Thundercats, G.I. Joe, Defenders of the Earth, Transformers, Visionaries, Inhumanoids, TMNT, Ghostbusters etc. Even some of Filmation's earlier cartoons like Shazam and Freedom Force were fine and didn't require rotoscoping.
    But yes I do agree with you the limited animation was a problem. So many scenes of reparative movements and odd lingering close up shots of characters rather than showing them actually doing anything. Some of the He-Man stories are definitely great and could have benefited so much from having a bigger animation budget to really captured the action the writers described in their scripts.
    Comparing the animation between He-Man and Thundercats is really night and day. Aside from a couple flash back sequences, and some of Lion-O's Ho sequences, I really don't think there was very much animation re-used throughout the entire series.

    It's definitely an odd choice. A skull castle seems more like somewhere for Skeletor to have a base. I think I read somewhere that that was the initial plan.
    Although of course Grayskull is technically He-Man's ancestral home. The castle was the home of He-Man's ancestor King Greyskull. There is a really awesome episode of the He-Man 2003 carton titled ''The Power of Greyskull'', which is arguably one of, if not the best, He-Man episodes of any series, which explores Eternia's history and the story of King Greyskull.
     
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  13. Wilycub

    Wilycub Staff Writer and Artist TC.org Staff

    Yeah, 2d animation is very time-consuming, requires a big crew, and is expensive. That is why back in those days in the US it was mainly the big studios like Disney, WB, MGM that produced 2D animation. The alternative was to A) Outsource the animation or B) Use limited/recycled animation.

    Another problem with re-using animation the way MOTU did is that the characters have to have a symmetrical design so that when they flip the drawings it would still look right. That's the reason why Orko's name was changed from Gorpo because they wouldn't have been able to flip his drawings without having to re-draw the G on his chest. That's why TrapJaw's mechanical arm sometimes switches sides.

    That is exactly what I thought when I first watched the cartoon. I thought that Castle Grayskull belonged to Skeletor and that's why he was so desperate to get it back! LOL! :laugh
     
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  14. LiamABC

    LiamABC Thunderian Legend

    It's a really odd name for a place that belongs to the good guys.
     
  15. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    I didn't know that about Orko being called Gorko. Although I did notice episodes with Trapjaw's arm flipped.
    It would kind of make sense for it to belong to Skeletor...surely a villain with a skull for a head would have a skull feature on his base. The Thundercats had a cat for their lair, Mumm-Ra being a Mummy had a Pyramid, Voltron had the Castle of Lions, Batman had his Batcave, Sectaurs had The Hive etc.
    Snake Mountain was an odd place for his base. It sounded and looked evil etc, but he didn't have any connection to snakes. Of course in the comics and the 2003 TV series Snake Mountain was the former base of the Snake Men.
    Maybe something like the Castle of Power or something similar would sound more heroic...but I guess Greyskull sounds more mystical and mysterious etc.

    It would have been good if they had just had Castle Greyskull be a place that both sides wanted and used....and perhaps had the Sorceress be neutral a bit like Merklyn and Iron Mountain in Visionaries. Or the Dungeons & Dragons Fang Fortress play set which was designed to be used for the heroes and villains.
    Granted Castle Greyskull has a pretty iconic design but the three toys of it leave a lot to be desired. In terms of size and even the play features they are quite basic compared to a lot of other bases from various toy lines.
     
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  16. Wilycub

    Wilycub Staff Writer and Artist TC.org Staff

    And this image from the opening only adds to the confusion of someone watching the show for the first time!
    upload_2019-2-3_11-21-45.png
     
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  17. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    That definitely would make anyone think it was Skeletor's base.
     
  18. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    @Wilycub and @LiamABC I was doing some research on MOTU in the Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe book and made an interesting discovery regarding your thoughts on Castle Greyskull looking like it belonged more to Skeletor.
    An original concept design sketch has the castle looking even more like Skeletor with his cowl in the sculpt.
    [​IMG]
    And on the actual toys box art it shows He-Man, Teela, Man-At-Arms, Stratos, Zodak and Beastman (?) attacking Castle Greyskull which has Skeletor standing in the entrance as if guarding his castle/base from the attackers. This is a beautiful painting but the design of it in context to the toys and cartoon doesnt really make much sense. It would have made more sense to show He-Man and his warriors defending the castle from Skeletor's attacking forces. If this had been Skeletor's base this art work would be perfect.
    [​IMG]
    At least the 2002 toys had the box show the good guys were in charge of Castle Greyskull.
    [​IMG]
     
  19. Wilycub

    Wilycub Staff Writer and Artist TC.org Staff

    I found the following explanation on a site. I do not know how much of it is true but it sounds interesting and plausible to me:

    "The original idea behind the Castle Grayskull toy was that it was neutral. Its role as a fortress for the Masters of the Universe or a base for the Evil Forces of Skeletor was left up to the imagination of the child. It could be controlled and protected by He-Man but it could also be captured by Skeletor.

    As such, one of the accessories that came with the castle was a flag. Each side had a similar image of crossed swords but with different backgrounds and color schemes. One was bright and warm with yellows and oranges and featured a sun and tranquil clouds. The other side was dark with purple and gray and a red cloud of sinister energy with thin blue electrical sparks outlined the swords. These two sides represented good and evil respectively and the flag could be faced out to signify whoever controlled the castle.

    Keep in mind that Mattel could have never conceived of the run away success that the He-Man line would be for them. They wouldn't have imaged to later have an opportunity to create a wholly separate playset like Snake Mountain just for Skeletor. Not only was the toy castle supposed to be neutral and therefore flexible as a playset, but further "flexibilities" were utilized elsewhere in the early line.

    For example, Mattel wasn't sure how interested little boys would be in playing with a female action figure. Therefore the Teela figure was intended to be played with as two different characters. Teela was the blond female warrior in white and gold. But with the addition of the Red Snake armor she became the Goddess--the original concept for what would later become the Sorceress.

    The idea that a playset or a figure stand in for multiple characters or be a base for multiple factions was well established. So Instead of making a playset that was bright and cheerful and clearly the domain of the good guys they opted for a design that was more in the middle. Not too mention, to little boys, cool.

    And don't forget that the original toy line was an attempt to capitalize on the success of the Conan the Barbarian movie. The feel was supposed to be mysterious, imposing, and even a little bit savage.

    From a story perspective, Castle Grayskull's appearance was explained rather adeptly in early media. Castle Grayskull was an ancient fortress meant to house and protect a great power from Eternia's past. A power that would be needed in dark times, it was foretold, by a professed He-Man against sinister forces. A group of Preternian elders concentrated this power and decided to hide away and protect it in, “a building so frightening that no one, except the bravest of souls, would ever dare enter.”

    When Filmation released it's Masters of the Universe cartoon the tone had shifted significantly away from the realm of the barbaric. Teela and the Sorceress were two entirely different characters--the Sorceress especially had been re-imagined from a snake clad warrior goddess to a falcon attired mystical matron. And even though Castle Grayskull became the exclusive stomping ground of the good guys, and the fixation of conquest for Skeletor and all the various villains of Eternia, it's look was by then well established in toy form and no changes were made to it's appearance just for the sake of the cartoon".
     
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  20. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    @Wilycub that makes sense. Especially my theory on Teela and the Sorceress coming with the armour and basically being a cost effective way of producing two characters.
     

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