He-Man The Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

Discussion in 'Other Cartoons & Collectables' started by Wilycub, Jan 13, 2016.

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  1. Wilycub

    Wilycub Staff Writer and Artist TC.org Staff

    I recently got the opportunity to read this book and I have to see it is amazing. And if you are a die-hard He-Man fan then it is a must-have!

    It has lots of information about the conception of the character, the toys, the comics, the Filmation cartoon series, the movie, the new adventures cartoon and much more. It is also chock full of photos of original concept designs, artworks, animation cels, sketches, action figures prototypes, etc etc.

    I only wish that we get a similar "ThunderCats" book some time in the future!
     
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  2. Daremonger

    Daremonger Thunderian Legend

    Me too!
     
  3. Wilycub

    Wilycub Staff Writer and Artist TC.org Staff

    It is interesting to see the evolution of He-Man from his beginnings as a Conan-type barbarian to the well spoken hero that we know today. A few pics of the book:
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  4. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    What does it say in regard tot he Wonder Bread figure? Allegedly that was some of the Conan figures they couldn't sell. As far as I know the He-Man figures were supposed to be figures for the Conan movie but after Mattel seen the movie they knew they couldn't market figures to children.
     
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  5. Wilycub

    Wilycub Staff Writer and Artist TC.org Staff

    Well I've only read the book once, (and I was focusing more on ogling the pictures ;)) but I don't recall any mention of the Wonder Bread figure. Basically, Mattel declined George Lucas offer to make Star Wars figure as they felt that the licensing cost was too much. Their loss was Kenner's gain and after the movie became a mega success, the sale of the toys skyrocketed as well.

    So Mattel felt that they should come up with something. They didn't want to make toys based on any existing or upcoming properties due to them not wanting to pay high licensing fees as well as the fear that if the movie flops then the toys wouldn't sell as well. So instead they decided to create a "Generic Male Action Figure". They took inspiration from Star Wars, Conan, Vikings, Flash Gordon and came up with a viking type character which after many refinements and alterations, eventually became He-Man. Some of the other figures were inspired or re-used designs of Mattel's earlier lines ""Big Jim" and "Jack Kirby's Fourth World". :)
     
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  6. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    Interesting. I am really tempted to get that He-Man book that is the complete collection of all the various toy mini-comics.
    BTW Lucas also tried to get MEGO (who were pretty much the top toy company in the 70's) to make Star Wars figures, but they had already got the right for Micronauts and were not interested.
    There is a prototype He-Man figure that has a resemblance to Boba Fett.
    I think I will have to get this book also. :D
     
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  7. adssse

    adssse Thunderian Legend

    That does look like a very interesting book. I enjoy MOTU and would enjoy this but a similar Thundercats book would knock my socks off!
     
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  8. Wilycub

    Wilycub Staff Writer and Artist TC.org Staff

    Mine too! David Crichton's "Hear the Roar!" has a wealth of information and is probably about the most complete book ever made on the history of the ThunderCats. Unfortunately, due to it not being an official one, it sorely lacks in images. If David had been allowed the use of images then there is no doubt in my mind that that book would have been bigger and better than the He-Man book! :)
     
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  9. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    Yeah 100% agree. If WB had allowed the use of images 'Hear the Roar' would easily have been one of the best books ever written on a cartoon and toy guide.
     
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  10. Wilycub

    Wilycub Staff Writer and Artist TC.org Staff

    Hands down! :) I have been thinking quite a bit about all this copyright issue and one thing has been bugging me a lot. I'm sharing it here in the hopes that someone who is more knowledgeable in the legal copyright/trademark matters might clear it out for me.

    So Mr. Crichton could not use any screenshots from the ThunderCats because the cartoons are exclusive property of WB. He however used a good amount of pictures of the toys because they were made by LJN and that is a defunct company. What I am curious about is what about using images from the private collection of collectors? Images of original concept drawings, pre-production drawings, animation cels, sketches, original art etc etc. Does WB have control over those as well even though they are owned by other people? Somehow I feel not, but then again I am not a legal expert.

    If that was the case then there is so much of that stuff owned by ThunderCats fans (many have posted them here on the forums) and I don't think they would have had any objections allowing pictures of the items to be featured in "Hear the Roar".
     
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  11. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    Regarding the cartoon, I think it may be because the animators and designers etc that did work on the cartoon did so under contract and were paid for their work by Rankin Bass making it their property. So when Warner Bros. bought Thundercats years ago they probably came into all legal ownership of the design and concept work for the cartoon also owned by Rankin Bass. I am not saying this is correct I am just saying this as a theory.
    While pictures from private collections of concept and designs drawings etc is fine on public forums etc like here....I believe it becomes more complicated when someone is making money from those images.
    I am not sure on this but there is a possibility WB would have allowed him to use images for his book if he had been willing to pay what they wanted. In Mark Bellomo's book 'Totally Tubular 80's Toys' he was able to use one Thundercats image along with images from various other cartoons and films. So I assume that they don't have a problem with images being used as long as they get paid.
     
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  12. Wilycub

    Wilycub Staff Writer and Artist TC.org Staff

    Yes, I do believe that could be possible. But if you look at the flip side, then if the collector decides to sell his private collection, he makes money but WB have no right on that money. It's like, if I buy a painting from an artist, then I can display it in my home and ask people to pay me money in order to see it, but I don't have to pay the artist anything. It's a tricky road! :)

    Yes, I feel that way too. I'm pretty sure that WB wouldn't have objected to the usage of the images if they got a cut from the sales. Besides I don't think they would have asked for a big % considering that they aren't really as protective of ThunderCats as they are of say the DC characters.
     
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  13. adssse

    adssse Thunderian Legend

    I'm a little late to this conversation but couldn't agree more that the Hear the Roar book is epic and a must for any fan! David did such an amazing job that I would challenge anyone to read through it and not come away with more knowledge than they started with!

    I also agree that images under WB's control would have added a lot to the book. We all know what our favorite characters look like but early sketches, concept etc would have fit in great in certain parts of the book. It is really a shame that WB has not put together a comprehensive guide, encyclopedia or "making of" book. Thank goodness David stepped up to the plate with the resources he had.
     
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  14. Daremonger

    Daremonger Thunderian Legend

    That he did.
     
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  15. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    Well that is a bit of a tricky area. Technically if you bought and owned the painting yes you could charge people to come and see it. Unless of course the artist had some type of legal contract in place and the image copyrighted. Like if you owned a Van Gogh painting and someone wanted to publish the picture in a book and pay you a fee for its use there really should not be a problem.
    However if the artist had said image copyrighted, regardless of you owning the original, the money would probably have to go to the artist's estate.
    Like I own the copyrights to my art work. And even if someone bough a painting, whilst they could charge someone a fee to view the work: they would not be able to sell merchandise featuring said image like postcards, t-shirts, coffee mugs etc.

    Considering WB use of the Thundercats licence regarding action figures I am not sure. The opinion from a few toy companies that tried to contact them over the years to make figures seemed to imply that they were asking far too much. I can't see them being more lenient with some one making an awesome book...but then again I suppose the quantities of toys being made would be vastly more than the quantities of books being printed.
     
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  16. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    He did an amazing job. :D It would be awesome if WB would let him use a lot more images and he could release a revised larger hard back deluxe edition of the book.
     
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  17. adssse

    adssse Thunderian Legend

    I would definitely buy that! I would also really like to have a digital version.
     
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  18. Daremonger

    Daremonger Thunderian Legend

    I'd be more than willing to own an extended edition of Hear the Roar!
     
  19. Wilycub

    Wilycub Staff Writer and Artist TC.org Staff

    Ya that's true. I guess it depends on what type of contract/deal one has with an artist. But somehow my gut still tells me that allowing the usage of images of original art/concept sketches from a private collection is really the owner's call. I just don't feel that WB could have any say in that. I have no legal backing for this opinion, just a hunch. :)

    Recently I saw about the re-release of the book "The Enchanted World of Rankin/Bass" which had a lot of information about their history and the shows that they produced. It also featured many Character Sheets of the ThunderCats as well. I seriously doubt if they paid WB any money for usage of those pictures because Rankin/Bass were the original producers of the show and even though WB may own the franchise now, those original drawings/designs belonged to Rankin/Bass and they can use it in any way they see fit.

    Toy making is a very different thing. For that, WB would not only have to sell the license to the toy maker but would also have to take part in every decision regarding the toy/s design and look. Whatever the toy makers come up with would have to get approval from WB. This is because the toy makers are creating something completely new using existing characters. So WB would have to keep a keen eye on them to make sure that they remain true to the original.

    On the other hand, allowing usage of images for a book is quite simple since the publisher isn't going to change anything in the image nor is he/she going to create a new image. It's just like asking Marvel permission to use a Spider-man image for a t-shirt and asking permission to make a Spider-man movie. :biggrin

    I second that though, my friend! I would love a huge, fully colored, image-filled version of "Hear the Roar" :geek. It could always happen in the future. But I find it strange that there is no digital version of the book yet. These days most people prefer e-books to actual book. Maybe after all the printed copies of the book have been sold out, they might release a digital version for sale.
     
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  20. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    I must check out tat Rankin Bass book as besides Thundercats I love Flight of Dragons and The Last Unicorn.
    The more I think of it, sketches and concept drawings should be okay, I think it is actual animation from the cartoon that is the problem.
    I recall an odd case with I believe the Bratz dolls Mattel made. They claimed right to them as the person that designed them did so while they were working for Mattel in their studio or something like that.
     
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