The story of the creation, rise and fall, and controversy of one of the biggest toy lines ever—He-Man And The Masters Of the Universe. Rife with colorful characters, fascinating behind-the-scenes stories, and moments of high drama and hilarious comedy, it’s a tale that will appeal to nerds and students of human behavior everywhere.
This is a Q&A from a screening of our documentary at The Egyptian Theater in Los Angeles. *The audio is BAD*. If this is your first episode, please know this is not par for the course for the rest of the podcast—start at episode 1. This is just a little fun bonus material for those who are interested. Featuring me, Roger Lay Jr., Mike Nichols, Larry DiTillio, and Scott Neitlich,
Roger Sweet moves on from Mattel but faces personal and professional challenges, as He-Man is revitalized—temporarily—at Cartoon Network. The series concludes with current Masters Of The Universe updates, including news about a film and Netflix series. Featuring interviews with: Mattel preliminary designer Roger Sweet, Mattel artist and product designer Mark Taylor, Mattel execs Mark DiCamillo, Gene Kilroy & Derek Gable, and writers Dean Stefan & Michael Reaves.
The Masters line goes from the biggest thing in the universe to getting dusty on toy store shelves. In an effort to try to save it, Mattel makes a live action movie. But once again, cutting corners leads to an underwhelming result. So they pick up the pieces and revamp the toy line as the ‘90s begin... Featuring interviews with director Gary Goddard, production designer William Stout, special effects artist Richard Edlund, makeup artist Michael Westmore, actors Lesley and Jack Wadsworth, writer Francis Moss, Erika Scheimer from Filmation, voice actor Alan Oppenheimer, & Roger Sweet, Mark DiCamillo, (Tall) Paul Cleveland, Joe Morrison, Mark Taylor, John Weems, Gene Kilroy, and Dave Wolfram from Mattel.
The animated show begins, making the toy line even more successful and earning Mattel more money. But it also brings them problems in the form of protest groups complaining the show is satanic and/or just a blatant commercial for the toys. Featuring interviews with Lou and Erika Scheimer of Filmation Animation; voice actor Alan Oppenheimer, Filmation writers Larry DiTillio, J. Michael Straczynski, Mel Gilden, & Michael Reaves; Filmation animator Tom Sito, authors Michael Halperin & Barbara Hambley, and Mattel personnel Roger Sweet, Joe Morrison, (Tall) Paul Cleveland, Joe Morrison, & John Weems.
We get Mark Taylor’s version of the origins of He-Man, and it differs starkly from Roger Sweet’s. So we go back to Roger Sweet to get his reaction. We also talk about the genesis of the mini-comics included with the action figures, and the first TV commercial campaign.
We trace the controversial origins of the He-Man toy line with interviews of the people who were there.... Roger Sweet, preliminary designer; Mark Taylor, artist and product designer; (Tall) Paul Cleveland, VP of marketing; Derek Gable, director of preliminary design; Ted Mayer, product engineer; Joe Morrison, director of marketing.