He-Man and the Masters of the Universe story and Quiz
The Story: On the painfully dorky Prince Adam's 18th birthday, a mysterious female named The Sorceress decided Adam was the man his hometown of Eternia was waiting for, the first man deemed courageous enough to enter the mythological Castle Grayskull. Adam was then told he was the sole source of protection to save Eternia against Skeletor, a demon from another dimension. Prince Adam was given the Sword of Power and told that by raising it high above his head and screaming, "By the Power of Grayskull!" he would be transformed into an alter-ego: He-Man, a warrior who, funny enough, looked exactly like Prince Adam, just in leather boots and a furry loincloth. So, giving hope to nerds everywhere, Prince Adam became He-Man, the secret defender of Eternia and the man with the most redundant name in his universe. I guess Dude-Guy was already taken. On a personal note, I am a HUGE He-Man fan, LOL.
The Products: Conan the Barbarian always seemed a bit creepy and the think tank at Mattel seemed to agree. Back in 1982, Mattel planned on releasing a toy based on the forthcoming movie Conan the Barbarian, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, but those plans were quickly scrapped when the film was slapped with an R rating. But really, what did Mattel expect? Conan the Barbarian was written by John Milius, who helped write Apocalypse Now, and a young Oliver Stone only one year before he penned Scarface. The movie featured brutal murder, slavery, graphic sexual imagery, Schwarzenegger in his "bad boy/happy hands" days, and was about as child friendly as John Wayne Gacy. But Mattel not wanting to throw away all of their work, simply altered a few of the core elements from their Conan toy prototypes, and voila! an instant favorite toy line! And this is how He-Man was conceived. The first series of the Masters of the Universe toys was released by Mattel at the beginning of 1982 and immediately changed the world of action figures forever. The clunky, yet compact and strong composition of the Master of the Universe figures allowed for numerous hours of play fighting without any broken limbs or pieces, even with the small details of the line. Action figures had never been made like this before. In terms of quality and playability, the figures were leaps and bounds ahead of anything our generation had ever gotten our little hands on. The overwhelming success of the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe toy line was undeniable. He-Man's popularity grew at an unbelievable speed, both nationally and globally, even becoming one of France's most popular action figures, where it was dubbed Musculor, wore a beret, smoked cigarettes, and taked about the cinema (just kidding, LOL). It was around that time that Mattel approached Filmation, the same company that produced the TV commericals for MOTU toys, about producing a syndicated cartoon based on the He-Man Universe. Mattel envisioned the cartoon as the perfect avenue for advertising their toy line. This inevitably led to numerous parent complaints, as well as concerns from the TV commission regarding the ethics of commericals disguising themselves as animated TV shows. In Britain, Mattel was even barred from airing their toy commericals during the cartoon. Conflict of interest aside, the show's 130 episode run is still considered premier 1980's boy themed cartoon due to its detailed and emotional story lines. The popularity of the toy line and the TV show gave us two made for TV movies, a spin off series based on a female counterpart (She-Ra), and the crap-fest/vintage classic that was the Masters of the Universe movie. During the six year run of the He-Man empire, the franchise is rumored to have made over $1.2 billion worldwide. In 1986 alone, the company allegedly brought in over $400 million. On the flip side, in 1987, the same rumors say He-Man toys only brought in a paltry $7 million, forever forcing some critics to consider it one of the worst run toy divisions of the 1980's.
You were a serious fan if you had both Castle Grayskull and Snake Mountain play set (I had both, LOL). Two of the most elaborate and inventive play sets from the 80's were both parts of the Master of the Universe toy line. The first groundbreaking beauty was Castle Grayskull, released in 1982, and the second set-up was Snake Mountain, first seen in 1984. The incredible intricacies and hiding places found within these play sets were ideal for displaying action figures and setting up strategies for battle. Caste Grayskull was the first to feature the front door drawbridge and the unforgettable trapdoor. This play set also gave you the ability to close the set at its hinges (like a book) and walk around your school like you were carrying an important briefcase (because you were cool like that). Snake Mountain saw Castle Grayskull's bet and raised it a few notches. Snake Mountain not only had the briefcase like storage and the trapdoor (this time triggered by a giant pivoting snake), but it included a net for the victim to fall into. This Snake Mountain play set also had a built in voice distorting microphone, which children could yell into and command the action figures into battle with Skeletor's voice or just use to annoy the hell out of their parents. At the time, the addition of the microphone seemed so technologically advanced, I thought we were minutes away from time traveling.
And now for the quiz, some of the answers are already given to you in the paragraphs above while others are for fans, so just take a guess cause quizzes are fun!