Despite being up there with the most popular toy lines of all-time, Masters of the Universe hasn’t received the same amount of love that Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and G.I. Joe have. The latter mentioned have received the limelight and big screen Hollywood films lately, while MOTU fans are trying to shake off memories of a Snooki-tanned Dolph Lundgren in the forgettable 1987 film and horrible Battle Cat Internet memes. A new film has been rumoured to be in production since the time when dungarees were cool, but nothing has been set in stone as of writing.
Yet, the people who raised their imaginary swords to the air and declared “by the power of Grayskull, I have the power” have not forgotten. No, they all remember the blonde, buff hero with the Velma Dinkley haircut and his Lindsay Lohan lookalike nemesis known as Skeletor. Oh yes, MOTU lives on and still burns brightly in 2015.
The Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe is the homage that this franchise needs and deserves. This 300+ page book chronicles MOTU’s journey from toy, to television, to film and cultural phenomenon. Every page contains a fascinating insight into what happened behind the scenes in conceptualising and producing the diverse universe (even the famed mini-comics receive their own section and She-Ra gets her deserved praise).
It’s remarkable to read the production notes and see early concept art of how He-Man was influenced by Star Wars, Conan and Flash Gordon. Also, did you ever realise how much Beast Man looked like Chewbacca? Mattel might’ve turned down producing Star Wars toys (bet that decision was regretted a million times over), but MOTU undoubtedly borrowed elements from George Lucas’ world.
Flipping through the pages, you’re treated to interviews with directors and influential people, as well as incredible artwork that will transport you back in time to when you first received a new MOTU toy. You can practically feel the excitement of getting lost in the packaging art and the fresh, new toy smell.
For the fans, The Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe will be the comprehensive MOTU bible. Packed with informative history, insider titbits, rich art and bucket load of nostalgia feels (especially when you gawk at the toy line), you can’t help but feel you have the power.