Jump to content


Photo

Conan The He-Man (Legal Dispute)


  • Please log in to reply
74 replies to this topic

#61 JainkhulTamhair

JainkhulTamhair

    Adventurer

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 289 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 29 February 2012 - 04:52 PM

Masters Of The Universe was conceptualized and developed in 1980 and pitched to Mattel executives by Roger Sweet in late 1980 two years prior to the release of Universal Pictures Conan the Barbarian in 1982. The toyline was produced starting in 1981 and marketed in 1982. The toy line existed prior to the movie and Mattel did not have a license with Universal to make toys for that film. He-Man was conceptualized as a barbarian, soldier, and spaceman with executives picking the barbarian out of the three to be the basis of the toyline. Likely the Masters of the Universe toyline borrowed heavily from Conan concepts but was not intended to be a toyline for the film after those talks fell through and the agreements were dissolved.

He-Man was conceptualized in drawings and wax sculptures. Some of these conceptual renderings do resemble Conan from comic books and paperbacks as some of the artists were inspired by fantasy artists Frank Frazetta and Boris Vallejo from the covers of the Lancer and Ace Conan publications, and some of the artists that Mattel employed to design the mini-comics, figure packaging, and box art were comic book artists who worked with Marvel on the Conan The Barbarian comic book such as Alfredo Alcala who inked illustrations by John Buscema in the #137 August 1982 issue, and later inked many others and illustrated #225. Earl Norem illustrated Masters of the Universe posters, package inlays, and box art. Earl Norem also illustrated Savage Sword of Conan #74 November 1983 issue, he later went on to do multiple covers for Marvel's Conan Saga and The Savage Sword of Conan.


Vikor looks like a twin brother of the Conan depicted on Savage Sword #10 by Boris Vallejo, similar to the Frazetta Conan with a helmet you used as a forum icon and also similar to the Conan with a horned helmet by Windsor Smith.

Why do you say "Norem also illustrated Savage Sword of Conan #74 November 1983 issue and later etc etc" ???
Norem illustrated Conan for Marvel's Savage Sword ...in Savage Sword of Conan # 14 ...in SEPTEMBER 1976 for the first time, and not in 1983 with issue #74 which is almost a decade later!!
Boris' cover for #10 was released in FEBRUARY 1976.

The (ridiculous ) results of the legal dispute between Marvel and Mattel were and are still available online , and your conclusions seem to correlate with them, pointing out material by Marvel drawn AFTER 1981-1982, while we Conan fans all know that Vikor's and He-man's graphic portrayals were more than heavily inspired by Conan (and Kazar as many have noticed also, especially concerning the sabertooth pet and the hero being blond), not to speak of the concepts ripped off from Kull (snakemen, skullfaced wizard archnemesis, hero being a monarch , etc).
Mattel did poorly in terms of originality, that's for sure.

#62 Eamon

Eamon

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 728 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ireland

Posted 29 February 2012 - 05:31 PM

You obviously didn't buy the toys. MOTU is a toy first and foremost and it still remains the most unique toylines ever produced with a host of imitators. MOTU defined the term 'action figure' because each figure actually did something.

If you actually knew more about Masters or flipped through the concept book (on previous page) you might think differently.

Generally, stuff that is deemed unoriginal does not make billions of dollars nor does it inspire a generation of creators and artists.

Visual ques were of course taken from Frazetta because the original concept artists Mark Taylor and Ted Mayer were huge Frazetta fans. Hence things laser guns. He-man would have been made with or with out Conan.

A brown haired He-Man was produced in a short run before he was made blonde at the last minute after child testing. Some brown haired He-Man's were released as the infamous 'Wonder Bread He-Man".

Edited by Eamon, 29 February 2012 - 05:34 PM.

I draw stuff.
www.eamonart.com

#63 JainkhulTamhair

JainkhulTamhair

    Adventurer

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 289 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 29 February 2012 - 06:25 PM

You obviously didn't buy the toys. MOTU is a toy first and foremost and it still remains the most unique toylines ever produced with a host of imitators. MOTU defined the term 'action figure' because each figure actually did something.

If you actually knew more about Masters or flipped through the concept book (on previous page) you might think differently.



Don't worry for me, I had some Masters as soon as they were released, more or less, I grabbed my first in 1983. If only I left them in their stupid cardboard boxes at the time, they'd be worth much more today!
I liked them for WHAT THEY WERE, but the ghost of conan was never far from it, laughing somehow at his blond scifi imitator.
You didn't understand what I meant by lack of originality: if He-Man ,Skeletor and King Hiss are compared to Conan , Kull , Kazar, Thulsa Doom and the Snakemen , the three mattel characters are VERY unoriginal in every aspect . But if you compare the whole toyline (other characters than He-Man ,Skeletor and Hiss) to the cheapo toys which are indeed as you quote them , imitators, then they are VERY ogininal! Says a lot about the imitators doesn't it!

Excellent heroic scifi toys with an 80's bodybuilder realistic look (talkin' about the 80's line, I don't have any of the modern line) but giving it more credit than it deserves isn't worth the trouble.

Edited by JainkhulTamhair, 29 February 2012 - 06:33 PM.


#64 mario

mario

    Adventurer

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 264 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling

Posted 29 February 2012 - 06:26 PM

He Man was alot of fun growing up way back when. Wish I had kept those toys.(Along with transformers, gi joes, star wars thundercats...) :(

#65 JainkhulTamhair

JainkhulTamhair

    Adventurer

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 289 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 29 February 2012 - 06:31 PM

Eamon, if you'd ask me, I'd tell you Tom Platz would be the guy who should have filed a suit against Mattel ;)
Same haircut, similar facial traits, similar body frame and muscle definition (he's almost as large as he's tall!) . Mattel cited Schwarzenegger during the trial, but visibly the 80's Heman had a lot more in common with Platz.

Tom Platz WAS He-Man (a lot more than Dolph or Arnold ...) :
Posted Image

Edited by JainkhulTamhair, 29 February 2012 - 06:43 PM.


#66 Eamon

Eamon

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 728 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ireland

Posted 29 February 2012 - 06:49 PM


You obviously didn't buy the toys. MOTU is a toy first and foremost and it still remains the most unique toylines ever produced with a host of imitators. MOTU defined the term 'action figure' because each figure actually did something.

If you actually knew more about Masters or flipped through the concept book (on previous page) you might think differently.



Don't worry for me, I had some Masters as soon as they were released, more or less, I grabbed my first in 1983. If only I left them in their stupid cardboard boxes at the time, they'd be worth much more today!
I liked them for WHAT THEY WERE, but the ghost of conan was never far from it, laughing somehow at his blond scifi imitator.
You didn't understand what I meant by lack of originality: if He-Man ,Skeletor and King Hiss are compared to Conan , Kull , Kazar, Thulsa Doom and the Snakemen , the three mattel characters are VERY unoriginal in every aspect . But if you compare the whole toyline (other characters than He-Man ,Skeletor and Hiss) to the cheapo toys which are indeed as you quote them , imitators, then they are VERY ogininal! Says a lot about the imitators doesn't it!

Excellent heroic scifi toys with an 80's bodybuilder realistic look (talkin' about the 80's line, I don't have any of the modern line) but giving it more credit than it deserves isn't worth the trouble.


No but it certainly worth being negative about it all right?

Besides He-Man, Skeletor and King Hiss, who else in MOTU was remotely like Conan? I assume then that you see Ram Man, Buzz Off, Stratos, Man-At-Arms, Roboto, SyKlone, Mekaneck, Clawful, Spikor or any of the other 60 or so MOTU characters as Conan rip offs?

Eamon, if you'd ask me, I'd tell you Tom Platz would be the guy who should have filed a suit against Mattel ;)
Same haircut, similar facial traits, similar body frame and muscle definition (he's almost as large as he's tall!) . Mattel cited Schwarzenegger during the trial, but visibly the 80's Heman had a lot more in common with Platz.

Tom Platz WAS He-Man (a lot more than Dolph or Arnold ...) :


I too always thought Platz as a bit like He-man but then when you really look, it's just the face. He-Man anatomy is more like Arnie I think ie more aniomical (though I always found the quads a bit odd).
Look at Plazt's complete lack of a defined brachialis mucsle which is very apparent in the He-Man figure and Arnie.

He-Man head sculpt is actually based on a intern at Mattel who was there at the time.
I draw stuff.
www.eamonart.com

#67 JainkhulTamhair

JainkhulTamhair

    Adventurer

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 289 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 29 February 2012 - 10:44 PM

Besides He-Man, Skeletor and King Hiss, who else in MOTU was remotely like Conan? I assume then that you see Ram Man, Buzz Off, Stratos, Man-At-Arms, Roboto, SyKlone, Mekaneck, Clawful, Spikor or any of the other 60 or so MOTU characters as Conan rip offs?


answer: FAKER. ;)

More seriously, who wouldn't agree with this last statement of yours? All these charcaters you cited in the end have nothing to do with the hyborian or thurian age universe or personae

Edited by JainkhulTamhair, 29 February 2012 - 10:47 PM.


#68 Eamon

Eamon

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 728 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ireland

Posted 01 March 2012 - 12:38 AM

Zodak, Man-E-Faces, Moss Man, Tri Klops, Trap Jaw, Webstor, Whiplash, Jitsu, Fisto, Two-Bad, MerMan, Mantenna, Hordak, Mosquitor, Modulock, Multibot, Rio Blast, Snout Spout, Twistoid, Rotar, Blast Attack, Ninjor, Clamp Champ, Extendar, Blade, Sourod, Dragstor, Rokkon Stondar and my personal fav, Stinkor! :)

I think that's over 60% of the MOTU character lineup that bears little resemblance to anything Hyborian or Thurian.

Yes there are Snakes that are men in Kull too but that is where any similarity ends. Each Snake Man in MOTU had a unique, look and feature and like most things Masters, given vivid colours to appeal to kids. The whole reason for being is completely different.

My point is that I think you are being very unfair to say that Masters of the Universe is a Conan copy when clearly only very few things have the Conan look. On a character level, He-Man's motives and reasoning are different to Conan's. As hero's go, they could not be further apart.

He-Man was not created because of Conan. Mattel were always going to do a toy line because they stupidly rejected Lucas on the Star Wars license and then freaked when they saw the success of the toys.

The only reason He-Man looks the way he looks is purely down to the flavour of the day in the late 70's and early 80's being muscle bound fantasy heroes including Conan amongst many others.
I draw stuff.
www.eamonart.com

#69 Amra_the_Lion

Amra_the_Lion

    Free Companion Mercenary Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 707 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:United States of America

Posted 01 March 2012 - 05:33 AM


Masters Of The Universe was conceptualized and developed in 1980 and pitched to Mattel executives by Roger Sweet in late 1980 two years prior to the release of Universal Pictures Conan the Barbarian in 1982. The toyline was produced starting in 1981 and marketed in 1982. The toy line existed prior to the movie and Mattel did not have a license with Universal to make toys for that film. He-Man was conceptualized as a barbarian, soldier, and spaceman with executives picking the barbarian out of the three to be the basis of the toyline. Likely the Masters of the Universe toyline borrowed heavily from Conan concepts but was not intended to be a toyline for the film after those talks fell through and the agreements were dissolved.

He-Man was conceptualized in drawings and wax sculptures. Some of these conceptual renderings do resemble Conan from comic books and paperbacks as some of the artists were inspired by fantasy artists Frank Frazetta and Boris Vallejo from the covers of the Lancer and Ace Conan publications, and some of the artists that Mattel employed to design the mini-comics, figure packaging, and box art were comic book artists who worked with Marvel on the Conan The Barbarian comic book such as Alfredo Alcala who inked illustrations by John Buscema in the #137 August 1982 issue, and later inked many others and illustrated #225. Earl Norem illustrated Masters of the Universe posters, package inlays, and box art. Earl Norem also illustrated Savage Sword of Conan #74 November 1983 issue, he later went on to do multiple covers for Marvel's Conan Saga and The Savage Sword of Conan.


Vikor looks like a twin brother of the Conan depicted on Savage Sword #10 by Boris Vallejo, similar to the Frazetta Conan with a helmet you used as a forum icon and also similar to the Conan with a horned helmet by Windsor Smith.

Why do you say "Norem also illustrated Savage Sword of Conan #74 November 1983 issue and later etc etc" ???
Norem illustrated Conan for Marvel's Savage Sword ...in Savage Sword of Conan # 14 ...in SEPTEMBER 1976 for the first time, and not in 1983 with issue #74 which is almost a decade later!!
Boris' cover for #10 was released in FEBRUARY 1976.

The (ridiculous ) results of the legal dispute between Marvel and Mattel were and are still available online , and your conclusions seem to correlate with them, pointing out material by Marvel drawn AFTER 1981-1982, while we Conan fans all know that Vikor's and He-man's graphic portrayals were more than heavily inspired by Conan (and Kazar as many have noticed also, especially concerning the sabertooth pet and the hero being blond), not to speak of the concepts ripped off from Kull (snakemen, skullfaced wizard archnemesis, hero being a monarch , etc).
Mattel did poorly in terms of originality, that's for sure.


Obviously you need to read the entire thread. Thank you for saying my conclusions are ridiculous. Nothing in my posts are untrue they just happened to be examples that I was able to find quickly. I was not intentionally ommitting pre-He-Man examples and if you read further you would know that I provided several examples of influence of Conan as portrayed by various media as partial inspiration for the Masters of the Universe toyline including several that were well prior to the toy-line conception. If I had seen an earlier date for Earl Norem's work on Conan related stuff you can bet I would have included it to prove my point. Thank you for also distancing me by saying "we conan fans all know" when you obviously think I don't know and and am not a fan. Your jump to conclusion post excelently points out that you did not read the dialog because it discussed the similarities of the Frazetta painting in my avatar (which probably was not an inspiration to Vikor because of limited release), links to the ridiculous court cases and analysis, and an example of the similarity of Kazar and his pet sabertooth Zabu. My only conclusion that you seemed to miss entirely is that while He-Man is partially inspired by Conan, he bears little resemblance to Robert E. Howards portrayal of his character Conan. Eamon is right whatever inspiration that was pulled from the media representations of Conan and similar barbarians have little to do with the finished Masters of the Universe product line, and my point even less to do with Robert E. Howard's Conan as he wrote him, not as the character was portrayed by film, comics, and pastiche.

He-Man was not a Conan toy however he may have been indirectly inspired by Conan and borrows heavily from concepts found in comics and pre-production film materials, not so much from the real Robert E. Howard creation Conan.


Edited by Amra_the_Lion, 01 March 2012 - 06:55 AM.

If life is an illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. Queen of the Black Coast 1934 Robert E. Howard

 

Amra's The Chronicles of Conan The Cimmerian: Determining the chronological order of Howard's Conan Tales


#70 JainkhulTamhair

JainkhulTamhair

    Adventurer

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 289 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 01 March 2012 - 01:51 PM

Obviously you need to read the entire thread. Thank you for saying my conclusions are ridiculous. Nothing in my posts are untrue they just happened to be examples that I was able to find quickly.

I didn't say your conclusions were ridiculous, but those of the legal dispute, which is available online.
I merely pointed out that some dates were incorrect and would induce newbies in error. You being a Conan fan , I knew it wouldn't be your intention to denigrate Conan and reduce the influence, but on the web it's common practise to read such "examples quickly collected" (as you quoted yourself) which say things like "Norem started drawing covers for SSOC in 1983" , which is after many HeMan concepts were already boxed and on the shelves: those statements must have been posted by angry MOTU fans who , contrarily to you and Eamon, wish to deny almost all links to conan, 80's barbarians, etc.
Truth is, Norem started in 1976 and that changes a lot of things, it means the guys at Mattel saw his covers and said, let's take him to work on the Masters and not the other way around.
Did I ever imply that you were not a real fan? Never! Only that the info collected pointed in an odd direction.
Once again, who amongst eductaed Conan fans wouldn't agree with you two? Kull the Valusian fighting snakemen and Thulsa probably initiated HeMan vs the snakemen & Skeletor in a primitive way and we all know that Skeletor and HeMan's attitude have nothing to do with what Howard wrote about them, even less concerning Adam becoming HeMan and so on.

Why would I have bought those 80's masters if I found them so crappy then? The rant's just about rendering unto Caesar what's due to Caesar .

It had to be said, that's all. I read similar much worse things on other forums, where some fans say for example that Manowar didn't borrow anything from the Conan mythos from the first movie ("secret of steel", barbarian destined to be king, etc ) nor from the books , cover art or comics....because supposedly the band formed in 1980 and adored "Viking" themes...only. Anyone listening , reading the booklet and looking at the CD cover art knows it's a vain excuse spread on the web by die hard fans who deny reality (for example it's not a coincidence if Manowar chose the same artist which drew so many covers for Conan Tor books, why deny it? ) .

Edited by JainkhulTamhair, 01 March 2012 - 01:56 PM.


#71 Amra_the_Lion

Amra_the_Lion

    Free Companion Mercenary Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 707 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:United States of America

Posted 01 March 2012 - 03:32 PM

I didn't say your conclusions were ridiculous, butthose of the legal dispute, which is available online.
I merely pointed out that some dates were incorrect and would induce newbies in error. You being a Conan fan , I knew it wouldn't be your intention to denigrate Conan and reduce the influence, but on the web it's common practise to read such "examples quickly collected" (as you quoted yourself) which say things like "Norem started drawing covers for SSOC in 1983" , which is after many HeMan concepts were already boxed and on the shelves: those statements must have been posted by angry MOTU fans who , contrarily to you and Eamon, wish to deny almost all links to conan, 80's barbarians, etc.
Truth is, Norem started in 1976 and that changes a lot of things, it means the guys at Mattel saw his covers and said, let's take him to work on the Masters and not the other way around.
Did I ever imply that you were not a real fan? Never! Only that the info collected pointed in an odd direction.


Earl Norem illustrated Masters of the Universe posters, package inlays, and box art. Earl Norem also illustrated Savage Sword of Conan #74 November 1983 issue, he later went on to do multiple covers for Marvel's Conan Saga and The Savage Sword of Conan.


Nothing about the dates are incorrect. Nothing in the sentence says that Savage Sword #74 was his first Conan work. I got the information from Comic Vine which I see has since been updated but at the time either did not have the earlier work cited or I missed it. By calling the court cases ridiculous then saying my conclusions seem to correlate in the same sentence led me to believe you think my conclusions are also ridiculous. By pointing out where you thought I was in error then saying but we Conan fans know better and then providing evidence to your belief of how, in the same sentence, you did imply that I was not a fan. You may not have intended it to read that way. I do see how the date I provided for Earl working on Savage Sword could lead one to assume as you did, that I meant that it was his earliest work on the magazine which is not the case as you pointed out, however I never said that it was his first as you claim I did in your previous post. I probably could have worded it better or done better research into the matter but at the time that was the date I could find that clearly linked him to He-Man and pastiche Conan and there is no error.

Edited by Amra_the_Lion, 01 March 2012 - 03:35 PM.

If life is an illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. Queen of the Black Coast 1934 Robert E. Howard

 

Amra's The Chronicles of Conan The Cimmerian: Determining the chronological order of Howard's Conan Tales


#72 Ulisses31

Ulisses31

    Spear Carrier

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 1 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 01 April 2012 - 07:17 PM

Just for the LOL:

Spoiler


I just love so much ERB creations... with a non barbaric name JC is one of my favorite.
I always thought he was an inspiration for HE-Man...

Posted Image

More fantastic art: http://geekynerfherd...-joe-jusko.html

Posted Image

Edited by Ulisses31, 01 April 2012 - 09:36 PM.

Ebay ID: gappaulo1980
Check my customs at Figure Realm
Deviantart - http://gomes31.deviantart.com/
www.facebook.com/Ulisses31Omega
www.facebook.com/PauloGomesArt

If you cannot convince them, confuse them. - Harry S Truman


#73 Willy_Bravo

Willy_Bravo

    Spear Carrier

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 71 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Petal, Mississippi

Posted 05 March 2014 - 06:14 PM

Not sure if anyone is interested, but a fellow is doing a custom Conan head that will fit the Masters of the Universe Classics figure bodies.  I'm really computer challenged or I'd post a link or picture, but he is on FaceBook under Castle of Power. Just scroll down a bit and you'll see the Conan head. He indicates that the cost will be $30.00 painted/ $25.00 unpainted.

 

It looks like Conan from the old Marvel comics to me...definitely has a Buscema or Alcala Conan feel to it.



#74 Amra_the_Lion

Amra_the_Lion

    Free Companion Mercenary Veteran

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 707 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:United States of America

Posted 05 March 2014 - 09:47 PM

His name is under "The Castle of Power" here is the pic.

 

599345_597084483699985_1760817837_n.jpg


If life is an illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me. Queen of the Black Coast 1934 Robert E. Howard

 

Amra's The Chronicles of Conan The Cimmerian: Determining the chronological order of Howard's Conan Tales


#75 snakeeyes0217

snakeeyes0217

    Spear Carrier

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Chi-Town

Posted 25 March 2014 - 05:59 PM

His name is under "The Castle of Power" here is the pic.

 

599345_597084483699985_1760817837_n.jpg

 

Love that hair for an Alcala-style He-Man!