Saturday, 25 September 2021

My Little Pony: A New Generation Is Galloping Your Way to Netflix!

Written by Pony Princess.

My Little Pony: The New Generation 
Source: Netflix

Get ready for a galloping good time with the latest incarnation of the world famous My Little Pony franchise! 

After months of gloomy lockdowns, it feels like the sun is shining again with the announcement of My Little Pony: The New Generation Movie by Netflix. The movie was originally set for a theatrical release by Paramount in February. However, due to the pandemic, My Little Pony: The New Generation was one of many high-profile movies from Paramount that was sold and offloaded onto Netflix. A brilliant move considering that most parts are the world are battling Covid. And it's just the movie we need to add some colour to a dull stay-at-home routine.

Set to stream on September 24th on Netflix worldwide, a new generation of colourful ponies are here to cheer you up with plenty of laughs, daring adventure and lots of glitter. 

If you are not a pony fan or unfamiliar with the franchise, then this write-up will definitely help equip you with tidbits about the movie and the history highlights of this beloved franchise that has made it into global phenomenon.

Watch the trailer to get a sneak peak of the magical adventure that awaits.





The movie is set many, many years after the events of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic where Twilight Sparkle's teachings on friendship and harmony has been forgotten and replaced with mistrust and enmity. In the trailer we get glimpses of "modern" Equestria that is more technologically advanced and the sense of paranoia from the three different pony species. Underneath all the colour and glitter lies a rather heavy handed theme that hits an all too familiar chord close with our own world's reality; racism and discrimination.

Featuring an all new cast of ponies voiced by acclaimed talents including former Disney star Vanessa Hudgens (Bad Boys for Life, High School Musical) as Sunny and Kimiko Glenn (Orange is the New Black) as Izzy, plus James Marsden (Westworld, X-Men, Sonic the Hedgehog), Sofia Carson (Descendants), Liza Kosby (Work It), and Jane Krakowski (Schimigadoon, Ally McBeal). The movie is directed by Robert Cullen, Jose Ucha and Mark Fattibene.

Meet the cast of My Little Pony: The New Generation



The Movie at a Glance

Synopsis
The truly unimaginable has happened...Equestria has lost its friendship, harmony and magic! Earth Ponies, Unicorns and Pegasi are no longer friends and now live separated by species.  But an idealistic Earth Pony Sunny Starscout (Vanessa Hudgens) is determined to find a way to bring enchantment, unity and friendship back to their world. Team up with open-hearted and crafty Unicorn Izzy, (Kimiko Glen), the pair travel to faraway lands where they encounter the likes of charismatic and brave Pegasi Pipp (Sofia Carson) and Zipp (Liza Koshy) and the ever-responsible fellow Earth Pony Hitch (James Marsden). Journey with the ponies on a mission full of misadventures but these new best friends each possess their own unique and special gifts that may be just what Equestria needs to restore what it was before.
(Source: Flickering Myth)

Initial release: September 23, 2021
Director: Robert Cullen and Jose Luis Ucha
Produced by: Cecil Kramer; Peter Lewis
Production companies: Entertainment One and Boulder Media
Music composed by: Heitor Pereira, Alan Schmuckler, Michael Mahler
Story by: Robert Cullen, Jose Ucha and Tim Sullivan
(Source: IMDB)

Meet the New Generation of Ponies
Source: Netflix

Sunny Starscout
The protagonist of the story whose personality is just like her name. 
She is curious, adventurous and determined to make the world a better place for all ponies.

Izzy Moonbow
Izzy is an energetic unicorn from Bridlewood Forest who loves crafting and glitter.

Zipp Storm
Zipp is the rebellious and daredevil sister of Pipp from Zephyr Heights. 
She is athletic and love science.

Hitch Trailblazer
Hitch is the caring and responsible sheriff of Maretime Bay who looks after everypony.

Pipp Petals
The stylish pop-star princess of Zephyr Heights and sister to Zipp. 
She is a pop star icon who loves entertaining ponies.

Queen Haven
A pegasus who is also the mother of Pipp and Zipp. 
She the ruler of Zephyr Heights.

Argyle Starshine
Sunny Starscout's father who tells Sunny stories about Twilight Sparkle 
(main protagonist from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic).

Phyllis Cloverleaf
A pink Earth pony who owns a company called Canterlogic that manufactures product to keep Earth ponies safe and stylish.


For non pony fans, you are probably thinking, civilised, colourful talking little ponies with symbols on their flanks that live in towns and cities??  Where did all these came from and has it always been this way? This is where knowing the humble origins of this beloved franchise comes in.

Trotting Down Memory Lane  


Forty years ago during the dark internet-less ages where there was (gasp) no WiFi, smart phones and online games, children played with analogue toys and watched analogue television with commercials and no skip function. This was an era where Saturday morning cartoons were a staple for boys and girls and not to mention, the ultimate advertising platform for toy companies. The famous American toy company Hasbro, known for toys like Transformers & GI Joe, decided to come up with a brand new toy line aimed at girls.


In 1981, the world was introduced to the very first version of a toy pony called, "My Pretty Pony" created by Bonnie Zacherle, Charles Muenchinger and Steve D' Aguanno. It looks nothing like the ponies we know of today since it was brown, made of hard plastic and stands at ten-inches tall.


Bonnie Zacherle is the creator of the ponies. She lived in Japan with her family where her father cared for all quarantined animals entering and leaving the country. Zacherle may have been inspired by a Korean pony called Knicker whom she adored but have to leave behind when she left Japan. 

However, due to mediocre sales of "My Pretty Pony", the line was discontinued in favour of a redesigned version under a trademark name, "My Little Pony." The redesigned ponies are smaller, multicoloured and feature the hallmark symbol on their flanks known today as cutie marks. 

Source: Hasbro

The six original My Little Ponies released in 1983 were Minty, Blue Belle, Snuzzle, Cotton Candy, Butterscotch and Blossom; names not arranged in any order.

A remake version of the 6 original ponies was released in 2018 to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the franchise.

With the launch of the My Little Pony line, this was followed by other variety of ponies including winged-ponies, unicorns and flutter ponies (a smaller, thinner version with iridescent plastic wings) and sea ponies (chubby sea horses with manes). Little girls of the eighties could not get enough of them resulting in an explosion of ponies in an assortment of colours, patterns and accessories to collect. There were baby ponies with diapers and cots, ponies covered in flock, ponies with rhinestone eyes, bendable ballerina ponies with tutus, ponies who can change colour of their hair and even ponies with costumes to wear! It was literally a collector's paradise and truly the golden age of My Little Pony.



The super rare Japanese version of My Little Pony from Takara (now Takara Tomy) released in 1985 are nothing like the originals. Known as Osharena Pony (or stylish pony), the ponies are anthropomorphic, stands upright on their hooves, have tiny beady eyes and a bulbous nose. 

My Little Pony ran from 1982 to 1992 in the United States and went global in 1995. The expansion continues to include a wide assortment of merchandises ranging from comic books, stationeries, 2 animated specials, an animated feature-length film and two animated television series that ran for 2 seasons. At its peak, as many as one hundred and fifty million ponies were sold during the eighties alone!

The magic begins to fade 

The franchise has undergone many reiterations since the eighties with each new look updated to appeal the current market. Each new look are called a generation by fans. 

But alas, the franchise started to decline in the late nineties due to stiff competition from other entertainment alternatives. Eventually, My Little Pony was discontinued due to poor sales until in the early 2000, Hasbro decided to revive the brand. There came the 4th generation of My Little Pony that sparked the renaissance age of the franchise. 


Hasbro approached Lauren Faust, an animator, storyboard artist and writer, who worked on popular cartoon series like the Powerpuff Girls and Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends among them, to give the dying franchise a much needed makeover. Source: Wikipedia

Original concept sketches of Twilight Sparkle by Faust 

Faust is no stranger with ponies and grew up with them during the eighties. The cast were based on personalities that she invented for her own pony toys, calling them her "inner eight year old". This resulted in the creation of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic which became the fourth incarnation of the franchise that catapulted My Little Pony to global pop culture status. Faust's ingenuity and appealing designs was instrumental to the revival of the franchise in 2010 which ushered the new golden age for the franchise.


My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic is a modern take on the previous Generation 1 (G1) television series from the 80s that critics panned as sickeningly sweet and cute. Faust infused elements of fantasy, magic, modern humour and a theme that revolves around friendship. The story revolves around Twilight Sparkle and her daring adventures with her 5 pony friends, Rarity, Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, Fluttershy and Apple Jack. Thus, making them the Mane 6. The core theme of the entire series is about friendship and harmony with the catchphrase, "Friendship is Magic"

From 2010 to 2019, the series ran for an impressive 9 seasons with a total of 221 episodes and at least one animated movie. By far it is the most successful My Little Pony series with a rich fantasy world, an engaging plot and memorable characters. 

The success of this G4 series garnered a massive following worldwide not only in little girls but in an unintended market; the young adult male audience. These fans are known in the geek circles as "bronies" and its female equivalent, "pegasisters".  The success of G4 brought in over $1 billion retail sales in 2014 and 2015. 
You know your franchise has arrived when there's an exclusive convention called Bronycon for it. Unfortunately, with the conclusion of the G4 series, the last Bronycon was held in 2019.

And now that leads us to the upcoming movie, My Little Pony: A New Generation which will kickstart a new beginning or the fifth generation of the franchise. In that same vein as most current animated films, the 2021 movie will spot a refreshing new look in 3D.

The movie will be set in the same universe as My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, albeit in the very distant future.

A Peek Behind The Scenes


The movie is co-written and co-directed by Robert Cullen (left) and Jose Luis Ucha. Cullen is a veteran in the industry who has worked on animated series like Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, The Amazing World of Gumball, Transformers: Cyberverse, El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera and DC Superhero Girls.

At the peak of the movie production, there were about 48 animators located in five different time zones who worked on the film. Production went underway during the Covid lockdowns with the crew from 20 different countries working remotely. According to Cullen, the movie took about four years from start to finish.


Bringing the ponies into a fully CGI world was no easy feat. As much as the fans loved Faust's iconic G4 design, the animation style in 2D simply cannot be copied straight into 3D. Graham Gallagher, the animation supervisor referred to the TV series as a starting point for designing the ponies in a new world but quickly realised that some adjustments needed to be made. Source: Animation Magazine


"We found that the bodies were way too small (referring to the G4 version) and they couldn't sit down and we wanted to be able to help them sit down and be able to talk and interact like a human. We had to elongate their bodies," said Gallagher.

Despite the challenges, Cullen expressed that it was important to make the changes in order to capture the range of emotions and expressions of the ponies. Keeping the DNA of "Friendship is Magic" in the new characters is definitely a priority not just for the loyal fans but to new audiences who are not familiar with My Little Pony.

Knowing how songs has always played a significant role in all pony episodes, the directors brought in an impressive cast of vocal talents to perform a variety of songs in an eclectic mix of genres from edgy rock tunes to broadway musicals. Two songwriters, Michael Mahler and Alan Schmuckler are onboard to compose the music in the movie. Some fans will be a little disappointed to know that Daniel Ingram (the composer behind all the music and songs in the G4 series) is not involve in the production.

Here is a non-spoiler sample of songs that you can expect:

Performed by none other than former Disney star Vanessa Hudgens who played Gabriella Montez from the High School Musical series. She is also the voice of Sunny Starscout. 

Toys, toys, TOYS!


Not forgetting its roots! 
The new line of pony toys are officially out from Hasbro. 
Of course you will want to have one of these as a keepsake if you enjoyed the movie. 
The My Little Pony toy line has come a long, long way since the eighties and will continue to evolve in each generation.

Reigning it All In

Fans of My Little Pony from G4 are truly excited about the upcoming movie and are generally feeling optimistic. Understanding that it is the 5th incarnation of the franchise and the producers intends to reach out to new audiences that have not seen or heard of My Little Pony. However, of course there will be fans who are skeptical if the new movie and subsequently a follow-up series can live up to the success of the previous generation, G4 My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.   

With the trailers and few leaks circling online, fans are vague of what to expect. This of course opens up to some delicious speculations and high hopes for this newer generation of mature ponies.   


One speculation is attributed to Pipp Petals who is the latest pony princess for the new generation. Unlike the previous generation series, she is not an alicorn but a pegasus with feathery wings; for non-fans, an alicorn is a unicorn with wings and always of royal descent. So are alicorns going to exist at all in this new generation? 

The Equestria in G4 is also home to all sorts of creatures besides ponies including gryphons, yaks and other mythical creatures from the Everfree Forest.  Will we see other species of creatures other than ponies in G5 Equestria?

What about the fan favourite characters? Will they make a cameo or at least have a presence in the movie and series? The movie directors promises that there will be plenty of easter eggs to keep fans happy and as a tribute to the previous generation. Other than toys on Sunny's shelf, there are no confirmation if the G4 Mane 6 ponies will make an appearance.

Since the upcoming G5 series is targeted an an "older" audience (the age isn't specified yet) there's a chance that the series will explore more mature themes about identity, or relationships that aren't just between male and female ponies. This definitely opens up opportunities to include themes on diversity, inclusion and other modern trends that proliferates culture and society today. 

So fans can definitely look forward to what looks to be a bold new venture trail blazed by the G5 ponies. It  looks to be different, unique and possibly original from its predecessor with a greater chance of introducing a wider variety of ideas that are more reality-bound than fantasy.

Afterall the movie is already tackling the topic of racism, so they might as well keep it going. Who knows, we can expect episodes where friendship does not always solve everything, and facing challenges like dealing with trauma or the loss of a loved one and even depression & anxiety. 

The way forward for G5 seems to be in the right direction. Fans are genuinely excited  and welcome My Little Pony: The New Generation with open arms, so why not you?  Grab a bucket of popcorn and snuggle down on your favourite couch and get ready for some fun, musical action. 

For first time audiences, prepare to have your senses bombarded with colour and glitter as it always has been in the My Little Pony universe. But don't let its initial appearance fool you, like it did for me with the Gen 4 series.  Let the story and adventure unfold and unravel for itself! 

Available on Netflix, 24th September 2021

2 Sen Review From the Pony Princess

The movie opens up with a bang and it certainly does not disappoint! Fans from the series can cast away their worries concerning connections to its G4 roots because it is definitely there in plain sight. The pony vibe and sense of familiarity is felt in new Equestria although being a new generation, there is still plenty of world building to do. I suppose that's why the series will be a follow up to this exciting new world.
 
I admit that the fully CGI rendered ponies can take a little adjusting with the camera's tendency to focus on the 3/4 view or frontal angle of the pony's head. The body is noticeably elongated which was explained earlier by animation director Gallagher. Overall, the ponies translates beautifully into 3D with plenty of nods to the G4 designs. Sunny and friends even come across as extra adorable with the realistic fur and tiny details, i.e. the fur on the hooves and ombre effect on the fur. Even the cutie mark looks as realistic as it gets on a furry flank.

In terms of story, a group of ponies shows courage to go against mainstream thinking and demonstrates that judging others without knowledge is a mistake that breeds fear and mistrust. It does a good job at addressing the issue of disparate group of ponies and is neither too dark nor lighthearted. 

Much like the beloved toys themselves, the shows have change so much over the years with each new generation. Still, the movie has stayed true to the essence of My Little Pony where the positive message about unity, inclusion and friendship has been always been a focal point to the pony universe. 

It's a great way to continue the story of Equestria's residents while attracting new fans young and not-so-young to the series. I am definitely excited and curious to know more about this new generation of ponies. The movie has definitely opened up a world of possibilities and more room to expand on the My Little Pony universe.

So this Pony Princess had a galloping good time watching the movie. It's colourful, entertaining and the animation is what you can expect from a high quality 3D animated film originally aimed for the silver screen.

The characters are memorable enough and I found myself curious to know more about the back story of each one. Oh, and just a fair warning, "Gonna Be My Day" and "Glowin Up" are songs that might as well get stuck in your head. 


Disclaimer: My Little Pony, and associated characters are registered trademarks to Hasbro, referenced here for fan service only without intent to infringe.



Friday, 27 August 2021

How Star Wars fans can have an R2-D2 droid companion to interact with and not just display in the cabinet

Like Luke and Anakin Skywalker, you can now have R2-D2 the heroic droid from Star Wars for companionship in the palm of your hands! 

Go on epic Star Wars adventures accompanied by Artoo just like these heroic Jedi!


  • Original Bandai product licensed by Lucasfilm.
  • Pocket-sized micro-droid, easy to carry and lightweight. No need X-Wing.

  • Hours of interactive fun including 19 skills to master and 7 mini-games to unlock.
  • Easy to care for. Droids do not poop. 
  • Comes in classic white-shell or 1990s inspired hologram translucent - blue shell.

  • Releasing in November, just in time for Christmas. Great gift for fans of Star Wars or Tamagotchi.



You take on the role of R2-D2’s Master! Play, interact and care for your droid.

Keep R2-D2 clean, batteries charged and playing mini games!

Train up your Artoo unit to master up to 19 skills and unlock up to 7 mini games, including firefighting and Dejarik “holochess”.

Be careful not to neglect him for too long or the Jawas will steal him away!

Suitable for ages 8+ and adults too!


Tamagotchi gets its name for the Japanese word for egg, “tamago”, and “watch”. The virtual pets were first released in Japan in 1996. While Tamagotchis have gone through many iterations, many share the basic mechanic of caring for a digital pet and keeping it healthy for as long as possible.

This November, Tamagotchi will release its first-ever Star Wars device celebrating the galaxy’s greatest astromech. “Star Wars has proven to be a timeless franchise and one that fans are eager to continue exploring, which makes it an absolute thrill to be able to incorporate it into the Tamagotchi experience,” according to Takayoshi Oyama, manager of Bandai's Business Management Team.

R2-D2 Tamagotchi, Classic white version.

Iconic Tamagotchi display features adorable animations of the astromech, and available in two shells inspired by Artoo: Classic white (above), or translucent blue as hologram (below)

R2-D2 Tamagotchi, translucent "hologram" blue version.


Outpost Toys was originally opened as a hobby cafe and  toy shop in e@Curve Damansara from 2007 to 2011 specialising in geek pop culture experiences and merchandise. Although retiring from the retail scene, Outpost Productions was busy conducting events for toy roadshows, movie premieres, fan engagements and cinema promotions. Our corporate clients over 15 years included Hasbro, GSC Cinemas, Sony Pictures, Warner Bros, HBO, and Astro.

Outpost has recently reignited our passion for bringing geeky toys to fans and collectors. As Outpost Toys & Hobbies on Lazada we have received 100% Positive Seller Ratings. On Shopee, Outpost Hobbies has been rated 5.0 / 5.0. We hope for your support and confidence in making this purchase directly with us here as a more suitable platform for Pre-Orders.






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Friday, 23 July 2021

By the Power of Netflix, He-Man returns to Grayskull!

 


Mattel's fantastical sword & sorcery MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE  franchise powers up today with release of a new animated series on Netflix. The inaugural HE-MAN and THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE animated series debuted nearly 40 years ago in 1983 based on Mattel's toy line released the year prior. 


The story takes place on the world of Eternia, where young Prince Adam uses the Sword of Power to transform into He-Man, the most powerful man in the universe. Together with his trusty Battle Cat and allies such as Teela & Man-at-Arms, He-Man defends the mysterious Castle Grayskull against the evil forces of Skeletor from learning its secrets for ultimate power to rule the universe.

Opening title sequence of the 1980s cartoon.
Full episodes available on YouTube.

Thinly disguised as a “cartoon commercial”, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe certainly catapulted toy sales skyrocketing for a number of years and over 130 episodes emblazoned He-Man in minds of Gen-X boys across the world. Now those boys have grown to be middle-aged men and get to relive their childhood with Netflix's MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE: REVELATION, an official sequel for the original 1980s series and now updated to current audience expectations.


Official Synopsis

After a calamitous battle fractures Eternia, Teela and an unlikely alliance must prevent the end of the Universe in this sequel to the '80s classic.



Masters of the Universe: Revelation is set to release in two parts, with the five-episode releasing today July 23, 2021 on Netflix. Here is list of episodes:


Total run time adds up to about 2 hours which is quite binge-watchable as a full-length animated movie. It is Rated 13+.

This new animated streaming series is developed by Kevin Smith and produced by Powerhouse Animation Studios. Kevin Smith is well-known in the American geek pop culture fraternity as filmmaker, actor, comedian, comic book writer, author and podcaster, often best known for his role as part of the duo Jay and Silent Bob in a series of low-budget comedy films from the mid-90s. Smith himself is a big fan of 1980s He-Man and the Masters of the Universe and gleefully excited to take on the reins of this beloved franchise as showrunner for this sequel series. Hear what he has to say about Revelations:


Read more about what Kevin Smith has shared in this in article by Den of Geek. Follow Kevin Smith on Twitter for latest reveals on Masters of the Universe: Revelation.

Now check out the voice cast for Masters of the Universe: Revelation:
  • Chris Wood (The Vampire Diaries, Supergirl) as Prince Adam / He-Man
  • Mark "Luke Skywalker" Hamill (Star Wars, Batman animated) as Skeletor
  • Liam Cunningham (Game of Thrones) as Man-At-Arms
  • Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) as Teela
  • Lena "Cersei Lannister" Headey (Game of Thrones) as Evil-Lyn
  • Diedrich Bader as King Randor and Trap Jaw
  • Alicia Silverstone as Queen Marlena
  • Stephen Root as Cringer
  • Griffin Newman as Orko
  • Susan Eisenberg as Sorceress of Castle Grayskull
  • Kevin Michael Richardson as Beast Man
  • Kevin Conroy (Batman animated) as Mer-Man
  • Henry Rollins as Tri-Klops
  • Jason Mewes as Stinkor
  • Alan Oppenheimer as Moss-Man (voice of original Skeletor... and Mer-Man)
  • Justin Long as Roboto
  • Tony Todd (Candyman) as Scare Glow
  • Phil LaMarr as He-Ro
  • Cree Summer as Priestess
  • Harley Quinn Smith as Illena
  • Tiffany Smith as Andra
  • Dennis Haysbert as King Grayskull
  • Adam Gifford as Vikor
  • Jay Tavare as Wundar
Top left clockwise: Kevin Conray as Mer-Man, Liam Cunningham as Man-At-Arms,
Mark Hamill as Skeletor, Justin Long as Roboto, Lena Headey as Evil-Lyn,
Sarah Michelle Gellar as Teela. Source: Whats-on-Netflix.com

Perhaps not by coincidence, San Diego Comic Con 2021 takes place this week, albeit virtually streamed across the world as Comic Con @ Home. Scheduled under Netflix Geeked panel line-up is the Masters of the Universe: Revelation panel with the cast and creators now available to watch on YouTube official channels for Comic Con International.


Tying in with this new animated series is an official comic book Prequel mini-series from Dark Horse Comics written by the show's Executive Producers Kevin Smith and Rob David and episode writer Tim Sheridan and featuring art by Mindy Lee. The first issue of the 4-issue mini-series is already out earlier this month with subsequent issues releasing monthly to fill in events between the 1980s animated series and Revelation



Find out more at the official Dark Horse website with preview pages. Then if  motivated to read this prequel story, consider purchasing the digital edition (available from Amazon) since comics books are not so commonly found locally in Malaysia nowadays. There are also other official Masters of the Universe publications by Dark Horse Comic to check out. 


Of course Masters of the Universe (MOTU) being a franchise owned by toy company Mattel, there are new toys to complement Revelation. Last year Mattel released the Masters of the Universe Origins line reintroducing the 5.5 inch tall action figures in their vintage 1980s forms and packaging inclusive of mini comic book. Fortunately these are not reissues of the original figures but updated with additional articulation by 16 joints yet keeping to the vintage body proportions. Thankfully Mattel chose not to use the rubber band hip joints this time around as surely those MOTU figures nearly 4 decades old have had their legs drop off! The classic retro-packaging also encourages today's big boys to revisit their youth and “play” again.


Now for MOTU Revelation, Mattel has released the first wave of characters under the Masterverse line. You can now collect He-Man, Skeletor, Evil-Lyn and Moss-Man as seen in the new animated series in more realistic body proportions of bulging muscles with 30 points of articulation enabling great poseability as demanded by today's standards. Check out the amount of playability for these figures in these great stop-motion videos by Mattel:



 


It's somewhat surprising Moss-Man was included in this first set instead of Teela which is expected to play a major role in Revelation. But there's no shortage of “shoes” to fill with such a huge cast of colourful MOTU heroes & villains from the new series to be realised in plastic . Already out are He-Man's loyal Battle Cat and a deluxe version of Skeletor, which may be a bit spoilery.

There's even brick building toys for MOTU under Mattel's Mega Construx line that allows fanboys to build Castle Grayskull itself from over 3500 pieces for a price of USD 250 (RM1056). WoW!

Oogle more on these MOTU toys from the official Mattel Toys website. 

Whilst Mattel toys are distributed in Malaysia, they may be a bit hard to find on shelves not because of MCO but due to hot demand from many middle-aged fanboy collectors! Instead of trying luck at Toys R Us in-store or online, consider following Mattel's official shops on Lazada and Shopee for hassle free delivery to your doorstep.

For more context to the younger generation as well as nostalgia for matured fans, let's briefly step back into the good ole early-80s and the impact of morning cartoons into modern pop culture. Remember that Mattel created the toys first in 1982 with design of He-Man inspired from Conan the Barbarian  blending into a fantasy world of sword and sorcery in hopes to capture the success of Kenner with Star Wars in the toys for boys market. As Star Wars had movies to captivate young boys in space adventures, MOTU needed similar media to enthrall young boys into the fantastical world of Eternia. Hence, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe animated series was produced by Filmation to air the following year until 1985 and beyond through syndication.

The original cartoon quality certainly does look tacky by today's standard, and often times even felt that way in the day. This was an era before computer animation, when quantity took precedence over quality and even today no animation studio would probably dare attempt to produce 130 episodes within a span of 3 years. Filmation animation studios indeed managed this and more for He-Man and the Masters of the Universe as well as a multitude of cartoons such as Star Trek The Animated Series (1973-74) and Bravestar (1987-89). The trade-off was frequent re-use of animated sequences (stock footage) and frame rates lower than the standard 24 frames per second, saving time and money. But kids in those days were undeterred and flocked after / before school to catch the latest adventures of He-Man and then pestered their parents to buy them the toys. Toys that often looked ridiculous and sounded similar with character names like Buzz-Off, Extender, Fisto, Clawful, Faker, etc. (just Google these to “facepalm”). 

For more in-depth entertaining look into the MOTU toys, watch the documentary series The Toys That Made Us currently streaming on Netflix as well. Here's the synopsis of episode 3 of Season 1 (47 minutes) featuring He-Man:

“Searching for a new toy line for boys to compete with Star Wars after their toy lines for Clash of the Titans and Flash Gordon flopped, designers at Mattel saw inspiration from Frank Frazetta's artworks, as well as their creative imagination, and launched the Masters of the Universe action figures. The toy line dominated in sales from US$38.2 million in 1982 to US$400 million in 1986 before its demise in 1987 as a result of sales dropping to US$7 million and the critical and financial failure of the live-action film adaptation.”

The success of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe led to a spin-off series SHE-RA: PRINCESS OF POWER. In this series complimenting Mattel's new toy line for young girls, Prince Adam's twin sister Adora leads a rebellion against the tyrannical rule of Hordak on the planet Etheria. Like Adam, Adora uses a magical Sword of Protection to transform into She-Ra. This new female version of He-Man was first introduced in the animated movie HE-MAN AND SHE-RA: THE SECRET OF THE SWORD released in 1985 before airing on television over 93 episodes. He-Man often appears in this episodes, possibly kicking off the first “shared universe” franchise now common place under the Marvel Cinematic Universe and DC on CW. This spin-off was recently rebooted by Netflix in 2018 as a new animated series titled SHE-RA AND THE PRINCESSES OF POWER.

As for He-Man himself, he has reappeared in different incarnations prior to Revelations, including a live-action movie in 1987 also titled MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE. The titular role of He-Man went to Swedish hunk Dolph Lundgren, following his rising stardom from Rocky IV (1985) as Ivan Drago plus stints in James Bond A View to a Kill (1985) and Red Scorpion (1986). Veteran actor Frank Langella donned the skull of Skeletor and new characters were introduced casting young Courtney Cox (Monica of sitcom Friends infamy) and Robert Duncan McNeill (best known as Tom Paris on Star Trek Voyager) as teenagers on Earth.

(Off-topic) Trivia about Dolph Lundgren: He has a Masters Degree in Chemical Engineering from University of Sydney and declined scholarship to study at the famed Massachusetts Institute of Technology MIT to pursue acting. He began studying martial arts during his military service and became a world class competitor in Japanese karate. During his early acting career after He-Man he played Frank Castle in Marvel Comics' The Punisher (1987). His more recent theaterical role teams him up with other action stars of yesteryears like Sylvestor Stallone, Arnold Schwarzeneggar and Bruce Willis in The Expendables movies as Gunner.


The movie flopped at the cinema for a variety of factors, the obvious one wrapping its plot around He-Man coming to our Earth. If even young less discerning kids wanted more action on Eternia but was served a much too familiar suburban America. And there wasn't even a proper MOTU toy line for the movie!

Well, if the 1980's animated series were to transition to live-action, these 2 recent parody videos by Moneysupermarket.com might just well satisfy long time fanboys:

Dancing to the tune of “(I've Had) The Time of My Life” by Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes from Dirty Dancing (1987)


#EpicSkeletor prancing to “Fame”  by Irene Cara of the namesake 1980 movie.

Other than providing great laughs, these YouTube videos show He-Man and Skeletor still resonate in modern pop culture today injected with resurgence of pop music of that era. That's not just in US but across the world when the 80s cartoon series was broadcast and translated to multiple languages. And in Malaysia MOTU fans at Fusion Wayang Kulit recently designed shadow puppets named Per-Kasa and Tengkorar inspired from He-Man & Skeletor; check their Facebook Page for more details.




Want to know even more about the Masters of the Universe? Again head over to Netflix for the feature length documentary (1.5 hours) titled POWER OF GRAYSKULL: THE DEFINITIVE HISTORY OF HE-MAN AND THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE, especially on its impact on modern pop culture beyond the toy line and children's cartoon.



Ready to start Masters of the Universe: Revelation? Consider this Looper video on “Top 10 Things to Remember” which kind of summarises this feature article.


Reviews of Masters of the Universe: Revelation has been positive THUMBS UP. Read what Gizmodo has to say or watch IGN's review here: 


Now for you MOTU fans, mark time in your calendar to binge watch Revelation on Netflix and relish in the best He-Man fan service experience you will be getting this year. This action packed teaser trailer perfectly sync'd to the tune of Bonnie Tyler's “Holding Out for A Hero” simply shows it all... 


“I HAVE THE POWER!”

Disclaimer: Masters of the Universe, He-Man, and associated characters are registered trademarks to Mattel Inc, reference here for fan service only without intent to infringe.