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I have a love/hate relationship with Funko Pop

These things are like cockroaches, but some of them are so cute. However, regardless of their cuteness, I refuse to begin another collecting habit. I already have my much-neglected baseball card collection, and my dust-collecting bobblehead collection, and my shelf-breaking book collection (okay, I don’t actually have any broken shelves yet, but some are bowing). I cannot fathom bring myself to start buying these Funko Pop figures en masse.

That said, whenever I see one that I actually like, I find it difficult to resist the urge to add it to my Amazon wishlist. And when the company tweets all of their giveaways, I’m pretty quick to hit that little RT button. I haven’t won anything from Funko yet, but my number has got to come up eventually, right?

Some characters work better in the Funko universe than others. Masters of the Universe characters, as a general rule, look pretty rad. And Cobra Commander—either hooded or silver-masked (or both!?!)—would be pretty cool additions to the collection. Ugh! There’s that word again! Collection!?!?! No! I refuse! I will not give in!

Trap Jaw and Daryl Dixon The Walking Dead Funko

But I did recently. I invited a second Funko Pop figure into my house, and he will never leave. Trap Jaw is now a permanent resident. He joins The Walking Dead‘s Daryl Dixon, which was gifted to me by my oldest son last Christmas. They both look fantastic, and I’m happy to have them. They will likely be joined by others (like this, and this, and possibly this and this, and maybe this) in the near future, but I refuse to collect them.

There are a few characters that have not yet to my knowledge received the Funko Pop treatment that I would likely buy immediately, such as Edgar Allan Poe and Ralph Hinkley (also known as The Greatest American Hero). But still, I will not collect them.

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By the Power of Grayskull! He-Man is coming in 2019!

MOTU He-Man and the Masters of the Universe new film coming December 18 2019 from Sony

Both ComingSoon.net and EW reported yesterday that Sony has set an official release date for a new live-action He-Man and the Masters of the Universe film: DECEMBER 18, 2019. The movie has been in development for quite some time, and is currently without a director since McG exited stage left (despite ComingSoon.net’s outdated information). The screenplay is in the hands of David S. Goyer (Batman Begins, Man of Steel) and “many actors, including A-list talent, are vying for key roles,” according to EW.

What would really make a new He-Man movie phenomenal? Here are some thoughts:

  • Build a universe for the Masters. There are so many awesome characters that if the studio and screenwriters handle them correctly, Masters of the Universe could become a franchise as big as Marvel and DC.
  • No new characters. To me, one of the biggest flubs of the 1987 film was the addition of Gwildor, Julie, and Kevin. Where was Orko? Randor? They had so much to work with, but using these new characters just caused unnecessary confusion.
  • Keep the action on Eternia. There is no need to visit earth, unless in a brief flashback sequence with Queen Marlena. Eternia is a perfect setting; don’t waste it.
  • Cameos are great. Who doesn’t love Stan Lee‘s cameos in all the Marvel movies? I think it would be wonderful to see Dolph Lundgren and Frank Langella again, perhaps not in major roles, but cameos would be fantastic. In fact, Lundgren mentioned several years ago that he might be interested in portraying He-Man’s dad.

My oldest son Josh also came up with some great points:

  • Avoid the dark Batman-esque atmosphere that everyone tries to replicate.
  • If the origin is addressed, it needs to be consice, clear and to the point.
  • He-Man should be someone kids look up to. Kids should wish they could be He-Man when they grow up…like I did.
  • The villain needs to be Skeletor, and he needs to be scary and well written. One of Marvel fans’ biggest complaints is that the villains are weak or underdeveloped.
  • Don’t kill Skeletor or any of the Masters without a compelling reason.
  • Set up a universe, but don’t make world-building the point of the movie. Calling out Batman v. Superman here, look at how unsuccessful they were at cramming all of the setup for their universe into one movie, as opposed to Marvel’s much more successful slow build.
  • Make sure the story is strong, and faithful to the source material. There is so much rich background and engaging stories to pull from. It should be something longtime fans are happy with. Satisfy the people who will see the movie because they love the character, not the people who watch it for the studio or the actor or the director.
  • Make people like us, the fans, happy. That’s more important than anything else. That’s what will keep the movie alive and open up the possibility of everything that could come after.

The first season of the original He-Man series, as well as all 65 episodes of She-Ra, are currently streaming on Netflix.

How He-Man Mastered the Universe by Brian C. Baer (2017)

HeMan Masters of the Universe

How He-Man Mastered the Universe
by Brian C. Baer
McFarland, 2017

The story of He-Man is well-known to children of the eighties, but author Brian C. Baer is able to dig even deeper into the beloved franchise in his recent book, How He-Man Mastered the Universe. Baer examines every aspect of the Masters of the Universe, from the toys to the cartoon to the movie to the reboots and more recent collectible action figure releases. The author looks at the groundwork laid for the success of He-Man by the marketing behind Star Wars, and the influence He-Man had on many subsequent pop culture franchises such as Transformers, G.I. Joe, and the modern Marvel Cinematic Universe.

What impressed me most about Baer’s book is the attention paid to the big screen adaption of the Eternian hero in 1987. The toys and original cartoon have been widely covered over the years, with little more than a passing mention to the live-action film. A good bulk of Baer’s book, however, is devoted to how He-Man was brought to life by Dolph Lundgren. He breaks down the movie with an in-depth review, discusses the financial woes that hamstrung the ending, and even includes conceptual drawings for He-Man, Man-at-Arms, Teela, Skeletor, and She-Ra, who unfortunately was written out of the script.

Baer also discusses the New Adventures of He-Man cartoon that aired in the early 1990s, the 21st century reboot by Mike Young Productions, and the new line of toys that came with that. Baer wraps up How He-Man Mastered the Universe with a look at what many of the film’s actors are doing today, as well as others who were involved with He-Man through the years.

How He-Man Mastered the Universe is a highly enjoyable book; children of the eighties and He-Fans in particular will love it.

Learn more about McFarland.

Purchase How He-Man Mastered the Universe by Brian C. Baer on Amazon or directly from the publisher at www.mcfarlandpub.com or via the order line at 800-253-2187.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am thankful for YouTube and for people who upload gems like this for the world to see.

R.I.P. Hal Sutherland

(death announced January 16)

Hal Sutherland death

Co-founder of Filmation, director of several episodes of Star Trek: The Animated Series, The Adventures of Batman, The Batman/Superman Hour, Aquaman, and The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure, and production director of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, Hal Sutherland has passed away. We lost Lou Scheimer in October last year, and now another man whose name we all recognize from the He-Man universe is gone.

R.I.P. Lou Scheimer

(October 19, 1928 – October 17, 2013)

Lou Schemier passes away

The genius behind He-Man, She-Ra, and Fat Albert, Lou Scheimer passed away today. Scheimer founded Filmation and influenced countless children with Masters of the Universe, Superman, Batman, Groovy Goolies and more.

I love eBay

Just days before Christmas, I found an inexpensive Snake Armor He-Man. Of course, they don’t stay inexpensive for long. But amazingly, I was the only one to bid on it. So now, my son and I own (in theory…hasn’t arrived yet) a Snake Armor He-Man action figure.

I’m trying to keep my excitement contained until the package arrives. Hard as it is to believe, there are unscrupulous people out there that will prey on your hopes and dreams. But we have waited a very long time for this toy. We have been patient and have avoided paying $50+ on several occasions.

For less than $30, we got the power of Grayskull!

Thundercats are loose!

It’s interesting to see what generates the most traffic for this little blog from day to day. It’s usually a baseball post, but sometimes it’s an older post that is just popular, seemingly out of the blue. Of course, once I dig a little deeper, I can usually figure out why so many new people are coming here for the same reason.

Yesterday the most popular post was “2009 Topps Thundercats.” My son had done a series of Thundercats custom cards based on the 2009 Topps baseball design.

Many of you know that Cartoon Network will be airing a new Thundercats series beginning in 2011. But that news was announced in June…why the sudden interest in December? The reason is simple: a new voice actor has been announced recently, and that has renewed the buzz around the series.

Thundercats Lair posted on Wedesday that Matthew Mercer will be the new voice of Tygra.

I’m really looking forward to the new Thundercats and hope CN doesn’t screw it up like they did He-Man (IOW, they need to actually promote the show and not just hope the toys do it for you…even if those toys are totally awesome).

Speaking of He-Man toys…anyone got a Snake Armor He-Man they want to dump cheap? I can’t justify spending more than $40 on a toy that is going to be played with…a lot. My 11-year old has wanted it since we saw it on eBay several years ago, but we’ve never seen it for less than $75 after shipping. I just can’t do it with a clear conscience. We don’t care if it has been opened, or if you don’t have the original packaging. We just want the toy.

If you want to make a little boy’s Christmas extra special with Snake Armor He-Man, let me know.

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