Wun-Dar? More Like Li-Ar!

 

Fans of Masters of the Universe have long since been swept up in the mystery that was the Wonder Bread promotional He-Man figure, which would become known as Savage He-Man until it's official MotU Classics release, Wun-Dar.

However, as recent evidence has shown, what fans once believed to be a promotional tie in with the bread company, may have in fact been a mail away offer directly from Mattel.

The evidence, and credit of this investigation starts with the below video. I encourage you to give it a viewing prior to continuing to read.

Scott "ToyGuru" Neitlich provides the most interesting and fact filled evidence, which appears to solve the mystery once and for all.

Now before I go any further, I want to stress that the images of evidence presented by Mr. Neitlich are used for the purposes of commentary and reporting, which is in accordance with fair use.

My hope is that you watched the video as the original source for this article, and if you did, this information is pretty much going to be a rehash. Basically, the origins of Wun-Dar / Savage He-Man dates back to a promotion from Mattel in 1983, where one could purchase three figures from one of their brands, and in doing so, submit a certificate to obtain a free figure.

However, when said figure arrived to the home of Barb Hackenberg, she was none to thrilled with her child's response of disappointment. Where were the accessories? Why is this just a naked He-Man figure?


Now to really put into perspective why Barb's letter has such an impact is that you have to think back to the era. There was no internet. Most households didn't own a computer. If you wanted to let a company know how unhappy you were, you first had to do the research to determine who to send said letter to. This often meant long distance phone calls that cost a small fortune, and a lot of note taking.

With this information, you then had to grab a sheet of paper, a pencil or pen, and write that bad boy out. To add insult to injury, you had to then utilize your own store bought envelope and postage stamp. Finally, you had to still be so angry after all the days that had passed that you walked down to your mailbox and actually mailed it off.

Weeks would then pass, possibly even months before you received a response. Better stated, IF you received a response back.

Fortunately, this was also an era when companies still cared about their customers.

Turns out, not only was the letter received, but taken very serious by then President of Mattel, Ray Wagner. Well, his secretary Judy anyway.

Vice President of Marketing, Mark Ellis was put on the case by her. A response was drafted to Ms. Hackenberg not only apologizing to her for disappointing her and her child, but also with the inclusion of two additional action figures recently released in the Masters of the Universe line.


This evidence put forth by Scott seems to solve the mystery of the origins of Wonder Bread He-Man, but then what exactly was the confusion? Why do so many fans of the series remember a Wonder Bread promotion from their childhoods? Well, Scott touches on that too.

In 1986, there was indeed a promotion between Mattel and Wonder Bread. However, this wasn't for an action figure. Instead, much like prior tie ins with the bread maker, this was for a limited trading card set.





This is the only evidence of any promotions between the two companies, and again helps only to disprove the original fan theories surrounding Wun-Dar. This would also explain why, to date, nobody has been able to provide any form of Wonder Bread promotional package advertising the figure, or any figures for that matter.

Now don't misunderstand. This mystery being solved by no means make the figure any less rarer than it is, and values won't be hindered at all by this. If nothing else, it's relieving to finally have a solid origin to the figure. I would love to track down Barb Hackenberg and ask her if she was aware that she had solved one of toy's greatest mysteries over thirty years after its initial release.

I think what intrigues me the most about how long this mystery remained unsolved was that nobody at Mattel ever bothered to come forward and provide the origins of the figure. Instead, they even capitalized on it with the MotU Classic figure. I would find it hard to believe that the archives of Mattel wouldn't have some information on this, even if the original creators weren't working at the company anymore.

In closing, I again want to state that the source for this article is Scott "ToyGuru" Neitlich, and the photographs of evidence are used for the purpose of commentary and reporting, which is in accordance with fair use.

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Masters Of The Universe The Motion Picutre Home Video And Soundtrack Releases

 

Much like action figures, I do enjoy collecting a broad spectrum of things, and to date, music and videos can (for the most part) be an inexpensive extension of one's hobby. As I trek on through Masters of the Universe Day, I thought it would be fun to look at the various releases of the original 1987 motion picture home video and soundtrack releases.

While it's obviously not a home video release, all of this starts with the official trailer for the film, leading up to the theatrical release of the film.


Ah, good stuff. If that doesn't get eight year old you excited, I don't know what will. This lead to the film being released in theaters on August 7th, 1987!

Original Horizontal Movie Theater Poster

Artist Drew Struzan did an amazing job bringing this poster to life. You probably recognize his work from some of your favorite posters, such as Big Trouble In Little China, Coming To America, The Star Wars Trilogy Special Edition, Blade Runner, and so many more than I could ever post about here.

By 1988, Cannon Films was undergoing significant financial difficulties from several 1987 theatrical flops. These unfortunately included Masters of the Universe and Superman IV: The Quest For Peace. As a result, they turned to Warner Bros. to help with the distribution of the home video releases. This is why original VHS's (above) and Laserdisc (below) releases, include the Warner home video logo. However, to see it on the VHS, you'll need to flip the cover over.

Between 1996 and 1997, Master of the Universe got a second release on home video. However, telling the differences between the original and re-release can be easily missed if you're only looking at the front of the cover. Use your eagle eye collecting abilities to denote the Closed Captioning logo tucked away in the top right corner, just above Skeletor's cloak (hidden in the purple coloring). Flipping the cover over, you'll see the majority of the changes. The words, "Digital Processing" are located underneath the FBI warning, and lastly, there's a red banner across the top with the words, "Family Classics". This red banner and text can also be found on the side.

With that said, the words "Digital Processing" and the closed caption banner can be found on the side of both the original 1986 and 1996 re-release.


DVD had been slowly ebbing its way to the top of the home video format of choice pile since its inception in 1997. However, it wouldn't be until 2001 that Masters of the Universe would receive a pressing. What made this version exciting wasn't only the higher quality format, but because it was also the first time that fans could get a widescreen format of the film.

To date, the latest release of the film was the 25th anniversary Blu-Ray release. Unfortunately, this release was simply a transfer of the DVD version, upgraded (as best it could be) to Blu-Ray quality. Not a bad thing, if that's all you wanted out of it.


Coinciding with the film's 1987 theatrical release were releases on cassette and vinyl of the Bill Conti soundtrack. With the film flopping, and being for such a niche audience, the soundtrack was by no means produced in high quantities, nor did it fly off store shelves. It's because of this that the album is pretty scarce and expensive.


Even more difficult to find, and produced in even smaller quantities was the original CD pressing of the album.

It wouldn't be until 2008 that fans of the film would start buzzing about the soundtrack again. This was aided by the limited edition two disc set released in 2008 from La-La-Land. The album featured twenty-two remastered and revised tracks, as well as the original eleven tracks from the 1987 album.

Intrada would follow this release up in 2012 with their limited edition album, which was number 205 in their library. The Intrada release featured an all new mastering of the album, bringing with it twenty-four tracks.

2019 brought with it the latest to date release of the soundtrack with a limited pressing of eight hundred vinyls and two CD set, which was limited to five hundred copies.

The album contained twenty-four tracks, similar to that of the 2008 limited edition, as well as the original eleven tracks from the 1987 release.

Though a sequel was hinted at during the post credit scenes of the film, the continued decline of Cannon Films financial stability ultimately resulted in the film being cancelled. However, before it was, Cannon was diligently working on the sequel, as well as a Spider-Man film. Overall, the company had invested two million dollars in sets a costumes. Not wanting this to be a total loss, the 1989 Jean-Claude Van Damme film, Cyborg, was drafted over the course of a weekend and rushed through production utilizing these items. Ah, what could have been.

A reboot film has been in the works for what feels like an eternity. Will it ever come to light? Who knows. As for me, I'm still waiting on the official sequel. It's not too late.

I've got one more post coming at 11:00 PM EST to wrap up the day.

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Masters Of The Universe Candy Bar (Alma)

 

Masters Of The Universe Candy Bar
Alma
1984

In honor of the day, I thought I'd showcase a bit of vintage French goodness with the Masters Of The Universe candy bar.

This 1984 delicious treat featured a chocolate coated candy that came in two varieties. The first was filled with salted caramel, and the second toffee. Both were mad delicious.


Too bad they don't make these things anymore. These were classics.

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It Wasn't Robby's Ribs 'N' Chicken

 

Thanks to a story from Action Figure Barbecue, I decided lunch time today would be the perfect opportunity to get some ribs and chicken, as a throwback to Robby's Ribs 'N' Chicken from the 1987 Masters Of The Universe film.

 
Good journey!

 Now before you call me Fat Fatty Fat Fat, no, I didn't eat all of this myself. Not even close.

I imposed on my team by dragging them along with me. Though they didn't seem to know and / or care about what I was talking about, they enjoyed their BBQ.

Happy (continued) Masters Of The Universe Day!

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The Dirty Dozen - My Top Twelve All Time Favorite Vintage Masters Of The Universe Figures

 

As Masters Of The Universe Day rolls onward, I thought I would share with you a Dirty Dozen's list showcasing my top twelve favorite Masters Of The Universe figures of all time from the original vintage line. 

Number 12 - Modulok

As a kid, the more facets packed in with a figure, the more fun a figure tended to be. Modulok knocked this aspect so far out the park when it hit toy shelves in 1985. I remember the figure so vividly as a child, from its unique shaped box packaging to all the bits and pieces inside.

What made this figure so much fun to play with was all the various combinations you could get out of it. Your imagination really was the limit. While I came up with all sorts of wacky combinations while playing, as an adult, I like to keep mine on display assembled as it's shown on the front of the box.

Number 11 - Two Bad

Through adult eyes, Two Bad may seem to be punching itself in its faces. However, from a kids perspective, two heads were better than one. Despite its limited articulation and minimal shield accessory, I remember having a lot of fun with this figure as a kid. Even now, it's one of my all time favorites...I mean, obviously, it's on this list.

Number 10 - Faker

Evil He-Man robot? Yes, please! The possibilities were endless when I received this figure as a kid. So many different adventures were had where Faker infiltrated Castle Grayskull, or duped the heroic warriors into a trap.

Number 9 - Blade

Guilty pleasure, I love the Masters Of The Universe movie. Even to this day, I think it's so much fun. I know a lot of people were really disappointed with it, but for me, it was one of the best summers ever when this movie hit theaters. I remember getting into trouble when it first premiered, and my dad telling me he wasn't going to take me. Fortunately, as parents often due, he did eventually do so. I remember sitting in awe in that movie theater in Bend, Oregon, taking in all the visuals that projected on that screen.

Unfortunately, birthdays and Christmas's that came and went never yielded me my very own Blade figure. It wasn't until my adult years that I finally got one. Since then, it has quickly become one of my favorites in the line. I really wish they would have made all the characters back in the day, but I get why Mattel never did.

Number 8 - Roboto

Roboto was one of the most unique action figures I had as a kid. Mattel was often incorporating unique styles of play with figures, but for me, this one always stood out the most. From his translucent body with moving gears, to moveable mouth and interchangeably arms, this figure seemed to have it all.

Being a robot, Roboto was also versatile in the type of stories my imagination could run with. He wasn't always bound to being a good guy, because he could have gotten reprogrammed, or damaged during a battle and went haywire. So many good times I had with this figure.

Number 7 - Orko

Did I have Orko as a kid or not? I want to say yes, but for the life of me can't say for certain. Despite this lapse in memory, what's not to love about the heroic warriors little companion? He's brave, he has heart, and for such a sidelined character, a whole lot of mystery that really didn't get explored during the original cartoon series.

Number 6 - Scare Glow

Glow in the dark toy? Yes, please! Scare Glow was spooky, unique and again, glowed in the dark. What more could a kid want? It's ridiculous how much this figure goes for these days, so I'm really glad to have had mine for so long.

I don't honestly know if mine still glows in the dark. I suppose I could easily get up, step five feet to my right and check, but I'm so unmotivated to do so.

Number 5 - Prince Adam

It seems like such a bland choice, but looking at this figure from a kids eyes, my mind was blown when I got one. Wait, I no longer have to pretend that my He-Man figure is Prince Adam? I actually have a Prince Adam now? I can go through the whole scenario of him lifting his sword and changing? Pure awesome!

Even before I went wild as an adult and ended up buying every MotU figure, this one was always at the top of my want list.

Number 4 - Saurod

Man, as a kid I had zero luck nabbing me some movie related Masters figures. I remember when watching the movie for the first time and seeing this character that I was blown away. He was so awesome, and I was so bummed out that he was the only one to bite the dust in the film.

As for the figure, I mean, come on, it shoots sparks. What's not to love about that? Unlike my lazy self getting up to check this one, I know my Saurod still shoots sparks.

Number 3 - Skeletor

Say what you will about the vintage Skeletor figure. My go to was always the Battle Armor version. I just really dug the rotating damage armor, and overall thought it was a far superior version to that of the original.

Number 2 - He-Man

Piggybacking on the above, my go to He-Man was also the Battle Armor version. Yeah, original vanilla flavor He-Man is great and all, but this one has a giant metal armor chest piece which flips to different stages of damage! That's hot right there!

 Number 1 - Stinkor

Yeah, that's right. My number one MotU figure of all time is Stinkor. I love this figure just as much now as I did as a kid. Coincidentally, he smells as bad now as he did back then too. This is because unlike Moss Man who got a spritz of pine scent, the patchouli oil used for Stinkor was actually mixed in with the plastic. Meaning, if handled correctly, this figure will stink for all Eternia...I mean, eternity.

And there you have it. My top twelve most favorite Masters Of The Universe figures from the original vintage line. Did any of these make your list? Which ones didn't make the list that are your go to figures of choice?

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Happy Masters Of The Universe Day!

 

Wishing you and yours a good journey this day with this original piece of artwork I created specially for all of you.

Check back later today for more Masters of the Universe related posts. Also, head over to Action Figure Barbecue for more Masters of the Universe Day posts, as well as one he and I worked on together.

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Marshmallow Fruity Pebbles

 

As I walked the cereal isles hoping to find that wonderful word on a box, you know, "NEW", I was only able to find Honey Lucky Charms. That was a hard pass for me. I didn't hate the idea of the flavor of the cereal, I'm just not a fan of Lucky Charms in general.

Thinking I must have missed something, I looked again, only to have to admit defeat that it wasn't the 80's anymore, and branded "special edition" cereals really aren't a thing these days. Fortunately, I already had a box of cereal at home which I had yet to pop open, so despite my mild disappointment, I knew I at least had something to look forward to. 


Marshmallow Fruity Pebbles have been in existence since 2015, yet for as much as I love me some of the original and Cocoa varieties, I had never tried this particular version. Well, as I'm sure you could tell from the post title and picture, that all changed as of today.

Flipping the box over, I saw a fun game which hearkened me back to my days of reading Highlights Magazine.


Anybody else remember those back covers of the magazine with the "find the differences" game? I actually took a moment to find all twelve differences, as well as the bonus of finding the two Fruity Pebbles that were the same. Dig it!


Now, I have eaten my fair share of Fruity Pebbles in my day. In fact, one of my favorite things to do is combine it half and half with Cocoa ones. So with that in mind, I really didn't expect to find anything new here, with exception of the marshmallow bits.

The cereal is as advertised. You're not going to get something you weren't expecting here. The traditional taste of the base cereal is there, and so is that chalky, crunchy marshmallow that has accompanied many a cereal variety.


Did I like it? Well, yeah. I mean, I already said I like Fruity Pebbles. With that said, the marshmallows also aren't necessarily a necessity. Will I buy this box again? Maybe. But in all likelihood, I'd probably just pick up a regular red box sans marshmallows. They don't really add anything to the cereal to get excited about.

***UPDATE***

So apparently eating Marshmallow Fruity Pebbles for dinner, and then going to be an hour later results in a whole slew of weird nightmarish type dreams. If that's your idea of a good night, then I highly recommend you get you some of this cereal. However, if like me, it results in a very unrestful night, you may want to pass.

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Retro Spins: Mötley Crüe - Dr. Feelgood



My introduction to Mötley Crüe was in 1989 as I heard the cassette of Dr. Feelgood repeatedly blared through my brother's speakers from his room next door. I don't honestly know if he ever got any of the band's other albums, but for the fall / winter of that year, I got very antiquated with the album, and it has become one of my all time favorite "metal" albums of the 80's.

The album rattles into high gear right from the start, and continues to throttle down the road all the way to the end. Even the ballad, Without You doesn't deter its momentum. The album is determined to do nothing short of provide the listener with forty-five minutes of unapologetic hard rock. Which it does without a hitch.

It's difficult to separate the good from the bad tracks, because honestly, there really aren't any bad ones. Instead, I would classify the songs with powerhouse, good and decent.

The powerhouse ones are easily; Dr. Feelgood, Kickstart My Heart, Same Ol' Situation (S.O.S.) and Don't Go Away Mad (Just Go Away). The good are; Rattlesnake Shake and Sticky Sweet, The decent consist of; T.n.T. (Terror 'N Tinseltown), Slice Of Your Pie, She Goes Down and Time For Change. Together, they make for a fantastic album.

This is definitely one I recommend for those looking for a great album from start to finish.

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A Toy Box Custom - Prince's Little Red Corvette Hot Wheels

 

No, I didn't make the actually toy, just the package. 

Why are there no Prince action figures? Looking at you, NECA!

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