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Official Article

Interview With A 10 Year Old He-Man Fan

On August 25 & 26, 2018 thousands of Masters of the Universe fans swarmed the Torrance Marriott Redondo Beach hotel in Los Angeles, CA for Power-Con: The He-Man and She-Ra Toy & Comic Book Experience. I was not one of them.

6 months prior to the event my cousin who joined me at Retro-Con in 2017 told me that his 10 year old son had become a vintage Masters of the Universe fanatic over the last year and invited me to join them for the He-Man sized fun. But with a wife that was 6 months pregnant and children who could easily earn their place among Skeletor's ranks when left to their own devices, I had to decline.

Though I wasn't attending in person, that didn't mean I couldn't live vicariously through their father & son adventure via text message. Of course, I bugged them for updates all throughout the weekend and they supplied me some amazing photos of the experience. 

What was even more exciting though was to see a kid enjoying Masters of the Universe in the way so many of us did back in the 80's. So today I am bringing you an interview with a real life He-Man fan who knows his stuff, even though the collection of muscular plastic toys on his shelf is 3 times older than he is. So let's meet JT or as I call him, J-TOR.

HK: Where did you get your first vintage Masters of the Universe action figures?

JT: At my grandma's house last year. She said she had a bunch of toys from when my Mom and uncles were little, so I went over to look at them and the first person I saw was He-Man. I definitely wanted it.

HK: Had you seen the Masters of the Universe cartoon show before you found the toys? What do you think of the show?

JT: I found the cartoon a long time before, when I was 4. I thought it was pretty good with all the goofy characters. I didn't even know they made action figures for it. 

HK: Who is your favorite good guy? Why? 

JT: That's actually kind of hard. Probably...Orko? Yeah, definitely Orko. I just liked him because he was a goofy character that was always messing around. But there is one other guy that I'm not sure that you've heard of. I don't know too much of his back story, but this came out about 9 years ago from He-Man Classics, which I got at Power-Con, his name is He-Ro. Have you heard of him?

HK: I think so, he's He-Man's son, right? 

JT: Yeah, they were going to make him a figure in the 80's for The Powers of Grayskull line, but it never came out.

HK: Who is your favorite bad guy? Why?

JT: I have three. Definitely Skeletor. Then Hordak is another favorite and Trapjaw. He's just so cool with his jaw and mechanical arm where you can put on a gun or other weapons.

HK: What made you want to collect more of these action figures?

JT: I was just so excited to have them and know they existed. So then I started looking on eBay and found out they weren't too expensive. I really wanted a Battlecat and then I got one at RetroCon and was so excited.

HK: Was RetroCon 2017 your first convention experience? What was your favorite part?

JT: Yes. I really had fun dressing up with my Dad as Chunk and Sloth from The Goonies and winning the costume contest. I would have been happy getting 3rd place, but I got 1st place and was really surprised. 

HK: And what did you use your prize money on?

JT: He-Man!

HK: I thought so.

JT: I got a Man-At-Arms and a Thunder Punch He-Man. I was looking for the caps on ebay, but they're really expensive.

HK: Did I tell you I got a Skeletor figure signed by Alan Oppenheimer at Retro-Con 2016?

JT: The Filmation one? Whoa. I wish I could get one of those, but I only started collecting the newer figures recently at Power-Con.

HK: Where do you get your figures from usually?

JT: I mostly get them for birthdays and Christmas.

HK: That's so cool because that is how the kids of the 80's originally got them, for special occasions. Now you get to have that same experience.

JT: Yeah.

HK: How many figures are in your collection these days?

JT: About 50 right now.

HK: What is the favorite figure in your collection so far? 

JT: Well I was really excited about the exclusive figures at Power-Con, but I was sad when I heard they were sold out. Then my Dad told me a week before we went there that he had already got them for me. So I was really surprised.

HK: What were they?

JT: Do you know Spikor?

HK: Yeah, he's my favorite. I have him in my own collection.

JT: I got the Filmation version of Spikor that was a con exclusive. And do you know Jitsu?

HK: Sure, shiny golden chopping hand.

JT: Well, on the cartoon he was called Chopper. So I got him. 

HK: Oh, I didn't realized they renamed him.

JT: And do you know Orko's Aunt Dree Elle and Uncle Montork? I got them too. They were in a 2 pack.

HK: What is the Masters of the Universe toy you really want to add to your collection now?

JT: Have you heard of the Eternia playset? I want that. Also Laser Power He-Man that was only made in Italy. Nobody really knew about him until computers were made and you could just look them up.

HK: I always liked that Skeletor figure that had the spitting dragon backpack thing.

JT: Dragon Blaster Skeletor? I have that! He is my favorite version of Skeletor.

HK: Does anybody in your class at school know who He-Man is?

JT: If they do it's only because I have told them about it or maybe because of the Geico commercial.

HK: How do you feel about being an expert He-Man collector at your age?

JT: It's pretty cool because I'm not like the adults that collect them, I'm a little kid. But at Power-Con, nobody was really surprised. I guess it wasn't that weird to them.

HK: Were there other kids your age there?

JT: No. I mean, there were 3 and 4 year olds whose parents dressed them up and I think there was a 12 year old there, but that was it.

HK: So how did you find out about Power-Con?

JT: I thought if RetroCon was so close, maybe Power-Con was in New York or something. But then I found out it was in California and I wasn't too happy about that because I thought we couldn't go. But then my Dad was like, "We can go!" and we got our tickets.

HK: Any Masters of the Universe celebrity run-ins?

JT: You remember that mini-comics collection book you sent me?

HK: Yep.

JT: I got it signed by Mark Taylor and got a picture with him. He was really nice. I asked him a lot about the original model of Castle Grayskull they had on display.

HK: How do you feel about the controversy between Mark Taylor and Roger Sweet regarding who came up with He-Man?

JT: I kind of have to give it to Mark Taylor. He created what the main characters like Skeletor looked like. I think Roger Sweet created the idea of what He-Man and the emblem on his chest looked like, but for the rest of Masters of the Universe, I think it's Mark Taylor.

HK: What was your favorite costume that you saw?

JT: That's hard, I saw a lot of cool ones. Hordak was definitely my favorite.

HK: I saw that you found guys in Stinkor and Snout Spout costumes as well.

JT: Yeah, those were awesome.

HK: How did people react to your Orko costume?

JT: Well, I couldn't stay in it very long because we were outside waiting to get in and I got really hot. Then my Dad started to notice that I couldn't really see in the costume, so I had to take the mask off. So I just wore the hoodie that I got from Amazon, which people liked.

JT: If we go to Power-Con next year I plan on dressing up as Trapjaw and I think my Dad will do Man-At-Arms again, because  the helmet is pretty cool, but we should do a full costume instead of just a shirt.

HK: Was there a specific item you were looking to buy at Power-Con?

JT: I was looking for Mosquitor. Also a different guy called He-Ro II from He-Man Classics. I got him too. I also got this special blue axe for my Battle Armor He-Man, because his is kind of broken, so I just gave him the blue weapons pack one until I get a real one. Also, the scepter for Tung Lashor, because mine didn't have anything to hold and he looked kind of boring.

HK: Can you remember any other figures you found?

JT: Yeah, we got a Rio Blast and Fisto, too.

HK: What was the most fun part of the experience?

JT: It was meeting Mark Taylor. I thought he seemed kind of mean when I was watching this documentary one time, but when I met him in real life, he was super-nice. It was really cool to get his autograph and picture.

HK: What is the next thing you are going to do as a Masters of the Universe fan?

JT: Super 7 is making Filmation figures in the vintage figure size, which I think are available for pre-order now. I want to get a He-Ro in that style. So I should probably start saving my money for those.

HK: If somebody asked you why you are a Masters of the Universe fan, what would you tell them?

JT: I would tell them about the TV show. My Dad got the 10 episode collection on DVD for my older brother Ethan who was kind of into it, but I was more into it. It's like my favorite cartoon ever. My Dad doesn't have any of his old He-Man toys anymore, so I don't any of have his personal collection, but he has some of his comics and stuff.

There you have it, an interview with a true Masters of the Universe fan. I want to thank J-Tor for his time and especially for gifting me a Battle Armor He-Man to put on my retro room shelf. His generosity will ring through the halls of Castle Grayskull for eons.

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Superman Posted on Oct 06, 2018 at 05:17 PM

It's very cool that a kid of today would be into a cartoon from the '80s. That's very rare. I can kind of relate to him, though, because I was hugely into things from my mom's childhood in the '60s that none of my friends knew anything about, most especially the Beach Party movies starring Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon. This was back in the '90s and early '00s, so things like that just weren't a big enough part of pop culture anymore for my friends to have heard of them.

NLogan Posted on Oct 03, 2018 at 11:48 AM

Yeesh. Confusing indeed! First I have heard of Oo-Lar (what a dumb name). I tell you in 1982 all the mini-comics from Alcala: HE-MAN and the Power Sword, the Battle in the Clouds, King of Castle Grayskull, and The Vengeance of Skeletor were the only backstory we had for HE-MAN. Now you are telling me that the HE-MAN I played with and read about wasn't even the same HE-MAN as Adam from Filmation because some dude retconned it for the current Classics line in 2015 to date. Ludicrous! Anything after 1987 is non-existent to me I care not for whatever backstory they come up with.

Vaporman87 Posted on Oct 02, 2018 at 08:59 PM

Then when they actually produced him in 2009, they changed his story again to be a contemporary of King Grayskull. No wonder it's so confusing.

Vaporman87 Posted on Oct 02, 2018 at 08:55 PM

NLogan: I see what you're saying. Yes, originally that line was going to place He-Ro in the past. Good call. I have apparently allowed that to forever escape my memory. LOL.

However, I never personally counted the mini-comics as "canon" in the MOTU universe because they were all over the place in terms of storylines and characters, with very little consistency (the whole Oo-Larr/Jungle He-Man story comes to mind).

I was drawing on the story that Lou Scheimer was going to tell through the never produced cartoon he was pitching.

Figuring that the cartoon would be developing the characters (of which there would be action figures) if both were ever produced, He-Ro would turn out to be the son (albeit adopted) of King Adam (He-Man).

NLogan Posted on Oct 02, 2018 at 04:44 PM

I guess not mentioned above but pictured is Classics line Laser Light Skeletor, HE-RO, and HE-RO II. He-ro II being the son of HE-MAN. He-ro original being based on this unproduced prototype from 1987:

NLogan Posted on Oct 02, 2018 at 04:17 PM

No no, you are are mistaken my good man. As I said I know next to nothing of said Classics line mythos, I believe you refer to that He-Ro II mentioned by J-Tor in the above article. No my good man I refer to the original He-Ro in the comic I got with my Tyrantisaurus Rex. From Pre-Eternia Eons before HE-MAN was born!

Vaporman87 Posted on Oct 02, 2018 at 03:45 PM

NLogan: Actually the Classics line mythos is what you're referring to. The original He-Ro and "Powers of Grayskull" line was supposed to follow He-Ro as He-Man's son.

NLogan Posted on Oct 02, 2018 at 03:37 PM

Wait, wait wait... first of all nothing is cooler than Castle Grayskull. Take it back Vaporman! Second, isn't He-Ro from Pre-Eternia for the Powers of Grayskull line fighting against Snakemen in sort of a prequel to Masters of the Universe that didn't get fully released? Wouldn't that make him way older and definitely not He-Man son? I am pretty sure he fights with and against dinosaurs and Snakemen in the prehistoric times of Eternia before the great war that left civilization busted, Castle Grayskull abandoned, and the advanced machinery and weapons lost or unused because of knowledge lost; while most are barbarians living in a sort of medieval world. Correct me if I am wrong (I know next to nothing of the classics line and any evolving mythos). Third, that kid is awesome.

Vaporman87 Posted on Sep 29, 2018 at 09:58 PM

Maybe a consolation would be picking up that amazing Snake Mountain. Looks even better than the Castle Grayskull.

Hoju Koolander Posted on Sep 29, 2018 at 04:59 AM

Unfortunately for you, J-TOR is the nicest kid in the universe and won't likely be kicked out of the house any time soon.

Vaporman87 Posted on Sep 29, 2018 at 01:18 AM

Is J-Tor up for adoption? I want to adopt him. Please let me adopt him.

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