How He-Man Mastered the Universe

Toy to Television to the Big Screen


In stock (can be backordered)

About the Book

Elaborate cinematic universes and sophisticated marketing tie-ins are commonplace in entertainment today. It’s easy to forget that the transmedia trend began in 1982 with a barbarian action figure. He-Man and the other characters in Mattel’s popular Masters of the Universe toy line quickly found their way into comic books, video games, multiple television series and a Hollywood film. The original animated series (1983–1985) was the first based on an action figure, and the cult classic Masters of the Universe (1987) was the first toy-inspired live-action feature film.
But it wasn’t easy. He-Man faced adversaries more dangerous than Skeletor: entertainment lawyers, Hollywood executives, even the Reagan administration. The heroes and villains of Eternia did more than shape the childhoods of the toy-buying public—they formed the modern entertainment landscape.

About the Author(s)

Brian C. Baer is a lifelong He-Man fan and pop culture writer from Spokane, Washington.

Bibliographic Details

Brian C. Baer
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 228
Bibliographic Info: 13 photos, filmography, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2017
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6590-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2706-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Preface: ­Man-E-Prefaces 1
Introduction: The Power of … Introduction! 8
1. The Secret History of ­He-Man 23
2. Enter Filmation! 41
3. ­Golan-Globus: Going Global 65
4. ­Pre-Production’s Quest 78
5. A Battle Fought in the Stars, Now … Comes to Earth 100
6. The Terror of ­Post-Production 130
7. “I’ll Be Back!” 145
8. ­He-Man Meets Cult Status 166
9. “Good Journey” 176
Filmography 195
Chapter Notes 201
Bibliography 210
Index 213

Book Reviews & Awards

“This book is a wonderfully meticulous exploration into the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe phenomenon! Brian C. Baer has done a fantastic job!”—James Eatock, He-Man and She-Ra: A Complete Guide to the Classic Animated Adventures; “How He-Man Mastered the Universe is an entertaining and insightful look into the He-Man franchise and its effect on later media franchises. Essential reading for anyone interested in reading about the evolution of the modern media franchise.”—Jess Nevins, The Evolution of the Costumed Avenger: The 4000-Year History of the Superhero; “Finally a comprehensive history of one of the greatest (if not the greatest) action figure line in the history of human civilization! Baer digs deep, and shows the influence of a hero who became much more than five inches of plastic.”—Tim Seeley, The Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe and Revival; “With his entertaining and informative look at the cultural significance of these ’80s action icons, Brian C. Baer has written a book for gamers and scholars alike that’s as colorful and fun as a classic cartoon.”—Telly Davidson, Culture War: How the ’90s Made Us Who We Are Today (Whether We Like It or Not).