Once Kenner’s Star Wars kicked open the door to action figure Nir(and, eventually, Nerd)vana in 1977, there were three non-licensed lines that defined and dominated Aisle 7C in the 1980s. But, once and for all, after all the different permutations and relaunches, which is our favorite?
Is it this…
Discuss below. But, as you do, consider the opinion of someone who works in the industry…
Before he left Mattel in 2003 to pursue other things at Jakks Pacific, former Masters of the Universe brand manager Jeremy Padawer had this to say about our subject…
"…I just wanted to thank you all for your continued support and passion for the Masters of the Universe. It is and forever remains the most important male action brand in the history of the play pattern.
Seriously…who else can compete?
G.I. Joe: ok, I’ll give you that. GI Joe was a manifestation of a country that had just faced a major world war and was staring down the barrel of many wars to come…Korea, Vietnam. What GI Joe wasn’t – it wasn’t a superhero. It was more of a statement of the day that wouldn’t end. GI Joe was obvious.
Transformers: Transformation + Robots as a play pattern…completely revolutionary and on-point with kids. Remember, however, Transformers came after MOTU…
…Masters: Masters was it. A billion dollar boy action figure brand…not based in reality, but completely from a new world, where bees, mosquitoes, humanoid creatures, beasts, underwater minions, skeletal warriors, and elephant heads (what tha??) all lived side by side…all lived with one thing in common…a propensity for being pumped up and ready for conflict. The original Masters series embodied all that is right in kids television and toys. In turn, kids (you in 1984) embraced the brand."
Some of the particulars aside, I’m inclined to agree with Padawer’s overriding opinion.
But, he did work for them…
And so, after a little over a month, let’s see what we have.
This wasn’t a formal poll, but among those who expressed a favorite below…
49% pledged allegiance to G.I. Joe, 29% rolled out with Transformers, and the remaining 22% felt the Power of Grayskull.
So, I guess that makes Joe the big winner at AFI. I must confess, I went into this post with a He-bias but, of late, I’ve really felt a resurgence of Trans-love.
But Hasbro doesn’t have all that much to do with it.
More on that soon.
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