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October 27, 2005

{     He-Man and the Masters of the Universe - Season One, Volume 1     }    

B000ALM4GW.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_heman.jpgThis was the cartoon I raced home from school to catch, 3:30pm on the nose, every weekday, on channel 12. Like Rain Man with Wapner, I was obsessed to an almost clinical degree, and it was critical that I be there before the title rolled and those first few notes of the Filmation theme tinkled out from the single speaker on our 300lb 20" floor-model television. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe was the perfect pop-culture cocktail: equal parts sci-fi, fantasy and super-hero action. It was also the vehicle for promoting a hugely successfuly toy line and merchandising empire. And I bought into it all, including a shameful fascination with the She-Ra Princess of Power spin-off target-marketed at the pre-teen girl demographic. A couple years later, as the fad waned and slanderous gossip trickled down from the junior high ("....Jason Vaughan's older sister said that He-Man is totally gay, and only babies watch that show....") my obsession went, quite literally, into the closet. I hid all my He-Man toys so that any friend stopping by would only see the much cooler and socially acceptable Transformers and GI Joe figures lying about. The cartoon still aired, though now it was at the much less coveted 4:30pm spot, and I found myself making up lame excuses to head home from playing with my friends without letting on what I was really up to. (My most often used excuse: "I have to poop.") I was enthralled with the world of He-Man, from the color-drenched hallucinatory landscapes of Eternia to the weird mix of science and sorcery practiced by its denizens. (They had magic swords AND laser guns!!!) And perhaps most captivating of all were the villians. Though often portrayed as bumbling oafs and power-mad simpletons, Skeletor and his gang were some of the most menacing bad guys to ever appear in children's programming (Mum-Ra of Thundercats fame ranks highly here as well...). Even today, the character designs stand out as particularly gruesome and awe-inspiring, and the quality with which they were rendered in the cartoon contrasts sharply with the cut-corner production techniques that pervaded children's animation at the time. All of this can be savored with the recent release to DVD of the first volume of the first season of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. Containing a whopping 33 episodes and special features produced specifically for this release, you can get a full dose of nostalgia and well-aged kitsch for around 27 bones (Thanks DeepDiscountDVD.com!) The series has been beautifully (and very brightly) repackaged, and there's some obvious love involved in the production. Aside from the exclusive features, the menu navigation is a step beyond anything I had expected, with trivia tidbits and some sublime usage of background illustrations from the series as a backdrop for the menu options. The packaging itself is a rather bold shade of chartruese, with slick cel-like cut-outs of several of the characters screened onto the slipcase and interior, and the gatefold even includes quotes from the series, imbuing a sense of profundity upon the scripting I'd never otherwise have noticed. Really, it's the treatment that this treasured childhood favorite deserves. In addition to the link to purchase below, I've also included a link to He-Man.org, one of the better fan-sites I've encountered on the subject. In the future, I'll also be posting a link to my further even more lengthy discussion on the subject of my youthful obsession with He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. Oh, and I wanted to leave you with this picture of an upcoming Holiday-themed release, because I think it's just bursting with fucking awesomeness. There is no better way to celebrate the Baby Jesus's birthday- B000BFO07I.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_hemanshera.jpg

     » DeepDiscountDVD.com
     » He-Man.org

Comments

I wanted to take a break from all this fancy-pants crap.

I hope everybody enjoys this little pop-culture turd in the high-culture punch bowl.

-Adam

Posted by: Adam at October 27, 2005 9:32 PM

if I'm not mistaken, my friend, Mike, is a proud owner of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe: Season 1; volume 1.

He-Man X-mas special...(snickers)

Posted by: K. Laish. at October 28, 2005 2:34 AM

I'll tell you about the time I met He-Man. I too was obsessed with the heroic endevours solicited by the Prince of Eternia. It was just another random day watching wsaz when the commercial of all commercials revealed to me that He-Man himself was coming to town. I remember begging Mom to take me to the Hills in Parkersburg to meet my childhood hero. Accompanied by my cousin Robby and our plastic swords in hand we made it in time to shake hands with the likes of Orko, He-man and a few other pals. The thing I remember most, and it was that detail that would haunt me forever, was the many holes in the back of He-Man's head. I couldnt figure out what this was all about. Was he sick, His rubbery skin all loose like my Great-Grandomther Shockey's after she died. I shook his hand anyway then quickly went back into hiding behind my mother's leg. This was not the He-Man that I had known and loved from watching countless hours of Maters of the Universe. My dreams were shattered and my mind confused. To this day a single poloroid exists of this traumatic day. Robby, shaking hands with his heroes ever so valiently and me, peeking out behind mom's leg, quivering and ready to get the heck out of Parkersburg.

Posted by: Pablo at November 13, 2005 8:57 AM
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