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In 1982, the world was introduced to He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. What followed was a cultural sensation that changed the landscape of children’s entertainment forever! Join Mattel and Dark Horse in this comprehensive retrospective chronicling He-Man’s decades-long epic journey from toy, to television, to film, to a true pop culture phenomenon!   This limited ed In 1982, the world was introduced to He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. What followed was a cultural sensation that changed the landscape of children’s entertainment forever! Join Mattel and Dark Horse in this comprehensive retrospective chronicling He-Man’s decades-long epic journey from toy, to television, to film, to a true pop culture phenomenon!   This limited edition set includes a collector’s edition of The Art of He-Man And The Masters of the Universe, a portfolio featuring an exclusive print by Gerald Parel, and a die-cut two-piece “castle greyskull” box!


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In 1982, the world was introduced to He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. What followed was a cultural sensation that changed the landscape of children’s entertainment forever! Join Mattel and Dark Horse in this comprehensive retrospective chronicling He-Man’s decades-long epic journey from toy, to television, to film, to a true pop culture phenomenon!   This limited ed In 1982, the world was introduced to He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. What followed was a cultural sensation that changed the landscape of children’s entertainment forever! Join Mattel and Dark Horse in this comprehensive retrospective chronicling He-Man’s decades-long epic journey from toy, to television, to film, to a true pop culture phenomenon!   This limited edition set includes a collector’s edition of The Art of He-Man And The Masters of the Universe, a portfolio featuring an exclusive print by Gerald Parel, and a die-cut two-piece “castle greyskull” box!

30 review for The Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Limited Edition

  1. 5 out of 5

    Gianfranco Mancini

    In 1982 the world was introduced to He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, a cultural phenomenon that changed pop culture forever (and my kid life too: the day my parents purchased my Skeletor figure was the start of my love for fantasy and the day of my super-nerd-secret-origin!). More than an artbook, a great tribute to the work of many talented, passionate people, and the legions of fans who kept the brand alive for so long time. Earl Norem's posters chapter is pure awesomess!!! A must-have for In 1982 the world was introduced to He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, a cultural phenomenon that changed pop culture forever (and my kid life too: the day my parents purchased my Skeletor figure was the start of my love for fantasy and the day of my super-nerd-secret-origin!). More than an artbook, a great tribute to the work of many talented, passionate people, and the legions of fans who kept the brand alive for so long time. Earl Norem's posters chapter is pure awesomess!!! A must-have for all fantasy lovers and old/young fans of the MOTU universe. By the power of Greyskull! I have the Power!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Rose

    Quick review for a quick read. This was a fascinating look into the evolution of a series/franchise that I remember growing up with to some extent. I honestly had no idea just how many incarnations that the Masters of the Universe series had spawned, and this compilation is a nice delving into the series' history. This book is an eye-opening look at sketches, toys, comics, the animated series, the movie, the games, and other mediums of art in which He-Man, She-Ra and the collective cast from bot Quick review for a quick read. This was a fascinating look into the evolution of a series/franchise that I remember growing up with to some extent. I honestly had no idea just how many incarnations that the Masters of the Universe series had spawned, and this compilation is a nice delving into the series' history. This book is an eye-opening look at sketches, toys, comics, the animated series, the movie, the games, and other mediums of art in which He-Man, She-Ra and the collective cast from both franchises are chronicled. The interviews, character sketches, promotional materials (I'm pretty sure I still own one or two of the coloring books that this compilation had) are all great insights into the history and evolution of the series even to more recent incarnations. I liked it quite a bit, and definitely appreciated the read. Overall score: 4.5/5 stars.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Shadowdenizen

    This is a great, high-production value volume from Dark Horse. There's just enough prose (in the forms of interviews, restrospectives and memorandums) to put the background of the franchise into context, whilst the bulk of the book is rife with production info, pre-production ideas, and concept drawing for all aspects of the MotU oeuvre. 5-Stars: Highly recommended for all those with a fondness for fantasy or cartoons (especially 80's cartoons!), or an interest in He-Man memorabilia.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Alejandro Soifer

    Amazing work. Worth the read!

  5. 5 out of 5

    William Gerke

    Bought a digital copy on sale on impulse and quite enjoyed it. The art is beautiful and detailed, but it’s the contextual material that makes it worth it. First part has a bunch of memos about the creation of the toy line. Interesting window into how these were developed before email and 3D printing and computer art. It took a lot of work to develop even a handful of figures and a lot of back-and-forth exchanges. Interesting also to see how clearly the whole thing owes a debt to sword & sorcery — Bought a digital copy on sale on impulse and quite enjoyed it. The art is beautiful and detailed, but it’s the contextual material that makes it worth it. First part has a bunch of memos about the creation of the toy line. Interesting window into how these were developed before email and 3D printing and computer art. It took a lot of work to develop even a handful of figures and a lot of back-and-forth exchanges. Interesting also to see how clearly the whole thing owes a debt to sword & sorcery — one memo mentions Frazetta and another writer mentions Moorcock. The whole thing was designed to be incredibly gonzo. One early memo literally talks about how the concept would allow them to sell figures in every conceivable size—from giants to minis—because the world supports creatures of all those sizes and shapes. Fascinating the shift in culture around it. The early writers and artists have fond memories but sometimes barely remember the stories they wrote or the characters names. Later artists and writers and designers have a deep knowledge of the lore and obsessions with different characters. This parallels the weird journey of the product itself. What started as basically a written/drawn and then animated advertisement for toys became so much more. Bruce Timm and Paul Dini got their start on the cartoon (and then went on to basically invent DC animation, including Batman: The Animated Series). The later toy designers where huge fans who built a whole line of “classic” figures around reissuing the original figures with modern design so that they basically looked like what those artists remembered imagining their figures looked like. And the fans by the end don’t need the show to be an advertisement. They are literally asking for new toys to be made to sell them more toys, so that the whole idea of the cartoon selling toys gets overturned and it becomes unclear who is using who. Which is probably what happens to the best franchises, right? You build something, make people want it so badly that they no longer need you to make them want it, they want you to make them want it. Which sounds like the pinnacle of consumerism, but there’s such love here from the fans, the designers, the collectors, and the writers of this book, that it’s hard to cast it as a bad thing. More like a virtuous cycle.

  6. 4 out of 5

    C

    I loved this book. So as a kid what got me into Masters of the Universe was not the cartoon or even the minicomics. It was that packaging art. I look at Rudy Obrero's box art from those first couple of years (or even the later Earl Norem paintings) and even as an adult I am transported. It's a darker vision than ended up being realized in Filmation, very much a different world - but as a kid that was my Eternia, this brutal and strangely beautiful place. And so this collection of the art is so far I loved this book. So as a kid what got me into Masters of the Universe was not the cartoon or even the minicomics. It was that packaging art. I look at Rudy Obrero's box art from those first couple of years (or even the later Earl Norem paintings) and even as an adult I am transported. It's a darker vision than ended up being realized in Filmation, very much a different world - but as a kid that was my Eternia, this brutal and strangely beautiful place. And so this collection of the art is so far up my alley that I can't believe that I only recently found out about its existence. Here's what bothers me. I need more, so much more. This volume is probably about as large as it needs to be and it serves as a great overview of art from across the years and incarnations of MOTU. But I hope that it leads to more volumes. I would pay ridiculous amounts of money for a volume with high quality scans of all of the vintage line art (cardbacks and painted box art - I want it all) and the vintage inspired paintings from the MOTU Classics line. Oh man, I hope that they do that one of these days. So this is wonderful as an introduction and an overview. I just want more, more, more...

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    He-Man was THE show and toy line for me in the mid-80s, so naturally I had to have this one. There’s a pretty good story amongst the art about how the toy line was conceived and then the show. Unfortunately it tapers off after awhile, but it’s still informative and fun to read all the old documents from when the whole universe was in its infancy. There’s also a smattering of interviews with artists and executives who were involved along the way. Eventually you start getting into the later years w He-Man was THE show and toy line for me in the mid-80s, so naturally I had to have this one. There’s a pretty good story amongst the art about how the toy line was conceived and then the show. Unfortunately it tapers off after awhile, but it’s still informative and fun to read all the old documents from when the whole universe was in its infancy. There’s also a smattering of interviews with artists and executives who were involved along the way. Eventually you start getting into the later years where they were still selling toys but interest was waning, and the comic art as well. The book stalls out somewhat for me near the finish line, but overall this is a really fun compilation that I never thought I’d actually see published.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

    Great read with some terrific art, as expected. Some nice nostalgia to be had and some new pieces, concepts and figures I was not familiar with. My complaint is this book covered too much ground; I would have preferred it was more in depth. I understand why the decision was made, but given what we do see here there is CLEARLY a slew of material not included. Also, the interviews weren’t nearly as in depth as someone like me would have enjoyed. Still, with that said I am glad to have taken the tim Great read with some terrific art, as expected. Some nice nostalgia to be had and some new pieces, concepts and figures I was not familiar with. My complaint is this book covered too much ground; I would have preferred it was more in depth. I understand why the decision was made, but given what we do see here there is CLEARLY a slew of material not included. Also, the interviews weren’t nearly as in depth as someone like me would have enjoyed. Still, with that said I am glad to have taken the time with this one, and will continue to pursue more new MotU books/comics.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Milky Mixer

    I've seen a lot of reviews complain about the interviews. I thought many of them were interesting. The book does a nice job of representing all of the various "eras" of He-Man, but the original toyline and cartoon sections really could have been expanded to include so much more! I was hoping for more She-Ra, too! I was less interested in the 4 Horsemen redesigns from 2002, but I really liked seeing a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff from the live action movie.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Robert Jones

    Possibly the best "Art of" book I've ever seen. This thing is packed to bursting with the entire gonzo design history of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. It's a gorgeous book that makes me remember just how powerful a cultural force He-Man was for little kid me in the 80s. Seriously amazing. I love every page of it.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Scott Williams

    As with most art books of this type, it barely scratches the surface. The reader gets an excellent overview of MOTU art from original toy designs, comic books, animation art, through video game art, package designs, and more. The completist in me would love a whole series of these books going much more in depth but I’m glad we have this and pleased to have it in my library.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    Not much to read. It was a fun trip down memory lane. I was a huge fan as a child. I remember the infinite adventures and battles fought/won with each figure. Remembering some of fun made this quick read worth it. The artwork was especially fun.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Brent

    The maps in the back alone are worth the price of admission [but the rest is pretty good too].

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lukas Holmes

    A wonderful blast from the past. I could not have felt more nostalgic. Lots of fun to read and see it all again.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Eddie

    The evolution of the Masters of the Universe! This tome is just as bulky as He-Man, with many photos of the toy line and associated art. Made me wistful for my Castle Grayskull set...

  16. 4 out of 5

    Xavier

    Enjoyed every page of nostalgia, and actually would love to read about all the mythos that has grown over the years

  17. 5 out of 5

    James

    Made me quite nostalgic. Some good examples of the art from the show.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Nate Balcom

    "I have the POWER!" Short review: The illustrations in this Art of book are amazing and will appeal to any He-man fan. The interviews were TERRIBLE. Skip the text and enjoy the detailed art and captions.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Duane Olds

    Very interesting and a really good read.

  20. 4 out of 5

    John Shaw

    A vital part of my child hood and every other kid from the 80s He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe filled my youth with endless hours of adventure. This books takes an incredible look at the development of the iconic characters of the wonderful TV show and the TOYS. Filled with joy and nostalgia I loved this book Now I just wish I had my old toys to play with..

  21. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Garvey

    A big, beefy art book hardback chronicling all things He-Man from the initial toy concepts of a manufacturer looking to create a new line of boy's toys after infamously turning down Star Wars, right through to 2014 and exploratory art ideas for new film, TV and gaming products, this is a fantastic, nostalgic book. True, the text is disjointed at times, assumes too much knowledge on the part of the reader and is just a bit too brief but there are some revealing interviews with people - comic write A big, beefy art book hardback chronicling all things He-Man from the initial toy concepts of a manufacturer looking to create a new line of boy's toys after infamously turning down Star Wars, right through to 2014 and exploratory art ideas for new film, TV and gaming products, this is a fantastic, nostalgic book. True, the text is disjointed at times, assumes too much knowledge on the part of the reader and is just a bit too brief but there are some revealing interviews with people - comic writers, artists, designers, animators, marketing men and even the director of the largely failed 1987 movie adaptation - who have shaped the franchise. The passion, the contacts and the knowledge of the authors, the geeky little details they note and their access to masses of artwork, from character concept sketches to posters and background paintings that qualify as high end fantasy art all combine to make reading or flipping through this book a joyous experience.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Doyle

    This book gathers an excellent presentation of early Mattel company memos and production pitches, prototype art, animation doogas, comic covers, toy packaging... you name it and it's in there. High points include double page spreads of the Earl Norem and William George paintings. Points deducted repeatedly mentioning William Stout's artwork for the MOTU movie, but failing to show any of it. Additional points off for high-school level writing (a few poorly constructed sentences) and lazy journali This book gathers an excellent presentation of early Mattel company memos and production pitches, prototype art, animation doogas, comic covers, toy packaging... you name it and it's in there. High points include double page spreads of the Earl Norem and William George paintings. Points deducted repeatedly mentioning William Stout's artwork for the MOTU movie, but failing to show any of it. Additional points off for high-school level writing (a few poorly constructed sentences) and lazy journalism (the interviewer asked the same 5 questions to everyone), but this is an art book so I won't expect much. I would gladly buy a similar book for Thundercats, GI Joe and\or Transformers.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Erik

    Really well put together book that covers pretty much every aspect of the He-Man universe, from concept art and comics to the toys, cartoons, and movie. There are some quick interviews that act as lead-ins to each section, but overall there isn't much prose. It let's the art speak for itself, and a lot of it is really well done.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Tim Lapetino

    Absolutely amazing book on the art and design of the Masters of the Universe toy line. It includes great designs and process docs about the development of He-Man and the cross-pollinated world of fantasy and a sci-fi. It's full of great box art and packaging images that bring me back to childhood. It also captures later incarnations of the toy line and their designs, which is a nice touch. Highly recommended for other 80s kids and art and character drain aficionados.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Chris Neumann

    This 'art' book is definitely more than just an art book. Fans are given not only great art from every aspect of He-Man (film, cartoon, comics, etc.), but also interviews with key people involved with the brand's history - Paul Dini and Dolph Lundgren just to name a couple. This is an entertaining and informative read that is packed with tons of tid-bits for MOTU fans. An absolute must read. Dark Horse hit a home run with this one!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Maurice Funken

    Fantastic art book by Dark Horse Comics, covering all aspects of the Masters of the Universe incarnations through the ages. This isn't a very deep and verbose read, instead you get great pictures and rarely seen artwork. Though, this really makes me miss my old action figures...

  27. 5 out of 5

    Bill Williams

    A must have for any MotU fan.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Chris Sherwood

    A great collection of artwork both from packaging and more.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    Does a good job that the design work and promotional art was by far the best part of the toys and cartoons.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    By the power of Grayskull..you almost have to be He-Man to hold this mighty collection in your puny mortal hands. This is such a beautifully crafted collection.

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