Monday, November 21, 2011

The Little Differences: Pre-Filmation Alcala Mini-Comic Style He-Man

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Vincent: It's the little differences. I mean, they got the same $#!t over there that we got here, but it's just – it's just there it's a little different.

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Today's installment of "The Little Differences" features a figure that has been a personal quest of mine since the Masters of the Universe Classics line began; a pre-Filmation mini-comic stlye He-Man as drawn by master illustrator Alfredo Alcala.
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As you may have read in previous posts (Blond Teela and Eldor), my preferred version of the MOTU mythos is the one laid out in the first four mini-comics from 1981 where He-Man is a barbarian that leaves his jungle tribe to fight evil. (They call him Oo-Lar on the new MOTUC bios.)

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In these books, He-man looks a little different than in other sources. For example; the bracer on his left arm matches his right arm, his skin is a little less bronze, his armor a little lighter gray, and the fur on his boots is a little lighter in color.

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The differences are subtle, but to me, they are substantial. Here's the parts break down...

Head = Prince Adam (serious face)
Body = King Grayskull
Arms = Preternia Disguise He-Man
Boots = Preternia Disguise He-Man
Armor = Green Goddess
Trunks = He-Man
Weapons = He-Man

Here's a comparision shot that shows the differences between my He-Man (left) and the standard He-Man (right)
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The challenge was finding a body whose skin tone matched the double bracer arms from Preternia Disguise He-Man. The skin tone of this figure is much lighter than regular He-Man. Luckily, King Grayskull's skin is lighter too. Prince Adam's slightly lighter skin tone head also was a good match and the slightly less intense eyebrows offer up a nice change from standard He-Man. (The hair piece was positioned a little high on this particular head and I plan to go back and reposition it.) The boots were an easy boil-and-pop swap. The slightly lighter armor from the Green Goddess was an easy fix. Finally, the trunks were, as always, a challenge to swap from regular He-Man, but nothing a little boiling water and elbow grease couldn't handle.

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Based on the parts used, this was a fairly expensive figure to make but thanks to the awesome traders and sellers on He-Man.org and HissTank, I finally have the He-Man I always wanted. (Now I just have to find a good dagger to add to his boot!)

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I hope you dig him as much as I do. If you do (or don't for that matter), leave a comment. Until next time, I remain The Insidious One.

***UPDATE 11/18/13***

I made a few changes to my Alcala He-Man including the replacement of the Preternia Disguise He-Man boots with the much more stable and more muted Thunderpunch He-Man boots. More notably, I also replaced the Prince Adam head with the Thunderpunch head. The skin tone is slightly lighter than the Adam head but the deco on the hair was so much better, I decided to make the change.
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Below is my new original mini-comic display.

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***UPDATE 03/19/15***

It's been a long road, but with the release of Oo-Larr...better known as "Pre-Goddess Meeting He-Man," I finally have my ultimate Alcala He-Man MOTUC figure! This is the He-Man that I wanted since I was a little kid. The only way he could be any better is if Mattel made a pair of boots that had yellowish tops and a removable boot-knife. photo real_heman_zpsj6xegbo6.jpg
Once again...I present The Insidious Kitbash Recipe for Alcala He-Man:
Head = Oo-Larr
Body = King Grayskull
Arms = Preternia Disguise He-Man
Boots = Thunder Punch He-Man
Harness and weapons = Goddess
Trunks = He-Man

8 comments:

  1. I like it.

    These first 4 mini comics were definitely my favourite.
    Thats why Ive loved the Green Goddess. or the Goddess herself.
    I have a few of these including 2 Tales of Teela.
    I remember being so excited about Buzz Off as a child and the mini comic was dreadful....no real story.
    Keep up the great work.

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  2. Thanks! I feel that the format of the original 4 minis with a single illustration on top and words below gave both the writer and artist the ability to tell "more story" than the comic style format used in the later books.

    Look for more involved MOTUC customs on the blog soon. I have half a dozen that just need some finishing touches.

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  3. Great custom, but you need to fix his hair:
    http://he-man.us/Innovations/MOTUC-Customs/HairClub4He-Man.html

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  4. Hey He-Bro, I did after I took these pics...and then I replaced the head completely...and I will replace it again (for the last time) when I finally get the Alcala-style He-Man head with the upcoming Oo-larr figure!

    Just in case anyone is not aware, He-Bro has a wealth of awesome tutorials on his website that everyone should be sure to check-out before putting your figures under the knife. You can see them here. http://he-man.us/2011_figurefixit/figurefixit.html

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  5. I followed your advice to make the "oolarr " he man i left the king grey skull trunks on though because i was unable to track down a loose "he man" but it still turned out looking good

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  6. Glad you dig it, Don. A loose MOTUC He-Man figure is kind of pricey these days but you can always swap the trunks when you find one. Since my last update, I've changed the boots on mine to the ones that came with He-Ro 2 (or Dare). The fur on those is a yellowish brown which matches his mini-comic look even more closely. I'll post an update with a pic when I can.

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  7. Hi Eric, Just a quick note to say I've been fascinated to read your 'The Little Differences' articles - as your desire to create Alcala-correct MOTUC figures mirrors my own! I'm building a He-Man currently, and have a third Man-At-Arms on the way, too. Although I'll also be following your lead with Teela too, finding loose figures of her isn't easy.

    But, anyway, this is a great resource and an awesome blog overall. Only one request: can you make the pictures of your Alcala-correct figures a little bigger? I would love to see all the fine details. :)

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    1. Glad you dig the blog, Johnny. Unfortunately for the blog, but fortunate for toy lovers, my efforts of late have been directed toward developing new toys for my company Warpo. You can check out our toys at warpo.com.

      When I get some free time, I'll take and post more pics. The Alcala shelf as it has evolved and improved since these photos were taken...especially with the addition of the Power Con exclusive Red Beastman!

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