Tag Archives: Masters of teh Universe

Masters of the Universe Vs The A-Team: Or What’s in a Pose Anyway…

One of the aspects that I adore about collecting and sifting through 80s era ephemera is finding all the hidden gems and weird little connections between things that nine times out of ten we’d all miss until we really started paying closer attention. Whether it was figuring out that conceptually, the idea behind the Garbage Pail Kids’ Cabbage Path Kids parodies were introduced by Scholatic in their Maniac magazine almost a year before the Topps cards hit shelves

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…or that even though I grew up yearning for a Star Wars-themed jungle gym play set that I thought didn’t exist, it did in fact exist.

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Ephemera like this can lead to some fun and interesting discoveries.  Well recently my pal HooveR made a connection between two pieces of obscure ephemera from 1983 that I thought was pretty cool. He sent me a set of A-Team Colorform Rub N’ Play Transfers with a note attached that referenced a similar set of Masters of the Universe transfers from the same year.  I wrote about the MOTU set way back in 2011

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These sets were like the cheap-o versions of standard Colorforms sets, one off sheets that you could transfer onto an included backdrop to create your own battle scenes.  There were a few companies making them besides Colorforms, the most popular being Presto Magix.  I used to enjoy mixing up the different branded sets so that I could have He-Man fighting Darth Vader or hanging out with Thundarr the Barbarian.  That made for some interesting combinations when you really let your creativity flow (like this masterpiece below that I put together)…

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But getting back to that sheet of A-Team transfers that I was gifted; what HooveR pointed out though, was that whoever illustrated these sets decided to take a few creative shortcuts back in 1983.  Our guess is that being overworked (most likely as illustrators tend to be), whoever had the assignment to do the Masters of the Universe set decided to make it easier for themselves on the A-Team set by re-using a bunch of the same classic poses.  The results are pretty hilarious when you put them back to back!

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Do you notice the similarities?  How about now…

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I love this.  It’s like watching characters from one of my favorite live action TV shows in the 80s play acting scenes from one of my favorite cartoons!  What makes it extra hilarious to me is that knowing how strained the relationship was between Mr. T and George Peppard behind the scenes, it’s pretty freaking funny that they’re in the He-Man and Skeletor poses. I was also hoping that this carried forward into other Colorforms Rub N’ Play sets, but of the other ones I own (Gremlins & Michael Jackson), and the sets I’ve scoped online (Knight Rider, Pee-wee’s Playhouse, Mork & Mindy, Barbie, and Rainbow Brite) none of them reuse any Masters of the Universe poses (or any other famous poses that I can recognize.)

So, what are some fun things you’ve come to realize while shuffling through ephemera?