Here is the latest and greatest news regarding He-Man and the Masters of the Universe coming out of Licensing Show last week in New York.
MATTEL UNVEILS HE-MAN® AND MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE® CONSUMER PRODUCTS LICENSING PROGRAM AT LICENSING 2002 INTERNATIONAL
Also First Sneak Peak as Hot Wheels® Gears Up for its 35th Anniversary Celebration
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (June 10, 2002) - He-Man®, the most powerful man in the universe, and the Master's of the Universe® will take Licensing 2002 International by storm as Mattel, Inc. (NYSE:MAT) reveals, for the first time, a preview of the new animated television series featuring an updated He-Man and cast of characters, as well as its multi-category merchandising program reflecting both the classic and new look of He-Man, along with the new toy line that debuted earlier this year and is scheduled to be at retail this fall. There will also be personal appearances by He-Man and Skeletor® characters. At the Licensing Show, Mattel will also highlight its Hot Wheels 35th Anniversary consumer products program as the Hot Wheels brand prepares to celebrate 35 years as the "World's Coolest Car Company." Licensing 2002 International takes place June 11-13 at Javitz Center in New York City. Mattel will be located at Booth # 418.
"We're very excited to be presenting merchandise for two of the most powerful pop culture brands in the world at this year's Licensing Show, said Jeffrey Orridge, Vice President, Worldwide Consumer Products for Mattel's Boys/Entertainment division. "Both Masters of the Universe and Hot Wheels are established brands with a rich history of delivering fun and excitement to kids around the globe. For nearly 20 years, He-Man and the Heroic warriors of Eternia have inspired kids to believe in themselves and stand-up for good. The new He-Man offers kids an updated look to a classic hero," said Orridge.
Equally, Hot Wheels has easily earned its place in toy history not only as the number one selling vehicle*, but also as a lifestyle brand for guys of all ages."
Originally launched in 1982, He-Man quickly became one of the most powerful brands in the universe. Now He-Man and the Masters of the Universe are back, not just as a toy line, but as a mega-brand backed by a wide range of merchandise and a new television series, which will air on Cartoon Network beginning this fall. Produced by Mike Young Productions, the series will kick-off with a new 90-minute movie premiere that tells the never-before-told story of how Prince Adam became He-Man. Twenty-six original episodes are planned to follow, airing Fridays during Toonami, Cartoon Network's afternoon action-adventure franchise.
"He-Man reached the status of a brand back in the '80s due to success," said Charles Riotto, president, International Licensing Industry Merchandisers Association. "He-Man has already accomplished being in the marketplace for a long time and has had long-term success, and with the tremendous potential for its revival, I think the prospects for it continuing that tradition are outstanding."
In 2003, Mattel will celebrate the 35th anniversary of Hot Wheels cars with a worldwide, integrated marketing campaign aimed at both the kid and adult Hot Wheels fan.
The #1-selling toy industry-wide for three years running*, more than two billion Hot Wheels cars have been produced since 1968 - more than Detroit's "Big Three" have manufactured combined. Since its introduction five years ago Hot Wheels Consumer Products has evolved into a global lifestyle brand, with Hot Wheels-branded products representing the largest portion of the Boys/Entertainment division's licensed-product revenue. Mattel's global licensing business, which also includes Girls/Barbie and Fisher-Price, is roughly $1.7 billion in retail sales annually.
Mattel, Inc. is a worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of toys. With headquarters in El Segundo, Calif., Mattel has offices and facilities in 36 countries and sells its products in more than 150 nations around the world. For more information on Mattel products log-on to www.mattel.com
*According to NPDs TRSTS data
2002 MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE®
HEROIC WARRIORS ASSORTMENT: Mattel reintroduces the most powerful man in the universe, He-Man®, and one of the most successful action figure lines in toy history, the Masters of the Universe. Both kids and collectors can re-create the exciting Masters of the Universe storylines with highly detailed six-inch Heroic Warrior and Evil Enemies figures. Defend Eternia with He-Man and his heroic friends, the Masters of the Universe, from power hungry Skeletor® and his evil warrior henchmen. The Fall 2002 assortment includes: He-Man ® figure with signature power sword , battle-axe, and waist twisting action. When his torso is twisted, his waist automatically twists back to center, giving him a powerful punch. Man-at-Arms® figure with mace weaponry and push button smashing action His arm moves up and down, so he can use his mace against the evil warriors. Finally, Stratos(tm) figure with jet-pack spring loaded missile launcher, and push button arm flapping action. His arms and attached wings flap when a secret button in his jetpack is pressed.
A.R.P.: $7.99 Age: 4+ Available: July
EVIL ENEMIES ASSORTMENT: Skeletor® and his henchmen are trying to take over Eternia(tm). Each of these six-inch action figures come with its' own weapon, accessory and battle action. The figure assortment includes: Skeletor® figure, the evil lord of destruction, with havok staff, two piece sword, and push button sword swinging action. Beast Man(tm) figure , the savage henchman of Skeletor®, with whip and push button arm smashing action. Activate a button on his back, and attack with his whip. Mer-Man(tm) figure, the evil ocean warlord, with trident, sword, and push button trident lunging action.
A.R.P.: $7.99 Age: 4+ Available: July
DELUXE FIGURES: Battle He-Man® and Skeletor ® with real push button battle sounds and upgraded weaponry and armor! The Battle Sound(tm) He-Man figure comes with his power sword, shield, premium chest armor, battle-axe and screams "I have the power!" at the push of a button. Twist his waist and his sword makes " smashing battle" sounds. The Battle Sound(tm) Skeletor® figure comes with a two-piece sword, ram's head staff, premium chest and waist armor, and screams "Eternia will be mine when a button on his side is activated. Each figure comes packaged with a VHS tape featuring a hard to find episode from the original television series!.
A.R.P.: $11.99 Age: 5+ Available: July
BEAST RIDER ASSORTMENT: The Beast Rider Assortment lets kids ride He-Man® and Skeletor® on their fearless fighting cats, into the ultimate battle to determine the fate of Eternia(tm). He-Man ® figure's Battle Cat® is a fierce-looking, armored Saber-toothed tiger of that never leaves his master's side. He has a button-activated "claw and maul" feature, two pivoting spring-loaded missile launchers with missiles, plus removable battle saddle, battle helmet and front claw armor. Skeletor ® figure's Panthor(tm) is as ferocious as his master and swiftly carries Skeletor ® into battle. Panthor also has a button-activated "claw and maul" feature, a spring-loaded staff blaster with missile, spring-loaded crossbow arrow launcher, serrated claws and removable battle saddle.
A.R.P.: $12.99 Age: 5+ Available: July
HE-MAN® MINIATURE FIGURES: These figures feature all the excitement of the Masters of the Universe® - on a much smaller scale ( 2 ľ''). Each figure comes with a weapon, base and has a waist twisting battle action. He-Man® comes with his signature power sword, Skeletor® comes with his signature havoc staff, Man-at-Arms® is armed with his battle mace, Mer-Man(tm) comes with jet-pack and wings and Mekaneck(tm) has an extending head and battle club.
A.R.P.: $2.99 Age: 4+ Available: July
CASTLE GRAYSKULL® PLAYSET: : Castle Grayskull is a three-level, lights and sounds, interactive playset for He-Man®, utilizing an innovative tag reader system that can read a chip found in the foot of all six-inch Masters of the Universe® figures. The castle has separate reader zones that recognizes figures responds to them by name and activates features based on whether it is a heroic or evil character. The Castle features a mechanical front door that will open for heroic figures and pummel evil figures, firing artillery cannon, mechanically operated trap door and secret panel, a dungeon, an electronic command center, and weapons rack with premium weapons. The castle actually "comes to life" and lights up when interacting with a figure. A special "key to the castle" is included to work the castle's magic.
A.R.P.: $49.99 Age: 5+ Available: August
BASHIN' BEETLE DELUXE VEHICLE: Built with the technical expertise of Man-At-Arms®, the Bashin' Beetle features bio-mechanical, "stag beetle" styling, child-activated gripping claws that open and close as the vehicle is rolled forward, and a huge lever activated smashing ball! When kids use the large bashing ball they can "smash" an evil villain or the villain's vehicle, knocking it on its side.
A.R.P.: $26.99 Age: 5+ Available: September
HE-MAN® AIR ATTACK VEHICLES: These 13-inch (approximately) air vehicles allow the Masters of the Universe® characters to "fly" around Eternia(tm). The He-Man® Battle Hawk(tm) vehicle has a cool eagle styling look, stealth spring-loaded missile launchers, attack claws and can be used in two modes - cruise and attack - depending on the positioning of its wings. The Skeletor® Terrordactyl(tm) vehicle, styled like an ancient terodactyl, has a secret spring-loaded missile launchers, attack claws, and push button attack mode.
A.R.P.: $13.99 Age: 4+ Available: July
HE-MAN® POWER SWORD(tm) ELECTRONIC WEAPON: Prince Adam(tm) raises his sword above his head and calls out, "I have the power!" and magically transforms into He-Man ®, the most powerful man in the universe. With the 23'', lights and sounds, electronic He-Man ® Power Sword, kids can pretend to do the same. When they push a button on the sword, it makes several sword smashing sounds and lights up accordingly!
A.R.P.: $19.99 Age: 4+ Available: July
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For more information on Mattel toys log on to www.mattel.com
NOTE: Names and availability dates subject to change
©2002 Mattel, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Bill Schultz is a two-time Emmy-award winning animation producer with more than 20 years experience in the entertainment industry. A partner at Mike Young Productions, Schultz serves as executive producer for He-Man: Masters of the Universe, which debuts on Cartoon Network this summer as a 90-minute movie special followed in the fall by 26 half-hour episodes.
Schultz' most recent credits include the Butt-Ugly Martians, currently airing on Nickelodeon, and Scholastic's Clifford the Big Red Dog on PBS. The former is a CGI action-adventure-comedy series for kids ages 4-12, which will be featured in the network's new SLAM block on Sunday afternoons starting this September. The latter, which was recently nominated for five Emmys, is a 2D preschool series based on the perennial storybook (over 40 million copies sold) by author Norman Bridwell.
Schultz joined Mike Young Productions as a consultant in 1997 and became a partner earlier this year. Prior to this, he ran Film Roman for nine years. As executive vice president, Bill, along with founder, Phil Roman, managed the growth of the studio from 20 to 350 employees and from $1 million in revenue to $50 million. During this time, he also served as animation producer on two signature Fox primetime series: the Emmy-award winning The Simpsons and the highly successful King of the Hill. Other credits include CBS' Garfield & Friends, the animated version of The Mask on CBS, the syndicated Mighty Max series, and Bobby's World with Howie Mandel, which aired for nine years on the Fox Kids Network during the '90s.
Schultz also spent several years at Marvel Productions, working with chairman and Spiderman creator Stan Lee and president/CEO Margaret Loesch on the acquisition, development and sale of new shows. He also handled day-to-day production duties for the studio, working on hundreds of animated episodes of network, syndicated and direct-to-home video programs, including the Emmy-award winning Jim Henson's Muppet Babies for CBS Saturday mornings.
Schultz was recruited to Marvel through parent company, New World Entertainment, where he worked on the NBC daytime soap, Santa Barbara for two years. Before New World, he held various staff production positions at Columbia Pictures Television, working on such CBS primetime shows as Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer and Crazy Like a Fox, among others.
Aside from being an experienced studio executive and animation producer, Schultz is also an accomplished musician and lyricist who often puts his talents to work on his productions. He recently co-wrote the Main Title for the Butt-Ugly Martians' series as well as five other tunes featured in the episodes. He holds a bachelor of science degree from the University of Illinois.
Mike Young Productions, headquartered in Los Angeles, is one of the busiest independent producers of animation today. In addition to He-Man: Masters of the Universe, the studio is currently in production on The Curly Tales of Piggley Winks, a co-production with PBS WLIW and Entara Limited; dive Olly dive!, a preschool series; and Peer Counseling, a 2-D, primetime comedy pilot for MTV.
Dean Stefan is head writer for Cartoon Network's new He-Man: Masters of the Universe series, which is based on the hit '80s TV show of the same name. The new 2D animated adventures begin with a 90-minute movie special premiering in August 2002 and will be followed by 26 half-hour episodes in the fall.
Stefan began his career in animation as a staff writer and story editor at Disney TV Animation, where he spent five years working on such popular shows as Tale Spin, Darkwing Duck, Quack Pack and Bonkers. He left Disney in 1994 to work as an independent story editor, writer and producer in the industry and has worked steadily ever since.
His recent credits include Nickelodeon's CatDog, where he served as head writer and supervising story editor for the series as well as co-writer for the show's theatrical short, called Fetch. Other story edit credits include PBS' Dragon Tales, CBS' The Mask, Columbia TriStar's Extreme Ghostbusters, Disney Channel's Goof Troop, Rainbow Fish for HBO Family, Iron Man for Marvel Productions and the WB's Jackie Chan Adventures and Men In Black from Sony Pictures, among others. (He also served as producer for the two WB shows.)
Stefan is also a professional songwriter and musician. He recently co-wrote the music for Sony Music's "Direct from Neptune Bay, Songs from Rainbow Fish."