How did Mattel come up with this genius of a marketing plan, well it all starts with George Lucas in a way. In 1976, Mattel's CEO Ray Wagner declined a request to produce a toyline of action figures based on the characters from the George Lucas film Star Wars. Upon the commercial success of the film trilogy during the next few years and all related merchandise, Mattel attempted to launch several unsuccessful toylines, none of which captured the public's imagination or made a significant dent in the toy market. Thanks to that fateful decision the media empire of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe was created.
The first toyline wave consisted of the following: He-Man, Man-At-Arms, Stratos, Teela, Skeletor, Beast Man, Mer-Man, Zodac, Battle Cat, Battle Ram, Wind Raider, and Castle Grayskull.
Eventually the store shelves were full of these toys and you could not get enough of the Masters of the Universe. There were some missteps over the years including the New Adventures of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe movie.
Since the 80's nostalgia wave got started back in 2000 Masters of the Universe has been there, even paying nods to the past when it comes to the figures.
This is a great line that doesn't seem to ever go away. I think Mattel owes a thanks to those creators that decided to turn down Star Wars. Here is hoping we get a new Cartoon and a better movie, especially if Jem and the Holograms can score a movie. Make sure to swing by the show this September or the store as I am sure there will always be Masters of the Universe fans and toys to collect.