King Randor and Queen Marlena from planet Eternia, had twins, a boy and a girl named Adam and Adora. Hordak, leader of the Evil Horde, kidnapped Adora and escaped to Etheria, where Adora was raised as a mind-controlled Force Captain of The Horde. Adora’s uniform – which she continued to wear throughout the series, even after defecting to the Rebels – consisted of a red leotard with long white sleeves, red boots with matching gauntlets, and a black belt. The Sorceress sent Adam and Cringer to the planet Etheria to find the Sword of Protection’s rightful owner. The Sorceress, through the jewel in the Sword of Protection reveals to Adora that she was kidnapped by The Horde when she was a baby and that she had a twin brother. By repeating “For the honor of Grayskull” she is transformed into the heroine; She-Ra. She then releases a captured He-Man and jumps from a window, crashing into the Horde stables. She-Ra lands atop Spirit who is transformed into Swift Wind, a winged talking unicorn. They fly ahead to warn The Rebellion. He-Man and She-Ra return to Eternia, but she decides she must return to Etheria so that she can help free the planet from the Horde oppression.
8. Rainbow Brite
Creation and development of Rainbow Brite for Hallmark Cards is credited to both Hallmark’s Vice President of Creative/Licensing, Garry Glissmeyer, a team of artists headed by Cheryl Cozad, and writers under the direction of Hallmark’s Editorial Director, Dan Drake. Hallmark’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Lanny Julian, assembled a team of legal, marketing and public relations associates for this new licensing division. Glissmeyer and Julian were tasked with breaking Hallmark into the licensing business with the creation of characters targeted at children. Glissmeyer’s group’s concept of a young girl with powers over nature evolved into her being responsible for all of the colors of the universe. Once the concept was agreed to, Cozad’s and Drake’s teams developed the backstory and characters needed to support it. Jim McDowell, a key player from Hallmark’s marketing unit, conceptualized a strategy to get the new brand in the public eye.
Julian chose Mattel as the manufacturer and distributor for the line of dolls and toys to follow. Julian chose DIC Entertainment of France as the studio to provide the brand with episodic animation for television. Glissmeyer placed Cozad in charge of the in-house creative group, to work with Mattel and other licensees. Glissmeyer and Drake continued with creative input, working with DIC on the animation development.
The Pierrot clown found his way onto everything in the 80s! This bedding set was very popular in 80s girls bedrooms!
10. Masters Of The Universe
In 1976, Mattel’s CEO Ray Wagner declined a deal to produce a toyline of action figures based on the characters from the George Lucas film Star Wars, due to the $750,000 license required upfront. Following the commercial success of the original Star Wars trilogy and its related merchandise during the next few years, Mattel launched several successful competing toylines which captured the public’s imagination and significantly influenced the toy market.
Toy designer Mark Taylor explained that the original design of He-Man in a series of sketches while working for Mattel was inspired by Cro-Magnon men and Vikings. Furthermore, his original design of Beast Man was rejected by Mattel for looking too much like Chewbacca. In the race to design the next hit action figure, Roger Sweet (a lead designer working for Mattel’s Preliminary Design Department during much of the 1970s and 1980s) realized that simplicity was the key to success. According to his 2005 book Mastering the Universe: He-Man and the Rise and Fall of a Billion-Dollar Idea, Sweet knew that if he gave the marketing department something it could sell, he had won 90 percent of the battle.