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Found an old Q&A with Mark Taylor

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  • Found an old Q&A with Mark Taylor

    Follow-up Q&A with Mark Taylor...


    Q1: I presume that the Castle Grayskull playset isn’t scaled or properly proportioned, and that the “real??? castle would be much larger in comparison to the figures, rather like the way it was portrayed in the mini-comics. Please approximate the dimensions of the jawbridge, windows, towers, façade, and dome, the thickness of the walls, etc.

    A1: Correct! The visible Castle rises above a fetid Lake/Mote inhabited with assorted exotic and dangerous flora and fauna, the castle extends seven levels/floors into the bedrock of the lake. Each level distorts reality i.e. time and space more than the one above. For example; the levels below the weapons storage room (Armory) start with all the weapons that exists within one century each way from the present (MUTU time), the floor below that within five centuries years each way and so on.

    The Pit of Souls is a donjon containing undying monsters from the beginning and end of time that also extends into the time and space continuum (probably a miniature black hole). The powers of the castle are linked to these evil captives, Skelator and his minions would love them released but also fear their potential. One must be very careful when listening to their consul because they are extremely clever and totally evil.
    The elevator when properly programmed (secret code) drops into these descending levels, of course, with each level potential danger as well as power lurks.

    The Jawbridge is seventeen feet high by seven feet wide, the windows three feet by seven, tower is forty two feet high, the facade (right flank in photo) is nineteen feet high and the dome is forty five feet high. These dimensions are the counter to the golden mean and designed to control power rather than accommodate humans and often flex and morph as the balance of good and evil shift in their everlasting war.
    This is obviously not the Eternia envisioned by marketing at Mattel it is my world of He Man.

    Q2: Do the different architectural features (towers, turrets, etc.) represent certain functional parts of a castle, or was the design just made to look interesting?

    A2: Yes; The towers are defensive positions and watch towers and the turrets for mounting anti air attack weapons. The dome is a mystical power generator and the gate is activated by voice (specific command plus power sword).

    Q3: What is the castle made from? Does the exterior conceal more advanced construction?

    A3: As explained in question (1.) the castle descends into a space time continuum in the lake bedrock. The castle you see was not built as such but grown mystically by unknown beings long gone eons before humans existed.

    Q4: Is the internal layout supposed to be more complicated than what we see in the playset? How many rooms would you say the castle has? Is the floor plan assumed to contain the miscellaneous features found in real castles? How many people can the castle house? Is there a court yard in the center, or is everything covered by a roof?

    A4: There is nothing typical about castle Grayskull, at first glance it's interior and exterior look vaguely like a medieval castle but this fortress bridges time and style. Castle Grayskull as a surface entity only can house approximately 50 people but always on a temporary basis. There is a large courtyard where the various mounts and vehicles of visitors are stowed.

    Q5: What sort of power system is there? Where is it located?

    A5: Infinate power located on the seventh level basement (black hole).

    Q6: What sort of landscape is the castle built on? Since hardly any two illustrations portray it in the same terrain, could it be that the castle periodically teleports? (Such a phenomenon would explain why the heroes don’t just build their homes next to the castle to protect it!)

    A6: The fetid lake and adjacent area to the castle are toxic to all living beings (except local denizens). Just being near the castle saps being's life force. In the castle, while having power enhancing potential is also soul draining therefore forcing temporary residency then distance for relief and recuperation. The personality changes brought about by extended habitation can be very dangerous to those around the affected individual.

    Q7: Does the trap door lead to the dungeon? Are there other such traps?

    A7: The trap door leads to the first level basement and conceals clues to the secret password for the elevator it also contains a trap with releases the exit to the donjon (and the monster contained within). There are both physical and mystic traps throughout the castle.


    Q1: Do you feel that He-Man was, as suggested in the mini-comics, destined to be the king of Castle Grayskull? If so, then how does that fit in with the disturbing and malevolent nature of the castle you've described?

    A1: It doesn't and it was never intended as such, my version is correct.

    Q2: What are He-Man's statistics? (age, height, weight, etc.)

    A2: He is 28, 6' 3" tall and 230lbs.

    Q3: What is meant by "the most powerful man in the universe"? Did he hit the jackpot when it came to genetics? Is he, literally, the strongest and toughest man alive?

    A3: Like Alexander he comes from a mysterious conception and is rumored to be half human and half immortal. He represents all of humanity as our chanpion against the unatural forces. He is the strongest, toughest and most noble "man" in the universe.

    Q4: Does he have an above-average appearance, or is he just impressive due to his musculature?

    A4: He is the ideal hero in all aspects, not just a muscle head.

    Q5: What does his voice sound like? Is he good for songs and speeches?

    A5: He sounds excally like Russell Crowe

    Q6: Where did he grow up, and what factors shaped his life?

    A6: Atlantis, which no longer exists, it was distroyed by a terrible quake and tidal wave. He Man was nine and being trained as a prince when the disaster struct. He was one of very few to survive.

    Q7: What is his moral character? Does he try to set a good example for children?

    A7: Absolutely the very highest and he tries to set an example for all humans.

    Q8: Is he, as some of the mini-comics suggest, romantically interested in Teela?

    A8: Of course, but he must not show weakness at this critical moment in history. Evil forces would see her as a opportunity and weakness.

    Q9: Presumably, he's fully functional. Does he plan to marry and/or have children?

    A9: It is something he must avoid thinking about as long as Skelator continues to roam free.

    Q10: What are his career goals? Can he do anything besides fight?

    A10: His "job" is to defend all the demensions of the world against Skelator and his minions.

    Q11: How does he act? (overconfident, strong and silent, etc.)

    A11: Nobly and restrained but with a quiet sense of humor

    Q12: How much can he typically lift over his head using both hands?

    A12: No One really knows (he doesn't show off) but he once threw Skelator 160 meters (actual measure).

    Q13: What would his intelligence quotient be?

    A13: How would one measure the IQ of a half god?

    Q14: Is he especially resistant to acceleration, disease, fear, influence, pain, or poison?

    A14: Yes

    Q15: Does he have special senses of hearing, direction, smell/taste, timing, touch, or vision?

    A15: Of course, otherwise Skelator would have eleminated him easily.

    Q16: Does he know anything of magic?

    A16: Much but he shuns it's use, the ethical price is to high

    Q17: Any other traits that set him apart from the average guy?

    A17: Everything about him....he is a hero!


    Q1: What is he? (human, demon, etc.)

    A1: He is a corrupted super human, his father threw him into the "Pit of Souls" as a youth to eleminate him as a claimate to the throne (Grayskull). Years after, the tribe was completely eleminated by a malevolent witch poisoner (Skelator's mother) who then helped him excape from the "Well" but when she saw what it had done to him she went insane and drank her own poison.

    Q2: Is his appearance natural for his species?

    A2: No, his stay in the demonic "Well of Souls" morphed his body and soul forever, before he looksd very much like He Man

    Q3: Where did he come from? (planet, dimension, etc.)

    A3: See above

    Q4: Lord of Destruction: is it an official title? Is he the first?

    A4: It is a self proclaimed title, destruction and inflicting pain are his only joy's

    Q5: Does he have three toes per foot (toy) or five (mini-comic)?

    A5: Three is correct

    Q6: Are the ridges on the toy’s forearms meant to represent gloves?

    A6: No, they are part of his unatural sub structure showing through his hide.

    Q7: Is his face actually a skull? Does he have glowing dots for eyes?

    A7: A skull and his eyes only glow when he is feeling rage (most of the time).

    Q8: Why does he wear a hood? What’s it made of? Is it part of his armor?

    A8: The hood is to help hide his glowing eyes and camoflage his distinct sillouette. It is made of the eyelid of a dragon that tried to kill him just after he emerged from the "Well".

    Q9: What material is the armor made of? Is there anything special about it?

    A9: It is made from the hide of a Armadillo type monster that dared to defy him, it is tougher than steel.

    Q10: How does he act? (babbling maniac, quietly determined, bully, etc.)

    A10: He is the ultimate bipolar, from quiet malovent to towering rage.

    Q11: How does he operate? (rampant destruction, strategic targets, etc.)

    A11: Plotting, insedious manipulation to Berserker rage, his plans always focus on the castle.

    Q12: How much can he typically lift over his head using both hands?

    A12: It is only known he once lifted and threw He Man in full armor (278 lbs.) and strangled a dragon with his bare claws.

    Q13: What would his intelligence quotient be?

    A13: Unmeasurable, off the scale, if it wasn't for his insane rage he would be unbeatable at logic by the best brains.

    Q14: How tall is he? What’s his weight?

    A14: He six feet four and weighs 291lbs, fully dressed (no one knows undressed)

    Q15: What does his voice sound like?

    A15: Like he is spaking from the bottom of a well

    Q16: How old is he? Does he age?

    A16: Not counting the time warp in the "Well of Souls" he is about 317 years old but he doesn't celebrate birthdays.

    Q17: Does he require sustenance?

    A17: Yes, never cooked preferably still slightly alive

    Q18: Does he need to sleep?

    A18: No, he never sleeps

    Q19: Can he reproduce?

    A19: Not sexually but he does plan to clone himself once he controls Grayskull completely.

    Q20: Can he be killed?

    A20: That is the unknown question, asked and wondered about by all his enemies.

    Q21: Is he especially resistant to acceleration, disease, fear, influence, pain, or poison?

    A21: So far they have not had much effect on him, he seems resistant to everything but direct force which he recovers from quickly like a reptile.

    Q22: Does he have special senses of hearing, direction, smell/taste, timing, touch, or vision?

    A22: All his senses are extremely acute like He Man's but Skelator seems to have an extra sense. He can feel the weakness of charector in a being and exploite it to his advantage. It is hypnotic, like a bird facinated by a prowling cat until too late.

    Q23: What style of magic does he use? (spells, spirit rituals, etc.)

    A23: Direct spell casting and hypnosis (see above)

    Q24: Any other traits that set him apart from the average guy?

    A24: Everything, he is not a sports fan, drink beer, hold a day job or date, there is absolutely nothing normal about Skelator.

    Q25: You mentioned that Skeletor was more or less mutated into what he is now. Prior to that, was he fully human? (Or did he always have three toes per foot?)

    A25: Before the "Pit" he was human, toes and all.


    Q1: You mentioned that the original goal was to periodically add pieces to the 'Castle Grayskull' playset. It appears that 'Point Dread & The Talon Fighter' was the only success at doing so. Since I'd forgotten to mention Point Dread in our telephone interview, are there any comments you wish to make about it now? Were you involved in the creation of that piece? Was its fictional background the same as what was described in the book/record included with the toy?

    A1: I had nothing to do with these toys and am very glad to admit it, they are low tooling cost, exploitive crap (one slight step down and they would have been handed out at Mickey Dee's as premiums). This is the thinking that made it easy to leave Mattel and eventually doomed the brand (How a billion dollar business was built and lost).
    Heroic human battering ram, catapult, and space warp device.

  • #2
    Without getting all bogged down in the old "who created what" debate, I must say...I dig Taylor's take on all these points.
    Not every beast is tender, especially if there is genius in his making.


    • #3
      Great Q and A.

      This part got me though, "The Pit of Souls is a donjon containing undying monsters from the beginning and end of time that also extends into the time and space continuum (probably a miniature black hole)."

      “Anything is a dildo, if you're brave enough"
      Thomas Jefferson

      Always looking to trade MOTUC to complete my collection.


      • #4
        I just wish the original audio interview was available.
        Heroic human battering ram, catapult, and space warp device.


        • #5
          Awesome! I´ve never read the follow up Q&A.


          • Battle Ram Man
            Battle Ram Man commented
            Editing a comment
            You don't happen to have the mp3 of the original interview, do you?

        • #6
          I do but its a big file, 4hours


          • #7
            Originally posted by JimPansen View Post
            I do but its a big file, 4hours

            Hmm, do you have dropbox? I could share my dropbox folder with you and you could upload it there. Not sure if you're willing but I've wanted to listen to a Mark Taylor interview for a long time now
            Heroic human battering ram, catapult, and space warp device.



            • JimPansen
              JimPansen commented
              Editing a comment
              Just send me a pm

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