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Interview with Mark Taylor

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  • Interview with Mark Taylor

    Thought this was a pretty fascinating interview. Nothing too radically new for fans of the line, but still a great read with one of the fathers of MOTU...

    http://www.therobotsvoice.com/2015/1...oy-masters.php

  • #2
    That was a really fun read, thanks for posting!
    Heroic human battering ram, catapult, and space warp device.

    https://battleram.wordpress.com/

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    • #3
      Thank you for sharing that. I am particularly struck by what he said about his characterization of Teela - it is definitely going to influence my headcanon going forward...
      Not every beast is tender, especially if there is genius in his making.

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      • MrCellophane
        MrCellophane commented
        Editing a comment
        Same here!

      • Matthew L. Martin
        Matthew L. Martin commented
        Editing a comment
        I'm rather nonplussed by the characterization of Filmation as "chauvinists". But his description of Teela does highlight some of the difference between the original concept, when everything was chaotic and everyone was on their own side, and the later material where the allegiances are more cleanly staked out. I think the latter generally helped the brand, although it did give us weirdness like Zodac.

      • Dark Angel
        Dark Angel commented
        Editing a comment
        Matthew, I am sensitive to that, and agree that "chauvinists" is out of line. However (and please don't take this as me talking down to you in any way), you need to understand that sometimes "Social Justice Warriors" such as myself and (I am assuming) Mr. Taylor can be very strident - even militant - in our beliefs. It is particularly understandable for Mr. Taylor, as people of his generation saw some real social and cultural s**t firsthand that was far worse than what young pups such as myself have observed.

        Back on topic - agree that the story and characterizations needed to be streamlined and simplified for the brand to succeed with kids, and history bears us out. As an extension of that thought, and ironically, I think it is that very simplification that has made it so hard for the brand to grow its adult and children's fanbase today.

    • #4
      I thought this part was fascinating:

      MT: Well, they almost rejected Mer-Man. They didn’t understand him, and wanted to take him out of the line. I had a hard time convincing them to keep him. I said “Don’t you understand? There has to be someone who lives in the water!” I was envisioning a magnificent line of toys that could be played with in the water. Decades later, George Lucas did a similar thing in The Phantom Menace. I worked for the US Navy for almost ten years in the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, so I really wanted to do undersea stuff. I was a diver, and I felt the mysticism of being under water. That’s such an amazing area to get into.
      Heroic human battering ram, catapult, and space warp device.

      https://battleram.wordpress.com/

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      • Dark Angel
        Dark Angel commented
        Editing a comment
        That struck me as well. First time I have heard that any of the original characters was in any way "controversial" within Mattel.

    • #5
      Mer-Man has always been my favorite and was the first figure I ever owned. That would have been nuts if they didn't make him!
      "If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all." ― Noam Chomsky

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      • Battle Ram Man
        Battle Ram Man commented
        Editing a comment
        Same here. I love Mer-Man. It's amazing to me that he almost got the axe

    • #6
      i can see why they didn't want mer-man. everyone makes fun of aquaman & nobody takes him seriously so they probably thought it would be the same thing with mer-man.

      but mer-man isn't some dude in an orange shirt that needs fish to fight for him. mer-man is a sea monster with a sword that goes on land all the time. that's why he's not a joke.
      http://thepowersword.blogspot.com

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      • rothsauce
        rothsauce commented
        Editing a comment
        Aquaman has been treated like a leper until relatively recently - no one knew or wanted to figure out how to make his powers less gimmicky.

        Mer-Man had the benefit of being designed for a completely different media, in a very non-earth setting.
        Neither is really a joke. One was just better conceived from the get-go, likely a direct result of the others failings. Nowadays they're on relatively equal ground.

        Thank you Aquaman, for being so horrible and setting the standards for what not to do with a water-based humanoid.

    • #7
      Isn't it odd, though, that the powers that be had a problem with Mer-Man, but the hairy, bug-eyed, claw-footed spaceman whose allegiance we weren't even sure of was A-OK?
      Not every beast is tender, especially if there is genius in his making.

      Comment


      • #8
        Zodac seems to have been conceived, or at least sold in the Style Guide, as a Boba Fett analog, which may have been an easier sell than Aquaman/the Creature from the Black Lagoon.

        As for allegiance, based on Taylor's interview and the original Style Guide, the allegiance of everyone outside the First Four was undetermined or ambiguous.

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