Check out rare, 35-year-old concept art for He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

We’re still waiting for He-Man to make his triumphant return to pop-culture stardom, but while we wait, how about a walk down memory lane to see how it all started? 

Some vintage concept art has been released as part of the upcoming Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe book, set to hit shelves on April 28, 2015. The sketches and production art date back to the conception of the commercial for the Castle Greyskull play set.

Mattel developed the He-Man animated series as a way to sell more He-Man toys, and it’s fascinating to see how they jammed a bunch of styles together. Along with the concept art, one of the original pitch letters from lead designer Roger Sweet has also been revealed. Not surprisingly, it’s all about the toys:

It may be time to introduce into the [Mattel Action Figures] line a new theme of "fantasy make-believe." The theme would be oriented towards Frizetta [sic] type figures possibly combined with parts of Conan, and Flash Gordon and Star Wars. Frizetta [sic] type subject matter had no "advanced technology" vehicles and accessories but these can be added within this theme. In addition giants (Shogun size), mid-size and nine figures (1 1/2" - 2") can all be combined in this theme and played with together.

Check out some early toy designs, as well as stunning sketches for the pilot episode of the animated series, below and let us know what you think. The book is being published by Dark Horse, with help from the Power and Honor Foundation.

(Via io9)

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