VAULTS OF GRAYSKULL 10TH ANNIVERSARY 2003 - 2013
I could start with the obvious clichéd sentiment that it doesn't seem like ten years have passed since the creation of Vaults Of Grayskull, but I'd rather focus on something that, to me at least, does seem harder to believe. I'm speaking of the fact that the Masters Of The Universe Classics toyline has been around for almost half the time VOG has been on-line. When I built the site it was to present my fan fiction and to celebrate the vintage toys. The 2002 (200X) line had started but wasn't destined to last, and the likelihood of a new line being made which honoured the original one never crossed my mind. But the Classics arrived at the end of 2008, and I'm glad to say they are still with us.
It surely says a great deal about the legacy of the Masters Of The Universe toys and stories from the 1980s, but arguably says even more about the many fans who have kept the interest in He-Man and Skeletor alive. The Classics figures are a celebration of both the concept and its loyal fanbase. This incarnation of the MOTU now occupies a large part of the VOG site. The line is exciting and continues to have good support. Of course it hasn't been without a few mis-steps along the way, and it's been necessary for Mattel to listen to the collectors and refocus a few times. But it ploughs on and hopefully still has the momentum to keep going for a few more years.
Interestingly the Classics may never have been as successful had the originally proposed idea been accepted by the Mattel management. The pitch was for a continuation of the ill-fated 2002 line; an attempt to pick up where the unsuccessful line ended. Fortunately the obvious was apparent to the Mattel hierarchy. Restarting the 2002 version of the MOTU was a bad idea. Something with stronger links to the concept's origins was needed. The American audience may have been more aware of the 2002 line (and, to be fair, there are many fans of it), but in the UK it came and went with barely a whimper. The badly-posed, half-statue, half-action figure models - with their manga looks and ridiculously over-sized weapons - didn't evoke any nostalgia. We weren't impressed by a teenage He-Man.
From its earliest days, this site has concentrated on the best bits of the MOTU concept. While some may have cause to challenge the objectivity of that statement, a look at the Classics line and its direction for 2014 and 2015 suggests that it genuinely is nostalgia that powers the line along. The most popular characters are those who were most popular in the 1980s. But the strongest aspect of the MOTU isn't actually the toys; it's the canon behind them, and that's what I wanted to focus on in this anniversary section. It didn't take me long to work out what I should add to the site to mark the occasion.
My interpretation of Eternia, my knowledge of its heroes and villains, the inspiration for my MOTU fan fiction, and the very reason this site exists are all because of a handful of pre-Filmation era minicomics which came with the vintage toys. I didn't have all of them; in fact I only sought to complete my collection within the last year. I now have a complete set, but many fans have never seen some of the stories. Scanned versions have been available on-line for several years, but I wanted them to be presented in a more accessible way. The energy and drama of these tales is still to be found in their pages. The original barbarian themes are still strong. Every MOTU fan deserves the chance to see these wonderful stories which established most of the key themes in the canon.
Therefore, in order to celebrate not only ten years of Vaults Of Grayskull, but also the origins and legacy of the Masters Of The Universe, the four Series One minicomics (written by Donald Glut) and the seven Series Two minicomics (written by Gary Cohn) are now available to read right here at Vaults. Furthermore the scans are deliberately over-sized to make them easy to read. I think you'll find that the larger versions actually make the stories even more vivid and dramatic than their minicomic versions do. If you're already a pre-Filmation era fan, enjoy the stories once again. If you're not yet convinced, immerse yourself in these tales and hopefully you'll see why the original themes deserve to be celebrated.
Finally I'd like to say thank you to the visitors who have supported Vaults Of
Grayskull over these ten years. Some of you have been here since the beginning
and watched the site grow. But whether you're a long-standing guest or a new one,
you're welcome here in equal measure.