July 4, 2012
This year marks the 30th anniversary of Masters of the Universe, and to celebrate, Mattel produced six new characters for their 30th Anniversary Series. Some of these new figures include Fearless Photog (by 1980s contest winner Nathan Bitner), Draego-man (by the Four Horsemen), Sir Laser-Lot (by DC Comics’ Geoff Johns), and the Mighty Spector (by Mattel’s Scott Neitlich). We recently had the chance to speak with the Four Horsemen about their dragon-inspired action figure... Draego-Man!
1. How did the idea of doing a dragon character for the 30th anniversary come about?
Coming up with a brand new character for MOTU ended up being a tough task. We felt a lot of pressure to not only come up with a cool character, but to respect the history of the brand. We ended up going back to the very early characters and looking at what made a Masters character a Masters character. A common element was that they were based on very iconic looks and themes (Skeletor had a skull for a face, Mer-Man was from the sea, Zodac was a space man, Stratos was a bird man, etc.) After a lot of thought and research the dragon idea just popped up one day, and it seemed that there was no other option. It was amazing to us that there was never a dragon based warrior type figure for MOTU.
2. How did you guys feel when Mattel asked you to create a figure for the line? Were you surprised?
We were thrilled. It really hadn't dawned on us that one thing that we hadn't really done in the MOTU world was create an all new figure. We'd re-designed a number of characters, and sculpted even more, but this was just special. Like we said, it was tough, but in the end amazingly rewarding.
3. How did the name Draego-Man come about?
A lot of the early development of the character revolved around the catchy/clever names that are so popular for MOTU characters (Buzz-Off, Clawful, Man-E-Faces etc.). We found that this was dictating too much of what we were coming up with, and nothing felt right. We then realized that we needed to simply go back to basics and remember what we always wanted to see in the line when we were young. Part of that was always wanting to see an evil flying character. (Particularly with bat/dragon type wings) Once we decided to take that back to basics approach we looked at how the early 8 back characters and their concept drawings were named. We wanted to go with Drago-Man, but it was too close to Marvel's Dragon Man.
Draego-man was our next choice, and we couldn't be happier that it stuck!
4. Did your team have any input in the creation of Draego-Man's bio?
We sent a rough bio over with the design. We usually have a backstory to our characters as we design them, and this was no exception. All of the information that we included made it through to the back of the package!
5. When Draego-Man was unveiled at the 2011 SDCC, he was shown with a whip, flame shield, and purple sword. Unfortunately, these weapons were never produced. Is there any chance these weapons could be produced for another character, or a future weapons pack?
It's been talked about several times. Mattel wants to get anything that we do out to the fans whenever it is possible, and with the excitement thats out there for these extra weapons, we think there's a great chance!
6. Did the final version of Draego-Man change much from the original prototype?
We did a few very minor alterations to the final paint master before it was sent over to the Factory. Other than our own changes, it couldn't be any closer to original paint master. Scott, Terry and the team at Mattel really went the extra mile to keep us up to date at every step of the process. They knew that this figure meant a lot to us, and they wanted it to be perfect.
7. If a "variant" is ever released of this figure, what changes would you want to see made to it?
Good question. Not something that we've thought of before, but if we're put on the spot we would have to say turn him into and ice dragon. Icy blues and other cool colors would be cool with some clear ice accessories.
8. What character from Masters of the Universe do you feel would make the perfect nemesis for Draego-Man?
We were thinking Stratos. They could have the types of epic air battles that we always imagined when we were kids!