Wonder Bread He-Man (Savage)

I've often said that I don't remember much that I learned in college, but if you want someone to rattle off the names of the original cast members from Facts of Life, I'm your guy. What I mean is that my mind is like a steel trap when it comes to trivial pop culture nonsense -- especially from my youth. Although I admit that my brother is much more book-smart that I'll ever be, he too recalls things from our childhood that are amazing in their detail. This is why I've chosen to pick his brain a bit about a highly debated toy that he's been sitting on for years -- the Wonder Bread He-Man.


First, let me start off by saying that the name "Wonder Bread He-Man" is ridiculous. This figure has absolutely nothing to do with Wonder Bread. Still, since that is how it is most often referred to, I will use this stupid name in this post.

Secondly, from my own memory -- my brother's comments aside -- I definitely remember my brother acquiring this figure through a special mail-in offer of some sort. I used to annoy him by sing-songing the names of his Master of the Universe figures. Each time he'd get a new one, my song would grow. To this day, I recall singing: "He-Man. Man-E-Faces. Skeletor. The New Guy. Faker."

The "New Guy" in my song was Wonder Bread He-Man.

So after years of debate and uncertainty among toy collectors and MOTU "experts", allow my brother to drop some legitimate Wonder Bread He-Man knowledge on your eager minds.

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FASTE: How and when did you acquire this figure?


BROTHER: It was with the wave where Man-E-Faces was released. I think it was the second wave. It was close to the beginning of when the Masters of the Universe figures were first coming out. So 1983. It was in May because I got my first figures for my birthday and I think it was Toys R Us where they were purchased. I bought He-Man and Skeletor and Man-E-Faces. Man-E-Faces had a deal where if you bought three...I was going to buy someone else...but I got Man-E-Faces instead specifically because if you bought three and he was one of them you got a mail-in offer for a fourth one.


FASTE: What did you have to do to get this fourth one?

BROTHER: I think you sent off the proof of purchase from three figures including Man-E-Faces.

FASTE: It was a mail-in?

BROTHER: Yeah. And it did not come with much of anything. No armor.

FASTE: None at all?

BROTHER: Nope. Because I remember thinking it was just like a repainted He-Man with no accessories and thinking how lame it was that it only came with the brown shield. I had other shields just like it that didn't spin -- that piece would spin around the handle so I would have him hold it above his head and pretend he flew like a helicopter.

 

FASTE: Some people claim to have a Wonderbread He-Man that came with this weapon or that. Some people claim theirs came with armor. What is your theory as to why you got a shield and other people claim they got a sword or something different?

 

BROTHER: Man-E-Faces came with an extra set of the brown weapons -- a sword, an axe, a shield, a knife maybe? I want to say there were four or five of those that came with Man-E-Faces in addition to his brightly colored gun. I got another one of the same shields with the mail-in figure. I would think they probably had a supply of extra weapons that they just threw in one or two extra weapons with the figure. You may have gotten any one or two of those weapons. It's the same molds as most of the weapons that came with Castle Grayskull. Castle Grayskull came with more.

FASTE: Where they brown, too?

BROTHER: No. They were tan. At least mine were. I don't know if they were always the same.

FASTE: What is your theory regarding the vague history of this figure among Masters of the Universe collectors? Why so much uncertainty?

BROTHER: What age would have been collecting those? Not only that, but there really wasn't as much of a toy collecting community then -- people weren't trying to collect them for posterity. You didn't really keep it with the intention of remembering everything about it.

FASTE: But with so much uncertainty out there, I find it hard to believe that you're the only person in the world that has a clear recollection of how you got your figure and what it came with.

BROTHER: Well, I didn't know of anybody else who had one besides me and I also didn't know it was even a big deal until just a few years ago. I don't know how many there actually are in existence to begin with and now I'm sure there are plenty of people who can paint other figures to make fakes. Oh, and that black and white armor...

FASTE: Yeah, talk a little about that.

BROTHER: There was a bonus weapons pack that came out a little bit later that came with that....that's Zodac's armor. I don't remember if it was the same color on Zodac or not but it's the same mold. And the black armor came with the bonus weapons pack -- it came with a neck-armor piece like Beast Man had, and shoulder pads. I remember they didn't fit or stay very well -- I always tried to put them on that new figure (Wonderbread He-Man) and they didn't stay very well or wouldn't stay fastened. I never kept any of those on him even though he didn't come with anything of his own because they just didn't fit right.


FASTE: On a percentage scale, 0-100, how sure are you about the accuracy of all of the details that you recall?

BROTHER: The only things I'm not sure about are the packaging when it came in the mail -- was it in a plastic bag or in a manilla envelope -- I don't remember that. I'm fairly certain that I got my first figures at Toys R Us but I'm not positive. I'm certain about the weapons it came with...

FASTE: You're certain about the weapons. There was no armor.

BROTHER: No.

FASTE: This figure had nothing to do with eating Wonder Bread.

BROTHER: No.

FASTE: You're certain it was a mail-in offer.

BROTHER: Yes. And on the form there were other toys listed. Maybe Barbie and some others so I'm sure it was a Mattel offer.

FASTE: It was a mail-in based on your purchase of Man-E-Faces.

BROTHER: Yeah. Because I bought He-Man and Skeletor purposefully because it was the main good guy and the main bad guy. I think I was going to buy somebody else -- maybe Man-At-Arms -- and I decided to get Man-E-Faces instead. I think it was even mom's suggestion. She said if you get this one, you can send off and get another one. So I got Man-E-Faces purposefully because that was what you had to get to send off for the extra figure. Plus, Man-E-Faces came with that extra batch of weapons.

FASTE: So scale of 0-100, how positive are you about all of this?

BROTHER: Oh...easily 99.9%...

FASTE: Last but not least, are you willing to sell this figure and if so, what's your price?

BROTHER: I would think about selling it but I look at prices people are currently asking and think that they're inflated because nobody knows how many there. Not to mention that it's tough to tell which ones are authentic and which are fakes.

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So there you have it, friends and neighbors. You can continue digging around and making up your own theories about Wonder Bread He-Man.

As for me, I know what he is and where he came from...and it wasn't from eating bread.

13 comments:

phairhead said...

Skeletor was such a wuss! Trap-Jaw, now he is THE badass of Eternia

Kaizar said...

Wow. Thanks for throwing some light onto the mystery.

The old name (Wonder Bread He-Man) will most probably stick around as an official way of refering to the figure, though.

Jason Howlett said...

I am a total believer of this story... Seem to tie up everything. Is your brother a fan now? It would be even more convincing if he had never read up on the topic. How old was your brother at the time? Was he older than most of the first fans?

TL said...

I wouldn't say he's a big MOTU follower anymore but he's still got every one of his original toys down to each and every accessory that came with them. As for his age at that time, he would have gotten this figure in 1983 just after his tenth birthday.

Eric Stettmeier said...

I always figured the 'mystery' was just due to the fact that the people who care didn't know and the people who knew didn't care (enough to dig deep into the nowheresville of an obscure corner or two of the internet.)

I have faith that your brother's account is accurate, thanks for sharing and shedding some first-person light on the subject!

Eric Stettmeier said...

PS if your brother wants to sell for an un-inflated price, now that the mystery is solved and no one cares anymore ;) let me know.

TL said...

Eric -- My feeling is that those who are truly interested do not actually want this mystery to be solved. I've heard from several people who refuse to accept that my brother is 100% sure about most of this information. So be it, I guess.

As for selling his figure, I'll pass along your offer to pay an "uninflated" amount. :)

Eric Stettmeier said...

It's true - there are a lot of people who wouldn't believe it if Marty Mc-f'in-Fly showed up on their doorstep with a Wonderbread He-Man and a Betamax tape of his adventure getting it.

What always floored me is how there's so few decent pictures of the thing online. 'Oooh this figure is rare and mysterious, better not take a decent flippin picture of it or else we may actually learn something!' Sheesh!

There is still the 'mystery' of why a brown haired black trimmed He-Man was made in the first place - a factory error, a proposed variant character, etc - and I doubt that mystery will ever be solved. But regardless, I am happy to be able to point to this post as sufficient evidence and first hand accounting as to Savage He-Man's provenance. And for that I thank you.

TL said...

Certainly my pleasure, Eric.

Anonymous said...

I want to purchase one I found at a vintage toy store, guy said it came in a box of a bunch of MOTU stuff, guy only asked $40 for whole box, so he bought it and found this in it, after reading this I am going to ask a few questions about the weapons and armor because after reading this If it were truly an undiscovered "wundar" Heman what's the chances it Had black Zodac armor and maroon weapons!?

Mark Craddock said...

I want to add that I got both of my "Savage He-Man" figures this way and will support it had nothing to do with Wonder Bread (I only ate Butternut...until a few months ago).

I also got the Yellow Beast Man & Black Zodac piecs through the different offer.

Kevin Hill said...

I remember having the "Extra Weapons" pack he referred to about the armor, and it not fitting correctly on the figures. Sounds legit to me.

Anonymous said...

I have a 83 He-Man crank batteryless flashlight and can't find out nothing bout it. And its the only one I've seen.