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Power-Con Returns to So Cal!
-A Convention that Celebrates the Legendary Masters of the Universe Franchise

June 5th, 2016

Written by: Abel S. Pinedo

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By the power of Greyskull! The incredible Power-Con convention has finally returned to Southern California. After a brief hiatus, the con dedicated to all things Masters of the Universe (MOTU) returns with a thunder punch of news and stories to satisfy any beastly cravings you may have. So shut your trap(jaw) and let's take a look at just what went down!

On a perfectly cool June weekend, I ventured into Eternia, ok well maybe it was the Torrance Marriott Redondo Beach but close enough. Once I arrived at the convention hall I picked up a program and my cool media badge, which featured an image of the mighty Stratos. With my badge in hand I was ready to hit the show floor.

As with any convention, the first thing I tend to do is get the lay of the land. The beauty of Power-Con is that it features a compact and well planned exhibit floor giving the show a more intimate setting. It did get crowded at times but the fact that everyone was here for the same reason tends to unite us. Everyone was in good spirits and there was a real sense of fun and camaraderie. The show floor was filled with vendors, artists, cosplayers and celebrity guests.

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Voice Actors Alan Oppenheimer (Skeletor, Cringer, Mer-Man) and Melendy Brit (She-Ra)

Fans of the original Master of the Universe cartoon and She-Ra animated series were in for a real treat. Alan Oppenheimer, the voice of Skeletor, and Melendy Britt, who provided the voice for She-Ra, were appearing in person all weekend! The pair delighted fans as they signed autographs and posed for pictures. Alan Oppenheimer continually would break into Skeletor's voice for anyone who asked. To see him do the Skeletor voice in person was truly incredible. For me, that alone was worth the price of admission! Melendy Brit was as gracious as she is charming. It's easy to see why this elegant lady was chosen to be the voice of the most powerful woman in the universe.

There was a vast and diverse range of items for sale at the show. This included everything from toys, cosplay props, original artwork and so much more. There was a little something for everyone, from the smallest budget to the big ticket collector. However there was one item that instantly stood out to me above all else. One booth had drawings of MOTU characters based on the 1987 film. These drawings actually came from Mattel, and included notes from the company about doing a line of toys based on the film. To think that if the movie had only been more successful we'd have had a figure of Skeletor in his golden armor! Oh, if only! The sketches were way out of my price range but just seeing these and knowing they exist was a treat.

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Original Skeletor concept art from the 1987 Masters of the Universe movie.

Now let's talk about all the cool exclusive merchandise! After all, what's a convention without being able to bring home something extra special? For starters there were three MOTU Classics figures available for pre-order prior to the show. There was a limited amount still available on site. These included Camo Khan and Red Minicomic Beast Man for $50 each and Green Minicomic Granamyr for $110. These three are gorgeous must-haves for any Classics collector.

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Not to be outdone, Super7 came to the show with a number of great products. First up they had an incredible green vinyl prototype Beastman figure for $65. The figure came in a snazzy deluxe window box style packaging. A small amount of these figures was reserved for sale on their official site. You can check them out here. (Link)

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Also, the company continued their line of MOTU MUSCLE figures with a new a "trashcan" package featuring an assortment of the wave 1 figures molded in green translucent plastic. The trashcan is an homage to the classic M.U.S.C.L.E. figures which inspired this line, which were also sold in a similar package. The outside of the product was decorated in a unique green slime motiff that should be familiar to any fan of the classic MOTU toy line. This particular variant was exclusive to the show, however we may see the trashcan packaging return in a new style sometime in the future.

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The show had a full schedule of panels which ran all weekend. There was so much good stuff it's hard to know where to begin. I sat in on the panel 'Design of the MOTU' devoted to Four Horsemen Studios (http://www.sourcehorsemen.com/) and listened to the guys talk about how they first approached Mattel with their concepts for redesigning the MOTU line. Because of them, we now have the highly collectible Classic line for the hardcore adult collector.

The Voices of Eternia and Etheria panel featured the legendary Alan Oppenheimer as well as Melendy Britt, Brian Dobson and Gabe Khouth. They told tales about how they secured their place in MOTU history by creating such distinct voices. During the Q&A, someone asked Alan how he came up with the nasal intonation for Skeletor and he simply said that when he saw the drawings, he figured someone with no nose would probably sound nasal as air would be rushing through the socket in his face. Naturally, he delighted us with a brief conversation between Skeletor, Mer-man and Cringer.

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The incredible SDCC 2016 Exclusive She-Ra Action Figure

At the appropriately named Mattel Power Panel, Garrett and Darren Sander gave us a first look at this year's San Diego Comic Con exclusive 11” She-Ra action figure. The detail and features on this figure are incredible, right down to the packaging. Fully articulated with tons of accessories, She-Ra comes with three different outfits, a mini comic and best of all at $75, is quite affordable. “We wanted to make an affordable Hot Toy” was their mantra and I think they have most definitely succeeded. Also, She-Ra will not be available at the convention but rather at the Super7 pop up shop in the Gaslamp District outside the con. You won't need a Comic Con badge to get one, just be in San Diego during the con.

Other highlights of the panel were the first ever look at the never produced Star Sisters line of figures from the 80's She-Ra toy line. From concept drawings to packaging right down to the original prototypes that were found in the Mattel vault, these were an amazing find, displayed at their booth all weekend. The fact that they were perfectly preserved after 30 years was quite impressive.

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The amazing Skeletoken was distributed exclusively at Comic-Con 2015. Will it retun in 2016?

The highlight panel for me was the “Super7 Super Awesome Panel,” appropriately named as I got to hear some of the best news all weekend. Josh Herbolsheimer of Super7 had lots of exciting news to share. First of all, there will be a second wave of the MOTU ReAction figures with Trap Jaw, Sorceress, Man-At-Arms and Triclops. We saw a photo of the sculpts and were told that Sorceress will have a vinyl cape. Hopefully, we'll see the full color versions at Comic Con. There will also be the return of Skeletor's Lair event outside the Con with a bunch of new merchandise. I asked if there will be a second Skeletoken to which he replied 'perhaps' with a grin. Expect to see a second wave of the MOTU-MUSCLE figures as well. Although the Green Slime trash can MUSCLE figures and packaging was exclusive to Power-Con, I was told there are plans to continue the trash can motif but with a clear can, evoking the vintage style. The glass tumblers that Super7 has produced in the past will continue as well. I can't wait for the reveals at Comic Con!

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Artists Richard Garcia (left) and Lamont Hunt (right) showing of their amazing work.

I always make it a point to check out the artists. Discovering original artwork is one of the best reasons to visit any convention. Of particular note, I loved Lamont Hunt's kid She-Ra vs. kid Hordak print. He had a wide variety of artwork, spanning several brands including Spiderman and Star Wars. I also loved Richard Garcia's She-Ra print. Yeah, this pretty much became She-Ra Con for me!

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Freddie Nova (left) and Evilyn13 (right) showing cosplayers how it's done.

What's a convention without cosplayers? I'd like to give a shout out to Evilyn13 and Freddie Nova, a couple of pro cosplayers who were the epitome of professionalism. They were warm and friendly to all and posed for tons of pictures. Also, I saw a couple of kids dressed up, primarily as She-Ra or the Sorceress. It really warms my heart that even though MOTU is way older than these kids, they are discovering the simple joy it brings. Parenting done right!

I had such a wonderful time at the show this year. It's my honest wish that Power-Con becomes a yearly event. There is clearly enough interest to bring this amazing show back every single year. The fans loved it and so did I. My sincere thanks go out to everyone who worked so hard to bring this great convention together. I'll be counting the days until the next show.

About the Author: Abel S. Pinedo has worked in the entertainment industry for over a decade. He's also an annual visitor to such conventions as WonderCon, San Diego Comic Con, Wizard World and More. When he's not touring the convention circuit he can usually be found at his keyboard telling the World about his adventures.