‘He-Man’ artist and toy designer T. Mark Taylor dies at 80

News

This 2018 photo provided by Rebecca Taylor shows artist and toy designer Mark Taylor at his home in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. Taylor, artist and toy designer for the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe franchise as well as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, died Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021, at his Southern California home. He was 80. (Rebecca Taylor via AP)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — T. Mark Taylor, artist and toy designer for the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe franchise as well as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, died Thursday at his Southern California home. He was 80.

The cause was congestive heart failure, Taylor’s family said in an email to The Associated Press on Saturday.

He-man was the muscled frontman for toy manufacturer Mattel’s Masters of the Universe franchise, which would later spawn an animated series that became a staple for children. Kids squeezed in homework between scenes featuring the strapping cartoon hero as he battled sorcerers and other villains.

He-Man might have been known as a hulking superhero warrior but also became an icon within the LGBTQ community, who saw parallels in the secret life of Prince Adam, He-Man’s alter ego.

As in the case of many creative endeavors, many hands shaped the franchise. Taylor has said the prototypes date back to his own childhood as he fantasized about being “the next hero.” He said he based the concept of He-Man on his vision of Cro-Magnon men, as well as Vikings.

Mattel sold more than 70 million action figures from its Masters of the Universe collection within 30 months after it hit stores nearly 40 years ago, according to The New York Times.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories