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The Robot’s Voice: 10 Things We Learned From the Designer of He-Man

An interview with toy designer Mark Taylor about the iconic He-Man action figures he created.

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The Robot’s Voice: 10 Secrets From the Directors of “Toy Masters”

Let’s face it: the first time you or I tore open the package of a Battle Armor He-Man action figure, we weren’t wondering who designed it. We were too busy thinking: “This is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen!” But someone out there deserves the credit, and at least two former Mattel employees are claiming it for themselves. At the West Coast premiere of the documentary “Toy Masters,” I spoke with Landis and Lay about He-Man’s controversial origin story.

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The Robot’s Voice: 12 Revelations From the Makers of Starchaser: The Legend of Orin in 3D

Ask most science-fiction fans to list their favorite genre movies of 1985 and they’ll name Back to the Future, Brazil, Cocoon and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. Ask me and you’ll hear the same list, plus one extra title… Starchaser: The Legend of Orin. I spoke with the film’s director/producer, Steven Hahn, and its screenwriter, Jeffrey Scott, about the challenges of bringing this groundbreaking 3D adventure to movie screens.

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The Robot’s Voice: 10 Secrets From the Cast & Crew of the ’80s Rambo Cartoon

His name was Rambo, and he was just some nothing kid for all anybody knew…

So begins David Morrell’s harrowing novel “First Blood,” which I read in one white-knuckle sitting more than three decades ago. Back then, a film adaptation was still a ways off, but the cinematic quality of the writing made a movie version inevitable. The idea that such a brutal book could inspire a children’s cartoon, however, was completely absurd. Which makes the 1986 animated series “Rambo: The Force of Freedom” one of the most unlikely kids shows ever broadcast. Since this month marks the 30th anniversary of the blockbuster movie “Rambo: First Blood Part II,” I spoke with the cartoon’s cast and crew, including Rambo voice actor Neil Ross, head writer/story editor Mike Chain and writer/assistant story editor Jack Bornoff, about the challenges and rewards of bringing Morrell’s iconic character to the small screen.

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The Robot’s Voice: 10 Revelations From the ‘He-Man’ Soundtrack Producers

Like many who spent time on Eternia in the ’80s, what I remember most about the original “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe” cartoon is its insanely catchy theme song. That deceptively simple title track not only stirred our emotions with its sweeping melody, but managed to repeat the main character’s name 10 times in under a minute and a half. No wonder it’s so iconic! And yet as memorable as it was, the rest of the show’s music has largely been forgotten… until now. Making its long awaited debut, La-La-Land Records presents a deluxe 2-CD set of the “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe” soundtrack, featuring over 90 minutes of previously unreleased music. I talked with John Takis and Neil S. Bulk, the album’s Producers, about the series’ signature sound and what it took to bring this meticulously restored television score to life.

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The Robot’s Voice: 10 Things We Learned From ‘Transformers’ 1986 Cast & Crew

It’s hard to exaggerate the impact that The Transformers: The Movie had on those of us who saw it in the summer of ’86. Back then, all I expected was a snazzier version of the TV series. Instead, the film played like a trippy collaboration between Ralph Bakshi and Sam Peckinpah. With its slaughter of everyone’s favorite characters shown in a more elaborate fashion than we had any reason to expect, “more than meets the eye” didn’t quite cover it. At a recent tribute screening presented by the American Cinematheque and Dammaged Goods, I spoke with the movie’s story consultant Flint Dille, voice director Wally Burr and voice actors Neil Ross and Michael Bell about its enduring legacy.

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