- T. Mark Taylor, a toy designer and an artist, died on Thursday at his home in Southern California. He was 80 years old at the time.
T. Mark Taylor, an artist and also a toy designer for the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe franchises and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, passed away on Thursday at his home in Southern California. He was 80 years old.
In an email to The Associated Press on Saturday, Taylor’s family stated that the cause was congestive heart failure.
He-man was the muscular frontman for Mattel’s Masters of the Universe franchise, which later spawned an animated series that became a children’s staple. Kids squeezed in homework between scenes of the strapping cartoon hero battling sorcerers and other villains.
He-Man was the epitome of a hulking superhero warrior, but he also became a symbol for the LGBTQ community, who saw parallels in He-alter Man’s ego, Prince Adam.
The franchise was shaped by many hands, as with many creative endeavors. The prototypes, according to Taylor, dating back to his childhood fantasies of being “the next hero.” He-Man was inspired by his vision of Cro-Magnon men and Vikings, he said.
According to The New York Times, during the first 2.5 years of the brand, Mattel sold more than 70 million action figures from its Masters of the Universe collection, which debuted in 1982.
According to his family, Taylor began his career as a packaging designer with Mattel in El Segundo in 1976.
A request for comment from Mattel was not returned on Saturday.
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise spawned a long-running animated series, live-action films, and cowabunga catchphrase.
While Taylor didn’t create any of the characters, his work as a designer helped turn them into iconic childhood images for many people worldwide, with action figures and costumes flying off store shelves.
According to California voter registration records, Terrell Mark Taylor (also known as Mark) was born on June 5, 1941. His 50 years old wife, designer Rebecca Salari-Taylor of Ranchos Palos Verdes, survives him.
“As I held him in my arms for one final loving kiss, I felt him say goodbye to this world,” Salari-Taylor wrote on Facebook.
“If you can draw well, everything will be okay,” Taylor’s father-in-law, Tony Salari, told the artist, according to Taylor’s family.
According to his family, Taylor worked as a teen in Redondo Beach in the early 1950s on pinstriping commissions for “hot rod” cars. He went on to the ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena after that.
According to his family, Taylor went on to work for the United States Department of Defense in Pasadena, where he helped with submarine projects, biological and technical sonar technology, and seafloor mapping.
Documentaries such as “Power of Grayskull” and “The Toys That Made Us” featured Taylor’s toy work.
“If I were to do a hero for today, it would be a female hero,” Taylor said at a He-Man festival in 2015. “It’s the time, and the heroes of our time are women… Us men had our day.”
Source: CTV News
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