Heroic Vehicles

Battle Ram prototype

Battle Ram Prototype Graphic 2

In this post I’d like to take a closer look at the Battle Ram prototype. For a more exhaustive treatment of this vehicle, see the toy feature.

Designed by Ted Mayer and sculpted by Jim Openshaw, the Battle Ram prototype was in some ways more impressive than the final toy.

Here is the prototype Battle Ram, from various angles (also shown is the prototype helmeted He-Man figure):

Images 1, 4 and 5 are courtesy of Ted Mayer; images 2 and 3 were retrieved from He-Man.org.

The overall profile is very similar to the final toy, but when you look closely, there are many subtle differences. I’ll go over each photo of the prototype and compare it with a similar photo of the final toy, noting some of the differences in each:

BR Proto 1 edit
Prototype angle 1
BR 1
Toy angle 1
BR Proto 2 edit
Prototype angle 2
BR 2
Toy angle 2
BR Proto 3 edit
Prototype angle 3
BR 3
Toy angle 3
BR Proto 4 Edit
Prototype angle 4
BR 4
Toy angle 4
BR Proto 5 Edit
Prototype angle 5
BR 5
Toy angle 5

Notice in the fifth prototype image, the front half of the Battle Ram seems to have a greenish tint (in most images it looks grayish-blue). Perhaps the paint took on that tonality depending upon the lighting. That might explain the greenish coloration of Rudy Obrero‘s illustration for the Battle Ram packaging. On the other hand, his color choice may have been determined by the lighting in his landscape.

Speaking of which, Rudy’s illustration is also based on the prototype Battle Ram, although it features the reptilian sticker on the front section from the final toy, as well as a modified missile:

Artwork comparison 1Artwork comparison 2

 

As you can see, his illustration is quite faithful to the source material, although he did elongate the front half of the vehicle. He also gave it a jet engine nozzle at the rear, visible when in flight mode:

battle-ram-high-resolution1

Alfredo Alcala’s Battle Ram cross sell art is also based on the prototype vehicle:

Artwork comparison 3

The prototype also shows up in the 1981 “Fast Male Action for Licensees” kit:

Licence Kit BRLicence kit groupLicence kit origins

It was also featured in issue 90 of Tomart’s Action Figure Digest:

IMG_2136

The prototype was very likely based on this control drawing dated May 28, 1981, drawn by Ted Mayer. It matches up almost perfectly with the prototype Battle Ram.

Battle ram control drwg
“Catapult Vehicle” – image courtesy of Ted Mayer
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