The recent “Lords of Power” series of slides shared by Andy Youssi has created quite a buzz in the fan community. One of the most interesting part of that series is a previously unknown Beast Man prototype.
This prototype Beast Man’s design should actually look very familiar to those who’ve seen one of the red gorilla designs that’s been floating around the fan community for years. This one was illustrated/designed by Mark Taylor.
The design is based around the old Big Jim gorilla figure (which was in scale with 12-inch figures) with added armor and different coloring. However, the Beast Man prototype is much smaller, even shorter than He-Man and Skeletor, who would have been about 5.5″ tall.
I’ve done a quick and dirty recolor of Mark’s original image to match the color scheme of the prototype. This makes it even clearer how closely based it was on Mark’s illustration:
The recolored look also makes the design evolution of Beast Man all the more clear. In the final Mark Taylor design, the star on Beast Man’s belt is moved up onto Beast Man’s chest armor. The spikes are reduced in size, and the armor is given a fur covering. His spiked wrist gauntlets are moved up to his biceps and are simplified in shape. In fact, the revised arm guards resemble somewhat the shape of the original shoulder armor.
The general color scheme remains the same between the two designs, but the mustard color moves to Beast Man’s belt only. I would guess these changes were done to reduce the parts count and save costs on paint and colored plastic.
Here is a video showing one design morphing into the next, to help illustrate these changes:
And here is Mark Taylor’s final B-Sheet design:
And here is how these changes came together in the final Beast Man prototype: