Meet Graphic Artist and Designer Joe Amaro.
This Caballero Solitario from El Paso is not one of the Four Horsemen, but he is an unsung hero when it comes to the Masters of the Universe Classics line and he has been one of Four Horsemen Toy Design’s key collaborators when it comes to creating playsets and vehicles.
Mr. Amaro collaborated with Artist Nate Baertsch and the Four Horsemen’s Sculptor Eric Treadaway to help design the (yet unreleased) Snake Mountain and Roton, and other vehicles that have been released like The Battle Ram, The Wind Raider, Night Stalker, The Talon Fighter and the Hover Robots. He was also part of a team effort to help the Four Horsemen create and produce the Modern Castle Grayskull for the Masters of the Universe Classics line. I had the great pleasure of interviewing Mr Amaro on video about his role in Master’s History and asking him about the possibility of getting Power Lords and ThunderCats playsets and vehicles like the ones he helped create for Masters of the Universe Classics.
In Powerlordsreturn.com’s exclusive video interview with this amazingly talented artist, he speaks publicly about his role working with the Horsemen on Masters of The Universe and more.
MOTUC VEHICLES VIDEO INTERVIEW ————————–
In this video (11 min, 30 sec.) Joe Amaro discusses working on Battle Ram, The Wind Raider, The Talon Fighter, Night Stalker, Stridor and The Hover Robots with the Four Horsemen and Artist Nate Baertsch.
MOTUC GRAYSKULL VIDEO INTERVIEW ————————–
In this video (1 min 27 sec) Joe Amaro discusses contributing to the Four Horsemen’s work on Castle Grayskull.
MOTUC SNAKE MOUNTAIN VIDEO INTERVIEW PART ONE————————–
In Snake Mountain Part One (3 min 59 sec) Joe Amaro discusses helping the Four Horsemen and Nate Baertsch work on Snake Mountain and shows us his original hand-sculpted version, which was later digitally scanned.
MOTUC SNAKE MOUNTAIN VIDEO INTERVIEW PART TWO————————–
In Snake Mountain Part Two (2 min 6 sec) Joe Amaro shows how the Four Horsemen’s Eric Treadaway sculpted over the printed copy and how he worked with the Four Horsemen and Artist Nate Baertsch to revise the digital version.
MOTUC SNAKE MOUNTAIN VIDEO INTERVIEW PART THREE————————–
In Snake Mountain Part Three (2 min 34 sec) Joe Amaro discusses shrinking Snake Mountain from 42 inches to 38 inches after San Diego Comic Con and now that Mattel has turned over the line to Super 7, Super 7’s efforts to cost Snake Mountain out with the factory. Possible Kickstarter?
MOTUC ROTON VEHICLE (UNRELEASED) VIDEO INTERVIEW————————–
In this video (2 min 19 sec) Joe Amaro discusses helping the Four Horsemen and Nate Baertsch work on Roton.
JOE AMARO’S TOY ROOM & CUSTOM ACTION FIGURES VIDEO————————–
In this video (6 minutes, 36 sec) Joe Amaro takes us on a tour of his toy room and shows us his full-sized Twiki the robot from the Buck Rodgers TV Show, his incredible Mythic Legions Draconian Knight and Dragon custom, his TigerSharks and ThunderCats Customs and weapons, Mago The Award-Winning Moglin Dark Crystal Character Design and Custom, his amazing Custom Mumm-Ra, his custom Jabba The Hutt and Salacious Crumb, Black Hole and Droid customs, his HUGE Ram Man custom and more…
WRITTEN INTERVIEW WITH JOE AMARO ————————–
(The photos below show some of the customs and projects Joe Amaro has worked on over the years including: The Icon Heroes He-Man paperweight, the Cosplay Penguin for Blind Mouse Toys, Joe’s ThunderCats custom ideas, Joe’s Mumm-Ra custom, Joe’s TigerSharks customs and some Icon Heroes Batman and Superman Bookends.)
PLR.com: Who are you and what do you do for a living?
My name is Joe Amaro. I have been a graphic designer for 20yrs and have been working in the toy industry for 15yrs.
PLR.com: What led you to Working with the Four Horsemen?
I tried for years to work with the 4H. As soon as I met them I started sending them samples of my work in hopes that one day I could work with them.
Finally in 2006, they asked me to help them on a project. (I think I wore them down) I have been working with them since then on all sorts of projects.
PLR.com: Is there a particular project you are most proud of?
The Battle Ram, just because it was my first official MOTU project.
PLR.com: Is there a dream project you’d like to work on?
I would LOVE to work on the Thundertank for the ThunderCat classics line! (fingers crossed it continues)
PLR.com: You were a big part of helping the Four Horsemen bring vehicles, robotic characters and playsets to the Masters of the universe Classics, do you think there’s a chance you might be able to help bring us some Power Lord vehicles in the future?
I would love to! It is such a team effort and I love working with the guys and gal.
What do you like best about Power Lords?
The weirdness of the line. As a kid they kinda freaked me out, because they were so odd and strange. They really made an impact on me as a designer.
PLR.com: What is your favorite Power Lords Character?
As a kid I only had Adam Power, so I have to say him.
PLR.com: What are your favorite Power Lords vehicles?
The Power Transporter. I really wanted that carry case vehicle when I saw it, but it was never produced.
PLR.com: If you had the chance to help design some techno-organic steeds, or Volcan Rock are there any particular touches you’d like to add to the originals?
I would love to see Wayne Barlowe’s original design. Most of the time, especially in the 80’s, what the designer intended was not what was made. They did not have the control they have now.
So I would love to go back and see what he originally envisioned so that we could make that. While of course adding more articulation and detail.
PLR.com: I think a playset like Volcan Rock that looks sort of like an iconic hidden high-tech mountain base has great promise and could work with multiple lines, if you had a chance to work on something like that, what would you like to make it look like?
Again, I would love to see what Wayne Barlowe’s original design was. Maybe add some of the features from the comics. Kinda like we did for Snake Mountain. Where we took the best parts from several different sources to make one ultimate iconic representation.
PLR.com: What about an Aztec Pyramid-like Volcan Rock?
That could be awesome! I would love toys that played off the Ancient Astronaut theory.
Side note…I would definitely love that for Mythic Legions. Aztec Skeleton Warriors would be amazing!!!
PLR.com: Any other old properties you’d like to bring back and /or work on?
I would love to work on M.A.S.K. I really love that play pattern. Plus I like what they are doing in the current comic.
PLR.com: I hear you’re a big Thundercats fan?
I am… I am even making my own characters. But my whole family is!!! My sister’s avatar name is Thundercatmom.
One of my fondest memories as a kid was when my dad bought me the Sword of Omens. I remember going outside and all the neighborhood kids came over and we had a huge ThunderCat play session!
PLR.com: Thundercats lair? Thunder Tank?
Yes please! That would be a dream. As soon the guys started working on ThunderCats, Nate and I started working on a ThunderTank… nothing official, just on our own. Haha