|Left to Right: Galaxy Warrior Triton, He-Man from Masters of the Universe.|
|Frazetta's famous painting of Conan titled, Barbarian.|
|Frazetta's painting, Disagreement.|
The first Frazetta image can be found on the Galaxy Warriors logo. This dramatically posed barbarian was taken from the 1966 Frazetta painting Against the Gods (Above left). This painting was the cover to the 1967 novel Thongor Against the Gods, written by Linn Carter. [Painting information courtesy of ICON: A Retrospective by Frank Frazetta, edited by Cathy and Arnie Fenner, 2003]
The cropped form used for the Galaxy Warriors logo has been given an axe instead of a sword. Minor differences in how shadows highlight the figure make me believe that the logo image was not a direct photocopy of the Frazetta image, but it was instead a "knockoff" painting done to copy Frazetta's work as closely as possible. Whether it was a touched-up photocopy or a "new" painting, it is undeniable that the Galaxy Warrior logo comes from this Frazetta painting.
The next example of Frazetta art comes from Frazetta's 1971 masterpiece The Destroyer (Above). This painting is one of Frazetta's famous Conan covers, and it was first used as the cover to Conan the Buccaneer published by Lancer Books in 1971. [Painting information courtesy of ICON: A Retrospective by Frank Frazetta, edited by Cathy and Arnie Fenner, 2003]
The image above is a closeup of Frazetta's Conan as he hacks through a pile of enemies. Below is the Galaxy Warriors image found on the front of the Beast of Ferror box that the Galaxy Warrior beasts came packaged in.
For the Galaxy Warriors version of Frazetta's Conan, an artist has removed the barbarian's long hair, given him a new helmet, and changed the axe he wields. His enemies have also been replaced with a large rat. However, these changes cannot hide the original source of this image. I will return to The Destroyer later, as it contains more GW design influences that are less obvious at first glance.
For now there is another element from the above image that needs to be analysed, and that is the T-Rex on the right side of the image. This T-Rex comes from Frazetta's 1969 painting Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Below is detail of Frazetta's T-Rex, followed once again by the Galaxy Warriors image found on the GW beasts boxes.
For the Galaxy Warriors box the T-Rex is most likely a repainted copy. The GW T-Rex is at a slightly different angle and has red eyes. Frazetta's Tyrannosaurus Rex painting was also used as the design influence for the Dinosaur (below) in the GW toy-line.
The Dinosaur figure is in the same pose as the dinosaur in the painting; left leg forward, mouth slightly open, hands with three fingers.
Blister card art:
The blister card that individual figures came in also includes Frazetta "inspired" art (below).
|Galaxy Warrior on blister card.|
|Blister card image detail.|
The first intriguing possibility is the design for Huk (pictured below). There are two Frazetta paintings that can reasonably account for the design of this bearded barbarian. Both are shown below.
Although we can be nearly certain that Huk was based on the figure in Snow Giants, one other Frazetta painting also provides a very Huk-like figure, minus the helmet. The painting below is called Bloodstone.
A close-up (below) of this figure helps us to see the connection to Huk's visage. This painting may have another connection to the Galaxy Warriors, and I will discuss it again later in this essay.
Moving past Huk, we will now look at what may have been an influence for the creation of the figure Spikes (below).
The design of Spikes is very interesting because he is wearing a Greek-style helmet, making him a very classical gladiator-type character while the rest of the line can be seen as fantasy barbarians and half-human creatures. I believe the influence for Spikes's design comes from the Frazetta painting, Atlantis (below).
|Detail of figure from Frazetta's Atlantis, possibly the inspiration behind Spikes.|
|The Galaxy Warrior called Spikes.|
The design of the weapons and shields carried by the Galaxy Warriors also comes from Frazetta paintings.
We will begin by looking at the two axes. First up is the Execution style axe that was made famous in Frazetta's Death Dealer (below).
|Frazetta's Death Dealer.|
|The Galaxy Warriors' "Death Dealer" axe.|
The second Galaxy Warrior axe can be found most notably in Frazetta's Apparition (below).
|long sword detail from Bloodstone.|
|Galaxy Warriors long sword.|
|Death Dealer IV.|
|Detail of Galaxy Warrior Horse with its red eyes.|
|Galaxy Warrior Tiger.|
Once again we should note that MOTU did not include a Mammoth in its toy-line, so Galaxy Warriors could not have been simply copying Mattel's idea.
It is a fact that artwork for the Galaxy Warriors was taken from paintings by Frank Frazetta. And since Sungold obviously had its hands on images of Frazetta paintings, it is reasonable to assume that they may have used these paintings for ideas on weapons and even character designs. The fact that some of the toy designs do mirror characters and elements from Frazetta paintings indicates that Sungold did indeed consciously use, without permission, Frazetta's art for inspiration.