A lot of people think that for a toy-driven cartoon such as Masters of the Universe that when a character debuts on the show, they either have or will have an action figure to sell to the kiddies. This was not always the case for MOTU. Quite a number of prominent/recurring characters NEVER received figures. But perhaps, the strangest case of all is Lizard Man.
Depending on who you talk to, there may be one Lizard Man or two, but there’s no denying there were two man-like lizard creatures on the show and that they both were members of the “Heroic Warriors”. The first lizard is referred to as “Lizard Man” and he made two appearances during Season One. During Season Two, another lizard creature had a brief cameo. He was brown instead of Lizard Man’s green and was not referred to by name.
So was this second brown lizard some new Lizard Man? Did Mattel and Filmation pull a “Darrin” on us? If so, why? And why is it that neither character received a figure or a more featured role in the show?
I pulled some strings and was able to get in touch with the original Lizard Man and his apparent replacement to get to the bottom of this story. In their own words, here’s how it all went down…
Lizard Man I
Description: Heroic Leaping Warrior
Episodes Appeared In: “She-Demon of Phantos”, “Songs of Celice”
Abilities: All the speed and agility that comes natural to a lizard
Weapons & Accessories of Choice: None
“My heart really wasn’t in it. Look how foolish I was… Ah, youth. I was a bit lost in life at that time, but then I read “Fly Soup for the Soul” and it really encouraged me to do what *I* wanted to do with my life. Not what He-Man or Man-At-Arms or that bitch Teela wanted. Actually… to be honest, it was a “mutual” agreement between myself, Mattel and Filmation that I leave the show. I just could not get along with Teela. She and He-Man were hooking up, so yep, it’s the little green guy that had to go. God, how I hated her. She was always so bossy and snooty, a real pain in the ol’ regenerative tail. Talk about permanent PMS. I swear if they ever ask me to do a reunion I’ll say ‘no’.
Anyway, they replaced me. Like people wouldn’t notice. I mean, c’mon… Who wouldn’t notice? I’m green, the new guy was brown. That’s like casting Billy Dee Williams as Harvey Dent and then following up with Tommy Lee Jones. Sure, this “Lizard Man II”, as the kids call him, was technically a “lizard man”, but I was the original, ya know? Be creative. Call him “Salamandor” or something.
He was a bust anyway. What did he ever do? He just wanted to sit in the library all day long and read. They didn’t give me a toy, but at least they didn’t give him one either. Speaking of which, where is my $%^@ing toy? Man-E-Faces got a toy but I was in just as many episodes as he was! Where’s my Masters of the Universe Classics toy? Where was my commemorative edition? When are these Four Horsemen jerks gonna make a statue outta ME?! I really got screwed out of merchandising rights and it wasn’t until years later that Fisto told me that producers felt that Whiplash was the “ideal” Lizard Man of the show.
But I digress… These days, I just spend my time down by the rivers and lakes in the Evergreen Forest. Swimmin’, fly catchin’, that’s the life for me. I run into Moss Man every now and then when I realize I’m actually laying on him. I still dabble in Hollywood a bit. My cousin does commercials for Geico, I’m trying to see if he can get me a co-starring role.”
Lizard Man II
Description: Heroic Scholar
Episodes Appeared In: “The Rarest Gift of All”
Abilities: All the speed and agility that comes natural to a lizard (assumed)
Weapons & Accessories of Choice: Reading glasses, diaper and a good book
“Pity that old chap still harbors ill feelings. How many Michaels, Lisas and Josephs are there in the world? Can there not be two lizard men going by the name of Lizard Man? So yes, I was the new Lizard Man even though I was not addressed as such on the show.
When I was initially contacted for the show, I was told the previous “Lizard Man” was not a team player and that if I kept my mouth shut, I would be featured heavily throughout the second season and a Lizard Man figure would be produced based on me. Of course, none of this happened. For my brief cameo, I was told they were “testing the waters” to see how audiences would react to a new Lizard Man.
In truth, I actually have much in common with my predecessor. I did not care much for the brutish nature of He-Man or the rest of his intellectually-stunted band of misfits either. And Teela was, indeed, a bitch. I am fairly certain she has it in for lizards.
Lord knows, I tried to educate them all, but getting He-Man to lay down his Power Sword is like getting Orko to cast a spell correctly. A nearly impossible and improbable task. It was obvious I offended someone in a position of power because I was quickly shown the door not too long after the filming of that first episode wrapped. So I left it all behind me and moved to the burgeoning city of Drisdos, where I am now a tenured literature professor at the Drisdos University.
I can confirm that Whiplash was basically “Lizard Man III”. The producers were deadset on using a lizard on the show in one form or another.”