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Meet The Rutgers Professor Who Created The Sun-Man Action Figure Picked Up By Mattel

Meet The Rutgers Professor Who Created The Sun-Man Action Figure Picked Up By Mattel

Her son inspired her!

Meet the Rutgers professor who created the Sun-Man action figure recently picked up by Mattel, Black Enterprise reports. 

Yla Eason is an assistant professor of professional practice at Rutgers University and the creator of Sun-Man, a Black superhero character she created in 1985 as a role model for her son. 

“My son said he couldn’t be a superhero because he was Black. He was 3,” Eason recalled. 

She created her own company, Olmec Toys, creating an action figure for Sun-Man and other toys catering to Black, Hispanic, and Native American children. 

“The intention was to give positive Black presentation in imagination and creativity,” Eason explained.

Photo Courtesy of Sun Man/Twitter

Recently Mattel announced the relaunching of He-Man, a superhero introduced almost four decades ago. With the expansion of the Masters of the Universe’s lineup, Mattel has also announced that He-Man will have a new sidekick, a Black one - Sun-Man. 

Ed Dunan, senior VP at Mattel responsible for overseeing Sun-Man’s introduction into the Universe, spoke about the significance of acquiring Sun-Man. 

“Reintroducing a Black hero for today’s kids not only feels good, it feels important. Sun-Man is such an aspirational character, from his aesthetic design to his character traits and powers,” said Dunan. 

Sun-Man was one of the first Black action figures and a culture changing character for Black children and comic book aficionados. One of the most unique things about Sun-Man was his ability to use his identity as his greatest superpower. 

Mattel has also partnered with Netflix to create two new animated series that will accompany the two new toy lines already available in stores. The new “Masters of the Universe: Revelation” and “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe” series also feature a reimagined cast of characters that are now Black.  

“Children need to see themselves represented in the world around them. The TV screen is a window and also a mirror,” said Rob David, VP of creative content for Mattel Television. 

You can follow the adventures of Sun-Man on Instagram.

Photo Courtesy of Bryan Anselm/The New York Times