The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is an annual tradition for thousands who tune in to see the famous character balloons, colorful floats, and celebrities. The parade often incorporates whatever is hot in pop culture each year and back in the 1980s, fans were thrilled by floats featuring the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe/She-Ra: Princess of Power and the Marvel Superheroes.
First, in 1985, an elaborate float was created by Mattel to promote its popular ‘Masters of the Universe’ and ‘Princess of Power’ toy lines. The front of the float was a recreation of Castle Grayskull, while the rear was the Crystal Castle. A giant serpent towered in between.
Below you can find concept art for the float:
This was one of the most technically advanced floats to ever appear in the Macy’s parade.
Riding on the float were He-Man and She-Ra, their allies Angella, Buzz-Off, Castaspella, Frosta, Glimmer, Man-at-Arms, Moss Man, Orko, and Teela, and villains like Hordak, Skeletor, Beast Man, Catra, and Grizzlor. Interestingly, even though the float was presumably meant to promote the toys, the ‘She-Ra’ characters are actually based on the way the characters looked on the cartoon, for instance, Castaspella’s outfit is blue and yellow, not orange and yellow.
Check it out in action below:
It appears that the ‘Masters of the Universe’ and ‘Princess of Power’ float was only featured for two years, which seems a bit of a waste, considering how ornate it was, but the toys were on the decline by that point.
It was sort of replaced in 1987 by the Marvel Universe float, although it was not as elaborate. Emulating the New York skyline, the float features Doctor Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum. Interestingly, Captain America is the star of this production, not Spider-Man. They are joined by Daredevil, Doctor Strange, Iron Man, Luke Cage (Power Man), The Silver Surfer, and Wolverine. The heroes battle The Hulk, who is treated as a villain here, Doctor Doom, the Enchantress, Green Goblin, Magneto, and the White Queen (Emma Frost).
And no your eyes aren’t deceiving you… that’s Robocop! What is he doing there? Well, at this point, Marvel had licensed Robocop and produced a comic book and a cartoon series starring the character.
The Marvel float returned in 1989. Despite what the host says, Wonder Woman wasn’t among them. This time, rather than just running around, the float was set to a musical performance, “Holding Out For A Hero” sung by Melba Moore.
Robocop didn’t return, but it looks as though most of the same characters reappeared on this float.
The Marvel float in 1987 was accompanied by the introduction of the Spider-Man balloon, which I believe is still featured.
In 2011, the cast of the ill-fated Broadway production, ‘Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark‘ performed as part of the show. The Power Rangers have also been featured as part of the parade in various years, and in 2014, a Red Ranger balloon was added to the lineup.
Do you have any fond memories from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade?