I’ve already written a listicle about my favorite G1 Transformers toys, some that I had in my collection and a few I didn’t. Another franchise and fandom that I was berserk for in the 80’s was Masters of the Universe. Comic books, those illustrated Golden books, records, the TV show, even that Dolph Lundgren film as bad as it was…well maybe I wasn’t that berserk, even as a kid I had the sense to recognize a bad movie when I saw one. Either way give me all the He-Man and Masters of the Universe in the fucking room!
Naturally, the toys must be included. And while there are going to be a lot of amazing and badass entries left off this list, today on PopLurker, we’re going to look at ten of my favorite Masters of the Universe toys. These gems are ones from my collection growing up that most definitely…
Have the power.
10) Castle Grayskull
We’ll begin this list with the no to the duh of badass MOTU toys, the Castle Grayskull set!
What kid of the eighties didn’t want this hulking, overly expensive piece of fantasy fueled awesomeness?! Boring kids who needed to get their priorities in order, would be my guess.
As I get older, my memory gets a little hazy about certain things, one of which was whether I had a knock-off version of Castle Grayskull. I’m almost positive that I did, however if it was a knock-off it was damn close to the real deal, and I made that trap door swing more than a 1970’s couple at a disco.
What would He-Man look like if he were an extraterrestrial cyborg?
The fine folks at Mattel were known to take a few liberties with their toy line, when they obviously took a He-Man mold made him yellow and blue with some rings around his legs, wrists and head. You can’t blame them, as the Toys That Made Us informed us, there was profit to be made and little time to make it.
Sy-Klone was cool though. I’ve always dug space travel and sci-fi and I thought his “cyclonic” spin move and overall aesthetic were neat.
This sexy beast couldn’t leave Beastman off my list of favorite MOTU toys from my collection. Skeletor’s right hand man, Beastman always looked especially rad to me. Sure, you might think if he’s a Beastman he’d be brown like Grizzlor, but comic books and cartoons work best when the characters can pop off the page and screen, and his bright orange appearance and gnarly face were cool as hell for 6-year-old me.
He ended up with the more standard brown fur in the feature film, but the less said about that piece of dreck the better.
7) Dragon Walker
Look at this badass piece of toy nirvana!
My cousin Amy had the Dragon Walker when we were growing up, and I took every opportunity to play with it whenever I’d visit her house. So, you know I had to have one myself, and I proceeded to pester my grandparents like Bart and Lisa slowly chipping away at Homer to take them to Mt. Splashmore, until I finally got a Dragon Walker of my own for Christmas.
I’m a cat lover. I’ve had pet cats all my life. I love Thundercats, Samurai Pizza Cats, and the fact that MOTU had two badass cats made the show all the better.
Battle Cat was cool in his own right, especially with his saddle and helmet after being transformed from the meek and timid Cringer. But, I’ve always had a thing for panthers; which would become amplified when I discovered Guenhwyvar from the Drizzt Do’Urden Forgotten Realms novels as a pre-teen.
Plus, Panthor just looks cool and sleek, mysterious and badass, like most evil characters do.
The commercials hooked me on this guy. He looked interesting enough with the black and white skunk features paired with his orange armor. Plus, there was the promise that he, well…stinks! Hence his name. Commercials would never lie to us, would they? Manipulating our young, fertile little brains into a whirlwind of insanity, to where we’re spazzing out in the kitchen, speaking gibberish a million miles a minute convincing your grandmother we need to go to the mall, RIGHT NOW!
Nah, commercials wouldn’t stoop that low. I was mildly disappointed that he really didn’t smell all that different then the rest of my MOTU toys, but Stinkor remains one of my favorites to this day.
What a ridiculous name, for a ridiculous looking toy, and I love everything about it. From the triceratops battering ram head at the front, to the swinging arm with the giant boulder at the end, it brought down destruction smashing through my MOTU toys without a moments hesitation.
Although, Transformers, Star Wars, Marvel and DC felt its wrath as well, none of my toys were safe from Bashasaurus.
Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto.
Styx ain’t got shit on He-Man’s robot friend here.
I’ve always dug robots, from Transformers to Robotech to my newfound love for the bots on the Satellite of Love, and my love for Roboto as a child was no different. From his clamp hand which you could replace with an axe or laser gun to his funky mouthpiece to twisting his torso and watching the gears move within his translucent frame, Roboto was the shit, yo!
Especially when I had him turn evil and join Skeletor’s crew. Dude was way too cool to be a good guy.
2) Battle Armor He-Man
I didn’t have the OG He-Man figure that was first released by Mattel (although I did have Skeletor, more on him in a minute), but one Christmas morning I unwrapped a gift from under the tree and found this.
I’ve always appreciated realism in a lot of different things, toys being one of them. I was stoked to see that you could inflict “battle damage” on this toy. Press on his chest plate once, damage. Press it again, more damage! Bitchin!
Saves me the time of doing it myself and wreaking the collector’s value years later, like the time I unscrewed one of Jetfire’s legs to indicate he had been “damaged” in battle, but then I lost one of the screws and his leg wouldn’t stay in place when I transformed him into jet mode.
What a maroon.
The OG. The baddest and the best. That voice and that laugh are burned into my subconscious for the rest of my life.
What can really be said about Skeletor that hasn’t already been said. The original Mark Taylor illustrations projected an image that was far more terrifying and demonic, and honestly way more amazing and up my alley. But, toy companies don’t want to give kids the willies, parents aren’t going to buy the toys if the kids are shitting bricks, so they dumbed our old friend here down a little, made him more comical, then sat back and watched the cash money come rolling in.
All these toys are buried within the depths of Grayskull, otherwise known as my basement back home. I’d say its time I unearth them and become master of my universe once more.
Just don’t ask me to use a damn Cosmic Key to get there.
Jonathan could write a book about what you don’t know on Twitter, you royal boob.