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I've always thought that the breakthrough market with the much over-rated Star Wars figures could be broken, so in 1983 when Mattel released a series of figures based on the Masters of the Universe animation series, it was always going to be something that kids of my age were going to be attracted towards like Moths to a light. For those who are unaware, the cartoon series with the "I have the poweeeeerrrr" phrase was broadcast in the UK in 1983 and scheduled as part of the children's schedule of programs that ran on ITV from about 4pm to 5.15 each day; this was the early days of what is now known as CITV. One of the programs that were broadcast was Masters of the Universe, where a muscular Prince who was the main character, and was the focus of the story, battled evil on the planet of Eternia. I have fond memories of the show and much preferred this to the everlasting adventures of Scooby Doo and for me this was the thing that replaced Star Wars as I had felt by then as a 10 year old that there were too many figures in the collection and the length of time that I played with them were severely decreasing due to the fact that the craze towards Star Wars had finished, even though George Lucas was in denial that it hadn't.
I can remember buying the character of He-Man as well for a simple price of £2.49 from Gamleys Toy Shop in Sutton. The figure which stood approximately 6 inches high and was much larger in size than anything else on the market at the time with the exception of Action Man which was fading rapidly by then, and yet the size was important to me, too big and I would get bored, too small and it restricts play. It had to be this size as the figure was far more muscular and detailed than I expected and compared to the show was a larger in physique, but slightly out of proportion in the limbs department.. However the character is instantly recognizable as you know its He-Man straight away. Facially, he is spot on with what can only be described as a straight transfer from the show and the medieval haircut that gives him a slight King Arthur look to his stature. I have to say that the physique is overbalanced and by this I mean that the top half of the body is slightly off ration with the bottom half, I suspect this is because the legs are slightly bent and therefore shortens the overall height of the figure itself. Looking at the figure he is in a default stance that can only be described as a "ready to fight" stance given the manner in which he is standing, and this was a generic feature through the whole range with the exception of the smaller characters.
One of the big differences and also strong characteristics of the figure is that the figure twists from the waist up, giving the upper body a swinging effect on a horizontal plane that allows the figure to do something other than just stare if the figure is being played in combat, which given the fact the enemy is Skeletor then the opportunity to use this feature is a good one indeed. The body section can be pulled round to a full 90 degree pullback and the speed that the body goes round is quite impressive and gives enough strength to the twist to knock over another figure with some force. I did like to pose the figure and slightly twist the head to one side with the sword being raised to give him that well hard look, the face had been cast in a pose that these days would be considered un-PC and resemble someone from a Town Centre after closing hours, by this I mean that the teeth are clenched ready for action.
With the figure itself you do get quite a bit of weaponry as well. A sword that is accurate to the series and a shield. I always thought this gave quite a Gladiatorial look and ambiance to He Man and meant that the fighting could be quite full on; also the sword itself is made to fit together with the blue one that comes with the Skeletor figure, this again is true to the TV series as well. The shield fits snugly over either arm and the moulding is detailed and most importantly the moulding is sturdy enough to take knocks as well from most things that hit it, although hopefully its not going to be much more than another figure as such. He Man also come with a chest moulding that basically clips together over his back. I was fascinated to see the muscular detail on the chest and how different the figure looks without it on, without it he looks like something out of Spartacus as the details on the front and back of the torso does look very good, and I think that is why the photos that are taken for catalogues do tend to capture the definition of the figures in immense detail. The arms and the legs are over muscled and simply take the appearance of Schwarzenegger and then some, yet it is befitting the character completely as he is a warrior.
I suppose there are down points with the figure, okay including the spring action of the upper body there are six point of articulation which is far less than some other lines. However the main point here being the legs and arms don't bend, they are already partially bent at the knee and elbow joints, however these figures are different in many ways and are designed to be used for combat playing rather than posing. This is the one thing that I have never been sure on as it didn't limit the joy I got from playing with the figure itself, but as this was a totally different creation the discovery of what I could do with it was totally different and new as this was a new thing with and different to what had come before, and I think the difference in what these figures were was something that ran throughout the entire series of figures as Battle Cat was simply a detailed plastic moulding of the character that didn't allow any articulation at all with the area to allow He Man to simply be slotted on top to allow him to straddle it in the same way anyone would ride a horse.
As an adult of 38 years old, I still have my figure with sword and shield in a box in the loft at home, a little bit battered with a few chips on the shield, but still very useable and to me is quite priceless as its something that I grew up with. His upper body seems to have got a little Arthritis as the body doesn't spring back as fast as it used to now, yet its is simply a level of nostalgia that I get that simply seeing this piece again. Seeing some of the prices in collector websites, I still wish that I hadn't taken mine out of the bubble pack as I did as it would easily be worth £200 intact on its own, yet the level of fun that I got from basically playing with the figure far outweighed that at the time and the thought of not ripping open the bubble pack horrified me then!! This was one of the toys from my childhood and one that I'm glad I had, it was simply the rage at the time and soon after the craze took off various variations happened and the same thing that occurred with Star Wars happened to Masters of the Universe, it simply got too big and as a child I simply moved on..... to the new models of Lego! Oh how I wish I had the foresight to leave it in its original packaging!
My dad used to be in the navy during the 80's and was able to get He-Man figures for next to nothing in places like Greece and Italy. I felt like i was really spoilt and i'm sure my friends thought so too but i always looked after my toys and appreciated them.
I remember the first figures he brought back was He-Man himself, Trapjaw and Castle Grey Skull. He-Man had muscles on top of more muscle and you were pretty sure he could handle himself in any fight. After making short work of Trap jaw including his 3 interchangeable guns my dad set about buying me more figures. Before long i had amassed an impressive collection consisting of all of the main characters as well as some characters i'm not even sure appeared in the cartoon series.
Finally my dad left the Navy as they were closing down the Naval port in Weymouth and Portland. Unfortunately this meant we had to move and i had to sell some toys including my beloved He-Man figures. I sold them at the first car boot sale we had ever done. I was still young and not all that genned up on how the monetary system worked. I was left to man the stall whilst my parents went off to get some bacon rolls and tea. In this time a woman asked me the price for all my He-Man items and I quoted the princely sum of £1. In the blink of an eye it was sold and i was left with a shiny one pound coin and the job of explaining to my parents where all of the He-Man items had gone.
Since that fateful day i have set myself the task of restoring my He-Man collection and needless to say it has set me back a little more than £1. I'm missing 2 figures now to complete the collection which consist of Laser Skeletor (willing to pay about £150-£200) and Laser Sword He-Man (I'm willing to pay about £400) in near mint-mint condition.
I am also currently selling some of my spare He-Man items on ebid auctions so let me know if you see something you are wanting to trade etc. Please also read my review on ebid auctions detailing some of my experiences on there.
I am also trying to put together a comprehensive collection of 1970's, 80's and 90's toy action figures and i'm always willing to buy entire collections or single items.
Prince Adam of Eternia is the real name of the iconic He Man character, from the tv cartoon series 'Masters of the Universe'. The series was watched by almost all the young children in our street at the time and it was so popular that it soon spawned a whole range of toys based around the series that were marketed and sold by Mattel.
Of course the most desirable figure to have was a He Man figure, as he was the strong armed leader and handsome twin brother of the beautiful She Ra. He Man swore to protect the Castle Grey Skull from the evil Skeletor and did all he could within his powers to do so.
We had an original 1985 He Man figure which came in a set with Battle Cat, He Mans trusty steed. Our He Man looked every inch the super hero with his rippling muscles and manly stance. He was loved and adored by all the children that played with him and many came over just to have a play with our set of Masters of the Universe figures of which he was one.
Very often the children would all spend hours working out new scenarios for He Man and his friends to fight their way through. They used to play in the garden in fair weather, amongst the sand pit and build up areas of the sand which were meant to form Castle Grey Skull.
He Man would then spend many an hour questing over the soft dunes, transforming himself from Prince Adam into He Man, by raising his trusty sword and uttering the words ' By the Power Of Grey Skull'. He was always the most desirable of the characters to play with and we often had to have a sharing rota for him as everyone wanted to play as him.
Battle Cat, the fearsome looking saddled tiger steed, often had to come to He Mans rescue and certainly cut a dash with his bright green form, which was highlighted by shockingly bright yellow stripes and brown plastic battle armour.
Skeletor the skull headed, blue skinned bad guy of the piece, was most often found at the opposite end of the sandpit engrossed in hatching evil plans which would bring about the downfall of He Man and his friends.
Our He Man figure was a muscle bound hero with arms that looked like they could crush cola cans without even touching them. His legs were a matching muscle extravaganza and he had thighs that we were tempted to crack walnuts with at christmas. I kid you not, those thighs were that sturdy!
His chest was broad and well sculpted and he had a special armored breast plate that when pressed firmly enough would show an indent. This was meant to give him a more battle scared look and could be done during play to make him look care worn, as if he had just finished a mighty battle. The children always liked this feature as it was easy to press in or out and would make their play scenarios seem all the more real.
He Mans hair was a dreamy mid 80's mass of yellow blonde. It was almost a mid length bob and even had a not all that manly fringe! Still, no one ever seemed to question his rather girly locks and his masculinity was never in question. After all he was so butch looking with all that muscle and armor, that you just wouldn't dare ask who the silly beggar was that had styled his hair so badly!
To me, He Man was a fine toy that all the children who played with him adored. From the tip of his blonde hair to the toes of his calf length wrestler boots he was every inch the super hero. He may have had bare legs and spent most of his time dressed in his orange toned under pants, but he was a true hero to all who played with him.
There have been toys since then that children have longed for and fought over, but He Man is a real stand out toy and if you can get hold of an original figure today he will set you back a good few pounds.
A newer figure can still cost as much as £30 to £40 if unopened and in mint condition. He Man figures are still sold online and in specialist shops and the newer varieties even have fully posable arms and legs and offer greater playability.
He Man is a classic of the toy world and as such for all the many happy hours of fighting and questing he gave to so many children, he gets a full 5 star rating.
The He-Man cartoons ranked alongside the Thundercats for me when I was a kid. A regular dose of the power of Grayskull was good enough for me, giving me a small amount of time to watch TV and enjoy it thoroughly. Mattel released a number of toys to accompany the TV series, the main one being He-Man himself.
This figurine is quite accurate in terms of size and stature. Hard plastic for the body, complete with big muscles and definition. It's almost like he's squatting, ready for battle. Although his arms and legs don't bend at the elbows and knees, there is rotation at the shoulders and hips, enough so you can pretend he's running or fighting.
He-Man comes with accessories, which is something a lot of toys these days don't have. Part of this is because of safety measures and not having malleable little plastic toys lying around, and they want to cover their backs with disclaimers and age recommendations. The He-Man toy comes with removable cross shaped breast plate, sword, axe and shield, and the plastic is such that if you twist it enough it will break easily. What I like about this is that He-Man's hands are curved just enough so that the accessories fit into them perfectly. You may have to angle them slightly, and I find that if you're too excessive with movement, they can fall off. However, the construction is generally quite good and it's fun to play with in this respect.
The breast plate is a bit fiddly, though. Small little lugs and small little holes are a bit of a pain when you have fat fingers like me, and I sort of struggled with this as a kid, too. My patience was sorely tested, and I remember having to get my parents to put this on the figurine for me. Once on, it seems secure enough, more so than the actual sword and axe and shield, but even so it comes off quite easily once you give it a tug.
Overall, the toy is quite fun to play with. Even though it's considered by many to be a collector's item, its primary function is as a toy to play with, and there was many a battle with Lion-O and Panthro from the Thundercats when I was a kid. Mattel also released other characters in the range, but this toy is interchangeable with other toys you may have. It's around 4 or 5 inches tall, and is fun to play with. These days, its appeal may have diminished somewhat due to the fact that the cartoon was more my generation than my son's, but for the bigger kids in us, there's still some fun to be had there. There are some other versions of He-Man figurines available, as there were various changes in cartoons and then a feature film, but this is the original and more enjoyable toy for me. Recommended, if you can get hold of one.
I can't believe I'm able to review my favourite action figures as a child!
Anyway, this is HE-Man. He is master of the universe. He has the "power of greyskull". And his mortal enemy is skeletor. Better still, this is him in action figure form!
This HE-Man toy brings back a lot of memories - mainly because it was the first ever action figure that I was bought as a child. I loved the cartoon series - as did a lot of kids - and action figures were something very new and exciting. They meant you had officially graduated as a baby / toddler into a small child.
Anyway, this particular one is plain for all to see. All that's keeping him from being completely exposed is ome fury pants and boots, as well as a piece of chest attire, a sword and a shield.
Again, some of these parts are quite small, and it would therefore be wise to keep them out of the hands of young children. I'm quite surprised such items were on the market, but then it was the 1980's, and people weren't as crazily safety conscious.
Nowadays I suspect the only owners of this item would be either people like me, who received it as a child, or collectors.
But going back to the product: naturally the action figure himself is not of the same high standard that modern ones would be. There are flaws, but this is what makes it so collectible and great. The colours painted on him are striking, as is his body shape and accesories.
All in all, it's a great collectors item and a wonderful toy to play with (if only I weren't 26!)
Ah, the original He Man. Not one of these dodgy newer versions, this is the real deal. Adam from Eternia transformed himself into He Man, whenever trouble was brewing. When he transformed into this hunk of a man, his voice would echo, he would ripple his pecs and shake his blonde locks proudly. Only three people knew his secret though, Orko (some annoying flying wizard creature), The Sorceress (some annoying flying angel creature) and Man At Arms. It always suprised me that if Man At Arms was so privileged to know Adam's secret, why he was still referred to as Man At Arms and not by his Christian name. I can only assume Adam did not like him THAT much after all.
The original He Man will thrill any collector. A beefy looking torso with great muscular definition. You can run your fingers down his lines and grooves and admire his form for hours. His arms snap on and off, should you want to have him severely wounded and they can raise up and down too.
He Man has superb legs with lumpy muscle tissue showing, offset with some furry boots, which look a bit twee. He sports a small bit of strap on armour around his chest, which you can take off. The highlight has to be his small (very small) red briefs which hug tightly. I was always disappointed that these were not removable and also displeased with the lack of bulge, but there you go...a misspent childhood.
He Man has an assertive looking face, which looks part heroic and part constipated. I like to think he is about to go into battle or have some harsh words with Battle Cat. Complete with a sword and shield he is ready for action and standing at five or so inches he is a stunning chap. I bet you wish your bloke looked like this...a suped up macho looking Ray Mears...in pants. Yum.
He-man figures were some of the first toys I owned as a petite sized child and spent numerous hours setting them up for a giant battle which would make any toy enthusiast sit back and watch with glee.
I would tend to use them against other figures like Skeletor and Evil Lyn (she was hot though!). I also had the Castle of Grayskull which was a great toy to play with the figures. The usual game that I played was siege on the castle and that Skeletor would capture He-man and that his friends would rescue him, the usual movie script ending.
A bit about the man himself
He-man has a secret identity called Prince Adam which knowone knows about and his notable skills include super speed and agility and breath that would defeat any evil enemy. He also had telepathic abilities so he could talk to the sorceress and had a knack for tactics. To be honest Skeletor didn't have a chance, and that is probably why he looks like a Skeleton as he has been trying for so long he has aged hundreds of years.
Other items which come with the He-man figure
Well I had the He-man figure; I did also have the battle cat which He-man would ride on to get to places. The cat was green with yellow stripes and wore a special shielding protection in red which would help the battle cat fight off magic and protect itself from weapons.
He would come with a shield and a sword which was the ultimate sword. If you have seen the Dolph Lundgren movie then you will know that this weapon will impress any lady. I also remember the figure having a chest protector which would strap round the back and that it was quite hard to fasten (my fingers were small!).
I used to have the Skeletor figure which was blue with a purple outfit and a purple rams headed lance and sword. He also came with a cream coloured skeleton mask which is expected when you come with a name like Skeletor.
Evil Lyn the sexy one (I know I shouldn't find them sexy). She had yellow tights with a hot blue outfit with purple Ugg boots. She also had a funny looking blue and purple hat which did not look sexy at all.
There are also other figures like Jitsu (Mr T look a like but without pants), Stinkor (looks like he needs a bath), Beastman (has a lovely fluffy scarf round his head), Teela (another hot lady), Man - E - Faces (looks like something out of X-Men) and Mekaneck (blue with funny looking head).
There are more figures for He-man but the ones above are the figures I bought recently. You could also get the She-ra figures which could go with He-man but a bit too girly for me. If you mix Barbie with super hero outfits then that is what you get, not for me forlornly.
I bought these recently from E-Bay for around £4 to £6 per figure which isn't bad for classic figures. You can also buy these figures from www.midlandmemorabilia.co.uk for around the same price.
- £4 to £6 per figure
- Evil Lyn is my favourite bad girl
- The battlecat is an excellent addition for the he-man figure.
My Rating: 4/5
He-Man comes complete with power vest, axe, shield, the Sword of Power and half of the Power Sword.