Product Type: Mattel Action Figure
Newest Review: ... muscular and detailed than I expected and compared to the show was a larger in physique, but slightly out of proportion in the limbs depart... more
By The Power Of......
Mattel Masters of the Universe He-Man
Member Name: T4imbo3107
Mattel Masters of the Universe He-Man
Advantages: 1983 classic!
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!
Summary: Something I grew up with!
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