Masters of the Universe Classics Rewind: He-Man (and a story)

close up

He-Man from the Masters of the Universe Classics line.

I’ll start off with my usual background explanation before going into the meat and potatoes of my quick look at this figure, as I’ve done with other articles so far. This part of the article will definitely be larger than my thoughts on the figure itself as what I’ll be saying about the figures in this “Rewind.”

I was a big fan of the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe cartoon as a kid. I mean, what boy wasn’t? You had larger than life characters, excellent stories, and some food for thought morals thrown into each episode.  He-Man always overcame any obstacle Skeletor or any other villain threw in his path.

While that may have made for some predictable viewing, as a kid, I just wanted to see more stories, more villains, more awesome heroic warriors, and just more of the cartoon in general. The 80s were notorious for having cartoons airing for the sole purpose of selling toys, especially after regulations in the US got struck down. It opened the flood gates for cartoons as glorified toy commercials. Some loved Transformers, some loved G.I. Joe, but my main love never deferred from the Masters of the Universe cartoon, its world, and its toys.

I thank my mom and dad again because if it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t have had the figures at all. Birthdays, Christmas time, good report cards, and just random acts of kindness were the many times where I would get new figures.

bday party

Opening up one of the Evil Horde figures with some friends at the time who I haven’t seen since I was 8! Notice the other wrapped present that has the distinct Masters packaging shape!

The line ran from 1982-1988. It was supposed to branch of into a Pre-Eternia story after the but it didn’t materialize. Then the New Adventures of He-Man cartoon came out a few years later with a small figure line that didn’t last long. I have to admit that still to this day, I’ve never bothered to watch New Adventures.  I’ve heard so many bad things about it and I’m not a fan of the character designs, so it just hasn’t been on my to-do list.

Mike Young Productions produced 3 seasons of an anime influenced Masters cartoon from 2002-2004 and with it, new toys based on the designs. The only anime I’ve ever really liked was Battle of the Planets (aka G-Force/aka Gatchaman), but that’s a whole different article itself. I never picked up the toys due to being in university at the time and I spent my money on going out to party, music, and collecting Playmates’ Simpsons toy line (yet, another series of article there!).  It didn’t help that the series never officially wrapped up on TV AND Toys R Us was mainly flooded with He-Man and Skeletor variants.

That brings me to flipping to the magazine that was known as Toyfare (bless their hearts…..what’s that? ANOTHER thing to write about? Done!). I saw in one issue the new He-Man, Beastman, and Skeletor figures that they were releasing only on  It was going to be re-branded as Masters of the Universe Classics (MOTUC).

Sculpted by the mighty Four Horsemen, the line was to blend the classic look of the vintage line with modern day sculpting and articulation, sans the action features. They had already released a King Grayskull for San Diego Comic Con in the summer but I was unaware and it is of the only things I’m missing from my MOTUC collection.

As I glanced in disbelief over the prototypes shown, I knew I had to get them. Thankfully I snagged them before they initially sold out.

Every month (minus one or two where due to delays), I logged on at the appropriate time and bought two of each figure. Yes, two. Why? I don’t know. I figured I’d get one to display and one to keep mint in package (MIP), not necessarily to keep as an investment, but to have something to pass down if and when I had children (SCORE: I have a 7 month old baby girl as of the time of writing this).

Thankfully, the line and interest (not to mention the crazy sellout times) nudged Mattel and Mattycollector to come up with a subscription plan where you could sign up and have your credit card charged every month.  No more rushing to the computer for me! I’ve been a subscriber ever since it was available, getting two figures in every month. I’ve subscribed to any extra subs and I’ve gotten my hands on almost every exclusive or chase figure, vehicles, and playset (like Castle Grayskull).  My man cave is filled and I’m almost out of room.

ax pose

That brings me to He-Man and how I’m going to tackle these little entries in the future. There are awesome YouTube pages (Pixel Dan) and websites out there (The Fwoosh, It’s All that do great reviews and absolutely stunning pictures of these figures.

Seeing how I’ll be periodically showcasing these guys and those other site write-ups/videos are available, I’ll just be giving my two-cents on the figures I choose to put up, but not go too in-depth, unlike I just have with this whole diatribe.

The first He-Man from this line is the one I chose to start off my articles about this series with because, well, he’s f’n He-Man! The official first figure in the line (that was only supposed to be three or four two-packs from what I remember reading), sets the stage for what we were going to get in this line.

The figure comes in an awesome package that would remain with the rest of the line over (as of writing) eight years. The bio on this back of this figure states that Adam is a descendant of King Grayskull is chosen to be He-Man but doesn’t want the responsibility at first.

Articulated body? Check. Modern sculpting? Check. Removable and swappable head? Check. Lots of accessories? For this one: Check!

The head sculpt was a pretty cool update of the original. I think the Horsemen did well at modernizing He-Man, but keeping his familiar facial and hair traits.  His head (like mostly all figures in the MOTUC line), is removable and swappable with other figures. His power harness is removable from the back.

The one thing I really wish they did is actually include his sword holster in the back, but I know they were trying to keep as close as possible to the original toy.

The accessories he has are expected: He-Man’s Power Sword, his trusty axe that we rarely ever see him use, and that instantly recognizable shield.  Both weapons fit snugly in both hands.


He-Man was also released later on down the line as part of the Toys R’ Us exclusive DC vs. MOTUC 2-packs. The He-Man released in this set had a different skin tone and different colours on his weapons. He-Man’s hair is painted more of a dirty, but bright, yellow. I only was able to purchase one of these, so I don’t have a loose figure to photograph.

Overall, this figure made me excited about the line and the inner child in me was so pumped not only about the figures I knew were coming, but also about how the other figures that were unannounced may look.  I tell you, when Toyfare magazine was around, I’d be so pumped to get it to see if there was any mention or pictures of the upcoming figures, especially the full page ads they would run in the magazine.

What figure would you like my take on next? I’m planning on going through them in the order of release (which will probably take me a few years –ha!). EDIT – Yep I’ve decided to do these in order of release, people!

I’ll also try and do features on the newest ones I get in as well, seeing how the line is continuing on as a “Collector’s Choice” line. All these toys and articles will also help me learn how to be a better photographer, so stick with me!

package and loose