Masters of the Universe Classics Rewind: Stratos
Next up on the Masters of the Universe Classics run-down is Stratos (released in February, 2009). Getting this figure was a bit trickier for me as I was waiting for a pay day to get him, figuring there was no way the winged monkey man would sell out. I was wrong.
Stratos selling out was one of the first indications that the Masters of the Universe Classics line was going to be insanely popular. He sold out in only three days. I resorted to Ebay for my one to keep in the package and the one to display. I learned my lesson quick and made sure I logged on right away to score the figures every month, at least until they started offering subscriptions.
Although I had the majority of the Masters of the Universe figures when I was a kids (thanks to my family), I never had a Stratos. I’m not sure why the adults in my life never bought him for me. Maybe a flying simian-like creature without any accessories looked like boring figure for a child. The completest in me needed to have him, but without any connection to the figure in my childhood, he just didn’t scream “priority.”
After I got him, I finally warmed up to him, although he is the epitome of a minimalist offering. His buck is the same furry one as Beast-Man and features the same articulation as all the Masters figures up to that point, but his back pack, while well done, features no different paint applications and is basically a strapped on engine. Yes, he has his signature wings attached at the wrist (that are not removable), but his removable backpack is the only thing he comes with! We were paying $20 US a figure at this time, which I thought was way too much for a figure without any accessories.
The bio still blends all the previous lore of the Masters of the Universe to create a better picture of why Stratos is important and that he’s from a race on Eternia that is allied with the Royal Palace. It’s funny that the bio mentions the Staff of Avion but it wasn’t included here to stay more true to the vintage figure. You’ll see a picture below with Stratos and the Staff of Avion, but it came with a figure, Icer, in 2013, as a bonus.
The head sculpt is spot on for the classic Stratos. I think that the goggles being a bit larger work for a more modern figure and I really like the sculpt on the lips and the beard. The figure represents confidence and leadership.
Stratos was also released as part of a short lived Toys R Us exclusive lines that combined Masters of the Universe with DC Classics. I think the DC figures remained exactly as their stand-alone version, where the Masters of the Universe figures had a different paint application or different colours were featured. Stratos featured a colour swap between his backpack and his wings (red harness/rockets and blue wings), so I had to score two of these so I could display this other Stratos on the shelf.
Stratos is one of those figures where you really had to rely on your imagination as a kid to really appreciate, or at least have ties to him being one of your favourite characters on the Filmation Masters of the Universe cartoon. I didn’t, but after humming and hawing about him, I did enjoy having him finally on my shelf and posing him.