Masters of the Universe Classics Rewind: He-Ro
In 2009, the Masters of the Universe Classics line was picking up steam. The figures were starting to sell out within hours, fans were praising most of the design choices, and anticipation was high for the next reveals. The next figure released was special for a few reasons.
Near the end of 1986, the Masters of the Universe vintage line was winding down and Mattel was trying to figure out where to go next with the figures and the story. Enter the Powers of Grayskull line. The story would focus on a new hero named, ahem, He-Ro. It would be set in Eternia’s past and that planet would be renamed Preternia. Fans would learn more of the history behind Eternia and what led up to He-Man’s time. You can read much more over at this wiki page.
Some toys were released with the “Powers of Grayskull” label, namely three dinosaurs . The two giants featured in a promo picture named Tytus and Megator were shown but only released in Italy Fans wanted to get their hands on the hard to get giants, but insanely high prices and the limited run prevented many from obtaining them – but their story is coming later down the road in another article.
Two figures that didn’t get released anywhere, but made it to the prototype phase were He-Ro and Eldor. Fans of action figure lines don’t like seeing a product, getting hyped for it and then hearing that they aren’t going into production. That’s what happened here. Mattel pulled the plug on the Powers of Grayskull line and decided to go back to the drawing board a bit later with a new cartoon and style of action figure with The New Adventures of He-Man (yet, another whole story in itself).
With Masters of the Universe Classics line gaining traction, Mattel and Mattycollector decided the San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) exclusive would be the never produced He-Ro! Fans could get their hands on this newly made figure at the convention and then the remaining went up for sale on Mattycollector.com in July of 2009 . He sold out in under three hours.
The difference between the SDCC figure and the one put up on Mattycollector.com was the SDCC version had the logo of the convention underneath his armour. I never went out looking for one with the logo as I wouldn’t have displayed him without the armour off and also didn’t want a logo plastered on my figure.
The figure came online and at SDCC in the standard packaging, but with a sticker with the Powers of Grayskull logo! That was a great touch. The bio gives fans a lot of info to digest in such a short paragraph. We get to hear about Horde Supreme for the first time, He-Ro fighting against the Horde and the Snake Men, meeting Eldor, AND his ties to King Grayskull! Whew!
The figure featured the same body and articulation as all the other figures so far. The new pieces on this figure that we hadn’t seen before were: new armour, a new cape, new crotch piece, and new gauntlets, and new boots. That’s a lot of new stuff over the usual buck and all the new pieces had great paint jobs and everything is aesthetically pleasing.
You can see that the abdominal area is painted to blend with the armour so the figure could maintain the ab-crunch articulation. He-Ro has his logo on the front of his chest and the ancient Grayskull logo on his back.
The head sculpt is really hit and miss. I like the sculpted headpiece for He-Ro, but the eyes, even when I saw the magazine ads, just always looked off to me. He-Ro has a cross-eyed look and it really takes away from the figure. I don’t know if it’s the part of the headpiece that goes between his eyes or just the placement of the pupils (perhaps a factor of both), but I always have a hard time looking at him close without laughing and then getting pissed off because it ruins the greatness of this figure. Is it just me? Leave your comments below!
He-Ro comes with two accessories: a staff to cast magical spells and the Sword of He.
His staff features a large gem in the middle and they made the gem feature even more intriguing because the gem in the staff was produced in three different colours and you wouldn’t know what one you got until you opened your figure! I think that was a neat idea as people could get their hands on the figure relatively easy, but to get all the gems would be more of a challenge. From what I remember, the purple gem (to cast the Spell of Healing) was only available for the SDCC version but you could also get a red (Spell of Defense) or green gem (Spell of Protection), too. The red gem was harder to get than the green gem for the versions released on Mattycollector.
I really dug (and still do) the Sword of He when I first saw it. I love the translucent/sparkly look to it because it comes across as a sword with magical powers.
I’m glad a figure the fans had been clamoring for got released and it was great that the bio added him and so much more into the continuity of the Masters’ universe. I’m a big fan of most of the aspects of the figure but my enthusiasm for it is always brought down by the eyes. It ruins the figure for me a little bit.