Masters of the Universe Classics Rewind: Battle Armor He-Man
The second full year of Masters of the Universe started off with Adora and because of the new subscription model Mattel implemented, we weren’t only getting 12 figures in a year (once a month), but there were also quarterly figures and large beasts put into the subscription as well.
The first quarterly figure was none other than Battle Armor He-Man (I’m going to keep the US spelling for this article, as that’s how it’s spelled). He was released the same day as Adora (January 15, 2010) and lasted about three and a half days before selling out.
Battle Armor He-Man as our first He-Man variant makes sense as this was the first alternate released in the vintage line. We were told numerous times that the MOTUC line would not have action features but they would be represented in a different way. Fans were curious to see how this would be applied to Battle Armor He-Man considering the vintage figure’s main selling point was the action feature.
As you can see in the old commercial below, Battle Armor He-Man (and later, Skeletor) had a chest plate that would change into armor showing battle damage when tapped. The spring inside allowed the armor to have a clean look, one sword or weapon strike imprinted, or two “battle damage” strikes. All you had to do was hold the chest piece in and roll it with your thumb to return it to the non-damaged look.
I’ll get to how that was recreated for this figure in just a bit, but I’ll start with the usual look at the packaging, which is what we were accustomed to. The bio makes it seem like Adam/He-Man used this armour early on in his battles and transition to being a hero, which is a neat take on the lore as all heroes need time to adapt to their powers and responsibility.
The head sculpt for this He-Man is similar to the first He-Man figure. The colour is just paler and the colour of the hair is also a different shade of yellow and not as “dirty” looking. I think the biggest difference is in the eyebrows. I have some pictures near the end of the article of some comparisons of the first MOTUC He-Man and this one.
The body is the same that they used for He-Man, so the articulation is the same. The whole armour piece is just added on top. It’s a little bulky, but I think it’s a good size because if He-Man needed to wear armour, it better be huge and over the top.
Mattel and The Four Horsemen recreated the action feature of the vintage figure without actually implementing the same spring loaded mechanism by creating three separate plates that could be interchanged in the removable armour. All three plates represent the same clean and 1 strike/2 strike looks of the original toy. I do like the detailing that went into the damaged plates and I think most people would display their Battle Armor He-Man with one of the damaged plates.
My only gripe is the armour can be a pain in the ass to take off and when you want to quickly take pictures or repose him, it takes a few minutes. I know, that’s minute griping, but it’s where I miss the spring mechanism a lot – just to do things on the fly. I couldn’t imagine a kid doing that when playing with these figures, but then again, these were released for child-adults like myself ( zing!).
Battle Armor He-Man comes with only one other accessory: his axe. The reason for this being that’s what the vintage toy came with. This is the same axe that came with the original He-Man, so if you have him and The Goddess, this would be the third axe in your collection. And we all remember all the times in the cartoon and comics that He-Man used his axe, right? Right?
Battle Armor He-Man was/is a great figure and I think getting the first variant as a quarterly figure was the right choice, as it didn’t take up a sku/slot from a monthly figure. We knew it was only a matter of time to see when Battle Armor Skeletor would show up but I didn’t expect to wait over a year, so you won’t see my look back at B.A. Skeletor for while yet.