You know what I’m a big fan of? Masters of the Universe.
Of all the toys of my childhood, these are the ones that I look back on with the fondest memories and the ones I treasure even now in adulthood. I remember getting Castle Grayskull for Christmas back in 1982, back before the cartoon show, back before all the hype, back when the toy line was new and mysterious. My Mom says she got it for me because at the time Mattel wasn’t sure whether it was going to catch on but was pushing it big time with special deals on the toys. For example my Castle Grayskull came with He-Man, Stratos, Teela, and Beastman…so you got a play set and four figures..that’s pretty much everything you need as a kid.
As a result, those four figures hold special places in my heart, to the point that I still have all four of my originals in my collection here almost 30 years later. And as I strolled down memory lane, I started to think what were some of my other all time favorite figures from this line of toys. And seeing that I’m also a big fan of lists, I thought I’d put pen to paper and compile my top 5.
As with my other lists, I had to make some ground rules:
1) The list is not in order. I decided not to rank my favorites. Just list them. So the below list is just in alphabetical order.
2) I could not include any of the “original 4” as mentioned above as they would unfairly take up 4 out of the 5 spots.
3) I would not include Skeletor. He was actually the first figure I got after the original 4. At the Service Merchandise in Altoona of all places. I remember that day too. My Dad took me in the old station wagon. Bonus points if anyone else ever remembers a Service Merchandise…but I digress. The point is putting Skeletor on a list I felt was also cheating.
4) I actually had to have owned the figure. So although Scare Glow as an awesome figure I wish I owned, I did not so he could not be included.
So on to the list:
A late entry into the Masters of the Universe collection, I did not get this figure until I was in the 2nd grade around 1987. As probably one of the last really “cool” looking figures in my opinion, Extendar had a very classical silver armor appearance which hid a rather unique power: the ability to grow super tall.
In fact, the way that he grew was by pulling out any number of cyborg implants from his hands to legs to his torso. Even as a little kid, I was impressed by a figure that was in one moment a knight and in another moment part robot.
Plus the fact that because he could grow to twice the size of a normal He man figure, I often times pitted him against not a evil figure, but an evil figure in an evil vehicle. Yup, Extendar would often go toe to toe against Beastman in the Land Shark or King Hsss in the T Rex. Pretty Bad ass indeed.
Good old Man E. Long before Manny was being Manny, Man E was being bad ass. What else could you say about this toy…just by changing his face, he could be a monster, a robot, or a warrior, so that’s 3 toys for the price of one! He got a cool looking blaster as his weapon, and while many of the original He man figures looked like they jumped out of Conan the Barbarian, Man E Faces looked completely alien like some post apocalyptic Frankenstein.
I personally never played with this figure as a straight good guy. In my He man universe, he was always too unpredictable, switching sides between He man and Skeletor within the same story in my mind. And if he did help the good guys, he was like the Hulk…uncontrollable and always gone after the villains were vanquished. I always liked the strange “life support” system he seemed to be wearing. With the tubes and pipes..
The Boba Fett of Masters of the Universe. Long before the cartoon made him out to be somewhat of a dumb shmuck, in my own mind, Trap Jaw was the Bounty hunter of Eternia. Tracking down heroes for Skeletor with his arsenal of weapons in total relentless efficiency. Ok, so maybe I didn’t use all the weapons he came with…maybe it was mostly the bad ass lazer gun and the claw…(the hook was worthless), but still not even Skeletor messed with Trap Jaw in my universe. It was ridonkulous! He’d freeze you or tie you up in a raging river..er..up creek..or swoop down from the trees on his helmet line. No place was safe from Trap Jaw.
In fact, the one thing I could say Mattel missed the boat on was making a weapon pack of other attachments just for Trap Jaw. Like a Lazer Bow, or a giant hammer! Definitely could put a whooping on Dengar or IG 88.
Hmmm..I’m starting to see a trend here. It seems most of my all time favorite He mans were also the ones with a sci fi twist to them. Roboto is the perfect and most blatant example of that, as what could be more sci fi than a flat out robot for your figure set. He’s also a great example of Mattel taking the preexisting awesomeness of another figure and improving it with another.
For all intents and purposes, that’s all Roboto is. He’s the upgraded pimped out Trap Jaw. He’s got a better claw, he’s got a better gun, and instead of that useless hook attachment, he’s got a friggin Axe! Plus the plastic see through body with the gears and everything, really a visually impressive figure when it’s all said and done. Ah..Roboto..in my universe you were the second strongest hero after He man. After all, what’s stronger than a robot…except maybe two robots. Much better than the Styx song. Much better.
I somewhat lied when I said these weren’t in any ranking order, because I definitely saved my personal favorite for last. 3 to the K to the Lops. By far, the greatest enemy of He man my little imagination could muster. Yup, Skeletor always took a back seat to Tri Klops in the villain department. It was almost like Skeletor would come on to the screen long enough to say…“Ha ha! He man! You’ll never save Teela from my clutches! Because Tri Klops is going to beat your sorry ass!” After which Tri Klops and He man would have another sword battle to end all sword battles.
See that’s what you got with Tri Klops. An intimidating as hell swordsman. Forget the fact he had that eye thing…whatever that was. I usually just had it on the “angry” eye all the time anyways. Tri Klops was a expert swordsman and just as strong as He man in my mind. He was the only one that could go toe to toe with him the battle department. Sure, I credit that all to the below cover of the mini comic that came with the figure in which Tri Klops is basically crushing He man mercilessly, but still that image stuck with me through all of my figure playing sessions. Tri Klops was king, baby. Simple as that.
My next He man list will be about the 5 lamest He man figures…Stay tuned…