MOTUClassics.Com He-Man Review
(Masters of the Universe Day)

Back in 1987, LA Mayor Tom Bradley decreed that April 28th as “Masters of the Universe” Day. Today, 26 years later some crazy toy bloggers are teaming up for a day of MOTU reviews. I want to do something special, so I figure it was time to finally reveal why there’s no He-Man review at IAT!

If there’s one e-mail that I can guarantee I’m going to get once a week, it’s the one asking why there’s no He-Man review here at IAT. I have reviewed He-Man before – in his Battle Armor, his Preternia Diguise, his TRU repaint, his Thun- I could go on. The point is that while I’ve reviewed plenty of He-Man figures over the years, I’ve never gone back and shined the spotlight on the original, at least not until today.

Having run IAT for nearly four years and gaining a lot of popularity due in part to MOTU reviews and the checklist at, it’s kinda funny to think back to this figure. When Toy Guru & the 4H plopped the original “Classics” He-Man in the SDCC case back in 2007 – I wasn’t terribly impressed. I mean, the idea was cool, but Mattel had burnt their bridges with MO2K. That line was hard to collect, it died an early death, and so many of my favorite characters somehow managed to never get a figure. And there at least seemed to be a cacophony of folks complaining about MO2K all the time; it seemed like it wasn’t even okay to like MO2K some days. And, finally, when the stactions folded (I still want the cancelled Faker & Kobra Khan btw), I was done. Sort of a take your super-articulated He-Man and shove it kinda thing. I stuck by my guns too – I didn’t buy King Grayskull at the following SDCC either. Just a giant, out-of-scale Lobo (come to think of it, I need to review that too…)

When He-Man and Beast Man came to Mattycollector in late 2008, I hemmed & hawed a little during their six weeks of availability. They made it into my cart a few times, but I never pulled the trigger. When they were pulled from the site, I figured that made the final decision for me. When Skeletor was released in January, I did waver a bit… and then… strangely, I found that the sold out He-Man & Beast Man were still in my cart, available to order. In whatever dumb logic flows through the collector brain, it somehow worked out that it made sense to order these sold out figures. It was like a second chance that I shouldn’t waste. Or whatever. I can be weak when I want to be.

IAT was still a few months away at this point – I had no idea how important MOTU Classics was about to become when I placed that order. Looking back, four years and thousands of dollars later, it’s pretty crazy that it all hinged on Digital River’s inability to run their store right and let a sold out item be sold out. Then again, MOTU Classics is going to go down as a fabled toy line and I probably would’ve found my way into the line sooner or later because one thing is true. I love MOTU, the franchise, more than I get annoyed with some of the other fans, more than I get annoyed with Mattel. The line will end some day and I’m going to miss it when that happens.

But I did get off to a rocky start. Since I was reluctant to order He-Man, you can imagine my displeasure when I opened him to find the figure had two right legs. Ugh. I wasn’t keen on the red around the eyes and we ultimately found out he had reversed shoulders too, but none of that ever really mattered to me because mine never had a left leg. That’s a pretty powerful foul-up all things considered. I tried to get a replacement, but it never panned out.

When IAT started later that year and the MOTU reviews geared up, I did make an effort to go back and get the figures we had missed like Faker & Beast Man, but I just could never bring myself to review my double-legged He-Man. I took some pics once, but it’s hard to do much else than talk about his bum legs. Heck, just look at this review! Continue to Page 2…

26 thoughts on “MOTUClassics.Com He-Man Review
(Masters of the Universe Day)

  1. Yay! He-Man has been reviewed, but like you said he is a little bit of every other character. I dislike the Red Eyes, seems like its an imposter posing as him. The biggest positive is that unlike most toylines after a few years sculpting style changes and size becomes objective (Lookin at you Marvel Legends and DCUC), this buck is consistent and detailed enough to carry the line to the end.

    Also next time have He-Man beat the snot out of Wun-Dar for not using a few different parts.

  2. First off, I was exactly like you. I tried collecting the 200X line, but I quickly realized that was a doomed effort when i could never find a Teela anywhere at retail. When MOTUC rolled around I felt very cynical about the whole thing, plus the fact that Mattel did such bad advertising for the line at the start made me basically ignore it. But things change, and I now have most the figures I wanted through reissues and the odd non-Matty dealer.

    That being said, this is a very very funny review, and I definitely love that the pictures tell a story this time. Faker Bizarro jokes will also never not be funny, nor will looks at the dreaded “extras” box.

    Great review and pics as usual.

  3. I’ll stick with the original design. It’s the first figure I ever got back in the vintage era and generally regarded as his definite look.

    In terms of MOTUC, I favor the re-issue with corrected limbs and no stoned out eyes. I would rate the Thunder Punch armor as my second favorite since I love chrome paint on my figures.

    Excellent pics and story as always. Happy MOTU Day, gang!

  4. That was fun and have to say I started way late into the line and have yet to get a He-man. Hoping can and maybe hinting that into this to fam somebody will surprise me.

    No extras box here cause only have 7 figs. Never knew about this MOTU day though, hmm Mattel could dobsomethint special at retail today you know.

  5. I thoroughly enjoyed this He-man Review and feel honoured to have been a part of MOTU Day and mentioned in the same breath as the other sites involved!

    yr pal,


  6. “Somebody order a left leg?” Priceless!

    Great review, pics, and exceptional comics. Worth the wait!

    My first MOTUC He-Man was a letdown, too. Never noticed the shoulder problem, but when I tried to twist his waist, both parts of his torso cracked and spider-webbed like a broken mirror. Needless to say, since he was irreparably damaged, he became the test-bed for my first MOTUC custom: Filmation Faker.

  7. Mind if I piggyback on this event? I was going to publish this tomorrow, but suddenly finding out about the significance of the day and all the sweet reviews around the ‘Net moved up my plans.

    Action Figures & Their Beers – Sharper than a serpent’s tooth

    This article pairs the Wychwood Brewery Snake’s Bite beer/cider hybrid with Kobra Khan and Fang. Also contained in this article: a link back to this page as the epicentre of MOTU Day, and the Greene King Very Special IPA / King Hssss review. Enjoy!

  8. Man if only you persued that exchange way back when, that’s when they used to just send you another figure and you got to keep the defective one. Memories!

  9. Not an MOTU collector, merely an admirer, but gotta say, your review and the pics are hilarious! Great work.

  10. Great overview and look back!

    I still want a “be all, end all” signature He-Man with a new head sculpt and new weapons and harness, and wrist articulation…the works.

    Probably’ll never happen.

  11. ooh! the Lobo review’s finally coming!!!!

    I held off until the first “clearance sale” and there have only been a few I missed out on, or not, as the case may be. He-Man was never a draw for me, but almost every other character was. He was just too bland imo.

    also, how funny would it have been to have Hercules (ML or MU) just randomly wander in in the background?
    (yeah, yeah, as long as I amuse myself….)

  12. Really funny pictures, noisy. That cracked me up to look at how many He-Man’s we actually have in this line! I too find myself wanting He-Man’s weapons in different colors. It would be interesting to see the weapons in Adam’s Magenta, but I’d love to see a black set for Wun-dar and a green set just because!

  13. Oh, the slippery slope that is MOTU Classics.

    My first figure was the TRU Skeletor; I liked the yellow skull and deeper purples and I was collecting DCUC at the time as well, so getting a Luthor I needed was a bonus.

    “He’s great, but he NEEDS his Havoc Staff and a purple Sword,” I thought, so I bought a reissue Skeletor. “Can’t have Skeletor without He-Man,” I convinced myself, so I got a basic He-Man and Battle Armor in preparation for the eventual BA Skeletor. “Gotta have their cats, too” I said, “and Teela and She-Ra look good. I’ve always liked Man-at-Arms…and having a first release open-hand Skeletor would be cool…and Keldor…and Sorceress…and–hey, where did my shelf space go?!”

    Ironically, my TRU Skeletor isn’t even displayed with the purple weapons; he’s armed with Faceless One’s “powered” Staff and the yellow Power Sword. He’s my “Player 2” Skeletor.

  14. I have bought a lot, and I mean a lot, of figures in the nearly four decades I have been collecting figures, and your first He-Man reminds me I have never had as many QC issues as I have had with Mattel in the last 5 or so years.

    Otherwise, great review. The Four Horsemen really created something special with this line.

  15. Great review, I still think the 1st issue of He-Man was the best, the redness around the eyes just lifted the face sculpt.

    MOTUC is still a pleasure to collect 4 years on and (for me) the problems are small when you look at the bigger picture. Long may it continue.

  16. This is the funniest review you have ever done.

    When the 1st He-Man came out, I bought it for a friend who is a big He-Man fan. He still has it – opened, and let’s the kids have fun with it. It’s held up really well to that kind of abuse, as any toy, much less a He-Man toy, should.

    I never noticed the backwards shoulders although the red around the eyes is a bit odd-looking. I never got another MOTUC toy – they’re not really my thing, I much preferred the look of the 200X line – and I had no idea how much reuse has been going on. As your review progresses and the original is mobbed with a ton of other toys almost exactly like him, I just laughed and laughed.

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