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Masters of the Universe

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Masters of the Universe


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There is almost no child of the eighties who cannot remember He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. This is a toyline created by Mattel featuring different action figures including He-Man and Skeletor. The He-Man concept, later renamed the Masters Of The Universe, was originated and developed by Roger Sweet in early 1980. The concept was followed by the original minicomics by Donald F. Glut which came with each of the figures; these stories involved the character it came with.

Later in 1983 the production company Filmanation released the cartoon series for TV. The production company focused more on the lighter, humorous elements of the story rather than the violent ones featured by the toyline and the minicomics to make it more suitable for the children's TV audience.

However the basic idea behind the cartoon was controversial since it was created to market the line of toys. In the UK, advertising regulations forbade commercials for He-Man toys to accompany the program itself. To lower the negative comments against the cartoon, a "life lesson" or "moral of the story" at the end of each episode was included. Orko, the small alien magician, was introduced in the series as he was not one of the original characters of the toyline.

The action figures were mostly repeated patterns of the same body model, with head variations and repaints. Originally there were few molds; Two chests, hairy and smooth, one belt/pair of shorts, and three sets of arms and legs (smooth muscular, evil 'claw' fingers/toes, and hairy). Teela had her own mold, which lated was used for Evil-Lyn. Later when Masters of the Universe became a complete success and a second wave was released, some new molds were added to the toyline, including Ram Man who had an exclusive format, Man-E-Faces and Trap Jaw are some examples.

He-Man action figures were sort of heavy as they were made of a rubbery plastic and some had a spring-loaded action. This action would enable He-Man or Skeletor to be able to throw a punch. He-Man action figure included a shield and sword for He-Man while Skeletor included a battle-axe.

The original line was released between 1982 and 1983 including He-Man, Man-At-Arms, Skeletor, Beast Man, Zodax, Teela, Mer-Man and Stratos. After becoming a complete success among children, Mattel decided to release a whole new batch in 1983 adding Faker I, Tri-Klops, Trap-Jaw, Evil-Lyn, Man-E-Faces and Ram-Man to the toyline.

Different spaceships as well as buildings were included. But the top point of the line was Castle Greyskull; the kind of 80s toy a child would  always dream to have, making it almost a luxury due to the high price and size.

Mattel continued making the He-Man figures until 1987. So if you were a child during the 80s (Early Millennial) you probably played with He-Man figures and if you were lucky enough you had the Castle Greyskull to.

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