8 Crazy Masters of the Universe Figures (Mania.com)
By:Robert T. Trate
Date: Friday, September 25, 2009
“By the Power of Grayskull” echoed on television for a little over two years yet the words live on to this very day. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe was an incredible blend of science fiction with swords and sorcery. It was a vast universe in which children got lost in for hours after school in their back yards and on TV. The Masters of the Universe series had over 130 episodes air on television and from that Mattel drew hordes of characters, vehicles and play sets. He-Man, Skeletor, Man at Arms, Beast Man and Merman were your core characters but every now and then a new hero or villain would emerge and they would get their own action figure. Characters like Trap Jaw, Webster and Man-E-Faces were awesome renditions and became classic toys. As the show aired, and long after it didn’t, Mattel would create some figures so crazy that they stood out above the rest, frighteningly so. Stinkor was one of the smelliest but he doesn’t even make the list. Here are Mania’s 8 Crazy Masters of the Universe Figures.
Gwildor, portrayed by Billy Barty, was the one character that cased many fans to ask, “WTF?” for the very first time. Masters of the Universe (1987) marked the end of the Masters of the Universe property, at least for a while, and had several other crazy characters in the film but Gwildor is the craziest of them all. Perhaps Orko, with all of his flying around, was too much money to produce? We all know they didn’t spend much on sets so why not have a Jim Henson puppet in there doing all the same bumbling, cute crap that Gwildor did? Gwildor takes the eight spot because his crazy addition not only signified the end of the Masters of the Universe but the end of our innocence as well.
7. Twistoid and Rotar
Twistoid or Rotar? Is there really a difference between being a hero and being a villain that spins? Alright maybe a coat of paint but these two Energy Zoid figures were identical. Mattel issued the mini-comic "Energy Zoids" explaining their story since neither one of these two Zoid characters appeared in the cartoon series. They were spinning tops that could create a lot of havoc on the battlefield. What’s even crazier is that these two characters with no legs, which could move on their own, once launched, had a vehicle in the works. The Gyratakker vehicle was to launch them into attack mode. Excuse me but isn’t that what the kids already did after they wound them up? The Gyratakker never saw the light of day and not many of Energy Zoids did either.
6. Rio Blast
One of the many action figures from the line that never appeared in the cartoon, Rio Blast was your typical buddy of He-Man with a gimmick. Rio Blast was a quick draw artist who had weapons built into hidden cavities within his chest and knees. His only fault was that he was afraid of snakes which didn’t help out He-Man much because he was introduced in Star Comics’ He-Man book #4 titled “Snakes Alive” featuring the Snakemen. It’s crazy that a property that was so heavily supported by a syndicated cartoon series would turn to a comic book for a new character. What’s even crazier is that Rio Blast had a rivalry with Snout Spout of all people.
The “evil beast of a thousand bodies” came with 22 body parts and was then quickly followed up by Multi-Bot, a creation of Modulok’s own sinister design. There are a few variations on his origin but the one by comic book and science fiction writer J. Michael Straczynski which likens him to Star Trek’s Mr. Spock, a scientist albeit a mad one, is the one that sticks. What drives this figure into the crazy category, outside of the 22 parts, is that in his first mini comic "The Treachery of Modulok" he mails himself to the royal place piece by piece as a way of sneaking in. One arm in the mail would be enough to spark suspicion let alone several. Modulok also went from Skeletor’s prisoner to Hordak’s follower all to get his revenge. It’s crazy to think that one character can go from prisoner to super villain so quickly in the Masters of the Universe realm.
4. Ram Man
In "He-Man Meets Ram-Man" mini comic Ram Man is portrayed as more of misguided brutish linebacker than the moron of the cartoon series. A regular on the series Ram Man’s action figure would be closer to his cartoon appearance. Those odd little spring legs assured that there was no vehicle for him to ride in. He falls into that crazy design category where Mattel made sure he could ram anything. Unfortunately he just couldn’t do anything else.
3. Snout Spout
Having appeared in She-Ra and not on He-Man Snout Spout or Hose Nose as he was once called had little character development on the TV series. Mattel and other media would relate his origin to children as Etherian peasant that was tortured and experimented on by Hordak. Snout Spout was slated to become a member of the Evil Horde but was able to withstand Hordak’s brainwashing. Sounds like a blast for the kids to read about. Though generally used as a fireman this character has a crazy head and a typical He-Man character body. What’s crazy about him is his placement in two different cartoon properties and an origin that no child should have to inquire about. Mommy, what’s brainwashing?
Mosquitor was one of the last Masters of the Universe figures ever produced by Mattel. A member of the Evil Horde, he was packaged as an “evil energy-draining insectoid”. Though never actually appearing in the cartoon he nonetheless had an appearance in the mini-comic "Enter: Buzz-Saw Hordak!" where he got to drain the Sorceress. Read into that as much as you like. Nothing says crazy like a blood sucking robotic villain that likes to put his thing into one of the few female action figures in the toy line. Crazy doesn’t even cover half of it.
1. Moss Man
Alright, Mattel really slacked off when it came to his sculpt. He was after all just Beast Man painted green with some crazy fibers glued to his body. Being that he was probably from the north side of Eternia this poor schmo only appeared in two episodes. That’s two out of 136 (see “Here, There, Skeletors Everywhere" and "The Ancient Mirror of Avathar") and briefly in the “He-Man and She-Ra: A Christmas Special”. Still that’s better than most on this list. Originally he was slated to be Stinkor’s arch foe but that never came to be on the show. Moss Man takes the number one spot because, lets face it, nothing is crazier than a man made of moss!
Series: He-Man & the Masters of the Universe