Masters of the Universe action figures were first released in 1982 by Mattel. As well as the action figures the series also spawned different animated cartoon series, films and comics. The action figures themselves have come in six different waves. The original line of toys produced over fifty characters and twenty vehicles and play sets.

The years 1982 to 1988 is when the vintage Masters of the Universe action figures were created. The most famous figure of the lot was He-man; all of this first line of figures came with hollow rubber heads. New characters were often just head swaps of existing characters with repainting.The play sets and action figures from the vintage series were highly complemented because they were so interactive. They have since become much sought after and some play sets can now fetch thousands of dollars.

In 2002 a new toy line was released which aimed to faithfully recreate the original characters. This new series of action figures was created by the Four Horsemen; who are well respected action figure sculptors. This new line of action figures was discontinued after a short while much to the disappointment of fans.

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Storyline

The Masters of the Universe focuses on a main character known as He-Man. He lives on a planet called Eternia and his parents are the King and Queen. His real name is Prince Adam but when he uses a special sword he is able to turn into He-man; this magic sword is activated by the words, “by the power of Grey Skull, I have the power”. This sword can make the owner master of the whole universe.

There was a great war on Eternia and this allowed a rift in the dimensions of space to occur and an evil monster called Skeletor was able to find his way to Eternia. This demon is now determined to rule take over as ruler and gaining control of Castle Grey Skull. Once he has Grey Skull castle, Skeletor plans to get the sword and make himself master of the universe. The only person in his way is He-Man and the series follows Skeletor’s constant attempts to gain the upper hand – good always wins in the end though.

The Good Guys

He-Man is the main hero in Masters of the Universe. His real name is Prince Adam but he possesses a sword that turns him into the most powerful fighter in the universe. He was given this magical weapon by the sorceress of Grey Skull. He-Man has enemies who want to take over the Castle Grey Skull and he must fight to keep them away.

Cringer is He-Man’s timid cat who can be turned into a powerful tiger when touched by the sword. He allows He-Man to ride on his back when they go up against enemies.

Man-at-Arms is Prince Adam’s mentor. He is also an expert at many weapons and a skilled inventor. He is the Teela’s adopted father.

Teela is responsible for training Prince Adam in martial skills. She is also captain of the Royal Guard and so it is her duty to protect the prince. Teela is the daughter of the sorceress, but she does not know this. Teela does not realize that Prince Adam is He-Man.

Stratos is leader of the bird people and he has the ability to fly. He sometimes comes to the aid of He-Man when needed.

The Bad Guys

The Masters of the Universe have needed to go into battle against many bad guys throughout the series. Here are some of the most memorable baddies they have needed to face.

Skeletor is the main rival of He-Man. He wears a blue cape and all that can be seen underneath is his skull and boney fingers. He comes from another dimension and was able to make his way to Eternia after an inter-dimensional hole appeared; this was created as a result of a great war. Skeletor only has one ambition and that is to capture Castle Grey Skull and all the power that lies within. The only person stopping him from achieving his wishes is He-Man.

Beast Man is one of Skeletor’s loyal followers. Not only is this character very strong but he is also able to summon the assistance of many wild animals. He prefers to follow orders than to make his own choices.

Kobra Khan is a cross between a cobra and a man. He possesses the ability to spray a special sleep mist that makes his enemies go unconscious. He sometimes helps Skeletor but also has his own evil ambitions.

Screeech is an evil type of board that is willing to go on spying missions for Skeletor.

Evil-Lyn is a powerful witch with her own ambitions for power. She currently works for Skeletor but would have no problem turning against him if it allowed her to gain power. In many ways she is smarter than Skeletor.

Jitsu is a type of samurai from Eternia. He has great martial arts abilities and an evil horse called night stalker.

Mer-Man is the king of an underwater race of amphibians who live in the Enternain seas. He has great strength but he is not as strong as He-Man. He is a loyal follower of Skeletor and this makes him He-Man’s enemy.