When I say “He-Man toys” you guys know what I’m talking about, right? I’m referring to “Masters of the Universe toys.”
Well, you may not have known this, but there’s actually a line of toys out there called “He-Man.” It’s a toyline from Mattel that was introduced in 1989.
What kid ever said, “Hey, I just got some cool, new Masters of the Universe Figures.”
I have a memory of seeing this new series in a store when I was a kid, and I recall thinking, “What the hell is up with these He-Man toys? They’re so small and puny.” (I think by the time these toys came around, I was done with the original series anyway.)
I wasn’t aware of it at the time, but apparently this new toy series (unsurprisingly) had a new cartoon series as well. It was called “The New Adventures of He-Man.” (this ain’t yer father’s He-Man). The animation in this clip isn’t so bad. It’s probably better than the rotoscoped, repetitive Filmation animation from the old days.
Looks like the folks at Mattel tried to spin He-Man in another direction. The new style of the series seems to have a focus on sci-fi with a hint of fantasy, instead of the fantasy with a hint of sci-fi we’d seen in the previous MOTU toyline.
The classic characters He-Man and Skeletor look pretty dumb (maybe it’s just because they don’t look like themselves), but the new bad guys are kinda quirky and unique. Unfortunately, the good guys are lame and generic as hell – just a bunch of humans in bad costumes.
Most of the characters have really bad names too. They are typoed pun versions of what their action is. Vizar? Lizorr? Karattii? Optikk? C’mon!
The key differences between these guys and the original MOTU figures is their visual style/design. The figures are smaller, slimmer and have different knees joints and other actions referred to on the packaging as “Masters Action” (an obvious hint to the original series).
Well, as you’ve probably guessed by the packaging photos above, the toy I’m featuring today is Hoove – Skeletor’s designated puppy punter.
As you can easily infer by his name, his “masters action” is kicking. So, yeah… Hoove kicks… with his hooves… like a horse.
You just have to hold his left leg in place, tilt his body, and he kicks his right leg either forward or backward.
Hoove is a green, slimy, snaggle-toothed, triangle-pupil-having alien-robot guy. He looks pretty plain as a simple, bald alien…
… but with his helmet in place, he becomes a real menacing goofball.
Another funny thing worth mentioning is Hoove’s gun. With the shape of his hand and the little hand harness wrapped around his fingers, he will always be shooting diagonally. Make sure you stand right in front of him if you don’t want to get shot.
So, there’s one final thing worth noting. It’s the the inclusion of more illustration on the toy packaging. The front of the package has a full-body painting of each character in action, and the paintings are really well done.
The back of the package is actually printed on a low-grade uncoated paper, so everything turns out looking dingy. There are even more illustrations back there though. The one worth noting is the bust portrait illustration of the character.
It doesn’t make the toys or character design any better, but it is really great seeing hand-drawn illustrations on toy packaging. Most packaging nowadays uses photos or bad Photoshop illustration or something.
Optikk is currently on display in my room, had him for years without fully knowing where he came from. I remember having that Skeletor too, but must’ve got rid of him at some point due to his general crappiness.
The thing with Optikk is that he has this “thing”, whereby he can’t lower his arm. It just snaps back into a forward position whenever it’s lowered or anything. Consequently, Optikk now has the skeleton from Monster In My Pocket as a constant assistant.
Keep it up, kay? Didn’t realise you updated weekly, there always seems to be something new whenever I visit.
haha that last illustration is choice.
I like the Optikk character because I’m a fan of eyeball toys
so with Optikk’s head being replaced with a huge eyeball I
knew the hunt was on to put him in my collection.
Great review of these weird He-Man toys
I have 2 of this series- Optikk, and Kalamarr, both of whom I always have on display. I packed the backing cards, so I didn’t know their names, so I renamed Optik as Eyeguy.
The New adentures of he-man sucked big time, the classic 1980s version out beats all of them, the 2000s versions are just as good, but can’t beat the orignal, I hope the studio that has theses series stored goes up in flames along with these stupid dumb humourous ugly looking new adventures of he-man.
Oh man Optikk was one of my favorite toys as a kid, I used him an incredible amount and would still, had I known where he dropped off the face of the planet at. I believe I usually used him as one of Hellspont’s (from WILDCats) minion; of course the way I played, the villains were never push-overs, so Optikk was a respectable dude. Brakk is cool too – he’s the one that splits in half, as I recall! …at least, I believe that was Brakk, if it was even a He-Man figure…darnit now I want to know where that guy was from if it WASN’T Brakk! XO
I always wondered why that crappy remake of that He-Man cartoon lasted 66 episodes. What sucked about the New Adventures Of He-Man was that they got rid of so many of the original characters like Teela, Man-At-Arms, Beast Man, Evil-Lyn, Cringer, etc and replaced them with crappy forgettable ones like Flogg and his loser mutants and other characters nobody cared about. Also, He Man looked like a stripper in his new look. I am so glad that the 2002 incarnation took the He-Man franchise back to its roots. As it stands, this series will never be mentioned in the same breadth as the original one.
Haha I remember thinking the exact same thing when I saw the new He-Man in a toy store. I was past He-Man as well and was now collecting Gi-Joe but the first thing in my head: “Too skinny!” and it looked so cheap plastic fake compared to the sturdy looking originals.