It’s always nice to know how things begin. Why Optimus Prime doesn’t like Megatron. Where those freaky holograms from the Visionaries came from. Why I was in the ditch that morning wearing the chicken suit.
He-Man never got any sort of beginning or attempts at an explanation though. The audience was just thrown straight in to the crazy world of a big semi-naked man wrestling a blue skeleton. And to be fair the franchise was aimed at five-year-olds, so creating a complex back-story wasn’t really on anyone’s mind.
There was always that niggling question though – just who was Skeletor? Why was he so powerful, and what was his motivation besides ‘being a huge jerk’? There were no answers forthcoming in the classic series, though we did get close.
He-Man toys had the added value of a minicomic packaged with them, which helped advertise the toys and show how amazing they were. They really helped my little child-brain love He-Man, and I kept them all neat in my secret cupboard! (Ever kid needs a secret cupboard). The 1987 line of toys came with what is perhaps the most interesting minicomic produced – The Search For Keldor! › Continue reading
Skeletor is returning! Cower mortals for from the bizarre techno-fantasy world of Eternia, the comedy Lord of Darkness is packing his lunchbox to bring terror upon the world once more.
Yes, Mattel have decided to launch a new Masters of the Universe line, but one for adult collectors rather than children (and really, what business do children have near toys anyway?). They’re starting with the classics, namely He-Man, Skeletor, and uh, Beast Man and Stratos. Also you can only buy them from their online store at the moment, which honestly doesn’t seem like a winning formula, but then I’m not in the toy business.
So Skeletor is back with a look that’s so old its new. But then again he’s always been keeping up with fashion trends. Lets take a look at Skeletor through the ages and see how the King of Evil was also the King of Cool!
1982 – Original Skeletor
Now, I’ve already received criticism for slamming some of the line’s simpler figures elsewhere on my site, but hear me out. I talk not just with my own voice, but with the voice of the 5 year old little Matty Boy advising me. And whilst I loved the character of Skeletor, the original toy usually stayed in the toy box › Continue reading
Whilst idly surfing on the internet one day, I discovered that Mattel were going to remake their He-Man line again! This time in a ‘we promise it won’t fail miserably way’. So they’re stocking them online ONLY hidden behind a secret link on their website accessable only between 2-3am.
One of the first people I told, good old Keith, was instantly suspicious of this change, hoping that it would be exactly the same as his cherished childhood memories:
“Is he still gay?”
Not knowing the full details, I was not qualified to reply to this, although the figure of He-Man doesn’t look as… geeky as the “New Adventures” He-Man (and to my shame, I had that figure) and so I can safely conclude that yes, the new He-Man is gay. Rejoice!
In celebration of this fact I finally produced a “10 Worst He-Man figures” article. Why celebrate He-Man’s greatness when I can criticise it, eh? I’m ignoring the “New Adventures” line, since if I didn’t, this whole article would be about it. And then I’d go insane.
1 – Whiplash
Oooh, first up is that famous villain, Whiplash › Continue reading
Since the festive season is spluttering into view, it’s time for that annual torture-fest… the Christmas Special! Now, most TV shows have, in their time, had these strange beasts, designed to numb the senses and capture that all-too important audience of comatose, bloated families.
In the weird, twisted world of the Christmas Special, there is only one rule – the characters must realise THE TRUE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS. The only problem with this is that the sugar overload will have you vomiting for months to come; and let’s not forget those pioneering television stations who feel obliged to repeat their Christmas Specials in July.
Of course, there is no Christmas Special quite so messed up as The He-Man and She-Ra Christmas Special.
Ah, the name says it all, doesn’t it, eliminating any doubt – yes, He-Man and She-Ra – working together. What a… treat? In an attempt to pad out this episode to around 45 minutes (yes, 45 minutes… you heard) every trick in the book is pulled out faster than you can say “my brain – noooooo.”
At the forefront of this is the pre-credits sequence! Yes, we open the story with every single character from He-Man and She-Ra that you can think of seemingly vandalising the throne-room on Eternia by painting ghastly purple and pink stars everywhere › Continue reading
As a kid, one of the highlights of the Christmas season were the annuals based upon every… thing in sight, from Dino Riders to Ghostbusters to Transformers. It was an art-form, now lost to time apart from the few Action Man Annuals that seem to crop up in bargain bins everywhere… not that I look or anything. But back in the day (the ‘day’ being the 80’s rather than last Tuesday) there were two main annual companies – Marvel and World. Marvel created quality items based upon licenses such as Thundercats and Transformers, utilizing such talent as Simon Furman, Andy Wildman and Geoff Senior. World, on the other hand, employed their mums to draw and write their products, and their 3-year-old daughters to print them off.
Today, I will look at the He-Man 1989 annual, that great work of the English language, worthy of Mr Shakespeare himself. And by Mr Shakespeare, I mean the Mr Shakespeare who cleans my gutters, not the writer-dude-guy (this is from an English Undergraduate). My critical eye has thusly been cast over this tome, and below are the ten highlights of this… thing. But first, a look at the cover:
Yes, He-Man weakly waving his sword in front of a one-armed Skeletor as King Hiss runs away and a very, very large Hordak tries to leap off Snake Mountain in a bid for attention › Continue reading
When you’re young there are great opportunities for going out every night until 2am with your friends, partying the night away and having a good time. But what if you’re a sad, sad bastard like me? See, no-one has ever considered that, probably because no-one gives a toss. I however, do, and so will show everyone the light – turn your state-of-the-art computer into a Spectrum emulator! Of course, I’ve covered this topic on my site before (see if you can find that article. It’s so cunningly described), but having found more games to play, my destiny was obvious…
Jetset Willy 2
Jetset Willy 2 is an… odd game. In fact odd is probably the most sane word possible to describe it. For some reason you play a tiny guy in a hat who must run about a house, collecting glowing taps and things for no reason. All to a computerized rendition of Hall Of The Mountain King. For an example of it’s eternal strangeness, take a look at the picture above in the middle. Look, it’s Satan bouncing up and down in a library › Continue reading
He-Man was always a cult thing with its weird and wonderful characters, from the guy who had the head of an elephant to King Hiss, the evil king of all snakes. Who looked like Sam Neill with a giant head. There were many others that were forgotten however, such as Clamp Champ, the man whose power was… he held a weapon! And Ninjor, the fiendish… ninja. It’s like they weren’t trying anymore. And that’s the epic background here.
Now, one of these later toys was Extendar. Someone I’d forgotten totally about until reminded by someone on the internet how much he sucks. Recently though I had all my old He-Man toys down from the attic (you’ll find out why eventually) and my dad came in (since I’m home from University). He immediately walked to the box, picked out Extendar, said “cool, Extendar”, and started to play with him. This was strange for two reasons – firstly my dad generally snarls at anything I have, even my crappy display of Transformers that I bravely put up on my shelf. And more importantly, I never realised that Extendar was such a cult figure that his name would still be remembered to this day by someone [EDIT] years old. It’s truly a mystery. But who is Extendar, and what makes him tick?