Masters of the Universe Origins He-Man & Skeletor

I don’t know if you’ve figured this out about me, but I kinda like toys.

I grew up in the 1980s and early 1990s, so a lot of the big franchises from that time period were really important to me as a kid. And as an adult, returning to those worlds brings me a sense of comfort, due to my familiarity with them.

I’ve never been one of those “you’ve ruined my childhood” types. That mentality is dumb. The thing you liked as a kid is still there, it’s not now there’s often a separate version of it — or you had false memories, and the thing you liked as a kid isn’t as good as your childhood imagination made it out to be.

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe was definitely in that latter camp for me. I was never really a huge He-Man fan, but a lot of my friends liked it, so I watched, too. I only ever had two MOTU figures as a kid: Sy-Klone (whose name I just had to look up to spell correctly), and Rattlor, one of the Snake Men. They were cool, but didn’t really “fit in” with any of my other toys.

So, I never owned He-Man. Or Skeletor. I always wanted those two, but never had them. And as time has gone on, I’ve been less and less interested in acquiring 1980s Masters of the Universe toys. I totally appreciate what the folks at Mattel were doing with the line, but it was just never “for me,” you know?

But in 2020, Mattel revisited the line in a cool way; make new toys with modern action figure standards that resembled the 1980s originals. And that’s what I’m looking at today.

Full disclosure: I got these guys back in September, but I had all the Super Mario Bros stuff to post in October, and then just sorta forgot that I hadn’t posted about them until now. Anyways.

These might be perfect toys.

I appreciate Marvel Legends figures a lot, and I’ve certainly bought a lot of them over the years, but I often feel like they have TOO much articulation. Some of the earlier figures from the line look more like a bundle of hinges than any sort of human being.

MOTU Origins fixes this by hiding articulation everywhere. The shoulders and hips and knees and elbows and wrists and ankles ALL hinge AND swivel, allowing for near-limitless movement. The heads are on ball joints, so the characters can look in any direction, and the waist swivels, so they can twist and shout.

I absolutely HATE the mid-torso “ab crunch” articulation that so many figures have, today. A couple of toys have managed to hide it pretty well; Marvel 80th Anniversary Captain America hides it in the stripes of his uniform, for example. But it usually makes most toys look like they’re part human, part mutant door hinge. Fortunately, these guys leave that right out! And I don’t miss it at all!

Like the original 80s figures, He-Man and Skeletor share a lot of parts, with just their heads, forearms, and lower legs to differentiate them, as well as their clip-on armor bits.

He-Man comes with his axe and shield, while Skelly comes with his Havoc Staff. And they each come with half of the Power Sword, which you can combine together to complete the most prized weapon in all of Eternia.

I love the simplicity of Super7’s ReAction figures. I like the detailing and dynamic posing possibilities of Marvel Legends and its various wannabe lines.

But MOTU Origins combines impressive articulation for cool poses, without any of the joints getting in their own way. The figures are big and sturdy, but also made of a slightly softer plastic, meaning they’ll hold up to abuse from being a little rougher with them.

It’s a shame I don’t care more about Masters of the Universe. But man, if someone started making , for example, Ninja Turtles toys in this style? It’d be hard to say no.