However, as it turns out, the deal Mattel worked out with Filmation, the company that produced the 1980s cartoons He-Man and the Masters of the Universe and She-Ra, Princess of Power, gave Filmation full rights to any character they created for either series. The only Filmation-created characters Mattel can produce for their Classics line are characters they made toys of in the 1980s or who appeared in the revamped 2003 cartoon.
?Mattel’s nostalgia-drenched Masters of the Universe Classics (MOTUC) is one of the hottest action figure lines of the moment. But for the first three years of the line, Mattel did not have access to some of the best-known or popular MOTU characters.
However, that all changed at this year’s SDCC, when Mattel announced it had scored a deal with Classic Media (current holder of the MOTU cartoon rights) to produce Filmation-based figures.
Here are six Filmation-only characters we most want to see in Masters of the Universe Classics and six we’re… not so excited about, as well as the odds of getting them as MOTUC figures. Please note: all odds are pulled entirely out of thin air, or, if you prefer, our ass. And before you ask, Loo-Kee — the little rainbow dude who his in every episode of She-Ra — actually had a figure in the ’80s. Yes, really.
?The designs for the female heroes of She-Ra, Princess of Power weren’t particularly interesting — butterfly wings and mermaid tails are as wild as it gets. But the female villains get a bit more variety. We’ll discuss Scorpia momentarily, but first, let’s talk about Octavia.
Though she only appeared in two episodes, Octavia was a memorable villain because she was more than just an ugly face: she was an octopus/fish-woman with fins for ears and four tentacles protruding from her back. A Horde commander in the Sea-Port of Sigh, Octavia easily overpowers She-Ra in their first confrontation, draining the heroine’s life force with her tentacles (much like another Horde member, Leech). She even wielded four swords, one on each tentacle, and seems to keep an endless supply of weapons behind her back. Odds of getting a MOTUC figure: 1-40
5) Skeletor’s Robot Knights
?Before sending in the real troops, Skeletor would usually deploy these hovering robots. They generally managed to slow He-Man down for an average time of 0.68 seconds. Their frequent appearances, small size and popularity make them an excellent candidate for an “army builder” set. Odds: 1-30
4) Lizard Man
?Lizard Man appeared in only two episodes of the cartoon series, but that puts him two episodes ahead of some characters who had toys but no cartoon appearances (such as Scare-Glow and Extendar) because the show had been canceled by the time they were released.
In both cartoon appearances, Lizard Man’s role is relatively minor, yet his diminutive size and acrobatic skills made him something of a fan-favorite. Why didn’t he ever get a figure? Chances are, that small size and unique body shape would have been difficult to turn into a toy in the early days of MOTU, when every action figure had to be mixed and matched from the same four or five body types.
In fact, this same problem is the reason Lizard Man is the least likely of these five figures to be made, as he would require a significant number of newly-sculpted parts. Odds: 1-20
3) Sea Hawk
Given that MOTU and POP often borrowed liberally from Star Wars, it’s perhaps not surprising that Sea Hawk’s story is very similar to that of Han Solo: he starts out as a shady smuggler for the Horde, interested only in money, until a chance encounter with Adora shows him the error of his ways and leads him to join the Great Rebellion.
?While fans with little knowledge of POP might be forgiven for thinking Bow was She-Ra’s primarily love interest, her true love was the dashing pirate Sea Hawk, captain of the airship The Solar Sailor.
With his ginger beard, bad-boy attitude, Rambo-esque headband, and purple ascot that said “I don’t give a shit what you think,” Sea Hawk was a welcome presence among the often syrupy sweetness of the Great Rebellion. Even Adora wasn’t immune to his charms. Sorry, Bow — nice guys who wear hearts on their chest finish last. Odds: 1-10
?Scorpia was another monstrous woman, having insectile pincers for hands and a scorpion’s tail. She appeared in fifteen of POP‘s first sixty-five episodes, making her a semi-regular character and cementing her existence in the memories of young viewers. Her design begged for an action figure but Mattel never made one, with gender bias being the most likely cause — the toymakers probably thought her monstrous look wouldn’t appeal to girls, while boys wouldn’t buy a female action figure (Teela and the Sorceress aside, apparently). Odds: 1-5
1) Shadow Weaver
?Shadow Weaver was the easy choice for the #1 most-wanted Filmation figure, as fans have been clamoring for this POP regular for decades. She’s also the only member of this list who’s already had a figure announced for MOTUC (along with the Star Sisters).
The mysterious Shadow Weaver was Hordak’s right-hand woman, a master of the mystic arts whose power sometimes rivaled that of her boss. As ambitious as she was powerful, Shadow Weaver betrayed Hordak on at least one occasion, working with Skeletor to overthrow her leader — only to turn around and betray Skeletor when Hordak found out. Odds: 1-1 She’s actually on her way as part of the 2012 MOTUC subscription.
The Lamest Filmation He-Man characters begin on the next page.
6) The Widgets
?Although created by Paul Dini, who would later become one of the best-known writers for Batman: The Animated Series, the hobbit-like Widgets were relatively annoying residents in Eternia. Their sole purpose for existing seemed to be to get into trouble and require saving by He-Man, who would often go to ridiculous lengths to do so — such as the time he pushed away one of Eternia’s moons so that the Widgets’ mine wouldn’t flood.
The thought of a Widget three-pack taking the MOTUC spot of, say, Ram-Man or Rio Blast is too painful to contemplate. Thankfully, their small size and unique look make them an expensive proposition for a Classics toy. However, don’t count out the possibility of a Widget being included as an accessory with another figure. Odds of getting a MOTUC figure: 1-100
Amusing? Sure. Worth getting a figure of before Ram-Man? Not in a million years.Still, his ludicrousness has made him something of a cult favorite among He-Fans, and his design is simple enough to lend itself to parts re-use, so he’s more likely than you’d think. Odds: 1-30.
?In “The Quest for He-Man,” Skeletor erases He-Man’s memory and banishes him to another dimension (and he didn’t ever do this before–why?). The muscle-bound hero finds himself on the bizarre planet Trannis, a world has been ruined by an evil overlord named Plundor. You’d be forgiven for thinking a character named “Plundor” would be badass. He was, in fact, a giant pink bunny.
?Orko was Masters of the Universe‘s child-identification character as well as being its cutesy comic relief, which is why so many He-Fans have a love-hate relationship with the character. Filmation must have thought Orko was very popular with the kids, though, because they gave him a whole family on his home planet of Trolla: his uncle Montork, his girlfriend Dree Elle, and Dree Elle’s prank-loving little brother, Yukkers (who wears a baseball cap so you know he’s a little kid, disregarding the question of whether Trollans have ever heard of baseball).
In the episode “Dree Elle’s Return,” Yukkers plays a cruel prank that gets him and Orko captured by Clawful, then sneezes into the Horn of Evil (seriously), which starts to turn everything in Eternia evil.
Let’s see, a younger, bratty version of Orko who plays cruel pranks and nearly destroys all that is good in the world by accident? MOTUC can survive without a figure of him, thanks. Alas, it’s likelier than you’d think because Mattel would probably like to reuse its Orko sculpt. I can see a three-pack of Uncle Montork, Dree Elle and Yukkers. Odds: 1-50
3) The Manchines and Relay
Introduced in The He-Man and She-Ra Christmas Special, the Manchines were horrifically cute robot-people who could make minor transformations. It seems like Filmation was attempting to combine the Smurfs, Star Wars droids, and Transformers into one annoying package. Worst of all, the Manchine “puppy,” Relay, follows the main characters through most of the episode and is the occasion for the most ridiculous, humiliating moment in Skeletor’s existence (see below).
Odds: For most of the Manchines, 1-1000. But one can easily envision a special He-Man/She-Ra Christmas set with a tiny Relay accessory, so for Relay it’s 1-100.
2) Crackers the Clown
?“The Greatest Show in Eternia” is considered by many to be the worst episode of Masters of the Universe, not the least because of the immense amount of screen time given to the dreadful Crackers the Clown. The plot is ridiculous even by the standards of the show — simply because the circus refuses to perform at Snake Mountain, Skeletor “conquers” it and sends circus owner Crackers to Echo Valley, which in Eternia is neither a ski resort nor a large-breasted adult model, but a dangerous chasm.
With his oddly-proportioned body, red hair-horns and smooth bare chest, Crackers looks like the love child of Ricardo Montalban and Carrot Top. Please, Mattel, do NOT make this figure. Ever. Odds: 1-10,000
1) Miguel and Alisha
I’m sure there are fans who want Miguel and Alisha as MOTUC figures, but you can find fans who want anything ever depicted in any piece of MOTU media as figures. Odds: 1-100,000
?The two kids from the He-Man and She-Ra Christmas Special, who encountered the marooned Orko while searching for their family’s Christmas tree and got lost. The kids end up in Eternia, where they teach Skeletor the true meaning of Christmas and blah blah blah before being returned to their panicked parents with stories of floating midgets in pink robes and a guy who’s clearly the same guy as another guy, but no one on Eternia seems to notice.