Friday, 26 December 2008

The Ten Worst He-Man Toys

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. His amazing power? Being fat and having funny teeth. I think Whiplash was the only fat guy in Eternia. Whilst everyone else had extending heads or bee costumes, this guy was left with a ticket to Weight Watchers. At least he wasn't called "Fat-Man."

But Whiplash was annoyed at his awful powers... so he invented an ability, and strapped a fake rubber tail to his back. The function of this wasn't blatantly obvious. The packaging claimed that twisting his waist caused the tail to FLICK FORWARD IN AN AMAZING POWER SMASH!!!!!! Or something to that effect. Probably more exclamation marks, come to think of it. But guess what - yeah, it didn't work. The tail was too stiff, and so did... nothing. Added to this was the dilemma that twisting his waist snapped the poor guy in half, so that's that out the window. The only play option to keep Whiplash as a danger to your heroic toys was to get him to walk backwards to the good guys, and poke them with his tail.

Sadly, Whiplash is no Perseus, so, basically, he sucked. But he was my sister's so I wasn't too concerned.

2 - Tung Lashor
Woo.. it's Tung Lashor! Now, don't get me wrong - some of my favourite He-Man figures were the Snake-Men, with guys such as "King Hiss" and "Rattlor." But Tung Lashor...? Now, for starters, he's obviously not a snake. It casts the elite recruitment policies of the Snake Men into great doubt. He's a frog. With a dragonfly gun.

Also, his special power is.. sticking out his tongue! Oh no, I'm going to be licked! That's it, Tung Lashor, back you go. And don't come back until you've learnt to spell.

3 - Prince Adam
Well, who wouldn't want a Prince Adam, eh? A gay He-Man for all the family to play with - healthy fun for kids! But really, who wanted Prince Adam? He-Man was the boss in that regards, Adam was just... the guy He-Man was at meal times. And who has a hideously massive torso and a pink sword. And just what are the play opportunities?  He.... turns into He-Man! YEAH!

Don't get me wrong, I love awful repaints. But Prince Adam was never that buff and if they did have to make an Adam figure, there's so many interesting gimmicks he could have had (such as... change into he-Man!)

What skills did Adam have? Well, according to the card, he can

a) Hold his accessory. Wow, no other figure does that

b) Twist his waist, which is a weak elastic band. Something that cannot be done with any other He-Man figure ever.

4 - Orko
Orko! If He-Man figures were made to scale, Orko would KICK Skeletor into hell, or would if he had any feet. The problem with Orko was his ripcord motion - you could only play with him on a table. Or the kitchen, but lets not get into THAT. You could also see what he looked like under his hat... ie a black head. How dull.

Also coming with Orko was a MAGIC TRICK. You had a fake, hollow pile of villain 'coins' and smaller hero ones that fitted inside, so it looked like the coins had changed! The only mysterious thing about it though was how anyone ever thought people would be fooled. Anyway, below is a copy of the pieces so you can make your own. No, don't thank me, I just nicked the picture from somewhere.

5 - Hordak
Gasp - Hordak! Hey mate, what are you if not a cheap Skeletor rip off? And you can't get the head right, looking just stupid. Don't get me wrong, the rest of the Horde figures were cool.. but Hordak? His special power was... a red plastic bat. Oh, and a cloak. COWER. As a kid I was a huge fan of gimmicks, I admit it. Vanilla figures just didn't do it for me. So I was really looking for more from Hordak.

Later in life, Hordak decided to get in on the "freak" market by inserting a buzzsaw into his chest. Obviously. Too little too late, mate! Ha, at least Battle Armour Skeletor got it right... you could beat him up!

6 - Tri-Klops
 Right.. what's Tri-Klop's special power? Uh... a hat. Yes, he has the Power Of Hats, and can make his eye cross or not!  I wish I could do that. Oh, and look at the packaging illustration - he can use his eye to see objects! Wow, a great addition to Skeletor's forces of darkness. Well actually considering the other lackeys that Skeletor has, he probably is useful.

7 - Stinkor
 Oh look, Stinkor. I never had this guy as a kid, because my mum said he smelt. I kept telling her that he didn't, it was just his name. However years later, I discovered he DID actually smell so I guess it turns out parents ARE always right. Despite wanting him, I'm going to say that he's rubbish. Because I didn't have him, yet had all the others, and anything I didn't have as a kid wasn't worth getting, right?

Oh Stinkor, I'm sorry. I... love you.

8 - Beast Man
 Beast Man! Who in their right minds would want the lame, stupid, moron from the cartoon who looks like he's been smacked over the head with an Ugly Stick? Well, apart from me? Look, he has a whip. GOD, NO! Perhaps I'm being unfair, him being one of the original figures, but I expect miracles! Gimme gold. Gimme a show accurate Arcee. Gimme gimme gimme a man after midnight.

Hang on, that's wrong. That's just wrong.

9 - King Randor
 Bow before the king, SCUM. Now with Adam and Randor, you can play Happy Families. Really though, having a king is about 100 times more useless than Adam.. I mean the packaging even is forced to play up his STAFF. Anyway, obviously it's a spear. Eternia is a kingdom on a budget, folks.

But wait... is Randor really so useless? In the cartoon, whenever a villain was said to have escaped, he was always imprisoned in the past by He-Man AND Randor! Yeah, Randor kicks ass! Also if I were a king, I would totally walk about in battle armour on my top and a tiny pair of furry pants, just to see what people would do.

10 - Man-At-Arms
Finally we get Man-At-Arms. A decent enough figure, apart from the fact that he looks constipated, and hasn't got a moustache! This isn't the Man-At-Arms we have come to know and love - it must be a lame clone made by Skeletor. Well his previous attempt was "Faker" a clone of He-Man that happened to be bright blue and orange. Oh yeah! Really, this figure is an example enough of the established fiction made to sell the toys making the toy undesirable due to looking completely different. But really, would it have been so hard to just add a little nose hair to him?


  1. I had the Man at Arms and Skeletor toys. If you will recall, the original Masters of the Universe line was released well before the cartoon. Maybe a full year earlier. The toys were so popular that a cartoon had to follow, because that's the way we Americans do things. Recall such classic Saturday morning fare as "Pac Man", "Gummy Bears", and "Little Roseanne Barr". We truly are the pinnacle of civilization.

    Originally, there was no story of He-Man on the planet Eternia with all of that Prince Adam, Orko, and King Randor crap. They were just a line of muscle-bound dolls that lacked a unifying narrative.

    The cartoon re-invented Man at Arms as an old man named Duncan. I never figured out the purpose. But in retrospect, the He-Man cartoon was produced by Filmation studios, that created some of the worst cartoons ever. I guess that's reason enough.

  2. way to take the easy way out with this article, matt

    you could pick ANY 10 random he-man toys and do this article, i doubt you even chose

  3. I have a feeling that the first ever He-Man media was the Superman meets He-Man comic from DC, which was made before the minicomics I think

    Also yes I just have a giant wheel full of He-Man figures, it points to one and I write about it :(

  4. DUMB
    These are the WORST figures you could find?
    You dont know much about the line.............

  5. I think my and your definitions of 'worst' may vary. For example, I love Rio Blast like he is a king!

  6. I own 6 of the ten!

  7. I'm glad Man-E-Faces didn't make the list, or Stratos. I loved those guys. And what about the Sorscoress (christ how dfo you spell that?). Forget Teela, the Sorcoress was where it's at. And she had her own pad in Castle Greyskull so she could go off there if you had a row.

    And Ram-man, I liked his gimmick, although he was effectively Brawn off Transformers (more or less).

    Was that enough parentheses?

  8. Wow, King Randor looks like a reveller from the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.

    Come to think of it, a lot of the human characters wouldn't be out-of-place there. Least of all He-Man himself, what with his rippling muscles and very small pants.

  9. Stinkor was one of the best toys I ever had BECAUSE he stank! In fact, he has now infected the entire box which contains my He-Man collection. Open it up and Ahhhh... there's Stinkor! What other toy has carried on his plots throughout the ages without even the presence of my imagination? haha

  10. Ha! I thought Hordak was cool then and he still is cool. I have his kite which I used to fly around as a child. LONG LIVE THE HORDE!!!!

  11. i have a freakin he man toy that dosn't want to run out of baterys, even though every five minutes ihear a "clank clang" from his sword. the worst part, it dosnt hav a off switch, and it goes off every time it moves.

  12. Good picks of really bad Toys! Stinkor really smelled bad? Oh wow. stinky must have been a real favorite of men, women + children! Yeah, what's with "the King" figure? The guy had no personality in the tv show. Maybe if he had a voice like 1940s actor, Jimmy Durante, he would be more fun!
    Good Article!

  13. Stinkor smelled awesome. He actually smelled even better than Moss Man. Your list is terrible, some good figures on there.

  14. stinkor and beastman shoould not be on this list coz they are kool figures im sorry but you cant say they are bad at all,i mean there are loads of bad figures i hate like-rokkon,stonedar,zodac,teela,man-e-faces,jitsu,fisto,kobra khan,moss-man,snout spout,extendar,dragstor,blast attak,evil-lyn.are they good no way they are awful in oneway or another.i agree with alot of this list tho prince adam king randor and man-at-arms look boring are boring put them out of sight when the likes of two-bad,mosquitor or scareglow are around.