My quest for He-Man and the Masters of the Universe
When I was a kid I went to a K-mart store with my best friend.
I was in the toy section, and I saw a He-Man figure out of the
package sitting on the shelf. I picked up the toy not knowing
what it was. I thought, "This guy is so cool looking, I
have to show my friend."
I found my friend and said, "Man, this is the coolest toy Iíve
ever seen! Mike, check it out."
To my surprise he knew the guyís name. "Itís He-Man, heís
lame. Look at these Zoids. Now these are cool.", he said.
I was talked out of buying a He-Man figure that day and bought some Zoids
instead. Little did I know it would be almost 2 years before I
would own any of these way cool Masters of the Universe toys.
During these two years, we never had
enough money to get any figures, and I would see other kids with
these cool He-Man figures. Then I saw the cartoon, He-Man and the
Masters of the Universe, and oh man, I had to get these, but I knew
my mom could not afford them.
At this time I also wanted a computer, and I had a Commodore Vic 20
on my radar screen, but my mom could not afford this either.
So I asked everyone I knew to just give me money for my birthday and Christmas, for the computer.
Only my dad took me seriously enough to send money, he sent up $100,
and man, that was a lot of money for a kid. But nobody else
gave any, and the Vic 20 computer was $300. So I was still a
long way off.
One night when we went out to eat, down the street from the
restaurant was a department store, so I asked my mom if I could go to it,
since I was finished eating. I walked into the store, and immediately found in
the toy section, some Castle Grayskull play sets and lots of
different (and wonderful) figures were for sale. I added it up in
my head and calculated that I could get about 16 figures or a Castle
Grayskull and 8 figures, with my $100.
I had to make a tough decision that night. Buy the figures
tonight, or save money for a computer that I only had 1/3 of the
money for. I tell you, that was a very hard choice for
me. I chose the computer.
I got a newspaper route and saved that money up until I had the full $300 for the computer ,
then I dropped the route, bought the computer and thus changed my
course in life.
I still desperately wanted these Masters
of the universe Figures. But there was no way to get
them. My paper route was gone, and my mom had no extra money.
One day I even saw some kids break a
Masters of the Universe figure on the road, just for fun. A
car ran over it and the plastic torso was broken apart. I
could not believe this; this kid had these wonderful toys and
treated them like this, when I could not even afford one.
About a year later my mom had to leave
her husband (not my dad) in a rush, and I had to grab all my things
that would fit into one laundry basket (my clothes, Vic 20, some
Micronauts, and a few books.) She took what money she
had, and she said, today you can buy what ever you want.
We went to Fred Myers and I found the
toy section, then the figure isle, and looked for He-Man. All they
had was Skeletor, Beast-Man, and Faker. I bought a muscle
bound, blue skinned, skull faced, Skeletor.
I stayed with my older sister for the
next 2 months and pretended that Skeletor was a good guy. I
would make up stories of this blue hulking figure picking up large
objects and throwing them, or he would mountain climb all over the
apartment, and even on some days, he would fight the big cat. (It
was my sisters cat.)
As times got better I got a batch of
figures; Tri-Klops, Zodac, Ram-Man, Mer-Man, Zoar, and
Screech. One time I spent money that I was supposed to use for
my sisterís Christmas present on a Battle Armor He-Man. (Finally I
got a He-Man!) Another time I was sick and slept off and on
for 3 days and my mom woke me and asked me if there was anything I
wanted, I asked for Man-E-Faces and Man-At-Arms. She got them
for me then I woke up and played for hours.
Soon I had a small job, and I was
getting a new action figure every month, it was cool. Beast
man, Fisto, Jitsu, Mega-Blaster, the Battle-Ram (very cool vehicle, see the box art above that blew me away when I was a kid),
Trap jaw, Teela, Evil-Lyn, Buzz-off and Webstor were among the ones
Times got tough again; at one time I had
to give up all my figures except what I could carry on my person, so
I kept my first Skeletor and one of my other favorites,
Man-At-Arms. (If I had the original He-Man I would have tried
to keep him too, some how; but I didnít have him, just the Battle
Years later I started to have my own
kids and went to second hand stores and found some old He-Man and
the Masters of the Universe figures for them. I never told
them the real names of the figures, we just called them muscle guys,
and I would help my kids name their figures, usually named after
guys I knew at work.
I had this idea that if I gave them a
story of who or what the figures were then, they would not use their
own minds including who was a good guy or a bad guy. It worked
pretty well. Believe it or not, my oldest sonís first
Masters of the Universe figure was a Mer-Man; that was his favorite,
and he was a good guy according to my son. (We called the toy Fred)
Here is an example of the type of names
my kids came up with; for the Jitsu figure, they named him Million
Now again, years later, I am still
trying to buy figures, but now itís the new ones. I also
bought all the commemorative ones in 2000 and 2001. My
youngest of four kids calls them stupid He-Man figures. He
doesnít get it; he likes Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
I got my daughter a 2004 She-Ra for her birthday.
We had the box around for about a week before her birthday so she had to wait to open it.
She didnít know what was inside, I asked if
they (the he-store) could write Happy Birthday on the outside of the Box (they did, cool).
She guessed all kinds of thing that it could be.
When she opened it she thought it was some He-Man type figure from the 80ís and was a little disappointed. But when she saw the new She-Ra, my daughter's face lit up.
She said, ďDad, sheís so beautiful!Ē
At first she didnít want to open her, in fear that it cost me an arm and a leg, I told her just open it.
She was hesitant but then ripped into it.. She loved it.
My wife thought I was crazy for buying it for her, but even when my wife saw the She-Ra doll, she too was impressed.
My wifeís comments were something like, ďShe looks like a little Barbie.Ē
I told my wife that it was the same company that makes Barbie. (My wife was into Barbie as a young lady.)
I was so nervous this gift would be a flop, but I was so wrong.
That night my daughter pulled out the Castle Grayskull,
Teela, and she had a good time playing She-Ra, she then asked me to join
her, and we had fun together.
(Of course He-Man got his butt handed to him by Skeletorís forces, then She-Ra had to save the day!)
Update 2 -
They had the She-Ra movie in the theater again, the "Secret of the
Sword" , also know as SOTS, the by He-Man community.
Well anyway we went to go see it on the big screen on a Saturday after noon. It was great, we were the only people in the theater.
To make this long story short, we had a blast spending the day together watching a movie (She-Ra) and eating junk food in the theater.
then my kids have all grown up, I have 3 Grand-daughters now, my
oldest grand daughter (7 years old) loves She-Ra and plays with the
MOTUC Princess of power figures. I made her a special one of a
kind custom She-Ra.