Wednesday 15 June 2005

"By the Power of Grayskull... I HAVE THE POWER!!!"

Masters of the Universe (MotU) was a cornerstone of eighties childhood. The cadre of Skeletor, Beast Man, Trap Jaw and Tri-Klops were hired to bolster Darth Vader's bounty hunters. Castle Grayskull served as Vader's weekend retreat so to speak and Snake Mountain became the adopted home of the Emperor and source of unlimited Sith power.

During a family holiday to Innsbruck (1984), between organized coach trips, we would walk around the shops. The Austrian toy stores overflowed with MotU action figures that were not available in the UK. One of the most coveted was Prince Adam and the fact that I wasn't allowed to buy him left me emotionally scarred. I had to content myself with an Action Force summer special comic!

Mattel extended MotU with the introduction of She-Ra (think action Barbie) and The Evil Horde. Hordak was the insidious successor to Skeletor and his Horde Troopers shamelessly copied the Stormtroopers of a galaxy far, far away. A variety of beasts were released. Modulok resides mint in box in my attic.

By 1987 I had set aside 'childish' things and waited anxiously for the release of Michael Jackson's Bad album. However, that didn't preclude me from seeing the camp live-action movie (starring a young Courteney Cox) and savouring Bill Conti's copycat score (see John Williams).

Mattel's 2002 revival of the enduring billion-dollar property has met with mixed success. Mattel flooded the market with worthless repaints. Last year, I tracked down Mer-Man (an overlooked figure from the original) and this weekend made a successful bid for the elusive and very rare Evil-Lyn. The new sculpt, by Four Horsemen Studios, captures the beauty of Skeletor's duplicitous sorceress. Up until bidding for this, I'd never used eBay and am somewhat agog at the poor user experience. Clumsy.

With the R1 release of Masters of the Universe DVD and UMD, the He-Man renaissance should be secure.

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