I think one of my biggest MotU toy-buying regrets was passing on the He-man/Superman two pack that launched the initial DC Universe/Masters of the universe experiment. At the time I foolishly thought I didn’t need an extra He-man with a slight repaint, and I definitely didn’t need another Superman. The blue Mer-man set was an instant buy, and the battle Armor Faker was too cool to pass up, but He-man sadly passed by without a purchase, and his prices are insane now. I passed on the Lex/Skeletor set also, because I’m an idiot.
I bring this up because I’m starting to realize how those two-packs were a perfect vehicle for getting a handful of figures that, to me, are absolutely essential to having a complete MotU collection. I think there were some missed opportunities in the way it was handled, and there could have been a bit more of a “bargain” feel with the price, but the sentiment was there.
In our constant need for the next new figure, and with the finite amount of slots leading up to the “end of the line,” there is just no place left for new paint schemes on the “same old same old” figures. I don’t know what plans are in place for 2016. But I do know whatever is coming, whatever rebranding or repurposing or revamping happens to MotU, there are some simple repaints that probably don’t have a shot. And to me that leaves gaps that are just as important as Ninjor, Blast Attak or Multi-Bot.
Masters of the Universe to me is more four color artwork than animation. Where some get that rush of Saturday mornings or Weekdays after school of seeing that gleaming FILMation logo splash across the screen (and I had no small amount of love for seeing these characters in action) I’ll always have a special place for those little pictures that opened up a broader universe to me on cardbacks, in comics and mini-comics. The blue Mer-man was an unexpected surprise that satisfied a little niggling part of my childhood that had festered for decades, but I still have certain versions of characters that I’m dying to have. No new sculpting necessary, just straight repaints of existing figures. There are probably more than this that I’d gladly buy, but these are the distinct appearances that have lingered in my mind
Yellow and silver Trap Jaw
Trap jaw is my favorite character, and one of my favorite figures in the line. But I can’t let the line go without yet another plea for the mini-comic version of the character that differs so distinctly from the original but can be produced with perfectly available parts. Swap out those Trap Jaw lower parts for He-man loincloth and boots, repaint him a sick yellow, cast out his once-black parts in a silvery plastic, and you’ve got a unique take on Trap Jaw that looks just like his mini-comic debut. I am dying for this figure. Sure, I could customize each and every one of the characters on this list, but it would be great to have an original. Trap Jaw is at the top of the list.
Red Beast Man
There’s something even more savage about an all red Beast man. While the regular colored one is no shrinking violet, that blood red Beast Man that showed up in the initial issues and on the back of the mini stood out just as brilliantly as the blue Mer-man. I need the pair of them to stand shoulder to shoulder with my Alcala-headed Skeletor, and my collection just won’t ever be complete without both of them for Skeletor to terrorize.
Blue Vest Prince Adam
I know Prince Adam is one of those characters many people love to hate. He’s as divisive as they come in the myth, but to me there could never a Masters of the Universe without him. But my Prince Adam isn’t the one presented in FILMation, running away like a coward and doing his best Clark Kent impersonation before switching to He-man. My Prince Adam is a carousing, wenching, hard-drinking bar-fighter of a Prince, on whose shoulders the nobility and manner of royalty sits uneasily, until he learns of his true path and has to choose between a life of reckless abandon or of being more than a figurehead. This is a Prince Adam that doesn’t just fall into power, that doesn’t just have it thrust into him with a sword and a few words, but has to fight to become a better person, and earns the right to be the bearer of the power of Grayskull. And that Adam is wearing a blue vest.
Long haired Teela
This is just the standard Teela with the long hair of the “Battleground Teela” version. Maybe blonde, maybe red, I can’t decide. Many have made this version out of those two figures, but have you run across Teela easily recently? Yeah, me neither. Originally, Teela came with her Snake Goddess alternate head and armor, but this time Teela could be released with just two heads, and we get a much needed re-release with a nice side-option.
In those previously-mentioned initial mini-comics Stratos was not gray, but an oddly skin-toned being that flies and shoots lasers from his hands. And people say Stratos is boring. There’s something decidedly creepier about the skin-tone look than the gray of his actual toy. While red wings and blue wings was an ok variation to make, I’d much rather that two pack with Hawkman feature a skin-tone painted version. That would have guaranteed a purchase, instead of an indifferent shrug.
Red-legs Ram Man
Possibly the most superfluous repaint on this list, but while I like the green of the original toy I would not say no at all to a color swap where the red of the original was a dark burgundy and the legs were a red instead of a green. The mini-comic presented my favorite version of Ram Man (I haaaaated the cartoon interpretation of him) and this recoloring would facilitate the release of yet another of the best figures in the line.
The biggest improbability on the list, but as expensive as Granamyr was, as much as I love the fact that we got Granamyr at all, as much as I love the color red, and as much real estate as just one of him takes up, I would absolutely but Granamyr all over again in green. I found it odd that he wasn’t green in the cartoon.
Ok, I was wrong. Ram-man’s repaint was not the most superfluous; this one is. And once again, I love the colors on the Roboto we got. I love the blue arms, I love the red legs, and I pretty much just love Roboto, because I’m a huge fan of robots in general, and the addition of one in MotU made the line as perfect as could be—just like the inclusion of B.A.T.s. In GI.. Joe broke my brain in half. But as much as I love all of that (and I must, because I said it four times) I still have that spot in my brain that has Roboto with orange limbs. That’s the Roboto that single-handedly chucked the Bashasaurus away from him like a total pimp and almost killed all the good guys before they gave him a heart. Literally. A heart.
That’s it. Those are my essential repaints. If the line somehow ends without every single one of those, I will feel the loss in my collection. I’ll stare at the holes left by their absence with Lionel Richie playing in the background and think about what could have been.