Box Art From A-Z, Part One: 1982

One of the best things about getting new He-Man toys as a kid was the box art. The toys were of course amazing and fun, but personally I spent almost as much time staring at the boxes as playing with the toys. I remember being pretty heartbroken when my mother made me throw away my Castle Grayskull and Battle Ram boxes. She saw them as clutter, but for me they were almost stories in and of themselves. You could see whole adventures unfolding in a single painted scene.

Unfortunately, good photographs or scans of the original art are not available for every piece. If you happen to have a nicer images than I do (higher resolution, better composition, etc), please do feel free to share, and I’ll make an update! For pictures of the packaging itself, a neutral (white or black) background is preferred. High resolution scans of the artwork, where it appears without logos, would be ideal. Bottom line – if you have better images than I do, please share them!

One final note: I’m defining box art as the front-facing painted artwork that appeared on boxed Masters of the Universe toys. The illustrations on blister card packaging, then, are outside the scope of this series.

Part One: 1982

Name: Battle Cat
Year: 1982
Artist: Rudy Obrero
Description: He-Man sits astride an unhelmeted Battle Cat, with his axe and shield at the ready. Castle Grayskull looms in the background, partially shrouded in mist.

Name: Battle Ram
Year: 1982
Artist: Rudy Obrero
Description: Due to the folded shape of the box, this piece of artwork is in two sections. In the top two thirds of the artwork, He-Man flies the front half of the Battle Ram (Sky Sled) against enemies on similar flying vehicles, while a battle rages below. Several back halves of Battle Rams are launching missiles. Skeletor, Beast Man, Stratos, Man-at-Arms and Teela are seen, along side a warrior with a horned helmet, and Castle Grayskull in the background. The bottom section of the artwork features He-Man navigating rocky terrain in the complete Battle Ram, as several evil Sky Sleds attack him from the air.

Image source: MOTU Art

Name: Castle Grayskull
Year: 1982
Artist: Rudy Obrero
Description: Skeletor stands ready just inside Castle Grayskull, while He-Man, Teela, Man-At-Arms, Beast Man, Stratos and Zodac prepare to attack. Several Jet Sled-like vehicles fly overhead.

Name: He-Man and Battle Cat
Year: 1982
Artist: Rudy Obrero
Description: In a misty, rocky wasteland, He-Man rides Battle Cat into battle, accompanied by Man-At-Arms. Skeletor and Beast Man ride their own Battle Cats into Battle, accompanied by Mer-Man.

Name: He-Man and Wind Raider
Year: 1982
Artist: Rudy Obrero
Description: In a misty, rocky wasteland, He-Man pilots the Wind Raider against Skeletor, Beast Man, a mysterious warrior in red, and shrouded hordes of barbarian warriors. In the background, laser fire erupts from Castle Grayskull.

Name: Wind Raider
Year: 1982
Artist: Rudy Obrero
Description: Due to the folded shape of the box, this piece of artwork is in two sections. In the top half or so, He-Man uses the Wind Raider’s anchor to destroy a section of Castle Grayskull, while unknown enemies piloting their own Wind Raiders attack him. In the lower section of the artwork, the Wind Raider has landed, and He-Man and Teela battle against Skeletor, Beast Man, Stratos and hordes of unknown enemies.

Image source: Grayskull Museum

Articles in this series:

12 thoughts on “Box Art From A-Z, Part One: 1982

  1. Castle Grayskull Box Art is still my favourite. Unfortunately, my mother threw all the boxes away (Mothers! *Lol*). Looking Forward to Part 2.

  2. The box art built the Masters world and fired the imagination in a way that other toys did not. Im due a vist to my parents attic at some point soon so i will try and grab some pics of my vintage slime pit and land shark 😉

  3. OMG
    We said the exact same thing about the box art.
    I went straight to staring at the art and bypassed the comments,then commented and went to read.
    I got way to excited over something trivial, but this is where awesome nostalgia took me
    Thanks so much for posting this

  4. Actually this is wrong. in that same time the year before buzz off appeared. they had a drawing contest., to draw the next characters on He-man. The winners got their characters on He-man. I did a drawing called Bee Man that was identical to Buzz off as he appeared in the show. Also never got the credit for it either. Now I know what Happened. Thanks

  5. Hey Man! I´ve been looking for MOTU characters stats (height, weight, speed, IQ, power, etc) for ages and just could find very little.
    In the book “Masters of the Universe Encyclopedia there is some info, but I could only get the first one (I dont know if they ever released the next ones).
    Do you know if that info exists? and if so, where can I look for that?
    Thanks! and the site is very cool!

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