Evil Warriors

Scare Glow: Evil Ghost of Skeletor (1987)

I wasn’t aware of Scare Glow’s existence when he was released in 1987, but when I finally saw him as an adult, he made perfect sense. Of course there needs to be a glow-in-the-dark skeleton man in Masters of the Universe. Why didn’t someone think of this sooner? Glow-in-the-dark accessories had been produced previously in the line (Evil-Lyn’s staff, the warrior ring that came with Tri-Klops and Trap Jaw), but never a glow-in-the-dark figure.


Scare Glow seems to have been influenced by traditional imagery of the grim reaper. Unlike Skeletor, his entire body is a skeleton (or at least the closest thing to it without creating a newly sculpted body). He has a reaper-like cloak and the closest thing to a scythe in the existing library of Masters of the Universe weapons.

Parts Reuse & Design

Scareglow was released toward the end of the Masters of the Universe toyline. There seemed to be two categories of figures released in 1987 – figures that were made from newly sculpted parts (Mosquitor, Sorceress, Blast Attak) and figures that mostly reused existing parts, with only a new head and perhaps a new weapon (Ninjor, King Randor, Clamp Champ). Scare Glow is in the latter category.

Scare Glow reuses Skeletor’s body. Most versions reuse the legs from Dragon Blaster Skeletor (with slightly enlarged feet compared to the original Skeletor), but the Spanish version reused the original Skeletor legs.  The poleaxe (referred to on the packaging as a “scythe of doom”, and in the style guide as a “spirit staff”) is reused from the Castle Grayskull weapons rack. He was given an all-new head and a new cloth cape. The figure was designed by David Wolfram.

Scareglow’s weapon came in two flavors – bright green and glow-in-the-dark white. The white version was principally sold outside of the US and Canada.


Scare Glow’s cross sell art, like most cross sell artwork after the 1983, is a pretty accurate representation of the figure:

Image source: Axel Giménez

Like many other 1987 figures, Scare Glow came with some great artwork on the front of the card, illustrated by Bruce Timm:

Image source: Jukka Issakainen

The back of the card features a somewhat comical scene of Scare Glow scaring the orange pants off of Snout Spout. The scene was illustrated by Errol McCarthy, who also created an illustration for the 1987 Style Guide:

Image source: KMKA

Characterization & Stories

Given that Scare Glow’s tag line calls him the “Evil Ghost of Skeletor”, there has been debate among fans for years about whether or not Scare Glow is actually the ghost of Skeletor, or merely a ghost who serves Skeletor. The 1987 Mattel Style Guide says this about Scare Glow:

Skeletor conjured up this spirit in his own image to frighten travelers on the pathways of Eternia. Scare Glow is invisible during the daylight, but glows at night.

Unfortunately I don’t think this totally clears up the issue. From the short bio, Scare Glow could be Skeletor’s ghost, or he could be just a ghost who happens to have a skull face like Skeletor. In the mini comic, The Search For Keldor, Skeletor conjures up “the most evil beings of time and space” (Scare Glow and Ninjor). So it could be that Scare Glow really is a future, deader Skeletor. I tend to think that Scare Glow is not Skeletor’s own ghost, however. I think the intent was that Scare Glow was just a conjured being who happens to look a bit like Skeletor.

In Masters of the Universe Adventure Magazine issue 9, Skeletor creates Scare Glow in his own image, so it’s apparent they are not the same person in this continuity. As described in the style guide, Scare Glow can become invisible in the light:

In Star Comics Masters of the Universe issue 7, Skeletor calls Scare Glow his “ghostly double”. Scare Glow seems to be a true ethereal ghost, as Blast Attak’s fist passes through him when he attempts to punch him. Scare Glow also has the ability to fly:

Just to make things a little more confusing, this Greek advertisement referred to Scare Glow as Skeletor (the caption underneath his name roughly translates to “Scarier at night!” – thanks Jukka!):

Other Artwork

Coming so late in the Masters of the Universe line, Scare Glow didn’t show up in a lot of artwork, but he was a background character in posters illustrated by William George and Esteban Maroto:

Artwork by William George. Image source: Jukka Issakainen
Artwork by William George. Image source: Jukka Issakainen
Artwork by Esteban Maroto. Image source: Monster Brains


He also showed up in a few catalog photos and advertisements:

Scare Glow in Action

Øyvind Meisfjord recently shared this image and short video of Scare Glow in action:

The scans of catalogs and advertisements used in this article came from Orange Slime, Grayskull Museum, and He-Man.org. The Errol McCarthy line art and comic book scans also came from He-Man.org.

12 thoughts on “Scare Glow: Evil Ghost of Skeletor (1987)

  1. interesting that Scare Glow is posed with the Snake men in that one image.. doesn’t mean a thing but interesting.
    As for WHO Scare Glow is.. personally, the guide says he is a new character created in the image of Skeletor, which is fine. the tag line doesn’t mean a thing, as has been pointed out, Faker is the ‘Evil Robot of Skeletor’, doesn’t mean he is a robotic version of Skeletor.. problem is, that is the ONLY example.. I think he is the Ghost of Skeletor as in belongs to and was made in the image of (even though the image of bit is.. very weak.. apart from the body, as you pointed out, is a skeletor figure, the skull head is completely different from Skeletor’s skull FACE.. and Style Guide overrides Mini-comics ^_^

  2. I’ve always liked to think he is Skeletors ghost. Skeletor wouldn’t let the problem of being dead stop his quest to rule Eternia!

  3. I was a kid with limited ressources and i had to choose very carefully my figure back them, the funny thing is that i liked a lot scare glow but i choose another because for me was the same because they fail to explain at the moment,but the question for me remain all these years, the theory of a evil future skeletor is the best at the moment.

  4. What Mattel intended appears to have been “evil ghost in service to Skeletor,” based on the style guide and all the media interpretations.

    What I thought from the moment I saw that tagline is “undead Skeletor,” and I’ve stuck with that for my MotUverses.

    That said, one very interesting third-hand rumor surfaced on the old Guardians of Grayskull mailing list in the late 90s–that Scare Glow was the evil spirit ‘within’ Skeletor, bound to him for his crimes by the Elders, who prevented Skeletor from either turning back to the light or succeeding in his quest for the Power Sword. The idea was that Skeletor had been sentenced to a slow death, but could avoid that by either repenting or finding the Sword; once Skeletor died, the spirit would be set free as Scare Glow.

    Now, this could have just been a fan idea … but it’s interesting in that this was put out there before the Keldor Origin had been confirmed, it aligns with some of the rumors we’ve heard about that and the Powers of Grayskull story, and it mirrors the Demo-Man concept introduced in Classics over a decade later. Neitlich may have heard about it and picked up on it, or there may have be something in the archives that we haven’t seen that inspired both versions …

  5. I was done buying MOTU figures by 1987, but I came pretty close to buying Scare Glow when I saw him at K-Mart because he looked really cool.

  6. Scare Glow should have been a sure buy for the young me, back in the 80. He had a lot of elements that I liked (and still like) in a figure: the fabric cape, the glow in the dark feature and the look reminded me a lot of Ogon Bat (named Fantaman in Italy, Ogon Bat was the heroic titular character of a very old supernatural/horror themed anime that I liked a lot in my youth). Problem was that somewhat like Zodac, he lacks a solid background and his identity vague and confused: as a kid I were unable to figure what to do with him and in the end he remained on the shelf despite how much I liked him.
    Too bad that I never had the chance to read that adventure magazine story: it would have helped me a lot (the idea about him being invisible in the light is very cool).

    1. Seems that some figures of SG sold in the US did include the glow in the dark weapon, as my original is the white poleaxe

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