Golden Books, Interviews, MOTU History

Interview with Jack C. Harris – Golden Book Writer

Thank you very much for agreeing to this interview! Tell us about yourself!

Born and raised in Wilmington, Delaware, I was a life-long comic book fan and, originally, I studied art at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia with the goal of being a comic book artist. However, that path changed when, upon graduation, I was hired by DC Comics in New York to be one of their Assistant Editors. That shifted my focus on to editing and writing. As a full Editor at DC, I edited such titles as Green LanternWorld’s Finest Comics, Legion of Super-HeroesBlack LightningFirestorm and many others. As a writer, I wrote stories for Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Batgirl, Robin and others. I created the Ray and wrote the graphic novel, Batman: Castle of the Bat.

How did you end up working for Western Publishing (Golden Books) and their projects?

After leaving DC and working for a trade magazine for the licensing industry, I freelanced for DC, Marvel, Archie Comics, Darkhorse and just about every independent comic book company there was.

While working for the licensing industry magazine, we covered publishing. I received a press release regarding Golden Books’ (Western Publishing) plans to issue a series of Masters of the Universe storybooks. The editor was a gentleman I knew from the comics industry. In my capacity as a freelance writer, I contacted him and soon had MOTU assignments.

With Masters of the Universe stories, what did Mattel provide you with in order to form new tales for our heroes?

When crafting these stories, the editor would forward everything I needed for the backgrounds of the characters. These would be in the form of press releases from Mattel, which included a photo of the toy or a picture of a prototype. Sometimes, I would get the toy itself.

How long would writing a story take?

I was free to plot any kind of story I wanted as long as it didn’t go against the main, established storylines and characterizations of the characters. I could usually plot a story in a day and talk it over with the Editor. This was during the days before the Internet, so our communication was over the phone.

Once a plot was approved, it took me about a week to type up a script, writing about two manuscript pages for each printed page. Typically, a 24-page storybook followed a 48-page, typewritten manuscript. These were delivered through the mail or, if I was going to be in the city, I would drop the manuscript off in person.

With character selection, did your Editor (or Mattel) require specific characters with each respective story?

In the very first MOTU story I did, Mattel did request the inclusion of Fisto, who was a new character at the time. They sent me a Fisto toy (but I don’t recall whatever happened to it).

You wrote a hardcover story “New Champions of Eternia”, which has a unique origin story for the Skeletor henchmen Evil-Lyn, Beast Man, and Tri-Klops; as passengers onboard the spaceship that Queen Marlena piloted. What do you remember about this story and reference Mattel provided?

All of the origin stories and back stories of the MOTU characters came, in detail, from Mattel. I might have embellished them in a narrative, but the basics were always there from Mattel, whether in text or in the drawings or prototypes. There may have been incidences where I made something up, but it was too long ago to recall specifics.

Which story was your first and which one is your favorite and/or least favorite?

Mattel requested Fisto’s appearance in the first MOTU book I wrote, The Secret of the Dragon’s Egg. This is also my favorite of the ones I wrote, mostly because of the stunning Norem cover. Some time ago, I tried to track down the original art of this cover, hoping to obtain it for myself.

Super7 Art Print, in association with the Power And Honor Foundation

My least favorite was New Champions of Eternia because the interior art completely misses the mark, from misinterpreting my original manuscript to not maintaining the established “look” of the characters.

What were the challenges?

Compared to writing for the comics, the storybooks were a little easier since they usually focused on one major incident, rather than a complicated series of events. The scripts would include descriptions of all the illustrations for the artist and all the dialogue for the typesetter. References for the characters were attached, usually copies made from the material provided by the Editor which he had obtained from Mattel.

I don’t have copies of any of these old scripts.

Goat Man from Golden Books (Masters of the Universe)

In the story “The Secret of the Dragon’s Egg”, there is a new character called Goat Man. He did not have a toy in the 80s and your book was his only appearance. What can you tell us about him and his creation?

In the instance of “Goat Man,” I had originally included an unnamed monster minion for Beast Man, but the editor added the name to him. He wasn’t based on any toy.

What was the name of your editor while you worked on the MOTU stories?

Mike Tiefenbacher was my editor at Golden; there were a few Assistants I also worked with such as Charlie Kochman, who later became an editor at DC.

There were many talented artists working on the stories. How did they get paired with writers?

The editor assigned the artists, so I never had any input as to who was going to draw my stories. I was lucky, in that I usually got some extremely talented individuals to illustrate my tales. Some of them I had teamed up with previously in comic books, such as Luis Eduardo Barreto and Fred Carillo. What really impressed me were the painted covers, especially the ones by Earl Norem, who also illustrated covers for such magazines as Reader’s Digest and Field and Stream.

Were there any stories left on the “cutting room floor”? Or pitches that were vetoed?

I never pitched a MOTU story. These were always assigned to me. I would get a call from the editor and he would give me a list of characters to use and I would go from there. The only “pitch” I would give was to the plot of the adventure. I never originated the discussion of stories.

Golden Books also did stories with “She-Ra, Princess of Power” who was He-Man’s twin sister. Were you offered to do any stories for She-Ra?

I never did any She-Ra stories.

Who is your favorite MOTU character?

He-Man himself was always my favorite MOTU character, because he had all the classic “super hero” traits, from super-strength down to the Clark Kent-ish meek alter ego.

You have worked as an Editor and a Writer. What pros and cons do you feel come in those positions? Which one do you prefer?

The best part of being a comic book editor was all the great creative people you were able to meet and work with! The downside were the never-ending deadline pressures!

Oh, and being a writer was more fun than being an editor.

Were there any artists you would have liked to have worked with? Did the writers have any say in the matter?

I was paired with many other artists on other books, such as Al Bigley, Mike De Carlo, Dan Adkins, Carmine Infantino, Gene Biggs, and so many others.

Your MOTU stories appear in both softcover versions and hardcover. Did you know the format in which the story would be published, and what the approach was like?

The format for these books was 8″ x 8″ in both soft and hardback editions. I never knew if the soft covers would also be published in hard-cover editions, and it really didn’t matter as the scripts were typed up in the same matter for either.

What other projects did you work on during your time at Golden Books?

Once I had the MOTU books under my belt, other projects followed, on an extremely wide field of characters and subjects, both fiction and non-fiction: Other licensed characters such as Batman, Conan, the Dino-Riders, Garfield, the Ring Raiders, Zelda, the Galaxy Rangers, the Super Mario Brothers. I did a biography of Dwight Eisenhower and non-fiction books on jet planes, firefighters, and boats. It was a long and varied list.

Did you ever watch the animated series by Filmation?

Since I was writing so many licensed characters, I spent many a Saturday morning watching cartoons with my three daughters. This was “research”!

What projects are you currently working on?

Currently, I am mostly retired, but still touch upon the occasion freelance assignment. In October, I have a book coming out from TwoMorrows Publishing entitled Working With Ditko, which chronicles my many comic book collaborations with legendary comic book creator Steve Ditko.

Thank you very much Mr. Harris!

You’re welcome!

Powers of Grayskull, Snake Men

Snake Men & Preternia Development Documents

Preternia concept illustration, from The Power and the Honor Foundation Catalog

A few years ago former Masters of the Universe Classics brand manager Scott Neitlich shared a number of early MOTU documents his his retrospective video below on the rollout of the MOTU Classics toyline. The documents flash by on the screen very quickly, and I thought it would be worth providing a transcription of each of the documents related to the development of the Snake Men faction. It looks like some of the documents are incomplete, but I’ll include what was shown in the video, along with a bit of commentary in bold and some related imagery.

TO: Dave Capper, Matt Bousquette
FROM: Tim Kilpin, ex. 5076
DATE: 10/17/85

High upon a windy hill, at the entrance to the Towers of Eternia, stood He-Man. Hovering before him in her spirit form was the Sorceress. She had drawn him here, he knew that, but he didn’t know why.

“You are troubled, He-Man. There is much that has changed recently in Eternia, and I feel you must now know the whole story.”

He-Man followed the Sorceress into the grand Central Tower. “What frightens me most is King Hiss and his Snake Men. They were supposed to be only a myth, a fable! But they’re here–now– threatening Eternia!”

The Sorceress took He-Man’s hand. “Do you see the light ahead of us? He-Man squinted as he turned to face a brilliant orb of light glowing in the hall. As he walked slowly toward it, he saw that gleaming shafts of steel had formed a doorway into the radiant sphere.

“I-I can sense that it won’t harm me, but…”

The Sorceress stepped into the light ahead of He-Man. “Trust your senses, He-Man. We’re going… back.”

“Back? To what? To where?”

The Sorceress smiled. “To Eternia… eons before you were born. We’re in a time machine.” Gracefully the Sorceress raised her hands, and in a flash…

He-Man was standing on a plain of tall grass. In the distance, he could see great creatures-dinosaurs!–lumbering across the land. On a nearby ridge, a band of giants peacefully prepared a meal. He-Man was in awe. “It is Eternia! It’s filled with all the things the legends had told me! Dinosaurs–and giant men–and… He-Man suddenly leaped back. “SNAKES!”

A giant rattler lunged at He-Man, but missed. It slithered quickly away. The Sorceress pointed to a trio of towers not far away. “There. The Towers of Eternia stand, just as they do now–in your time. Here. Let’s move closer.”

He-Man and the Sorceress came to a ridge that overlooked a small village. He-Man’s powerful eyes took in the view. “They seem to be a peaceful people–are they magicians?”

“Yes, magicians and wizards. But they use their powers only for good purposes.”

He-Man scanned the horizon, suddenly alarmed. “The snakes again. Why, there must be thousands of them, slithering into the village! And there–at the head of them all–King Hiss! He’s going to attack the village! I’ve got to stop them!” He-Man rose to draw his sword, but the Sorceress stopped him. “No. You cannot interfere–not now. Watch.”

As King Hiss led his slithering swarm into the village, terrorizing its people and destroying all in its path, a single figure walked slowly toward the king of snakes. He was dressed in a simple, dark robe, and he carried a plain wooden staff. “Who is that?” He-Man asked.

“His name is Eric, a wizard’s apprentice. For many years, the Snake Men have dominated this land with a reign of terror. But Eric is leading his good people in a rebellion. He will save Eternia from the Snake Men.”

“But how can an apprentice–” He-Man was suddenly silenced by the sight of King Hiss’s skin peeling away to reveal a mass of seething serpents.

With a grand flourish, Eric drew his staff up before him. “Staff of Magic Light, Give to Me the Might!” A bolt of lightning shot forth from the staff, and now, standing there instead of Eric was a gallant man in brilliant, flowing robes. His staff gleamed with a blinding light. “I am GRAYSKULL, the mightiest wizard in Eternia!”

A fierce battle erupted. Grayskull led his people against the invading snakes. He-Man couldn’t believe his eyes. “That is Grayskull?”

Sorceress turned to He-Man. “Do you recognize the similarity? Flesh and bone do not last throughout the ages, He-Man, but spirit does–and the spirit of Grayskull-is the same spirit that is within you! Grayskull is guided by a Council of Elders. His mentor, Dorran, teaches the wizard the powers of magic that are hidden in the staff. It is the only magic staff left in Eternia. King Hiss destroyed all the others when he invaded. Now each time Grayskull faces the Snake Men, he has a new magical power to help him.”

He-Man watched the battle closely. “Just like Man-at-Arms teaches me. Grayskull is a skilled warrior.”
Sorceress smiled at He-Man. “It runs in the family, I’d say.” As the battle continued, giants raced down from their lairs in the mountains to join the fray–on both sides. Sorceress pointed to the strongest of them. “He is the leader of the giants who defend Grayskull. His people perform mighty feats that cannot be accomplished by magic. And over there– Sorceress pointed to gigantic robotic beasts that were stalking into the village. “There is King Hiss’s legion of evil giants.”

He-Man pointed to another spot in the valley where a herd of creatures was massing. “And the dinosaurs? They too are part of this horrible war?”

“Yes. Many dinosaurs were driven from their lairs by the Snake Men. They have come to the aid of the Wizards of Might. But King Hiss has forced several of Eternia’s most vicious dinosaurs Into serving him.”
He-Man rose again. “I can’t just stand by watching. I must help! But just then, Grayskull struck down King Hiss with an awesome blast from his staff, and the battle was ended. The Snake Men were retreating!

Again the Sorceress took He-Man’s hand. “There will be times when you can help. The time machine will always be open to you, and you can aid Grayskull in his struggle. But remember, this is his battle, not yours.”

He-Man looked distressed. “Can I not even tell him that he finally will defeat the Snake Men? I know that he succeeds! It’s part of our legend!”

“You must never tell him. To him, you must be only a stranger from another world. Let him teach you something about battling the Snake Men in your own world. That way you will help each other, and you will ensure the survival of Eternia.”

He-Man looked down on the valley as Grayskull, once again as Eric, tended to his people. “He is so brave–so powerful!” “Now you know the secret of Grayskull, He-Man, and you must guard it–and cherish it–forever.”

As He-Man and the Sorceress prepared to go forward in time, there was another who had discovered the glowing light in the Central Tower. He reached for it haltingly, then withdrew his bony hand. Slowly, a weak smile spread across the face of Skeletor. “As I suspected–a time machine! Now where do
you suppose this leads?”

Many of the plot points in the above story by Tim Kilpin are somewhat preserved in the Powers of Grayskull minicomic, part one of a three-part story that was dropped due to the cancellation of Masters of the Universe. At this point in his development, the wizard protagonist’s name is Eric, and he transforms into Grayskull by chanting “Staff of Magic Light, Give to Me the Might! I am GRAYSKULL, the mightiest wizard in Eternia!” Later on he would be renamed Gray, and he would transform into He-Ro.

Secrets of Grayskull
New Notes 9/16/85

The leader, perhaps, is a Ranger. One who holds a special bond with nature. His order protected Grayskull Tower and acted as a sort of POLICE throughout Eternia, based at the central tower.

Let’s call the leader Justin for now. He had gone out on a far-reaching patrol one year–and that’s when the Snake Men took control of Eternia.

He was about to rush back to Eternia when someone/something intervened, told him to wait, told him he would need more than his normal powers to defeat the Snake Men.

He was given the secret of Grayskull. It was this power, given to him by whoever, that would enable him to marshal an army, fly, etc. WHAT ARE HIS POWERS? WHAT CAN HE DO

Magic? Technology Speed? Strength? Creation? What’s the hook of the toy? He does something electronic?

He is an outcast at first he is not welcomed when he first returns to his homeland. He is a stranger. But soon he begins to draw together his team.

  • The giant – the master of brute strength
  • The sage – the wise, sagically powerful man who could see into the future.
  • The nimble elf – Agile and quiet, able to sneak up and surprise enemies
  • The hardy dwarf – master of fire power
  • And Justin had his laserbow, a crossbow that shot laserfire

Together, these Rangers would lead the rebellion that would finally overthrow the Snake Men.
Rangers of Grayskull
The Bad Guys:
King Hiss


Tung Lashor
Medusa Man

Along with He-Man and Skeletor. Some things would remain the same when He-Man and Justin brought their weapons together, amazing things would happen. Whole armies would fall before it.

The above are some rather rough notes, predating the Secrets of Grayskull story by about a month. The new hero’s name is Justin in this iteration, which seems rather an ordinary name for a MOTU character. He’s a ranger rather than a wizard. The Snake Men are listed out as the main villains, including “Medusa Man” (later changed to Snake Face) and “Tanglor” (later changed to Sssqueeeze). The heroes sound like extras from Lord of the Rings – a surprisingly straight-up fantasy take (laserbow notwithstanding) on things for a MOTU concept.

Mattel Toys Memo
DATE May 20, 1985
FROM The Masters Brand Group

Attached is a storyline for the Brand Bible written by Tim Kilpin, which will be used to introduce the Snakemen in 1986. The Snakemen will include Hiss, Rattlor, Tung Lashor, and Kobra Khan. Additional details as well as the final name for the group will be forwarded as soon as possible.


Mattel Toys Memo
Matt Bousquette
Dave Capper
May 14, 1985

As we further evaluate and refine the 1986 line strategies, an important opportunity has surfaced which will allow us to make a more significant line launch while capitalizing on the work and development already incurred to date.

Now that Skeletor is threatened by the Heroic Warriors of Eternia and the Evil Horde, he has had to call on the very depths of Snake Mountain’s magic dungeons to summon a new and more awesome evil group “The Snakemen.” This new group, which will strengthen his forces, will feature:

Hiss, the disguised slimey and slithery leader of the Snakemen.
Rattlor, the Rattle Snake master of strike attack.
Tung Lashor, the action tongue reptile with the power to lick his enemies.
Kobra Khan, a prior defector from the Snakemen has now rejoined this group to strengthen Skeletor’s armada.


Skeletor has become far too predictable and easily defeated, therefore, an awesome new group will reinforce his strength and his potential ability to finally overthrow He-Man and the Horde.
Snake Mountain is the focus of Skeletor’s evil planning and the source of his powers, therefore, a team of summoned Snakemen represents a natural extension for a new group.

Kids are inherently fascinated by snakes.

Snakes represent a genre that lends itself to an evil association (even Indiana Jones hates snakes).
Tying four separate SKU’s into one group will allow us focused advertising efficiencies.
This cohesive strategy will capitalize on the terrific figures (i.e.. theming, sculpting, and features) we have already developed to date.

cc: Martin Arriola
Ken Baratelle
Paul Cleveland
Ron Cook
Aldo Favilli
Ferenc Fekete
Jeaninne Gordon
Tim Kilpin
Ron McBain
Joe Morrison
Andy Murrer
Ellie Perry
Shell Platt
Cassandra Schafhausen
Harris Shepard
Ron Torres
John Weems
Mike Welsch
Jim Wolfe

The above memo predates the “Justin” and “Eric” stories, and really focuses more on the Snake Men, as a new faction to add to Skeletor’s forces. This one omits Snake Face and Sssqueeze, focusing on three new Snake Men (King Hiss, Tung Lashor and Rattlor) while retconning the existing Kobra Khan into the Snake Men ranks. Skeletor is said to be too predictable and easily defeated – thus a new evil faction was needed to bolster the Evil Warriors.

TO: Dave Capper
FROM: Tim Kilpin, ex. 5076
DATE: 5/17/85
RE: Masters Snake Group Background

Deep within the heart of Snake Mountain is a darkness–an impenetrable gloom that hangs over its dungeons & catacombs. There are chambers beneath Snake Mountain that have never been explored; no Evil Warrior has ever found the courage to pierce their horrible blackness.

But this dreadful night, there was one who could no longer ignore the challenge. The torchlight cast eerie shadows all about the dungeons of Snake Mountain as Skeletor made his way through its cold, damp corridors.

“Something strange,” he whispered, “something very strong within these walls. Skeletor ran his bony fingers across the rough stones. Kobra Khan cowered behind his master, trying in vain to seem brave. “I-I don’t feel a thing. Skeletor.”

But Skeletor wasn’t even listening. “It’s as if there were a LIVING force trapped here. As if something were struggling to be set free. Skeletor’s fingers caught in the deep grooves of a stone carving. He stepped back to examine the work. “Snakes? A great mass of coiled snakes.”

Kobra Khan came forward. “Let me see. Perhaps Khan went white. He stumbled backward, as if struck by a mighty blow.

“What?” Skeletor demanded. “What do they mean?”

“V-v-v-” Khan could barely speak.

“What? Have you lost your senses? What?”

Khan’s eyes darted back and forth. “Viper! The Viper King! King, and his fiendish order!”

Skeletor’s eyes lit up. “The Viper King? I’d heard only tales…”

Page 2

“No, great one, Khan said, shivering. “Hiss did live, as did his many minions. Many eons ago, he built a serpent empire throughout the worlds of this universe. His was a cold-blooded reign of terror.” Skeletor studied the runes. “But Hordak had told me of the Viper King. He said it was but a myth, a fairy tale!”

Khan breathed deeply. “As well he should, master. Hordak was the Viper King’s greatest enemy. Hiss and the Evil Horde fought constantly over who would dominate Eternia and Etheria.”

Now Skeletor was totally absorbed. “Then Hordak defeated the Viper King?

“No one has ever known. Hiss and his legion simply vanished! But now,” Khan hissed softly, “now he is returning. I can FEEL it. It is HE who haunts these walls!”

A thin smile fell across Skeletor’s face. “Well, then, perhaps it’s time we MEET our houseguest! With a grand flourish, Skeletor drew his arms up and prepared to blast the dungeon walls to smithereens!

“NO!” Khan screamed.

Skeletor concentrated all his evil energy on one wall, and within seconds, it crumbled into a pile of rubble and ashes. A horrible moaning filled the chambers..

Khan retreated quickly. “You’ve released him! The Viper King is free!”

An icy blast tore through the catacombs. Far across the room, human form took shape. Slowly, it materialized into a green warrior.

Khan gasped, then fell to his knees. “It is the Viper King! Hail to the master of serpents!”

Skeletor whirled around and stared at the warrior. “THIS is the great Hiss? Surely there must be some mistake! Why, he looks like some crony of HE-MAN’S, and not too strong at that!”

The above Tim Kiplin story recalls a later minicomic origin story, King of the Snake Men.

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US MOTU Magazine (Resource Page)

I thought it might be useful to put up some resources that, back in what I might call the golden days of fandom, used to be readily available online. These scans were all once archived on I’m creating Imgur links for each issue of the magazine (Imgur can have issues, but I haven’t found a better resource for this purpose, other than Flickr, and I’ve almost used up all my free hosting there). This is a resource, not an article, so I won’t be providing any commentary here. These are really just here for you to peruse, enjoy and download if you wish!


Winter 1985

Spring 1985

Summer 1985

Fall 1985


Winter 1986

Spring 1986

Summer 1986

Fall 1986


Winter 1987

Spring 1987

Summer 1987

Fall 1987


Winter 1988

Spring 1988

Summer 1988

Fall 1988

Thank you to the following individuals who are current Patreon supporters!

  • Philip O.
  • MOTU Origins Cork
  • Bryce W.
  • Ben M.
  • Matthias K.
  • Max I.

Want to support the blog? Consider becoming a Patreon supporter. You’ll also gain access to exclusive content and early access to posts on the blog. Alternatively, you can do your toy shopping through my Entertainment Earth affiliate link, below. Thank you!

Evil Mutants

Optikk: Evil Mutant Spy (1990)

Optikk is widely regarded as one of the best figures to come out of the 1989 He-Man line. Featuring a giant eyeball for a head and a metallic bronze costume, Optikk remains a fan favorite to this day.

Image source: Battle Armor Dad, from the 1990 Mattel catalog.
Image source: Battle Armor Dad, from the 1990 Mattel catalog. Note this version has a copper-colored weapon

Image source: Battle Armor Dad, from the 1989 Sears Wishbook

Design & Development

Optikk was designed by David Wolfram. In my interview with David a few years back, he explained his design process, with Optikk originally being intended for the original Masters of the Universe line:

DW: It was always one of my favorites. He was originally something that I did for a MOTU theme testing board, and he made it into the first wave of evil New Adventures figures.

As designers, we had been asking for quite a while for some nice molded metallics, and we finally got them. I know I used a lot of that dark bronze and copper over the next few years. We actually had a fairly limited palette to work from based on the Munsell color system, and unfortunately many of the colors were too ‘pretty’ for my design ethic, so I ended up using the same colors over and over again. To get any new colors into the system took forever, and took an act of congress. Later, as we started working on more licensed properties where we had to used specific colors from a style guide, that system was abandoned.

Organic-looking Optikk concept by David Wolfram

DW: In the early sketch of Optikk, the thought was that his eye would be removable and go into the forks of the staff. We were looking at making the eye like the compasses that went on car dashboards at that time, but I imagine that approach ended up being too expensive, so we went with the simpler execution. The eye tampo design was the same one that I had designed and used on “Boglins”, another Mattel creature line from that time.

In the space pirate concept below, we can see parts of Optikk’s design on the lower legs. The upper body design was adapted for Disks of Doom Skeletor:

Image courtesy of David Wolfram

In the Power and the Honor Foundation catalog and The Art of He-Man, a couple of other iterations of the idea were shown. One was “Eyeyik,” a strange cyborg creature with purple skin:

The other was a rendering of Optikk closely based on the original “organic” concept, but this time with a technological costume added over top.

Image source: The Power and the Honor Foundation/The Art of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

Update: Thanks to Nigel Willis to pointing me toward a full version of the above concept art, dated March 18, 1987. It was retrieved from the DK Masters of the Universe Book:

Update: I found another piece of Optikk concept art buried in a post in the Geeks_Antiques instagram page. This is a full rendering of Optikk, closer to final but with red and gray armor. It was found included with some Captain Power artwork, and dates to April 25, 1988. You can see this color scheme on Optikk in his appearance on the cover of an Italian notebook cover, toward the end of this article.

A hand-painted prototype model of the figure appears below:

Image via Grayskull Museum

Figure & Packaging

The figure featured a dial on the back to move the eye back and forth. The arm was also spring-loaded for a “quick-draw” effect.

The card provided a short bio for Optikk, which I’m reproducing below:

Evil Mutant Spy from the foggy polar region of evil planet Denebria. The Denebrian fog is so dense here that he has a spyball eyeball that sees through almost anything. His rotating spyball and his Photon Neutralizer weapon make him one of the meanest mutants in the Tri-Solar System.

Mission: To assist Skeletor and the rest of the Evil Mutants by keeping his eye on He-Man and the Galactic Guardians from planet Primus.

Battle Equipment: Photon Neutralizer weapon.

We get another nice image of Optikk on this Spanish playing card, which comes courtesy of Mundo Masters:


Optikk appears as one of the primary Evil Mutants on the New Adventures of He-Man cartoon series. In the show, he has quite a darkly-colored costume, possibly because the hand-painted Optikk prototype costume looked much darker than the final figure. His pupil looks robotic rather than organic. His job on the show is typically as navigator for the Evil Mutants. There is a longer discussion of his appearances on the cartoon here.

In the series Bible for New Adventures of He-Man, we get the following information about him:

Comics & Stories

Optikk appears in three of the four minicomics produced for the toyline. In these stories he’s typically portrayed as the kind of bumbling henchman often seen in the original Masters of the Universe stories. (Minicomic images comes from the Dark Horse MOTU Minicomic collection.)

From Skeletor’s Journey. Image via the Dark Horse Minicomic Collection

From Battle For The Crystal. Image via the Dark Horse Minicomic Collection

From The Revenge of Skeletor. Image via the Dark Horse Minicomic Collection

Optikk appears in the 1990 UK MOTU Annual, in Into The Deepest Dungeon:

He’s also given a short bio, which is similar to the one on his cardback. The main difference is his “Photon Neutralizer” is called a “Fazer Flash Gun.”

He also appears in “The Drumskalan From the Denebrian Swamp.”

Optikk appears in a number of the later UK Adventure comics, including this 1990 story, “The End of He-Man.”

Optikk also appears in a poster included with issue 23:

There was a series of German MOTU magazines with stories that were illustrated using still images of the figures, set within dioramas. Optikk appears in several of the later issues:

Optikk also appears in this Italian storybook, “Cosmic Explosion.” Unfortunately I only have an image of the cover:

There’s an interesting image of Optikk that appeared in an Italian school notebook (branded as Masters of the Universe rather than He-Man). The image depicts Thunder Punch He-Man (the New Adventures version) hitting Optikk (who features a red and black costume) while tossing Karatti (in early concept form) over his shoulder.

The pose in the artwork above is actually copied from an earlier minicomic, The Masks of Power, illustrated by Alfredo Alcala:

Within the notebook there is a short comic in Italian which also includes Optikk:

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