Evil Warriors

MOTU Origins Skeletor (2020)

The MOTU Origins line was originally slated to appear on Wal-Mart toy shelves in the fall of 2020. However some figures have already started appearing on Wal-Mart’s website, although finding them in stock seems almost impossible as collectors and resellers are picking them off as soon as they appear in stock.

Skeletor is the first figure in the MOTU Origins line that isn’t either He-Man or a He-Man repaint (minicomic variants of He-Man and Prince Adam were released at last year’s San Diego Comic Con), and he doesn’t disappoint.

Mattel released preview images of the figure several months back. That version had a few differences from the production figure. Those differences included: purple trunks (like the early 1982 release of Skeletor), airbrushed green face paint, and odd purple “socks” that extended up beyond his boots.

MOTU Origins Skeletor pre-final design

The mass produced figure fixed the odd “socks” and gave him black trunks (like the vintage Skeletor figures released later in 1982 and beyond). They also gave him paint masked green highlights on his face, rather than the soft airbrush look. Another new addition to the production figure is a series of black lines around his mouth representing the gaps between his teeth, which were also a feature of the vintage figure:

MOTU origins Skeletor

As you can see, this Origins representation of Skeletor is a pretty faithful recreation of the vintage Skeletor figure, albeit with an open mouth and of course a great deal of new articulation. He also has a great deal more red in his eyes:

Skeletor reuses quite a few parts from Origins He-Man, including the thighs, trunks, chest, and upper arms. He also features a new half-sword, which is the one departure from the vintage Skeletor – it’s based on the minicomic version of the sword, rather than the vintage toy. It fits together neatly with the half sword that comes with the retail release of MOTU Origins He-Man, although I had to dip the swords in hot water first to straighten them out:

He-Man’s half of the sword

The packaging is based on the classic red and blue “bursting rocks” card from the original 1980s line. The artwork on the back is by Axel Giménez and Francisco Etchart.

The figure is packed with a six-page minicomic entitled Beast Barage. The story is about a plot to kidnap Prince Adam, which is foiled by the heroic warriors. Apparently one new comic will be packed in with each wave of figures.

Interestingly, my Skeletor figure came with the above minicomic, but my 2020 He-Man figure (to appear in a future review) came with a revised version with different cover art and a corrected typo in the story:

As a vintage collector, the new MOTU Origins line is right up my ally. Skeletor especially is a joy to look at and to pose with his vibrant colors and vintage look. Given the interchangeability of the parts in these figures, I hope that future releases will include all kinds of variant heads and boots for us obsessive collectors to use to create our favorite incarnations of these characters.

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Catalogs

1988 Mattel Spain Catalog

Many thanks to Richard Sánchez Guirao and Fernando Seage Tomé from La Cueva del Terror and Mundo Masters Magazine for sharing this scan from the 1988 Mattel Spain catalog with the readers of Battle Ram: A He-Man Blog. As always, their partnership is greatly appreciated. Be sure to check out their excellent podcast, website and magazine at the links above!

MOTU products for overseas markets were often delayed from their initial US releases, which is why you see 1986/1987 and earlier toys in this 1988 catalog.

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Catalogs

1986 Mattel Spain Catalog (MOTU Section)

Many thanks to Richard Sánchez Guirao and Fernando Seage Tomé from La Cueva del Terror and Mundo Masters Magazine for sharing this scan from the 1986 Mattel Spain catalog with the readers of Battle Ram: A He-Man Blog. As always, their partnership is greatly appreciated. Be sure to check out their excellent podcast, website and magazine at the links above!

MOTU products for overseas markets were often delayed from their initial US releases, which is why you see mainly 1984 and 1985 toys in this 1986 catalog.

Return to Table of Contents.