I’m sure I saw Bashasaurus at some point growing up, if only in a minicomic or in cross sell art, but it never really stuck with me. In retrospect, though, it’s a pretty great concept. A dinosaur vehicle whose primary weapon is a giant boulder attached to a stick? Yes, please.
Design & Development
The early working name for Bashasaurus was Ball Buster, a name which famously caused Filmation President Lou Scheimer to reject outright the idea of ever including it in the animated He-Man series. As evident in the concept below, the early incarnation of the vehicle (illustration by Ed Watts, Sept 19, 1983) would have had the ball mechanism come down from the center of the vehicle. This early concept is intended for the Evil Warriors, and bears little resemblance to the final toy:
According to the patent (Filed January 4, 1985), Bashasaurus was invented by Granville Crow, Larry Renger and Roger Sweet. The drawings from the patent application (below) show the finalized dinosaur design and modified bashing mechanism. According to The Power and the Honor Foundation, the mechanism was moved to the side to prevent pinch injury during play.
Several years back a Mattel employee sold off a number of molds and prototypes, among them one for the Bashasaurus (thanks to Manic Man in the comments for the reminder):
The production toy was produced in a bright red color with orange and blue highlights. The faceplate features a triceratops-like design, and the theme continues in the back with a spiked tail that looks a bit like a stegosaurus. The bashing boulder is activated via an orange push button, the the ball itself telescopes further out by means of centrifugal force.
The cross sell art for the vehicle is closely based on the production toy:
The vehicle includes a tab on the side, which can be used to hold He-Man’s sword and shield, as explained in the instructions that came with the vehicle:
The main packaging artwork, as well as the cross sell artwork was done by William George:
Interestingly, the Venezuelan version of the toy features product photography on the front rather than William George’s box art. The photo that appears in Mattel’s 1985 dealer catalog is used here (images come from MOTU Argentina Blog) :
Bashasaurus was the subject of a poster by William George, which also highlights Dragon Blaster Skeletor, Thunder Punch He-Man, Two Bad, Land Shark, Stinkor, Spikor, Roboto, Moss Man and Sy-Klone (in other words, all the heroic and evil warriors of 1985):
Bashasaurus also appears in a 1985 poster that showcased all of the above, in addition to the Evil Horde and characters from previous years:
Bashasaurus was also illustrated by Errol McCarthy for licensed MOTU-themed clothing:
Bashasaurus appears in a number of the minicomics that came packed with the figures, including the following:
The Battle of Roboto
Hordak: The Ruthless Leader’s Revenge!
The Treachery of Modulok!
The Bashasaurus appeared in several other stories over the years, including the following:
Spring 1986 Masters of the Universe Magazine (US)
1985 Golden Book: The River of Ruin
Issue 20, 1986 Masters of the Universe Magazine (UK)
Bashasaurus in Action
Øyvind Meisfjord has kindly contributed the following image and video of Bashasaurus in action: