Accessories, Heroic Vehicles

Jet Sled: Heroic rocket sled & jetpack (1986)

Jet Sled was one of a few small accessories sold in 1986 to fill a lower price point in the lineup for the year, along with Megalaser and Stilt Stalkers. I don’t personally have a history with any of these accessories, but in my opinion, Jet Sled is the coolest of the three.

Image source: Nathalie NHT

Jet Sled was designed by Ted Mayer, who also designed the Battle Ram, Wind Raider, Talon Fighter, and the earliest versions of the Eternia playset. One Ted Mayer concept appears below, which has a somewhat similar look to the Jet Sled. I do not believe that it’s directly related to the Jet Sled.

Image source: The Power & The Honor Foundation Catalog. Artwork dated Sep 22, 1985.

The concept below, which shows He-Man riding on a green, shark-themed Jet sled, and carrying another white version of it on his back, looks much closer to the actual vehicle. It dates to July 8, 1984, which means it predates the larger vehicle shown above.

Image source: The Power & The Honor Foundation Catalog

The early prototype Jet Sled was white and quite diminutive. The shark theme was been removed from the design, which in many ways makes it seem much less “Masters of the Universe.” Zodac is seen sporting Stratos’ harness in the photo below.

Image courtesy of Ted Mayer

You can see in the cross sell artwork below the final look of the vehicle. It’s been made larger than the prototype, and more sleek looking. It’s been given an orange/red, silver and blue color scheme. It looks similar in overall style to some US military aircraft concepts from the 1960s and 1970s. There are some very subtle “eyes” on the front. The actual toy would also feature some subtle “teeth” which are not visible in the cross sell artwork.

Toy & Packaging

Jet Sled was first advertised in newspapers in July 18, 1986. It saw two separate releases – one as an individual carded accessory/vehicle, and one as more deluxe gift set with He-Man, which included painted packaging artwork. The latter is ultra rare and almost impossible to find.

Image courtesy of Deimos
Image source: Crazy Collectors

The Euro card included some artwork on the front of the singled carded vehicle that appears to be by Bruce Timm (thanks to Jukka Issakainen for the correction on the artist):

Image via Jukka Issakainen

The vehicle itself came with a new blue chest harness for He-Man, complete with the traditional He-Man cross symbol, which had otherwise at this point been mostly replaced by the stylized “HM” first seen on Battle Armor He-Man. The harness could be used to clip the vehicle onto a figure’s back. The two missiles or jets are supposed to be detachable, although they can be difficult to remove.


One interesting variant is the bootleg Yugo version, which had very different stickers and a much rougher appearance.

Image: eBay

The Jet Sled appeared in the 1986 and 1987 MOTU style guides, illustrated by Errol McCarthy, with a brief description of its capabilities:

Comic Appearances

Jet Sled appears in the minicomic story, Rock People to the Rescue. In it we learn the Jet Sled was invented by Man-At-Arms. Mid-way through the story, Skeletor steals it and uses it to attack the heroic warriors. The design in the story looks a bit closer to the original Ted Mayer concept art than the actual toy:

In Enter: Buzz-Saw Hordak King Randor uses the Jet Sled to crash into Hordak (thanks to Beedo Sookcool in the comments for pointing this out):

The Jet Sled appears in the Fall 1987 issues of the US MOTU Magazine. In Rescue King Randor we see it used as a vehicle for the King and for Prince Adam:

Jet Sled appears in the Star Comics story, The Coming of Hordak:

It also appears in issue 27 of the UK MOTU comics, in Attack of the Snakemen:

Image source:

Jet Sled makes appearances in several German Ehapa comic issues, both in poster art and within stories:

Other Artwork

The Jet Sled appears in a couple of major posters. We see Sy-Klone riding it in William George’s Eternia poster:

Snout Spout uses the Jet Sled as a water vehicle in this poster by Earl Norem that appeared in MOTU Magazine:

Jet Sled in Action

Øyvind Meisfjord has kindly contributed the following video of Jet Sled in action:

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Heroic Vehicles

Bashasaurus: Heroic Combat Vehicle (1985)

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:

Image source: The Power and the Honor Foundation/Dark Horse

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):

Production Toy

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:

Ad sheet illustration, which seems to be an uncolored version of the cross sell artwork.

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:

1985 Mattel Dealer Catalog. Image source: Orange Slime
French advertisement, Bashasaurus vs Land Shark. Image source: Antieternia Facebook Page


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) :

Other Artwork

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):

Image courtesy of Jukka Issakainen

Bashasaurus also appears in a 1985 poster that showcased all of the above, in addition to the Evil Horde and characters from previous years:

Image courtesy of Jukka Issakainen

Bashasaurus was also illustrated by Errol McCarthy for licensed MOTU-themed clothing:

Image source:


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!

Other Stories

The Bashasaurus appeared in several other stories over the years, including the following:

Spring 1986 Masters of the Universe Magazine (US)

Image source:

1985 Golden Book: The River of Ruin

Image source:

Issue 20, 1986 Masters of the Universe Magazine (UK)

Image source:

Bashasaurus in Action

Øyvind Meisfjord has kindly contributed the following image and video of Bashasaurus in action:




Heroic Vehicles

Battle Ram Concept Art By Ted Mayer

Former Mattel designer Ted Mayer shared some Battle Ram concept art with me that he recently rediscovered in his portfolio. I previously had lower resolution copies of this art (one from my 2015 interview with Ted, and another from an issue of Tomart’s Action Figure Digest), showcased in my article about the Battle Ram. I’ve updated that article with these better images, but I thought I’d announce the new images here and share a few insights from Ted.

The first piece of concept art below, was, according to Ted, the original concept. On the second revised version below, Ted says, he was “asked to clean it up and change it for molding, cost, and safety considerations.” Both of them date to late April, 1981.

Original concept
Modified concept

Ted was nice enough to answer a few follow-up questions I had about the art:

Q: On the earlier version, there is an extra piece on the top/back section of the vehicle. Would that have been the firing mechanism?

A: Yes, I figured it would be a pull back and release, to shoot the missile.

Q: Very interesting that originally the front half of the vehicle had wheels as well. Would there have been an extra small wheel underneath toward the front, for balance?

A: Yes, we wanted it to be a totally independent vehicle. That’s why the original battle Ram had six wheels. cost cutting won out!!

Q: The horned helmet version of He-Man has always been shown barefooted, at least in the prototype models that I’ve seen. In your drawings he does have boots. Just curious, was he originally supposed to have removable cloth boots or something along those lines?

A: As I remember, I drew the figure from an original sculpt, so it must have had boots on!

Early helmeted He-Man prototype. Image source: The Power and the Honor Foundation Catalog

Many thanks to Ted for sharing his amazing artwork, and for answering my questions!

Heroic Vehicles

The Battle Ram in Minicomics and Golden Books

The longer I write this blog, the more I realize there is almost no limit to the amount of material that can be written about the vintage Masters of the Universe toyline. I will run out of steam before I ever run out of subjects to write about.

In this post, I’ll examine the Battle Ram‘s appearances in minicomics and Golden Book stories (I’ll skip the Golden coloring books, simply because I don’t have good images for all of them).

Interestingly, in the earliest minicomic stories, it was the Battle Ram, not Battle Cat, that was He-Man’s primary mode of transportation.  By 1983 that changed, and He-Man and Battle Cat became inseparable, while the Battle Ram became more frequently associated with Teela or Man-At-Arms.

When I went through the Dark Horse He-Man Minicomic Collection, I was actually a little surprised at how infrequently the Battle Ram shows up. It actually appears much more often in the Golden collection of stories.

For reference, the vehicle in question is called the Battle Ram, but the detachable front half is referred to as the Sky Sled – although that term isn’t often used within the stories below.

Update #1: I should note that the Battle Ram was designed by Ted Mayer. Alfredo Alcala’s depictions of it (including the image at the beginning of this article) are based on the early prototype sculpted by Jim Openshaw, which in turn was based on Ted Mayer’s concept drawings. More on that at Ted Mayer’s website and in my original Battle Ram toy feature.

Update #2: I wasn’t originally going to include the Giant Picture Books because they’re not really stories per se. But the artwork is so nice, I broke down and decided to include them. Thanks to Jukka for sharing the lovely images, which come from James Eatock (internal) and Polygonus (covers).

1982 Minicomic: He-Man and the Power Sword 

The Battle Ram is pretty ubiquitous in the first ever minicomic (written by Don Glut, illustrated by Alfredo Alcala). Notice that in early media like this, the front half of the Battle Ram does not soar through the air – rather it hovers low over the ground. That was Mark Taylor‘s idea for how the vehicle was supposed to work.

1982 Minicomic: The Vengeance of Skeletor

The Battle Ram is a near-constant presence in what would turn out to be one of the most violent of the MOTU minicomics. Written by Don Glut, illustrated by Alfredo Alcala.

1982 Minicomic: Battle in the Clouds

Battle in the Clouds is the first story where the front half of the Battle Ram (Sky Sled) is not limited to hovering close to the ground. In this story it can soar high into the sky, which serves as an excuse to write it into a story about a furious air battle featuring the Wind Raider. Written by Don Glut, illustrated by Alfredo Alcala.

1983 Minicomic: The Tale of Teela

This is the first minicomic that features both halves of the Battle Ram together. which seems to be Teela’s vehicle of choice. Sadly, it’s also the last appearance of the Battle Ram in the vintage minicomics. Written by Gary Cohn, penciled by Mark Texeira, inked by Tod Smith, colored by Anthony Tollin.

1983 Golden Book: Thief of Castle Grayskull

In this story, Teela is again the driver for Battle Ram, which seems to be mostly used as transportation, as far as this story is concerned. Written by Roger McKenzie, illustrated by Fred Carillo, cover by Gino D’Achille.

1983 Golden Book: The Sword of Skeletor

Teela is again the driver for the Battle Ram in The Sword of Skeletor. In this story, the Battle Ram can apparently travel across water as well as land. Written by Roger McKenzie, illustrated by Fred Carillo, cover by Gino D’Achille.

1983 Golden Book: The Sunbird Legacy

The Sunbird Legacy is probably the greatest of the Golden stories, with an epic, comic book feel. In this story Man-At-Arms is the driver for the Battle Ram, and he uses it to great effect against Beast Man. Written by Roger McKenzie, illustrated by Adrian Gonzales and Fred Carillo, cover by Earl Norem.

1984 Golden Book: Mask of Evil

This story features a brief shot of an out-of-scale Battle Ram from the rear. It’s not clear who’s driving it, though. Written by John Hughes, illustrated by Al McWilliams, cover by Earl Norem.

1984 Golden Book: Giant Picture Book – Heroic Warriors

This isn’t a story so much as a collection of lovely artwork by Fred Carillo. The Giant Picture Book series does include some biographical information on selected characters, however.

1984 Golden Book: Giant Picture Book – Evil Warriors

This evil version of the heroic Giant Picture Book gives us a tantalizing look at the Battle Ram – just before Jitsu goes and destroys it. You’re not winning any points with me, Jitsu! Artwork by Fred Carillo.

1985 Golden Book: The Rock Warriors

This story features a single shot of the Jet Slet, again piloted by Teela, but colored in red and orange. Written by Michael Kirschenbaum, illustrated by Fred Carillo, cover by Earl Norem.

1986 Golden Book: A Hero In Need

Two gray Jet Sleds are on almost every page of this story, piloted by Teela and Prince Adam. Written by Elizabeth Ryan, illustrated by Fred Carillo, cover by Earl Norem.

Golden books images comes from