Extendar is another member of the ragtag group of 1986 heroic warriors – a bunch of misfits who don’t seem to fit in all that well with the rest of their compatriots, but who had pretty fun action features.
Design & Development
An early concept drawing by Ted Mayer (below, as shown in The Power and The Honor Foundation Catalog) demonstrates the general idea behind Extendar’s action feature, although the colors and styling lack knight theme of the actual toy:
According to Martin Arriola, the figure (or presumably the final styling on the figure) ended up being designed by John Hollis, who also worked on Rattlor and Turbodactyl. The final design gives Extendar a knight look, but with a robotic golden face. The image below shows the final, hand-painted prototype:
The cross sell art for the figure is closely based on the finalized design:
Figure & Packaging
Extendar was produced in a pearlescent white plastic with gold trim. For whatever reason, the gold paint on his gloves tends to take on a green hue over the years, while the rest of the gold paint retains its original color. His arms, torso, legs and head can be extended by manually pulling on each part. The extensions that become visible show sculpted electronic circuitry.
The back of Extendar’s neck feature’s a peace symbol – a fun Easter egg from the sculptor.
The inner part of the fold-out shield also features a peace symbol (thanks to Jukka Issakainen for pointing that out):
According to Mattel filings, Extendar was either shipped or sold starting December 9, 1985. He was trademarked January 9, 1986 and copyrighted on August 18, 1986.
Extendar came packaged on a standard blister card. He’s advertised as the “tallest Heroic Warrior ever!” That was true of course until Tytus was released in 1988. The artwork on the back/top of the card is by Errol McCarthy.
Comics & Bio
Extendar was featured in Mattel’s 1987 Style Guide (illustrated by Errol McCarthy), which gave some backstory for the character:
From the 1987 Style Guide:
Role: Heroic tower of power
Power: Ability to leap over barricades and opponents.
Character profile: Another Eternian athlete who was abducted by Hordak for evil experiments. Extendar escaped the Evil Horde before the foul effects had fully taken hold. Extendar stretched out each morning – extending his body length by over 50 percent! He is very strong and very fast. One of his closest friends was the human who later become Dragstor, so Extendar feels a special obligation to try to free his friend from Hordak’s clutches. Extendar is the stoic sort, but he’s always there when trouble starts brewing.
Extendaris also given a bio in the 1989 UK MOTU Annual, which expands on the above story. In this version, Extendar was an Eternian athlete named Doodon, who was captured by the Horde along with Theydon (Dragstor).
Extendar was showcased in The Warrior Machine. On the cover we see that Extendar has a slightly different look compared to the figure, which may represent John Hollis’ concept design:
Image source: Dark Horse
In the story, Extendar, who has the same costume from start to finish, voluntarily goes with Hordak in order to become more powerful through Hordak’s experimentation. However, after undergoing a transformation, Hordak is unable to control him, and Extendar sides with He-Man:
For an in-depth look at this story, check out Jukka Issakainen’s excellent video on the topic:
In issue 31 of the UK MOTU Magazine (1987), we get more on the backstory of Theydon and Doodon (Dragstor and Extendar). The friends are captured by the Evil Horde and transformed. However of the two, only Extendar is able to retain his own will, and he manages to escape from the Horde (images via He-Man.org).
Extendar also appears in this 1989 German MOTU Magazine:
Extendar appears in a few issues of the MOTU Star Comics series. He uses his extending limbs to pound the Evil Horde (images courtesy of Øyvind Meisfjord):
Extendar appears in the Fall 1986 US Masters of the Universe Magazine, in the story, The Struggle For Eternia. He also appears in the accompanying poster by Earl Norem:
Extendar makes an appearance in this Italian language Magic Boy comic (images courtesy of Danielle Gelehrter):
We also see a brief cameo of Extendar in the newspaper story, Ninjor Stalks by Night (thanks to Dušan M. for the tip):
Artwork & Ads
Unlike the other 1986 figures like Horde Trooper, Rokkon, Stonedar and Multi-Bot, Extendar never appeared in the Filmation She-Ra cartoon, and generally speaking was a fairly sparsely used character in comics and books. He did make an appearance in William George’s 1986 Eternia poster, however:
Extendar appears in some coloring books as well (scans by Joe Amato, images via Jukka Issakainen):
Extendar also appears in this Italian ad:
Extendar in Action
Øyvind Meisfjord has kindly shared the following of image and video of Extendar in action:
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9 thoughts on “Extendar: Heroic master of extension (1986)”
Another great article! Thank you! This guy was easily one of the most visually striking characters for me. I loved that pearlescent “white knight” vibe he gave off; with all the other Medieval influences in the line, it sure took them long enough to make a knight character. And although they couldn’t replicate that exact beautiful plastic in MOTU Classics, they finally gave him the lance he really deserved in that line.
Funnily enough, it wasn’t until I saw your scan of “The Warrior Machine!” above that I realised Grizzlor was also on the cover of that mini-comic, tucked behind the title! Didn’t even notice it in the Dragstor article! Nearly 35 years on, and I’m still discovering new things about this line.
While I don’t have Extendar, a cousin did and I noticed the Peace symbols and kinda got the idea (probably from the comic but.. without double checking it, I don’t remember him being shown that way) that he was very much a peaceful one but would fight IF need be.. which kinda worked with the way he had a shield and no weapon. He was strong and could grow and that he would use to ‘scare’ his enemies into running off, without the need to use violence. very much liked that, and well.. I don’t think much of the classics range so the less said the better..
that said, I feel that pretty much ALL figures that have the extended gimmick aren’t that great.. they extend and leave tons of ‘weak points’.. how strong is one that grows but then has such a small waist? same with the Toy Biz 90s Apocalypse figure, even the 80s Infaceables which didn’t ‘grow’ but had to use the waist gimmick as a suction pump. They all leave tons of weak points which doesn’t really work… but still, fair enough figures
I have to be honest, whilst I don’t particularly hate Extendar, I don’t really have any affinity for him either, and he would probably rank in the far lower end of my ranking the figures for the line. This is mostly because he is another gimmicky figure in what was the gimmicky later phase of the line, and as such, was ” yet another latest gimmicky figure” than much character put into him.
He admittedly did have elements of a knight about him – though my friends and I always thought he was some kinda cyborg American football player – but I always felt these could been played up much more, by now the line was very ‘anything goes’ and maybe rather unfocused in it’s nature.
As mentioned in the blog, some sources, such as the UK annuals, played up the fact that he was one of Hordak’s “experiments” (Snout Spout and Dragstor being the others) which is maybe a kinda cool concept, but was never played up in the line overall, and again just seemed another gimmicky element to the line that in many ways had become quite distant from it’s swords-and-sorcery roots.
It’s interesting also that in his ‘Top 10 Mistakes in the MOTUC line’, Scott “ToyGuru” Netilich mentions that, rightly or wrongly, mass white on a figure is often seen as very cheap-looking. Whilst I kinda like white on figures, I think in my eyes this also worked against Extendar; whilst his pearl-white tone might have looked good on some figures, the fact that he was was mostly hollowed and made of lighter plastic than usual, along with this white colour scheme, did make him feel a bit cheap in my eyes.
I don’t hate the character or anything (honest), he just doesn’t really have all that much to do with my preferred MOTU world. But to each their own and I’m glad that others do like him. 🙂
I’m enjoying Scott’s video series. Haven’t watched all of them yet, but the ones I’ve managed to fit in are nifty.
Extendar is silver, not white. I certainly never thought he looked “cheap” at all.
I had Extendar as a kid. I traded toys with a friend for him…though I don’t remember what I gave up! Extendar was a favorite. I loved the “I am Extendar, Tower of Power!” battlecry and it was just as big a part of my play as “By the power of Grayskull.”
I was kinda let down by the Classics version, but I don’t really know why. He was executed perfectly, but he didn’t really give me much joy to see him again. So he’s in the back of a low shelf, invisible unless you squat down to really study my collection.
I know what you mean. Compared to the original, the Classics one is just . . . dull. He’s not anywhere near as bright, shiny, and pearlescent.
I always loved Extendar and his battlecry as kid. Sadly is true how the figure is limited and incompatible with many vehicles and other accessories, which is his biggest shame.
My childhood Extendar now presents some discoloration too, but weird enough the gloves remained perfect, no discoloration at all.
Most of it manifested on the shoulders but in a way that it looks like battle damages, like the consequences from laser or magic bolts, so my Extendar still managed to look cool XD
I loved the “TOWER OF POWER” as soon as I saw his (much cooler American) commercial as a kid.
After all he was a KNIGHT in SHINING ARMOR in MOTU. Fits perfect next to Man-At-Arms, Ram Man, Fitso, Roboto, Clamp Champ and King Randor. Certainly makes Mekanek wimpy in comparison though. Snake Men’s fangs are powerless against that tin can. He and Gwildor where my favorite new characters in 86/87.
But an extending Knight? What’s the connection?
Looking again at the Ted Mayor preliminary artwork I’m wondering if the original idea was that Extendar would be a rescue worker? That seams like a hard hat and some protective face gear like a firefighter’s gear covering his face? That could be like a Jaws of life on his chest or perhaps a rescue gear like a clamp or tool for climbing and descending.The red, orange and blue coloring is reminiscent of Snout Spout as seen in Filmation. (Note that in the Christmas special, Snout Spout is seen EXTENDING his trunk. make of that what you will.) Old “Hose Nose” was further along then both Extendar & (Colonel become Rio) Blast, who whom started off as a knight design known as “Fire Power Man”. Now I’m wondering if Extendar’s design was changed to knight because one fire fighter was emergency crew enough and knight market tested better then “Human fire ladder man”? The gimmicky mechanism makes a LOT MORE SENSE as an assistant to Snout Spout after all. Heck, what if at some point “Fire power man” was “fire FIGHTER man?” turn “cop” and all three where emergency response men? It was the year of new factions with Snake Men and Comet Warriors/Rockmen after all.
Going back to that original design, You see the shiny pearlescent coloring in the extending bits, hands and boots. I wonder if somebody took another color rendering and that inspired the decision to turn Extendar into a shining knight? Its easy for Orange to inspire the gold accents.