Hurricane Hordak: Ruthless leader with the wicked whirling weapons! (1986)

Hurricane Hordak, released in 1986, is the first of two Hordak variants, and the only version of Hordak (in the vintage line) with any significant changes to his costume.

Design & Development

Hurricane Hordak in some ways is more similar to his animated counterpart than the original Hordak release, in that his arm ends in a “cannon” (or something that looks like one) and “transforms” into different weapons.

Recently Kris Oneida shared some reference Polaroids shown to him by MOTU minicomic colorist Charles “Skip” Simpson. Among them was a blue-skinned Hordak prototype with gold armor. Was this meant to be a Filmation-inspired variant of Hordak? Or perhaps an alternative color shot intended to be the original Hordak release? Without a date it’s unclear, but the gold armor certainly recalls Hurricane Hordak.

Hurricane Hordak’s action feature was actually originally intended for a different figure, as illustrated in this July 8, 1984 “Rotary Man” concept by Ted Mayer:

On October 11, 1985, Hurricane Hordak’s patent claim was filed by Mattel (it was not granted until 1987). The following drawings were included:

I haven’t seen any concept art specifically for Hurricane Hordak, but you can see the final look for the character in this cross sell artwork:

Production Toy

The final production toy can be seen in these US and France catalog images, along with other 1986 variants, Flying Fists He-Man and Terror Claws Skeletor (image from Nathalie NHT):

Hurricane Hordak included three arm attachments (similar to Trap Jaw and Roboto before him), all of which could be rotated at the end of his right arm by thumbing the red wheel on his back. In the instructions in the packaging, the attachments are called the Thunderball Mace, Battle Shield, and Bat-Wing Propeller:

Hurricane Hordak came on a large, deluxe card, with dynamic artwork by William George on the front.

The back of the card features artwork by an unknown artist depicting Hordak breaking into Snake Mountain with his “Battle Shield”:

Media

The 1987 MOTU Style Guide features Hordak in his Filmation look (illustrated by Errol McCarthy, but when discussing his weapons, it references the attachments included with Hurricane Hordak:

Weapons: Now he has fashioned gruesome weapons such as helicopter-like bats-wings propellor, 4-pronged “kinetic shield” and 3-headed “thunderballs” mace that all attach to his whirling arm.

Hurricane Hordak appears in The Hordes of Hordak, along with the minicomic introduction of the Horde Troopers. He has the whirling attachments, but is shown the in the colors of the original 1985 action figure:

Hurricane Hordak was featured in a number of UK and German MOTU Magazine issues, including in these full color posters by artist Esteban Maroto from the Ehapa Verlag issues:

He’s also featured in the 1986 Eternia poster by William George:

Hurricane Hordak in Action

Øyvind Meisfjord has graciously contributed the following image and video showing Hurricane Hordak in action:

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3 thoughts on “Hurricane Hordak: Ruthless leader with the wicked whirling weapons! (1986)”

  1. I don’t remember exactly when I got Hurricane Hordak back in the day, but he got a lot of playtime in my MOTU adventures! He was never as cool as the Skeletor and He-Man variants we had in the vintage line, but the spinning weapons and vac-metal armor still gave him a nice “deluxe” feel. I always used this figure as Hordak’s “powered up” incarnation, much as I did for Thunder Punch He-Man. I never used the shield as such, preferring instead to use it to grapple and capture other figures around the waist, then hold them over his head and spin them around, though I had to hold them in place to keep them from falling off. This would incapacitate them for awhile, as they’d be nauseous from the spinning, lol. My figure is long gone, though I do still have his arm attachments.

    Hopefully we’ll get a new version in the Origins line pretty soon! I’m still wondering why the decision was made to release Buzz-Saw Hordak before this one…

  2. Cool entry! I really enjoyed this figure as a kid.

    That early Polaroid with the blue skin and pale armour looks a heck of a lot like some of Hordak’s mini-comic appearances!

  3. As touched upon in the article, there may well be some truth behind the blue possible-Filmation-style Hordak, and I can’t help but wonder if what became HH Hordak had been originally planned for his original “plain figure” release. Certainly, the Filmation version does have a lot of arm attachments and arm changes, which would tally with the figure’s overall concept.
    Actually, I always did find it a little unusual that original Hordak didn’t have a feature beyond the standard twist-waist, as most typical figures by that point would have some sort of gimmick; so I wonder if the ideas for what became HH Hordak were delayed for whatever reasons and they went with the more standard design instead? Filmation were known for going with designs from early sketches and designs for characters, hence various different colours and designs to some characters (Mutli-Bot, Clawful… add your own comparisons here) which may be where they got the blue Hordak colour scheme and the whole weaponised arm thing. Maybe. 🙂

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