Evil Horde

Monstroid: The Ultimate Battling Monster (1986)

Monstroid is one of the most unique toys released in the vintage Masters of the Universe line, functioning almost more like a game than a figure vehicle or beast.

Design & Development

Unfortunately I don’t know of any concept art or prototypes for Monstroid. I’ll just note that Ted Mayer created a concept for a character called Brainiac who looks a bit like Monstroid in terms of head shape and the fact that it has crab-like claws. I don’t know whether or not it directly influenced Monstroid:

Image courtesy of Ted Mayer

The resemblance is even closer in the version below, which features protruding fangs:

Image: The Power and the Honor Foundation Catalog

As described in the 1986 Mattel catalog page below, Monstroid was a mechanical creature with a wind-up spinning action feature. Its large red claws could capture and hold figures securely. The play pattern for the figure was to stop it from spinning by punching a button on the side of the creature’s body. The biggest differences between the catalog model and the final toy seem to be in the wind-up crank and the stopper button, which are molded white in the image below, but are black and red in the final toy.

Image source: Nathalie NHT

Additional catalog-style images appear in these pages from Magic Boy magazine (images via Poochi and Other Friends):

From my research, Monstroid was apparently first released in the US in October, 1986.

Toy & Packaging

The artist who did the box art for Monstroid is sadly unknown, but they did a very dynamic scene featuring Sy-Klone, Man-At-Arms, Thunder Punch He-Man and Roboto. The packaging and toy images below come from various eBay auctions:

The artwork on the back of Monstroid’s box was done by Errol McCarthy. You can see the original line art below:

Image via He-Man.org
Image via He-Man.org

Errol also illustrated the artwork for Monstroid that appeared in the 1987 Style Guide:

Image via He-Man.org

In the above Style Guide page, Monstroid is described this way:

Name: Monstroid
Group Affiliation: Evil Horde
Role: The ultimate battling beast
Power: Latches onto warriors and whirls them around and around with a crazy twirling action.
Character Profile: It clambers out of the ocean to grab anything or anyone that is unfortunate enough to be nearby. Only by striking Monstroid in one place can it be stopped from thrashing about.

Here is the Spanish version of the instructions from Mundo Masters:


Monstroid didn’t appear in the Filmation cartoon per se, but three giant robots called the Monstroids did appear in the 1985 He-Man and She-Ra Christmas Special. It’s unclear what relationship these have with the Monstroid toy. My guess is that Mattel had planned to make some transforming robots called the Monstroids, but for whatever reason didn’t end up releasing them. Perhaps marketing really liked the name Monstroid and decided to reuse that for the 1986 toy.

Image courtesy of Jukka Issakainen

On a related note, Mattel had also planned to release another Evil Horde robot called simply Evil Robot. This one was never released, but appeared as a loose page in some 1985 Mattel catalogs. This one, like the Meteorbs, was a simple repaint of an existing toy made by another manufacturer.

In fact, Mattel went so far as to commission a minicomic for Evil Robot. In the image below shared by James Eatock, we see former Mattel artist Larry Houston showing off his comic artwork of Evil Robot:


Monstroid appeared in the Star Comics issue #5, released January 1986. It is featured prominently on the cover:

In the story, Monstroid comes from the Sea of Rakash and is centuries old. Hordak and his henchmen have to work together to telepathically contact and summon Monstroid from the abyss to rise up and attack Eternia. Multi-Bot is brought in to assist, and with his help they succeed.

Monstroid appears in a German Ehapa Verlag magazine comic story from 1988, issue number 7. This time the story, called “The Flower of Life,” takes place on dry land. The location on the cliff face recalls the product photography shown earlier in the article from Magic Boy magazine.

Monstroid is also featured in a story in the January 1989 issue of Magic Boy, published in Italy. In this story, Monstroid rises up from the sea to attack the heroic warriors, instigated by Hordak, shown in his Filmation colors:

Artwork and Advertising

Monstroid was featured in an Earl Norem poster released in the Fall 1986 issue of MOTU Magazine:

Monstroid appears in William George’s 1986 Eternia poster, below:

Image via Jukka Issakainen

Monstroid appears in the Italian ad below that originally appeared in Magic Boy magazine:

Image: Poochi and other Friends

Monstroid in Action

Øyvind Meisfjord has kindly provided the image and video below. Enjoy!

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5 thoughts on “Monstroid: The Ultimate Battling Monster (1986)

  1. So in actuality there were 9 robotic monstoroids, some are seen the “day of the flowers” POP episode and some are seen in the christmas special, I could email you the picture of the other 6 if intreasted. Also it should be noted that about the horde giant who was going to be made alongside tytus and megator named Steel Kill, Is the closest thing we would have gotten to a “Filmation” Monstroid

    1. Hi Chris, great comments, thanks for the additional information. Yes, I’d love the additional 6 Monstroid images if you don’t mind. My email is battleramblog at gmail dot com.

  2. Monstroid makes a cameo in MOTU Revolution series as one of the ancient behemoths awakens by Skeletor in his full power mode

  3. Great article, as always! Thank you!

    It never crossed my mind that “Brainiac” / “The Brain” might be connected with Monstroid, design-wise. I remember having the toy, though. Wasn’t a huge amount of fun, but I kept it for completeness. The yellow paint on its eyes and fangs chipped off annoyingly easily.

    Dunno if you watched the “Masters of the Universe: Revolution” series on Netflix, but they had a number of ancient robotic Gar war colossi buried under ground which were resurrected and set loose, a grotesque assembly of technological terrors, one of which was a familiar-looking, bulky, crab-shaped monstrosity. In a nice nod to the Earl Norem poster, Snout Spout ended up shooting it with his trunk-spray.

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