Evil Warriors

MOTU Origins Skeletor (2020)

The MOTU Origins line was originally slated to appear on Wal-Mart toy shelves in the fall of 2020. However some figures have already started appearing on Wal-Mart’s website, although finding them in stock seems almost impossible as collectors and resellers are picking them off as soon as they appear in stock.

Skeletor is the first figure in the MOTU Origins line that isn’t either He-Man or a He-Man repaint (minicomic variants of He-Man and Prince Adam were released at last year’s San Diego Comic Con), and he doesn’t disappoint.

Mattel released preview images of the figure several months back. That version had a few differences from the production figure. Those differences included: purple trunks (like the early 1982 release of Skeletor), airbrushed green face paint, and odd purple “socks” that extended up beyond his boots.

MOTU Origins Skeletor pre-final design

The mass produced figure fixed the odd “socks” and gave him black trunks (like the vintage Skeletor figures released later in 1982 and beyond). They also gave him paint masked green highlights on his face, rather than the soft airbrush look. Another new addition to the production figure is a series of black lines around his mouth representing the gaps between his teeth, which were also a feature of the vintage figure:

MOTU origins Skeletor

As you can see, this Origins representation of Skeletor is a pretty faithful recreation of the vintage Skeletor figure, albeit with an open mouth and of course a great deal of new articulation. He also has a great deal more red in his eyes:

Skeletor reuses quite a few parts from Origins He-Man, including the thighs, trunks, chest, and upper arms. He also features a new half-sword, which is the one departure from the vintage Skeletor – it’s based on the minicomic version of the sword, rather than the vintage toy. It fits together neatly with the half sword that comes with the retail release of MOTU Origins He-Man (look for a future review of this figure), although I had to dip the swords in hot water first to straighten them out:

He-Man’s half of the sword

The packaging is based on the classic red and blue “bursting rocks” card from the original 1980s line. The artwork on the back is by Axel Giménez and Francisco Etchart.

The figure is packed with a six-page minicomic entitled Beast Barage. The story is about a plot to kidnap Prince Adam, which is foiled by the heroic warriors. Apparently one new comic will be packed in with each wave of figures.

Interestingly, my Skeletor figure came with the above minicomic, but my 2020 He-Man figure (to appear in a future review) came with a revised version with different cover art and a corrected typo in the story:

As a vintage collector, the new MOTU Origins line is right up my alley. Skeletor especially is a joy to look at and to pose with his vibrant colors and vintage look. Given the interchangeability of the parts in these figures, I hope that future releases will include all kinds of variant heads and boots and other parts for us obsessive collectors to use to create our favorite incarnations of these characters.

15 thoughts on “MOTU Origins Skeletor (2020)

  1. I really love mine. I can’t wait to get more later (and cheaper!) so I can do some customization.

  2. Excellent review! Thank you! I’m sitting out on these MOTU Origins. As nifty as they are, I just can’t countenance collecting the same characters all over YET AGAIN. I love that it’s keeping the brand alive, and seeing the innovations (improved half-sword engineering, the customisable features and pivoting cannon on the Sky Sled, swappable body parts, etc), but I’m going to have to sit out this round.

  3. I have virtually nothing negative to say about this figure except for the open mouth: is not bad but is something more fitting as optional head than as the default one.

  4. can’t see the point.. I mean, okay, more poseable then the originals and not a HUGE insult like some of the modern, and those re-action crap, but.. the name makes no sense ‘Origins’.. yet it’s.. far from an original version.. and .. no.. not happy with the head style.. I think this should be officially called ‘Gummy Skeletor’.. cause with the mouth open like that, and the.. now WEIRD expression, it looks like he is some old man who has lost his teeth and is mumbling..

    Though I guess this is a god send to the bootleggers.. “custom third party ‘skeleton head guy” customs are gonna be around pretty quickly..

      1. sorry for delay, Dragster was a pretty much insult. MOTU figures were very much gimmick based, starting with the idea of how the muscles were, and the work to get the arms angled just right (there has been good articles here on all the trouble and fuss on the original basic design), Dragster was turned from weak feature but fair enough to one with no feature at all. and the biggest? Re-action.. making everything into Kenner style, even when it had stuff and was made to be NOTHING LIKE the Kenner style.. their MOTU figures just go against EVERYTHING that was stated when the MOTU series was created.. they are just SUCH big insults it’s a joke..

        1. ‘Sarright, mate. Yeah, I’m totally with you on Dragstor. I wish he could’ve had the rolling ab-wheel, too. Same with Rio Blast and his chest-cannon, really. Buzz-Saw Hordak showed they were capable of doing a new, dedicated, “one-piece” hollow torso for a figure without compromising any of the other articulation. I would’ve happily paid $5 extra per figure to get Dragstor and Rio Blast done “right.”

          As for the ReAction figures . . . yeah, I really don’t get those, either. But people seem to like ’em, so they keep making them. Not my goblet of mead, though.

          1. there is one problem that pretty much every company has.. Money. not that they don’t have enough, but its they WANT to get more.
            At the end of the day, Sorry creators, but the original MOTU was made to make money. now, fast forward to today, you have four camps with it comes to stuff like this: casual market, Nostalgia market, fan market and collectors market.
            Casual market is where the most ‘basic level’ money is. you want toys to appeal to the average kid of today, so they will get them. this is the same target as the original MOTU toys and every other ‘original’ toy line out there. We have the Nostalgia market.. these are people that see a re-issue or a new version of a toy that they remember having as a kid, and buy it for that fact, or who remember loving the stuff as a kid, so buy it for their kids. the collectors market are the people that’ll buy anything as long as it has the name of there source of collection on it. They will say, “Sure, it’s crap, but my collection will never be anywhere near complete without it”. These are the main ones that make some old toys worth such stupidly insane prices. Then there is the fan market.. this is pretty damn mixed but often, these are the ones that will be willing to buy the new stuff, if they have something they think is an improvement or a fix, or “the dream come true”.. like “Hey, they have just released these two figures from the original molds from the 80s which were NEVER RELEASED!”.

            Collectors are the main ones willing to pay insane prices. I’ve seen companies they do very minor running changes in a line, JUST for the collectors.. Reminds me of when the simpsons was good.. “Hey, She’s got a new hat!, I wan it!”. Fans will pay money BUT often have a bit of taste. They will say “Yeah, I want this figure but.. well, it’s not my favourite and the prices it goes for are a bit much. but I I saw it for a good enough price, I’d pick it up”. They are pretty much the smallest market. party cause as a range goes on.. well.. how many new fans of the original MOTU do you think there are now, compared to when the show was first out? Fans die out over time. It’s the same with the Nostalgia market.. some old classic computers like the Spectrum, C64, Atari’s etc, aren’t worth as much on the second hand market as they were a few years back because, the people that grew up with them and have that Nostalgia for them, are dying out. There is always the big time collectors but.. well.. I can’t be nostalgic for something that had been and gone before I was born. I love my spectrum, but I was a bit young to REALLY get into it, so mine is more my Atari ST and my Sega Megadrive.

            most of the time, these toys tried yo cover as much ground as possible in order to get the money.. Why do you think they issue 100s of He-mans, but not as many lesser characters and ones which only fans or collectors would be interested. well, with the collectors, they’ll pretty much buy anything.

            There are some old toy ranges that I would gladly pay a bit over the market price if they released and I could get hold of.. but there wouldn’t be a huge market for them, so it wouldn’t make great sense.. I doubt they would LOSE money doing them, but not hugely make it.. So they don’t get made. something like a He-man and Skeletor,pretty much fills most of the markets so are safe bets. Hordak too.. getting to Dragster, not as well liked, so try not to cut into the profit margin as much and bingo. chance of releasing some really rare stuff in the re-issue lines? pretty much not gonna happen.. It’s like with some transformers. some of the original molds are classed as lost or damaged and they say they won’t re-issue them toys because they won’t be worth them re-creating them.. but a lot of the third party market can make pretty nice copies well and make a good profit.. though I’m not that big on the bootlegs, unless they are ones which have been clearly stated as ‘we aren’t gonna re-issue them in the foreseeable future’ and originals are pretty much impossible. For Collection, I don’t mind cheaper plastic and stuff IF I know what I’m getting.. I don’t like fakes which are of modern stuff or when sold as original.

          2. @ManicMan
            I think that your analysis about customers sub-types is spot-on and I have more or less your same point of view about it (I even often use the same example from Simpson, funny enough XD). I want to add the collectors who never open the packaging and I think they are the major target for things like re-action and similar items which usually have quality issues. Why? Because companies know that in theory those customers will likely not open the toys anyway.

  5. Excited about the new line! Let’s do it! I’m ready! Take my money! But the real question is…will my kids be excited about the new line? Collectors like myself will gladly pick them up but that’s not enough to sustain the line. Will my kids love them? Time will tell.

  6. He looks pretty good, far better than He-Man (more than that in a moment), but I’m not sure I’ll be rushing to collect these (considering money and space limits nowadays). Echoing some other comments, it does feel slightly like collecting the same thing again. I love that they exist, and I am a vintage over later incarnations collector so love the style… but I’ll stick to my originals or classics.

    Can’t decide about the lines around the mouth. On the original figure they worked because the mouth was closed; here they look a little more awkward. They’ll be okay if the paint jobs don’t get too sloppy. The
    The head at first I didn’t like, it’s grown on me a bit, in fact this figure has swayed me towards the line slightly more… but I’m afraid I just can’t get over that horrible, hideous He-Man head. What the HELL happened there? It just looks wrong in so many ways, and is something that I don’t think is going to grow on me over time. It may sound extreme, but it is that terrible He-Man head that kinda put me off of the entire line. At most, I might pick and dip a few favourite characters, depending on how well they are realised.

    (Oh and I’m still disappointed that MOTU Origins isn’t actually origins… when I first heard of it, I had hoped for a line creating some of those very earliest concepts and designs in all their glory. The name still feels kinda wrong for this line.)

    So, not totally hating the line – this Skeletor has gone some way to winning me over, but I’m still not hooked personally. Though I love knowing that others will be.

  7. Does anyone know of a fan site for Mega Construx Masters of the Universe? This is where my interest and collecting are heading, though I am happy to see MOTU Origins coming out hitting hard.

  8. One left at Walmart last Saturday. Got it and was NOT disappointed (I had been let down by Super 7 with stiff limbs on Teela and others).

    Bottom line is that I could not resist seeing MOTU at retail.

    As valid as the criticism are of the concept of Origins and some of the liberties taken, the price was right and I wanted to support the product at retail.

  9. The article /comments doesnt make it clear if it still has The waist twist punch action! Does anyone know about that feature?

    1. Hi Fabio, sorry for the lack of clarity. There is no waist punch feature on the new Skeletor. Most MOTU Origins figures will not have any action features (similar to the MOTU Classics line)

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