Beam-Blaster & Artilleray (1987)

I wasn’t familiar with Beam Blaster & Artilleray until perhaps 10 years ago, when I reconnected with Masters of the Universe as an adult. It was released near the end of the original line and doesn’t quite have the same cache and familiarity as some of the early vehicles. I certainly don’t recall encountering it anywhere in the wild as a child.

Design & Development

Beam Blaster is a toy for which I am unaware of any previous prototypes or concept art having ever surfaced. Often Mattel’s Catalog images will show some kind of middle or late-stage prototype, but the only difference I see between the catalog version and the actual toy is the catalog Beam Blaster has a yellow button rather than the typical orange button.

1987 Mattel Catalog. Image source: Nathalie NHT

I will say, conceptually, the Beam Blaster reminds me a bit of the visual styles and themes that were developed around the abandoned live-action He-Man TV series and some of the early concepts around Laser Power He-Man. There were plans around “power crystal” themed toys. An early version of Laser-Power He-Man also looks like they may have been planning to put some kind of light sensor on the front of his belt. If I had to guess at a designer for Beam Blaster, my hunch would be James McElroy, who did a lot of design work for the live-action He-Man concept. But, like I said, I really don’t have any solid information here.

Toy & Packaging

While Beam Blaster shows up in the 1987 Mattel catalog, it was actually released just a bit ahead of schedule, as early as November 27, 1986.

The concept of the vehicle was pretty interesting. One figure would wear the blue Beam Blaster pack, which would “fire” a beam of light at the push of the button. The Artilleray portion had a sensor at the front. If you fired the beam directly at the sensor, the “ejection platform” would pop up and knock the vehicle’s rider off of it. The Beam Blaster and Artilleray set looks more Star Wars than Masters of the Universe. There are no animal figureheads to be found, which were typical of all the early classic vehicles.

The box art on the front was done by William George.

Image scan credit: Arto Paappanen
Beam Blaster box layout – image via Grayskull Museum


The only comic appearance for Beam-Blaster and the Artilleray occurs in the STAR / Marvel Comics issue number 7, “Long Live the King”.

In the story, Skeletor summons Blast-Attack and Ninjor from other worlds to boost his rankings, and Scare Glow and Faker appear. Skeletor plans to use his evil minions to infiltrate and attack the Royal Palace, and we see Faker and Blast-Attack use the Artilleray to ram through the palace walls.

And few pages later in the issue Clamp Champ is using the Beam-Blaster, while flying on the Jet Sled to aid King Randor. He is then grabbed by Blast-Attack.


Beam Blaster and Artilleray appear in William George’s Preternia poster. They are manned by Prince Adam and Beast Man respectively:

Similarly, they appear in the previous year’s Eternia poster, this time manned by Fisto and Faker, respectively:

Earl Norem illustrated them in two separate posters, only the first of which was published in Masters of the Universe Magazine:

Errol McCarthy illustrated the set for use in licensed apparel, below:


Aside from the television ads and Mattel Catalog at the beginning of the article, Beam Blaster and Artilleray were featured in a few print ads as well:

Spanish ad featuring Laser Power He-Man and Laser-Light Skeletor. Image via La Cueva del Terror
Image via Grayskull Museum
Image source: Yo Tengo El Poder
Official line art for use in newspaper ads. Image source: Grayskull Museum

Beam Blaster in Action

Øyvind Meisfjord has shared the following image and video of Beam Blaster & Artilleray in action:

Special thanks to Jukka Issakainen for the material from the Star Comics series.


Box Art From A-Z, Part Six: 1987

One of the best things about getting new He-Man toys as a kid was the box art. The toys were of course amazing and fun, but personally I spent almost as much time staring at the boxes as playing with the toys. I remember being pretty heartbroken when my mother made me throw away my Castle Grayskull and Battle Ram boxes. She saw them as clutter, but for me they were almost stories in and of themselves. You could see whole adventures unfolding in a single painted scene.

Unfortunately, good photographs or scans of the original art are not available for every piece. If you happen to have a nicer images than I do (higher resolution, better composition, etc), please do feel free to share, and I’ll make an update! For pictures of the packaging itself, a neutral (white or black) background is preferred. High resolution scans of the artwork, where it appears without logos, would be ideal. Bottom line – if you have better images than I do, please share them!

One final note: I’m defining box art as the front-facing painted artwork that appeared on boxed Masters of the Universe toys. The illustrations on blister card packaging, then, are outside the scope of this series.

Part Six: 1987

Name: Beam-Blaster & Artilleray
Year: 1987
Artist: William George
Description: In a shadowy desert scene, He-Man uses the Beam-Blaster to “blast” Hordak from his position on the Artilleray vehicle.

Name: Bionatops
Year: 1987
Artist: Warren Hile
Description: He-Man charges into battle atop the mighty Bionatops.

Name: Cliff Climber Power Gear
Year: 1987
Artist: William George
Description: Man-At-Arms scales a rocky cliff face with the Roto-Drill attachment at the ready; He-Man uses the Cliff Climber’s chest crawler feature to zoom down the mountain as Skeletor loses his footing. An enormous moon illuminates a range of pointed rock formations in the background.

Name: Gyrattacker (unproduced)
Year: 1987
Artist: William George
Description: Rotar launches the attack module (piloted by He-Man) at Twistoid. He-Man zooms off into the crater-filled desert landscape.

Image source: Pixel Dan
Image Source: Grayskull Museum

Name: Scubattack Power Gear
Year: 1987
Artist: William George
Description: Skeletor explores the murky depths of an Eternian ocean using the Scubattack. In a separate scene, Faker and Clamp Champ, both equipped with Scubattacks, engage in underwater combat as a vicious-looking eel looks on.

Name: Tower Tools Power Gear
Year: 1987
Artist: William George
Description: He-Man scales castle walls using Power Tools, as Prince Adam and Clamp Champ battle Ninjor far below. Sy-Klone and Terror Claws Skeletor battle on upper levels of the castle using Tower Tools circular saw attachments.

Name: Turbodactyl
Year: 1987
Artist: Warren Hile
Description: Turbodactyl, guided be He-Ro (unproduced), catches King Hiss in his claws. Several other Turbodactyls soar above a rocky cliff face.

Name: Tyrantisaurus Rex
Year: 1987
Artist: Warren Hile
Description: King Hiss launches a Dyna-Drone from the mighty Tyrantisaurus Rex.

Image source: The Art of He-Man

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