Resource

1987 Swiss Consumer Association Toy Reviews

Special thanks to Olmo for providing the images and background information for this article. According to him, these appeared in the 1987 Swiss Consumer Association booklet, which was meant to be a toy buying guide for parents. The association purchased popular toys and loaned them to a group of parents to review based on a number of criteria, including: “solidity, safety, esthetic, quality-to-price ratio, interest of the kids, simplicity of handling, conformity packaging/content, noise, instructions, age recommended, fair advertising and values conveyed.” Unfortunately the parents involved didn’t rate the toys very highly, although Roboto and Fright Fighter seemed to get at least some positive comments. I’ll provide a translation from the French (via Google Translate) after each image. Marshal BraveStarr is also included at the end, just for fun.

Skeletor: The warrior of evil. Skeletor, plastic figurine with accessories (approximately 15 cm high). Purple character with unattractive green skull. Accessories break easily. Warrior values. Aggressive background. Very limited interest.

Blasterhawk: Both a vehicle and a handgun that launches small plastic discs. Sold without characters. Heavy, unsightly and expensive, this bulky monster is very quickly unusable: the trigger, the only thin part of the machine, breaks after a few shots.

Roboto: Plastic figurine about 14 cm high with gear visible in the pole and 3 interchangeable weapons that attach in place of the right arm. Bright colors. More interesting than the other characters of the same series because of the gear. Violent and aggressive context. Incentivizing packaging to complete the collection. Popular characters among children because of the television series.

Bashasaurus: Plastic combat vehicle approximately 30 cm long in the shape of a dragon and equipped with a ram arm to flatten obstacles and stun the enemy (sold without figurine). Sturdy, colorful plastic. Questionable aesthetics. The arm-ram can hurt if it is received on the fingers. Warrior values. Expensive. No interest without the figurines.

Hurricane Hordak: Plastic figurine of approximately 15 cm with 3 interchangeable weapons to be screwed into the arm which is operated by means of a wheel located in the back. Solid. Very questionable aesthetic. The TV ad that advertises this toy is very misleading. Warrior values; despite everything, some children appreciate this collection to the great despair of their parents.

Mantisaur: Plastic insect armed with claws serving as a carrier vehicle. Monstrous insect that is the envy of all children, but whose interest is exhausted from the first day. The packaging deceives its possibilities, the clamps cannot grab figures, only support some; the TV deceives on its dimensions.

Fright Fighter: Large dragonfly flapping its wings, whose head opens to house a character from the collection. Fitted with an ingenious and spectacular manual mechanism, aesthetically pleasing even to adults, this large insect is of very limited use. After the enthusiasm of the first two days, he is abandoned. Expensive.

Marshal BraveStarr: Articulated plastic figurine representing a Marshal approximately 20 cm high. A plastic horse serving as his mount. Sold separately. If you do not know the cartoons of this series, these toys do not arouse any interest. Relatively strong; the rider is however very difficult to fit on the mount. Warrior values.

Evil Horde

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”:

Image courtesy of Abraham Flores

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

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