Heroic Vehicles

Laser Bolt: Heroic Road Rocket (1986)

Laser Bolt is one the the smaller, less expensive vehicles released in the Masters of the Universe line, similar to Road Ripper. Stylistically it has more in common with the 1985 and earlier waves of toys, with its traditional Masters creature face design and rugged-looking body and wheels, in the vehicle style established early on by Ted Mayer and Ed Watts.

Design & Development

Laser Bolt as a concept was invented by Roger Sweet. The patent document explains its basic features – it’s essentially a three-wheeled vehicle with the front wheel on a strut that can pivot so that the vehicle can be operated either upright or low to the ground. The front face piece also pivots so it can face forward regardless of the attitude of the vehicle. The vehicle was spring-loaded, allowing it to pop into the upright position.

The visual design for the vehicle comes from Ed Watts. In the images below from the Power and the Honor Foundation Catalog, we can see that the early working name for Laser Bolt was actually “Dart.” The concept looks quite close to the final figure design, although of course it lacks the face design on the front. Watts illustrated the vehicle in both horizontal and vertical modes.

In terms of timeline for the development and release of Laser Bolt, here are the dates that I’ve been able to document:

  • 07/13/1984: Dart (Laser Bolt) concept, by Ed Watts
  • 05/30/1985: Laser Bolt first use in commerce
  • 06/14/1985: Laser Bolt trademarked
  • 09/13/1985: Laser Bolt patent filed
  • 11/25/1985: Laser Bolt copyright registered
  • 01/11/1986: First Laser Bolt Newspaper ad

The final design of the vehicle is represented in its cross sell artwork:

Toy & Packaging

The packaging artwork for Laser Bolt was done by William George, and features his usual indelible style, including one of his little creatures that he so-often inserted into his artwork:

The back of the packaging explained how the vehicle’s action figure worked:

Upright is called “battle position” while horizontal mode is called “chase position.”

The toy itself was primarily red, with a yellow front strut. It featured four user-applied decals (the eye decals were installed at the factory) and two removable guns (images via eBay):

Comic Appearances

Laser Bolt appears briefly in The Terror Claws Strike, and is shown in both “chase” and “battle” positions. It’s based on the original Ed Watts concept, as you can see by its lack of face on the front wedge-shaped section:

Image: Dark Horse Minicomic Collection

Laser Bolt appears in the UK Comics magazine, in The Eyes of the Serpent (Issue 30), where it is driven by Rio Blast:

It appears in an ad for the Masters of the Universe Club in the following issue as well:

Laser Bolt appears in issue 2 of the Star Comics series story, Falling Stars:

It also appears in the German Ehapa Verlag series, in issue 1, released in 1987:

Update: Laser Bolt also appears briefly in the newspaper comic strip story, The Day of the Comet. Thanks to Dušan Mitrović for the tip.

Image source: Darkhorse MOTU Newspaper Comic Strips collection


Laser Bolt makes a brief appearance near the beginning of the Filmation He-Man and She-Ra Christmas Special. Despite the fact that Laser Bolt is supposed to be a land vehicle, He-Man flies it up to intercept the evil warriors in the Collector:

Art Appearances

Laser Bolt makes two appearances in the Spring 1986 issue of MOTU Magazine, in an introductory page, and in a poster by the great Earl Norem (magazine images courtesy of Ben Massa/Orko’s Keep):

The original version of Norem’s artwork appeared in a auction at Heritage Auctions:

Laser Bolt also appears within William George’s Eternia poster, driven by Roboto:

Image courtesy of Jukka Issakainen

Errol McCarthy illustrated the vehicle as well, and it appears in both a T-shirt design as well in Mattel’s Style Guide (images via He-Man.org):

Here is the text description from the Style Guide:

Name: Laser Bolt
Group Affiliation: Heroic Warriors
Role: Heroic road rocket.
Power: Speed cycle takes on Evil Warriors in two positions: It rides low to the ground for racing, and springs up into defensive battle position. Mounted laser guns blast barriers out of the way.
Year of Toy Intro: 1986

Other Advertising

Laser Bolt appears in Mattel’s 1986 dealer catalog:

The earliest newspaper ad I found for it is in The Post Star on Saturday, January 11, 1986:

Here it is in the Mattel France 1987 catalog, where it is called the Motosonic:

Image via Grayskull Museum

And here it is in another Mattel France catalog:

Image source: Queequed

Laser Bolt in Action

My friend Øyvind Meisfjord has kindly shared the following image and video of Laser Bolt in action!

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Creatures of William George

One of the defining characteristics of the packaging artwork of William George is the inclusion of small dinosaur or dragon-like creatures in the background and foreground of the illustration. They add a dimension to the illustration that goes beyond simply demonstrating the product – there is also some world-building going on. The Eternia of William George is a hostile, dangerous and often desolate place, where threats come in all sizes.

I’ll only be focusing on creatures that William George invented for his paintings, not creatures that were part of the products for sale.

Battle Armor He-Man and Road Ripper (1984)

A pint-sized dinosaur and sea serpent.

Dragon Walker (1984)

A miniature pterodactyl

Road Ripper (1984)

Two lizards.

Roton (1984)

Image cleaned up by Retroist
A lizard.
A tree-climbing demon.
A flying bird, with encampment in background.

Bashasaurus (1985)

A diminutive dragon.

Land Shark (1985)

A wicked-looking little dragon.

Land Shark & Battle Armor Skeletor

Part vulture, part pterodactyl.

Laser Bolt (1986)

A tiny, beaked dinosaur.

Scubattack Power Gear (1987)

Image courtesy of Axel Giménez
A vicious-looking eel.

Megator (1988)

An ordinary horse, frightened by the stampeding Megator.

Update: Axel Giménez pointed out to me that there is another William George creature, outside of the box art. In his Bashasaurus poster, he includes one of his familiar little creatures on the rocks near Dragon Blaster Skeletor. It looks a bit like the creature in the Land Shark box art:

Image source: Jukka Issakainen
A diminutive dragon.

Box Art From A-Z, Part Five: 1986

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 Five: 1986

Name: Blasterhawk
Year: 1986
Artist: William George
Description: Battle Armor He-Man launches a flying disk from the cockpit of the Blasterhawk.

Name: Eternia
Year: 1986
Artist: William George
Description: The three towers of Eternia stand between Castle Grayskull and Snake Mountain. Beast Man scales the central tower and Rattlor and Tung Lashor head toward the lion’s head entrance. Man-At-Arms fires the cannon at the top of the tower. Flying Fists He-Man and Terror Claws Skeletor do battle off to the side. A volcano erupts in the distance.

Battle Cat corners Stinkor at the Grayskull Tower, while several horde troopers rush up the outer stairs toward Snout Spout, who is dodging laser blasts from the Battle Tram. Rio Blast and Extendar stand at the top of Grayskull Tower, as the Fright Fighter flies by. Meanwhile, Moss Man drives Bashasaurus down the road from Castle Grayskull to Grayskull Tower.

Sy-Klone flies Blasterhawk near the summit of Viper Tower, and Megabeast rounds the corner at the base.


Name: Flying Fists He-Man & Terror Claws Skeletor
Year: 1986
Artist: William George
Description: Flying Fists He-Man raises his shield as Terror Claws Skeletor approaches. Castle Grayskull looms ominously in the distance.

Image Source: MOTU Art Facebook Page

Name: Fright Fighter
Year: 1986
Artist: William George
Description: Battle Armor Skeletor pilots Fright Fighter, firing canons at unseen enemies. Down below on the crater-covered ground, Man-At-Arms, Battle Armor He-Man, and Roboto look skyward, weapons raised.

Name: Hordak and Mantisaur
Year: 1986
Artist: Joe Chiodo
Description: By Hordak’s hand, Mantisaur captures Thunder Punch He-Man in thick jungle area. In a separate scene, Hordak, mounted on Mantisaur, surveys a giant crater in the middle of a vast desert.

Name: Jet Sled & He-Man
Year: 1986
Artist: Unknown
Description: He-Man pilots the Jet Sled over a volcanic desert. A small dragon flees from the approaching aircraft.

Image courtesy of Deimos

Image source: Crazy Collectors

Name: Laser Bolt
Year: 1986
Artist: William George
Description: Battle Armor He-Man guides the Laser Bolt over difficult desert terrain as he fires on unseen enemies. A small dinosaur scurries out of the way.

Name: Mantisaur
Year: 1986
Artist: Joe Chiodo
Description: By Hordak’s hand, Mantisaur captures Thunder Punch He-Man in thick jungle area. In a separate scene, Hordak, mounted on Mantisaur, surveys a giant crater in the middle of a vast desert.

Name: Monstroid
Year: 1986
Artist: Unknown
Description: Monstroid spins in circles with Sy-Klone and Man-At-Arms captured in its claws. Thunder Punch He-Man and Roboto try to find a way to rescue their friends.

Name: Multi-Bot
Year: 1986
Artist: Unknown
Description: Multi-Bot is shown in 10 body configurations and poses.

Image source: Axel Giménez
Image source: Grayskull Museum

Name: Slime Pit
Year: 1986
Artist: William George
Description: Beast Man is trapped in the Slime Pit. Hordak pours ooze all over the hapless minion of Skeletor. In the background are the ruins of an ancient civilization.

More in this series:

Technical Drawings & Patents

Masters of the Universe patent illustrations

Over the years Mattel filed for patents on a number of Masters of the Universe-related ideas. The language employed is rather difficult to get through, but the illustrations are a lot of fun. I’ve collected some of them here. Special thanks to Manic Man for locating several of these patents, including Blast Attak, Rotar/Twistoid and Gyrattacker!

Included patents and illustrations:

  • Castle Grayskull (trap door mechanism)
  • Attak Trak
  • Bashasaurus
  • Battle Armor He-Man
  • Battle Bones
  • Blast Attak
  • Dragon Walker
  • Fright Zone
  • Fright Zone (puppet)
  • Gyrattacker (unreleased vehicle)
  • Horde Trooper
  • Hurricane Hordak
  • King Hiss
  • Land Shark
  • Laser Bolt
  • Mantenna
  • Megalaser
  • Mekaneck
  • Roboto
  • Rokkon & Stonedar
  • Rotar & Twistoid
  • Spydor
  • Sy-Klone
  • Thunder Punch He-Man
  • Tower Tools/Cliff Climber/Scubattack
  • Two Bad

Castle Grayskull trap door patent:

Attak Trak:


Battle Armor He-Man:

Battle Bones:

Blast Attak:

Dragon Walker:

The Fright Zone:

Fright Zone (puppet):

Gyrattacker (unreleased vehicle):

Horde Trooper:

Hurricane Hordak:

King Hiss:

Land Shark:

Laser Bolt:





Rokkon & Stonedar:

Rotar & Twistoid:



Thunder Punch He-Man:

Tower Tools/Cliff Climber/Scubattack:

Two Bad: