Optikk is widely regarded as one of the best figures to come out of the 1989 He-Man line. Featuring a giant eyeball for a head and a metallic bronze costume, Optikk remains a fan favorite to this day.
Design & Development
Optikk was designed by David Wolfram. In my interview with David a few years back, he explained his design process, with Optikk originally being intended for the original Masters of the Universe line:
DW: It was always one of my favorites. He was originally something that I did for a MOTU theme testing board, and he made it into the first wave of evil New Adventures figures.
As designers, we had been asking for quite a while for some nice molded metallics, and we finally got them. I know I used a lot of that dark bronze and copper over the next few years. We actually had a fairly limited palette to work from based on the Munsell color system, and unfortunately many of the colors were too ‘pretty’ for my design ethic, so I ended up using the same colors over and over again. To get any new colors into the system took forever, and took an act of congress. Later, as we started working on more licensed properties where we had to used specific colors from a style guide, that system was abandoned.
DW: In the early sketch of Optikk, the thought was that his eye would be removable and go into the forks of the staff. We were looking at making the eye like the compasses that went on car dashboards at that time, but I imagine that approach ended up being too expensive, so we went with the simpler execution. The eye tampo design was the same one that I had designed and used on “Boglins”, another Mattel creature line from that time.
In the space pirate concept below, we can see parts of Optikk’s design on the lower legs. The upper body design was adapted for Disks of Doom Skeletor:
In the Power and the Honor Foundation catalog and The Art of He-Man, a couple of other iterations of the idea were shown. One was “Eyeyik,” a strange cyborg creature with purple skin:
The other was a rendering of Optikk closely based on the original “organic” concept, but this time with a technological costume added over top.
Update: Thanks to Nigel Willis to pointing me toward a full version of the above concept art, dated March 18, 1987. It was retrieved from the DK Masters of the Universe Book:
Update: I found another piece of Optikk concept art buried in a post in the Geeks_Antiques instagram page. This is a full rendering of Optikk, closer to final but with red and gray armor. It was found included with some Captain Power artwork, and dates to April 25, 1988. You can see this color scheme on Optikk in his appearance on the cover of an Italian notebook cover, toward the end of this article.
A hand-painted prototype model of the figure appears below:
Figure & Packaging
The figure featured a dial on the back to move the eye back and forth. The arm was also spring-loaded for a “quick-draw” effect.
The card provided a short bio for Optikk, which I’m reproducing below:
Evil Mutant Spy from the foggy polar region of evil planet Denebria. The Denebrian fog is so dense here that he has a spyball eyeball that sees through almost anything. His rotating spyball and his Photon Neutralizer weapon make him one of the meanest mutants in the Tri-Solar System.
Mission: To assist Skeletor and the rest of the Evil Mutants by keeping his eye on He-Man and the Galactic Guardians from planet Primus.
Battle Equipment: Photon Neutralizer weapon.
We get another nice image of Optikk on this Spanish playing card, which comes courtesy of Mundo Masters:
Optikk appears as one of the primary Evil Mutants on the New Adventures of He-Man cartoon series. In the show, he has quite a darkly-colored costume, possibly because the hand-painted Optikk prototype costume looked much darker than the final figure. His pupil looks robotic rather than organic. His job on the show is typically as navigator for the Evil Mutants. There is a longer discussion of his appearances on the cartoon here.
In the series Bible for New Adventures of He-Man, we get the following information about him:
Comics & Stories
Optikk appears in three of the four minicomics produced for the toyline. In these stories he’s typically portrayed as the kind of bumbling henchman often seen in the original Masters of the Universe stories. (Minicomic images comes from the Dark Horse MOTU Minicomic collection.)
Optikk appears in the 1990 UK MOTU Annual, in Into The Deepest Dungeon:
He’s also given a short bio, which is similar to the one on his cardback. The main difference is his “Photon Neutralizer” is called a “Fazer Flash Gun.”
He also appears in “The Drumskalan From the Denebrian Swamp.”
Optikk appears in a number of the later UK Adventure comics, including this 1990 story, “The End of He-Man.”
Optikk also appears in a poster included with issue 23:
There was a series of German MOTU magazines with stories that were illustrated using still images of the figures, set within dioramas. Optikk appears in several of the later issues:
Optikk also appears in this Italian storybook, “Cosmic Explosion.” Unfortunately I only have an image of the cover:
There’s an interesting image of Optikk that appeared in an Italian school notebook (branded as Masters of the Universe rather than He-Man). The image depicts Thunder Punch He-Man (the New Adventures version) hitting Optikk (who features a red and black costume) while tossing Karatti (in early concept form) over his shoulder.
The pose in the artwork above is actually copied from an earlier minicomic, The Masks of Power, illustrated by Alfredo Alcala:
Within the notebook there is a short comic in Italian which also includes Optikk:
Thank you to the following individuals who are current Patreon supporters!
- Philip O.
- MOTU Origins Cork
- Bryce W.
- Ben M.
- Matthias K.
- Max I.
Want to support the blog? Consider becoming a Patreon supporter. You’ll also gain access to exclusive content and early access to posts on the blog. Alternatively, you can do your toy shopping through my Entertainment Earth affiliate link, below. Thank you!