Powers of Grayskull, Snake Men

Snake Men & Preternia Development Documents

Preternia concept illustration, from The Power and the Honor Foundation Catalog

A few years ago former Masters of the Universe Classics brand manager Scott Neitlich shared a number of early MOTU documents his his retrospective video below on the rollout of the MOTU Classics toyline. The documents flash by on the screen very quickly, and I thought it would be worth providing a transcription of each of the documents related to the development of the Snake Men faction. It looks like some of the documents are incomplete, but I’ll include what was shown in the video, along with a bit of commentary in bold and some related imagery.

TO: Dave Capper, Matt Bousquette
FROM: Tim Kilpin, ex. 5076
DATE: 10/17/85

High upon a windy hill, at the entrance to the Towers of Eternia, stood He-Man. Hovering before him in her spirit form was the Sorceress. She had drawn him here, he knew that, but he didn’t know why.

“You are troubled, He-Man. There is much that has changed recently in Eternia, and I feel you must now know the whole story.”

He-Man followed the Sorceress into the grand Central Tower. “What frightens me most is King Hiss and his Snake Men. They were supposed to be only a myth, a fable! But they’re here–now– threatening Eternia!”

The Sorceress took He-Man’s hand. “Do you see the light ahead of us? He-Man squinted as he turned to face a brilliant orb of light glowing in the hall. As he walked slowly toward it, he saw that gleaming shafts of steel had formed a doorway into the radiant sphere.

“I-I can sense that it won’t harm me, but…”

The Sorceress stepped into the light ahead of He-Man. “Trust your senses, He-Man. We’re going… back.”

“Back? To what? To where?”

The Sorceress smiled. “To Eternia… eons before you were born. We’re in a time machine.” Gracefully the Sorceress raised her hands, and in a flash…

He-Man was standing on a plain of tall grass. In the distance, he could see great creatures-dinosaurs!–lumbering across the land. On a nearby ridge, a band of giants peacefully prepared a meal. He-Man was in awe. “It is Eternia! It’s filled with all the things the legends had told me! Dinosaurs–and giant men–and… He-Man suddenly leaped back. “SNAKES!”

A giant rattler lunged at He-Man, but missed. It slithered quickly away. The Sorceress pointed to a trio of towers not far away. “There. The Towers of Eternia stand, just as they do now–in your time. Here. Let’s move closer.”

He-Man and the Sorceress came to a ridge that overlooked a small village. He-Man’s powerful eyes took in the view. “They seem to be a peaceful people–are they magicians?”

“Yes, magicians and wizards. But they use their powers only for good purposes.”

He-Man scanned the horizon, suddenly alarmed. “The snakes again. Why, there must be thousands of them, slithering into the village! And there–at the head of them all–King Hiss! He’s going to attack the village! I’ve got to stop them!” He-Man rose to draw his sword, but the Sorceress stopped him. “No. You cannot interfere–not now. Watch.”

As King Hiss led his slithering swarm into the village, terrorizing its people and destroying all in its path, a single figure walked slowly toward the king of snakes. He was dressed in a simple, dark robe, and he carried a plain wooden staff. “Who is that?” He-Man asked.

“His name is Eric, a wizard’s apprentice. For many years, the Snake Men have dominated this land with a reign of terror. But Eric is leading his good people in a rebellion. He will save Eternia from the Snake Men.”

“But how can an apprentice–” He-Man was suddenly silenced by the sight of King Hiss’s skin peeling away to reveal a mass of seething serpents.

With a grand flourish, Eric drew his staff up before him. “Staff of Magic Light, Give to Me the Might!” A bolt of lightning shot forth from the staff, and now, standing there instead of Eric was a gallant man in brilliant, flowing robes. His staff gleamed with a blinding light. “I am GRAYSKULL, the mightiest wizard in Eternia!”

A fierce battle erupted. Grayskull led his people against the invading snakes. He-Man couldn’t believe his eyes. “That is Grayskull?”

Sorceress turned to He-Man. “Do you recognize the similarity? Flesh and bone do not last throughout the ages, He-Man, but spirit does–and the spirit of Grayskull-is the same spirit that is within you! Grayskull is guided by a Council of Elders. His mentor, Dorran, teaches the wizard the powers of magic that are hidden in the staff. It is the only magic staff left in Eternia. King Hiss destroyed all the others when he invaded. Now each time Grayskull faces the Snake Men, he has a new magical power to help him.”

He-Man watched the battle closely. “Just like Man-at-Arms teaches me. Grayskull is a skilled warrior.”
Sorceress smiled at He-Man. “It runs in the family, I’d say.” As the battle continued, giants raced down from their lairs in the mountains to join the fray–on both sides. Sorceress pointed to the strongest of them. “He is the leader of the giants who defend Grayskull. His people perform mighty feats that cannot be accomplished by magic. And over there– Sorceress pointed to gigantic robotic beasts that were stalking into the village. “There is King Hiss’s legion of evil giants.”

He-Man pointed to another spot in the valley where a herd of creatures was massing. “And the dinosaurs? They too are part of this horrible war?”

“Yes. Many dinosaurs were driven from their lairs by the Snake Men. They have come to the aid of the Wizards of Might. But King Hiss has forced several of Eternia’s most vicious dinosaurs Into serving him.”
He-Man rose again. “I can’t just stand by watching. I must help! But just then, Grayskull struck down King Hiss with an awesome blast from his staff, and the battle was ended. The Snake Men were retreating!

Again the Sorceress took He-Man’s hand. “There will be times when you can help. The time machine will always be open to you, and you can aid Grayskull in his struggle. But remember, this is his battle, not yours.”

He-Man looked distressed. “Can I not even tell him that he finally will defeat the Snake Men? I know that he succeeds! It’s part of our legend!”

“You must never tell him. To him, you must be only a stranger from another world. Let him teach you something about battling the Snake Men in your own world. That way you will help each other, and you will ensure the survival of Eternia.”

He-Man looked down on the valley as Grayskull, once again as Eric, tended to his people. “He is so brave–so powerful!” “Now you know the secret of Grayskull, He-Man, and you must guard it–and cherish it–forever.”

As He-Man and the Sorceress prepared to go forward in time, there was another who had discovered the glowing light in the Central Tower. He reached for it haltingly, then withdrew his bony hand. Slowly, a weak smile spread across the face of Skeletor. “As I suspected–a time machine! Now where do
you suppose this leads?”

Many of the plot points in the above story by Tim Kilpin are somewhat preserved in the Powers of Grayskull minicomic, part one of a three-part story that was dropped due to the cancellation of Masters of the Universe. At this point in his development, the wizard protagonist’s name is Eric, and he transforms into Grayskull by chanting “Staff of Magic Light, Give to Me the Might! I am GRAYSKULL, the mightiest wizard in Eternia!” Later on he would be renamed Gray, and he would transform into He-Ro.

Secrets of Grayskull
New Notes 9/16/85

The leader, perhaps, is a Ranger. One who holds a special bond with nature. His order protected Grayskull Tower and acted as a sort of POLICE throughout Eternia, based at the central tower.

Let’s call the leader Justin for now. He had gone out on a far-reaching patrol one year–and that’s when the Snake Men took control of Eternia.

He was about to rush back to Eternia when someone/something intervened, told him to wait, told him he would need more than his normal powers to defeat the Snake Men.

He was given the secret of Grayskull. It was this power, given to him by whoever, that would enable him to marshal an army, fly, etc. WHAT ARE HIS POWERS? WHAT CAN HE DO

Magic? Technology Speed? Strength? Creation? What’s the hook of the toy? He does something electronic?

He is an outcast at first he is not welcomed when he first returns to his homeland. He is a stranger. But soon he begins to draw together his team.

  • The giant – the master of brute strength
  • The sage – the wise, sagically powerful man who could see into the future.
  • The nimble elf – Agile and quiet, able to sneak up and surprise enemies
  • The hardy dwarf – master of fire power
  • And Justin had his laserbow, a crossbow that shot laserfire

Together, these Rangers would lead the rebellion that would finally overthrow the Snake Men.
Rangers of Grayskull
The Bad Guys:
King Hiss


Tung Lashor
Medusa Man

Along with He-Man and Skeletor. Some things would remain the same when He-Man and Justin brought their weapons together, amazing things would happen. Whole armies would fall before it.

The above are some rather rough notes, predating the Secrets of Grayskull story by about a month. The new hero’s name is Justin in this iteration, which seems rather an ordinary name for a MOTU character. He’s a ranger rather than a wizard. The Snake Men are listed out as the main villains, including “Medusa Man” (later changed to Snake Face) and “Tanglor” (later changed to Sssqueeeze). The heroes sound like extras from Lord of the Rings – a surprisingly straight-up fantasy take (laserbow notwithstanding) on things for a MOTU concept.

Mattel Toys Memo
DATE May 20, 1985
FROM The Masters Brand Group

Attached is a storyline for the Brand Bible written by Tim Kilpin, which will be used to introduce the Snakemen in 1986. The Snakemen will include Hiss, Rattlor, Tung Lashor, and Kobra Khan. Additional details as well as the final name for the group will be forwarded as soon as possible.


Mattel Toys Memo
Matt Bousquette
Dave Capper
May 14, 1985

As we further evaluate and refine the 1986 line strategies, an important opportunity has surfaced which will allow us to make a more significant line launch while capitalizing on the work and development already incurred to date.

Now that Skeletor is threatened by the Heroic Warriors of Eternia and the Evil Horde, he has had to call on the very depths of Snake Mountain’s magic dungeons to summon a new and more awesome evil group “The Snakemen.” This new group, which will strengthen his forces, will feature:

Hiss, the disguised slimey and slithery leader of the Snakemen.
Rattlor, the Rattle Snake master of strike attack.
Tung Lashor, the action tongue reptile with the power to lick his enemies.
Kobra Khan, a prior defector from the Snakemen has now rejoined this group to strengthen Skeletor’s armada.


Skeletor has become far too predictable and easily defeated, therefore, an awesome new group will reinforce his strength and his potential ability to finally overthrow He-Man and the Horde.
Snake Mountain is the focus of Skeletor’s evil planning and the source of his powers, therefore, a team of summoned Snakemen represents a natural extension for a new group.

Kids are inherently fascinated by snakes.

Snakes represent a genre that lends itself to an evil association (even Indiana Jones hates snakes).
Tying four separate SKU’s into one group will allow us focused advertising efficiencies.
This cohesive strategy will capitalize on the terrific figures (i.e.. theming, sculpting, and features) we have already developed to date.

cc: Martin Arriola
Ken Baratelle
Paul Cleveland
Ron Cook
Aldo Favilli
Ferenc Fekete
Jeaninne Gordon
Tim Kilpin
Ron McBain
Joe Morrison
Andy Murrer
Ellie Perry
Shell Platt
Cassandra Schafhausen
Harris Shepard
Ron Torres
John Weems
Mike Welsch
Jim Wolfe

The above memo predates the “Justin” and “Eric” stories, and really focuses more on the Snake Men, as a new faction to add to Skeletor’s forces. This one omits Snake Face and Sssqueeze, focusing on three new Snake Men (King Hiss, Tung Lashor and Rattlor) while retconning the existing Kobra Khan into the Snake Men ranks. Skeletor is said to be too predictable and easily defeated – thus a new evil faction was needed to bolster the Evil Warriors.

TO: Dave Capper
FROM: Tim Kilpin, ex. 5076
DATE: 5/17/85
RE: Masters Snake Group Background

Deep within the heart of Snake Mountain is a darkness–an impenetrable gloom that hangs over its dungeons & catacombs. There are chambers beneath Snake Mountain that have never been explored; no Evil Warrior has ever found the courage to pierce their horrible blackness.

But this dreadful night, there was one who could no longer ignore the challenge. The torchlight cast eerie shadows all about the dungeons of Snake Mountain as Skeletor made his way through its cold, damp corridors.

“Something strange,” he whispered, “something very strong within these walls. Skeletor ran his bony fingers across the rough stones. Kobra Khan cowered behind his master, trying in vain to seem brave. “I-I don’t feel a thing. Skeletor.”

But Skeletor wasn’t even listening. “It’s as if there were a LIVING force trapped here. As if something were struggling to be set free. Skeletor’s fingers caught in the deep grooves of a stone carving. He stepped back to examine the work. “Snakes? A great mass of coiled snakes.”

Kobra Khan came forward. “Let me see. Perhaps Khan went white. He stumbled backward, as if struck by a mighty blow.

“What?” Skeletor demanded. “What do they mean?”

“V-v-v-” Khan could barely speak.

“What? Have you lost your senses? What?”

Khan’s eyes darted back and forth. “Viper! The Viper King! King, and his fiendish order!”

Skeletor’s eyes lit up. “The Viper King? I’d heard only tales…”

Page 2

“No, great one, Khan said, shivering. “Hiss did live, as did his many minions. Many eons ago, he built a serpent empire throughout the worlds of this universe. His was a cold-blooded reign of terror.” Skeletor studied the runes. “But Hordak had told me of the Viper King. He said it was but a myth, a fairy tale!”

Khan breathed deeply. “As well he should, master. Hordak was the Viper King’s greatest enemy. Hiss and the Evil Horde fought constantly over who would dominate Eternia and Etheria.”

Now Skeletor was totally absorbed. “Then Hordak defeated the Viper King?

“No one has ever known. Hiss and his legion simply vanished! But now,” Khan hissed softly, “now he is returning. I can FEEL it. It is HE who haunts these walls!”

A thin smile fell across Skeletor’s face. “Well, then, perhaps it’s time we MEET our houseguest! With a grand flourish, Skeletor drew his arms up and prepared to blast the dungeon walls to smithereens!

“NO!” Khan screamed.

Skeletor concentrated all his evil energy on one wall, and within seconds, it crumbled into a pile of rubble and ashes. A horrible moaning filled the chambers..

Khan retreated quickly. “You’ve released him! The Viper King is free!”

An icy blast tore through the catacombs. Far across the room, human form took shape. Slowly, it materialized into a green warrior.

Khan gasped, then fell to his knees. “It is the Viper King! Hail to the master of serpents!”

Skeletor whirled around and stared at the warrior. “THIS is the great Hiss? Surely there must be some mistake! Why, he looks like some crony of HE-MAN’S, and not too strong at that!”

The above Tim Kiplin story recalls a later minicomic origin story, King of the Snake Men.

Thank you to the following individuals who are current Patreon supporters!

  • Ben M.
  • Matthias K.
  • Max I.
  • MotuOriginsCork
  • Orion W.
  • Philip O.
  • That Clyde Guy

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!

Snake Men

Snake Face: Most Gruesome of the Snake Men Warriors (1987)

Snake Face, true to his tagline, is indeed the most gruesome-looking of the Snake Men faction, and one of the creepiest figures in the vintage Masters of the Universe lineup.

Design & Development

An early concept for Snake Face appears in the Power and Honor Foundation Catalog (below). The artist isn’t mentioned (from the style I think it could perhaps be by Alan Tyler), but it seems to be a first crack at a concept involving a character with snakes popping out of his face and chest. This concept would have reused the arms and legs from Skeletor. Other than the action feature, it bears little resemblance to the final Snake Face concept.

The character was revisited (with the working name Medusa Man), and David Wolfram took the reigns at designing a character around the action feature. His design, shown below, is very close to the final look of the figure, other than some of the colors used on his costume.

Image courtesy of David Wolfram

In David’s design, the figure was to have no shared parts, other than the staff (borrowed from King Hiss) and his pelvis piece. Even the latter was given a unique sculpt on the final figure.

The cross sell art for Snake Face appears to be based on the final toy design:

We can see a hand-painted final prototype for the figure in Mattel’s 1987 dealer catalog:

Image source: Orange Slime

Production Toy

The final toy is a gruesome-looking creature with a purple, black and green costume. He features a fair amount of green overspray on his arms and head, which is something not normally seen on figures in the MOTU line. His action feature is similar to Mantennna‘s eyes – a lever on the back can be raised, causing the snakes to pop out of his face, shoulders and chest.

Snake Face is covered in warty and scaly gray skin, and his arms are wrapped in snakes. His legs are rather short, probably to compensate for his tall torso and to keep his overall height similar to other figures in the line.


Snake Face’s card features the Snake Men special logo on the front as well as character artwork by Bruce Timm (thanks to Jukka Issakainen for the tip). Errol McCarthy provides the illustrations for the action scene and instructions on the back.

Image source: Final Frontier Toys

Style Guide

Snake Face was given the following characterization in the 1987 Style Guide:

Group Affiliation: Snake Men, Evil Warriors
Role: Evil beast with a head full of shocking snakes
Power: When his snakes strike out, enemies are turned to stone.
Character Profile: Another of the Snake Men trapped under Snake Mountain an eon ago, Snake Face was called forth by King Hiss to do battle with He-Man. Snake Face was a right-hand man to King Hiss in the days of Grayskull. Snake Face can turn any enemy to stone by lashing his snakes out at him. He-Ro and He-Man are the only warriors powerful enough to reverse the horrible spell, and then only when aided by the Magic Staff or Power Sword.
Weapons: Serpent Staff and Medusa Shield.

Image via He-Man.org

As Snake Face came quite late in the line, his bio includes a mention of He-Ro and the cancelled Powers of Grayskull storyline.


Snake Face was packed with Revenge of the Snake Men, written by Phil White and illustrated by Chris Carlson. In the story, Snake Face and Sssqueeze (called by his concept name “Tanglor”) are brought form the nameless dimension by King Hiss to kidnap Queen Marlena. Snake Face uses his powers to turn anyone who gets in his way to stone:

Snake Face also appears in Energy Zoids, where he turns his power against Rotar:

Other Comic Appearances

Snake Face makes a number of appearances in other comics, including the following:

Issue 35, 1987, UK MOTU Magazine:

Image via He-Man.org

Issue 41, 1987, UK MOTU Magazine:

Image via He-Man.org

Issue 8, 1987, Star Comics Masters of the Universe:

Fall 1987, US MOTU Magazine:

Image via He-Man.org

Poster Art

Snake Face appears in a couple of posters by Earl Norem, done for the US MOTU Magazine:

He also appears in William George’s Preternia poster:

Image courtesy of Jukka Issakainen

Snake Face is featured in posters by Esteban Maroto and others as well:

Masters of the Universe had its fare share of nightmarish and gruesome action figures, but Snake Face has to be one of the creepiest.

Swedish ad featuring Snake Face, courtesy of Petteri Höglund

Snake Face in Action

Øyvind Meisfjord has kindly contributed the following images and video of Snake Face in action:

Snake Men

Tung Lashor: Evil tongue-shooting SNAKE MEN creature (1986)

I don’t remember seeing Tung Lashor in stores as a kid, so my first memory is really from reading about him in the minicomic that came packed with Rattlor. One of the first things of course that strikes you about Tung Lashor is that, despite being a member of the Snake Men, he looks much more like a frog than a snake.

Design & Development

As for the snake Men, Rattlor and Tung Lashor were designed ahead of King Hiss (and included as Horde Villains based on their earliest designs). By the time King Hiss was completed and the Snake Men as a faction had been created, She-Ra was already in full swing.

James Eatock

The earliest known design for Tung Lashor doesn’t look like a frog creature, but it doesn’t look particularly snake-like either. This concept by Ted Mayer seems to be a demon or an imp in an acrobat costume:

Image source: The Art of He-Man/The Power and the Honor Foundation. Dated July 12, 1984.

There may or may not be some relationship with the Ted Mayer Jester design below. The costume and pose are quite similar, but otherwise the relationship between the two is unclear:

Image source: Tomart’s Action Figure Digest, courtesy of Jukka Issakainen

Ted Mayer’s early design was used to create the design for the animated version of Tung Lashor, and there may have been an intermediate Mattel design along the way that was used for the Filmation model sheet below. Compared to Ted’s original design, this character lost his pointed ears and has arms and legs reminiscent of Skeletor (or at least his action figure). The color scheme roughly follows Ted’s drawing.

Image source: He-Man and She-Ra – A Complete Guide to the Animated Adventures

Update: MOTU Joe has discovered a trove of artwork by Mattel designer John Hollis. Among the documents he found are two pieces of concept art depicting a much closer to final version of Tung Lashor. According to Joe, the updated Tung Lashor design below was designed by Martin Arriola and Pat Dunn, with colors by John Hollis. The artwork dates to February 28, 1985. He is called “Tongue Lasher” here, without the “MOTU-isms” that were eventually applied to his name.

Some final presentation artwork was drawn by John Hollis below, and is dated to March 14, 1985:

Hollis did some work developing accessories for Tung Lashor. The accessories include the dragonfly bow as well as a clip of arrows for it he would wear as a belt – the latter didn’t make the cut in the end. The purple Snake Men staff does not appear to be included in his original accessories.

You can see Tung Lashor’s belt of arrows in this illustration of him by John Hollis

He appears in this Powers of Grayskull illustration. Unfortunately there is no date showing, but this version is a bit different from the final one. He has a light brown dragonfly pattern on his back, differently shaped feet, and he holds a short, straight snake staff.

Image Source: The Power and the Honor Foundation/Dark Horse

The final version of the design is slightly different from the Martin Arriola concept art in a couple of ways. Rather than a red tongue, he has a green and yellow tongue. His chest was made orange instead of yellow, and had the Snake Men emblem was added on top. His legs lost the yellow color on the inner thighs. The final design looks quite a lot like a poison dart frog, but with sharp fangs. He has frog like-fingers, covered in black rubber gloves. His feet look like smoother, simplified versions of the type of the feet used for Buzz-Off and Whiplash.

Tung Lashor cross sell artwork

Production Figure

Tung Lashor came with two accessories – a purple repaint of King Hiss’ staff, and a dragonfly crossbow weapon. He reuses He-Man’s trunks, but all of his other parts are newly-sculpted. His thin plastic tongue (which was painted in a rather venomous looking, two-tone green and yellow color) could be made to flick in and out by turning a dial on the figure’s back.

The first release of the figure has a dark purple design painted on its back, while subsequent releases omit the paint on the back. This was a fairly common practice in the MOTU line. Some examples: The first release Skeletor had purple trunks with a painted black belt, while later versions had a plain black belt. The first release Mer-Man had orange trunks and a green belt, while later versions had an unpainted belt.

Tung Lashor in the 1986 JCPenney Catalog. Image courtesy of RM Hart.
Tung Lashor in the 1986 JCPenney Catalog. Image courtesy of RM Hart.
Tung Lashor in the 1986 Mattel Dealer Catalog. Image source: Orange Slime.
Tung Lashor advertising line art for retailers.


Tung Lashor was not included in any gift sets or multi-packs. The artwork on the back of his card was, in my opinion, likely illustrated by Dave Stevens, who also worked on the packaging for Moss Man and Stinkor.

Tung Lashor in Action

A photo and a short video of Tung Lashor in action, contributed by Øyvind Meisfjord:


Tung Lashor appears in the Eternia poster and packaging art, both painted by William George:

A poster by Earl Norem included with issue 7 of Masters of the Universe Magazine features all of the snake men (including Kobra Khan, who had been retconned into that faction starting in 1986) that existed up to that point:

Tung Lashor was illustrated in several dynamic poses by frequent Mattel contributing artist Errol McCarthy. McCarthy’s art makes the character look a bit more snake-like, and may represent an earlier stage in Tung Lashor’s design evolution.


The above illustration is from the 1987 Mattel Style Guide (which depicts the character with three-toed feet, similar to Ted Mayer’s concept), which provides Tung Lashor’s bio and characteristics:

Role: Evil Snake Men creature with the “venomous” tongue

Power: Quick-licking tongue shoots out to reach enemies in battle, inflicting a dose of vile venom.

Character Profile: This unusually mean creature possesses a truly terrible tongue. Tung Lashor is loyal to King Hiss, although he does answer to Skeletor at Times. He is an extremely brutal creature, more openly vicious than Rattlor. He cowers before King Hiss, however, like all the others. He likes to lash his tongue at just about anything, even his comrades to shake them up once in a while.

Note: Like Rattlor, Tung Lashor is a member of The Evil Horde in the Filmation shows. However, he has now become a member of the Snake Men.

There was also a fact file on Tung Lashor in the 1989 UK MOTU Annual:

Comics & Stories

In the Snake Attack minicomic, Tung Lashor takes the active speaking role in his partnership with Rattlor, although his impulsiveness gets him into trouble. Tung Lashor’s tongue in this instance isn’t exactly poisonous – it rather has the ability to paralyze his victims and cover them with some kind of hard coating.

When Rattlor and Tung Lashor are introduced in King of the Snake Men, it’s mentioned that they had been serving Hordak before King Hiss summoned them. This is a reference to their appearances on the She-Ra cartoon series (they came out too late to appear in the original He-Man series, which ended in 1985). King Hiss does not appear in the series, so the snake men are made to serve Hordak.

Tung Lashor appears in issue 7 of the US Masters of the Universe Magazine in “The Armies of King Hiss”:

Both Rattlor and Tung Lashor are wildly off model in the 1987 UK MOTU Magazine story, “Attack of the Snakemen.” Tung Lashor especially looks unrecognizable and bizarre (I first learned about this issue from James Eatock’s excellent He-Man and She-Ra Blog).

In the 1986 Kid Stuff story book/record, Battle Under Snake Mountain, Tung Lashor makes another appearance, again with the three-toed feet design.


Tung Lashor is inconsistently called Tung and Tung Lash in the Filmation She-Ra series, probably a reflection of early working names for the figure. He has a high voice and a rather adolescent-like personality, and is usually subordinate to Rattlor.

Thank you to the following individuals who are current Patreon supporters!

  • Ben M.
  • Matthias K.
  • Max I.
  • MotuOriginsCork
  • Orion W.
  • Philip O.
  • Robert B.
  • That Clyde Guy

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!

Snake Men

Sssqueeze: Evil Long-Armed Viper (1987)

I have no recollection of ever seeing Sssqueeze in stores, but by 1987 I had stopped following what was new in He-Man’s world (back in the day that meant scouting out catalogs and toy aisles rather than forums and social media). My first reaction to seeing him as an adult was that I didn’t think he fit in with He-Man at all. His head reminds me of those hollow plastic Imperial beasts you used to find everywhere. And of course his ultra-long bendy arms are incredibly goofy-looking and gimmicky.  He also reminds me of something that might have come out in the Galaxy Warriors toyline.

But, as is often the case, Sssqueeze won me over once I bought an example for myself. Yes, he’s still goofy, but he’s got some interesting and unique design elements going with his costume, and I am a sucker for his bright green, purple and orange color scheme.  It’s nice that he doesn’t reuse any parts from previous figures, although he easily could have made use of legs from Rattlor or King Hiss.

Sssqueeze is a part of the Snake Men faction (their logo in on his chest). However, like Tung Lashor, he doesn’t seem to be a snake at all. His head has looks like it was taken from some kind of dinosaur. His long arms are certainly snake-like, but otherwise he seems to be a distant cousin of the Snake Men who decided to join in on their fun.

Sssqueeze’s early working name was Tanglor. The concept art below shows the character with a rather oversized head, and some black paint behind the Snake Men symbol, but otherwise it’s pretty close to the final toy, which was sculpted by Eddy Mosqueda:

“Tanglor” concept art. Image source: The Art of He-Man
Cross sell artwork courtesy of Axel Giménez. The artwork is faithful to the look of the final toy.

The figure itself had flexible rubber arms with internal metal wires to maintain their position, similar to Gumby toys. The arms could be rotated within the figure’s hard plastic body, or even slid from side to side, giving the character two arms of different lengths. He had the familiar spring loaded waist, but given the weight of his upper body, it moves rather sluggishly.

Sssqueeze in Mattel’s 1987 Dealer Catalog (image via Orange Slime)

The artwork on the back of Sssqueeze’s card was done by the prolific Errol McCarthy, and I believe the artwork on the front was done by Bruce Timm.

Sssqueeze instr
Image via Grayskull Museum
Image via He-Man.org

McCarthy also illustrated the character for use on a T-shirt and also for the 1987 Style Guide.

According to the Style Guide, Sssqueeze “entangles foes with his powerful constrictor snake arms. Sssqueeze just can’t keep his long arms off any enemy. As soon as a fight starts, he’s in the thick of things, wrapping up the first warrior he gets a grip on.”

There is also a fact file on Sssqueeze in the 1989 UK MOTU Annual:

Image source: He-Man.org

Squeeze plays a fairly major role in two mini comics released in 1987 – Revenge of the Snake Men! and Energy Zoids. In the former he goes by his working name, Tanglor.  At the behest of King Hiss, Snake Face, “Tanglor” and Blast Attak launch an assault on the royal palace, nearly succeeding in overthrowing all the heroic warriors there.

In Energy Zoids, Sssqueeze helps Skeletor capture Rotar, but ultimately becomes Rotar’s weapon as he unleashes his attack against Twistoid.

Sssqueeze works for Hordak in issue 8 of the Star Comics Masters of the Universe series, where he faces off against He-Man, who is equipped with his Scubattack accessory (images via He-Man.org).

In the Fall 1988 issues of the US Masters of the Universe Magazine, Skeletor sends Sssqueeze, Blast Attak, Snake Face and Ninjor to capture King Randor, who has been stranded in the desert.  He-Man defeats the villains with little difficulty (images via He-Man.org).

The same issue comes with a poster painted by the legendary Earl Norem. In the scene, He-Man faces off against Snake Face and Ninjor, while Clamp Champ takes on Blast Attak. Sssqueeze holds King Randor captive at the top of a cliff.

The Winter 1988 issue features a puzzle made from a tangle of Sssqueeze arms.

Image source: He-Man.org

Issue 7 of the 1988 German Ehapa Verlag comic series came with a poster by Esteban Maroto, featuring Sssqueeze, Snake Face and Blade:

Sssqueeze also appears in William George’s Preternia poster:

Sssqueeze is certainly one of the goofiest characters in the MOTU line, but also one of the most fun to play with. He’s certainly the most poseable, and works great as a desk toy.