Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Action Figure Review: He-Man from Masterverse/ He-Man by Mattel


   Another area of the Masterverse is now opened up with the release of Galactic Protector He-Man from the 1989 He-Man toyline. Recent reveals show that this New Adventures version of He-Man isn't going to have to hang out on his own; he'll have Skeletor and Slush Head to battle against, too. While I'm not overly fond of the Jetlag animated series, I love the 1989 He-Man line and I'm glad Mattel has brought it in to Masterverse. This guy is a Target exclusive and is still available to order online as of this writing. Ready to check out He-Man in space? Then join me after the break...


The Facts:

Height: 7 1/8ths inches

Articulation: Swivel/hinge ankles, boot swivels, double hinged knees, thigh swivels, balljointed hips, swivel waist, balljointed mid-torso, swivel/hinge shoulders, bicep swivels, double hinged elbows, swivel/hinge wrists, and a barbell jointed head.

Accessories: 4 interchangeable hands, Power Sword, chest armor, harness, helmet, and shield.

Non-Scalper Price: $22 dollars

The Positives:

* The Masterverse version of Galactic Protector He-Man really captures the look of the vintage toy in the Masterverse style. There are some minor changes here, as the vintage He-Man figure didn't have as much red on his harness or a bracer on his left hand, but overall it's pretty accurate. The colors are bright and bold and there's a lot of nice detail on the outfit, particularly on his cool, gold space boots and on his belt buckle that combines an "H" and an "M" as something of a new logo. The harness is a separate piece that is removable, as you can swap it out for his heavier chest armor. 

* He-Man is rocking his ponytail, which was definitely a staple of the late 1980s/ early 1990s. 

* If you pop off He-Man's harness you can put his more elaborate chest armor on. It's very similar to how the armor was handled on the Masters of the Universe Classics Galactic Protector He-Man, but it's not quite as elaborate or as detailed. Still, it looks swell and has a few nice paint applications here and there. 

* The helmet is also very similar to the vintage toy, but it fits better. It has a cool, retro sci-fi aesthetic that feels very Buck Rogers or Flash Gordon inspired.

* He-Man's articulation is just what we've come to expect with this line with all of the standard, modern features like double jointed knees and elbows and a balljointed mid-torso. Most everything has a good range of motion to it and it all moves quite smoothly.

* Space He-Man comes with four swappable hands: A pair of fists for drinking Tang and a pair of fists for punching craters in the moon. 

* No, it's not the classic Power Sword, but mark me down as one of the people who loves this space sword. part classic sword, part lightsaber, this is just a cool, unusual looking blade. The blade is nice and translucent with a fantastic green colored blade. 

* There's a place to store the super cool blade on the back of He-Man's armor.

* There's also a storage slot on the back of his standard harness, too. 

* He's also rocking his classic sci-fi shield in the same neon green, only this time it plugs into his gauntlet similar to how the New Eternia Battle Armor He-Man carries his shield. I wonder if this is truly an energy construct that He-Man projects from his wristband?

The Negatives:

* I feel like I'm super picky about He-Man headsculpts, but I'm just not feeling this one. I like the hair and the eyes but the lower half of the face just looks off to me. Kind of like when you're playing around with a character generator in a videogame and you start stretching the facial features around. 

* I actually had to whip out my handy, dandy action figure loosening device (AKA my wife's hairdryer) to get these hands swapped out. be careful, as the pegs don't seem as sturdy as the pegs on some other figures with swappable hands. 

   I really do like the look of this character and Mattel definitely loaded him with accessories, but I'm just not feeling that headsculpt. This is a solid release in a subset I'm very anxious to see expand in Masterverse, but it's a figure that I feel doesn't quite live up to the high pedigree of the MOTUC version of Galactic Protector He-Man. The sword is incredible, though, as is the shield emitting from the bracer on He-Man's left wrist. I'm overall giving him a Good and a 1/2. 

   Something interesting that I was thinking about is that you can still get most Masterverse retail figures at retail for less than what Masters of the Universe Classics figures sold for around a decade ago. That's pretty wild to think about, isn't it? 

 He-Man/ Prince Adam is one of my favorite characters and I've reviewed so many toys based on him that he has his own review archive. Check out Fabulous Secret Powers for more He-Man toys!


  1. MekaneckfrenchiefrogMarch 30, 2023 at 6:29 AM

    Well, I'm surprised you guys are aware of Ulysses 31, considering it's a french animated series (well, franco-japanese, technically speaking) and usually the french stuff gets completely swept under the carpet abroad. What about Inspecteur Gadget ? This one had some very cool toys, back in the late 1980's..

    1. I only know Ulysses 31 from Cereal Geek magazine, though I believe it did air in the US, but I don't remember it. I was probably too young.

      Inspector Gadget was pretty huge over here, though, and still a very recognizable part of pop culture.

  2. MekaneckfrenchiefrogMarch 30, 2023 at 10:10 AM

    Yep, Les Mystérieuses Cités d'Or is another cultish one from way back when.. It comes as a total surprise to me, though - I was certain that these french anime's were totally unknown outside of France. An animated series from the UK I really liked as a kid was something that was called Dare-Dare Motus here. It had a superhero mouse for a main character, and had a very surrealistic sense of humor to it. Episodes were pretty short if I remember well. I also remember an episode with giant washing machines invading the world.. does it ring a bell ? You might be younger than me, though, and were probably too young at the time. I'm an old git.. I discovered MOTU toys back when they first came out (1982), and I was already 10 years old at the time.. (oh dear, it makes me sound like I'm Eldor, lol).

  3. MekaneckfrenchiefrogMarch 30, 2023 at 10:15 AM

    Remember the Ulysses 31 episode where he's stuck inside a giant pinball machine ? And then there's a life-size chess game, if I remember well. That was one of my favorite U. 31 moments, as a kid..

  4. MekaneckfrenchiefrogMarch 31, 2023 at 2:06 AM

    Carnivac, what about you, aren't you tempted by these Neca "Ultimate" D&D figures ? Personally I'm waiting for both Grimsword and Warduke to hit my mailbox.. and I'm simply freaking out with expectation (lol). There is an excellent video review of these on reddit - basically, if you watch this, you will want them. As far as Masterverse goes, I still have to get Two Bad and Man-e-faces (I have given up on Pig-Head, we'll never get this guy..), but first I had to get these two D&D babies. They're just some of the most awesome looking figures I've seen in years..

  5. MekaneckfrenchiefrogMarch 31, 2023 at 7:12 AM

    Well, yeah, I agree with you, those Neca figures are horribly pricey, but surprisingly enough, the D&D ones aren't quite as pricey as some of their other "Ultimate" lines (like Thundercats, or their nascent The Worst line, which are very cool, but sell for 80-100 Euros each, which sucks big time, and is way more than I could afford). I got Warduke for 40 Eur. from some german eBay seller in Berlin, which is fine with me, and is about the maximum price I'm ready to pay for a figure. Re : Neca : the same thing could be said about those Mythtic Legions figures (those prices..) or Super7's MOTU Classics, though. I guess that Masterverse are quite unique on the market, in that sense - they are the only collector-oriented action figures line with a truly affordable price range. Kuddos, Mattel..

  6. MekaneckfrenchiefrogMarch 31, 2023 at 8:32 AM

    Yeah, sorry, I got it all mixed up, I'm not too well versed when it comes to Super7 or Neca or Four Horsemen, because usually I don't buy their product (Neca's Ming The Merciless and D&D being exceptions to that rule..). Even the McFarlane stuff which I could be interested in (like the Conan or Warriors of the Zodiac lines) has become insanely expensive in recent times (especially Conan). And although I really like the packaging on some of Super 7's reaction figures (the MOTU reaction figures especially), I just don't "feel" those 3 inch figures with minimal details and articulation. I remember being really chuffed and excited when I accidentally found out about Mythic Legions while browsing eBay - but then I realised how crazy expensive they were and went "Okay then, better forget about it..." :-(

  7. That's cool that your mum sent pictures. My parents are still involve with my collecting. They're retired but they'll sometimes call me and ask if they've found something I don't have yet. It's a nice feeling.

    I don't hate the headsculpt for Galactic Protector He-Man but it just looks weird from the bottom. That's cool about the Ulysses 31 feel when adding the bearded head.

    I actually have one or two of the Demolition Man toys from when I was a kid and I've always toyed around with picking up a few more. It's crazy how Mattel made so much of that toyline with reused parts. I mean, totally a cost cutting measure, but Kenner and Hasbro all did that stuff back in the day.

  8. MekaneckfrenchiefrogApril 2, 2023 at 3:48 AM

    Barb, received Grimsword yesterday, and man, I don't even know where to start. I simply can't stress enough how cool this thing is. It's a tall and hefty figure, yet the plastic has this rubbery feel to it which is amazing. Also, I love how it strikes a perfect balance between the realistic feel of a collector-oriented figure (the weathering on the armor is particularly convincing) and the "colourful" quality of an actual toy (those red and green touches over a matt black armor, wooaahh..). It kind of took me a little while to get him to stand on his feet without falling (you have to work on the hips and feet a little in order to find the right balance), but otherwise I just can't recommend him enough. The guy is massive and oozing evil. It's also incredible how they reinterpreted the chunky, almost childish original figure into a truly awe-inspiring, menacing slab of grimness and power. If you find him for a cool price in a store near you, don't hesitate, I guarantee you won't regret it. It delivers in ways I wasn't even suspecting or expecting..

    1. I'm definitely getting pretty interested in NECA's figures. NECA's figures based on the old toyline and some of Hasbro's beasts are definitely appealing to me the most.

    2. I'm definitely getting pretty interested in NECA's figures. NECA's figures based on the old toyline and some of Hasbro's beasts are definitely appealing to me the most.

  9. MekaneckfrenchiefrogApril 6, 2023 at 10:14 AM

    Now I have Warduke too, and I can safely say that the whole line will be just amazing, and it will be a long hard wait until September (which is when Zarak and Strongheart are due for release..). And I hope they won't stop here (I want Kelek, Northlord, Ogre King, Elkhorn, Melf/Peralay.. the whole shebang !). Of course we will have Masterverse waves 9 and 10 to keep us busy (and broke) in the meantime... :-)

    1. Warduke looks really cool. He's definitely one of the vintage figures I remember seeing most often in toy magazines and such. His shield is wicked cool.


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