Happy Masters of the Universe Day 2021!
Today I'm proud to present a very special Masters of the Universe Day collaboration between Action Figure Barbecue and The Toy Box! Matt from The Toy Box contacted me and suggested that we create a post discussing the most expensive vintage Masters of the Universe currently out there. Matt handled the art while I handled the research and the write-ups. As I notified Matt who was on the list he returned some pretty cool MOTU art to me so fast your head would spin! Collecting the vintage Masters of the Universe line has gotten crazy expensive over the past decade or so and it's pretty wild for one line to have so many incredibly rare and expensive pieces. Sadly, I don't own any of these vintage figures so I'm just enjoying them from afar. So what was the criteria for making it onto this list?
1. Only the vintage toylines are included (Masters of the Universe, Princess of Power, and He-Man/ New Adventures. Unfortunately, there just aren't any New Adventures figures as expensive as the guys on this list (though a few were awfully close) so none of them made the cut.
2. I'm only looking at standard figures (though we did include the giants) rather than vehicles and playsets and only at the loose items. There are so many factors that change the value of carded figures that it wasn't really feasible to make a list.
3. Consider this a snapshot in time. These kind of things can change from month to month and prices absolutely fluctuate. The releases of new media, new toylines, and new documentaries like The Toys that Made Us and Power of Grayskull can all have an impact on the prices of MOTU items.
4. There are figures who I know are extremely rare (most of the Leo Toys and especially Leo Faker) but for whom I just couldn't find enough current sales information to make a good estimate as to their pricing. If you have some information toss it our way!
Enjoy! If you have these figures bask in their glory and share with us how you acquired them! If you don't have own them then think about what organs and body parts you could do without in order to earn some sweet cheddar cheese so you can buy them. Let's get things spinning with Rotar...
Loose and incomplete you can sometimes find Rotar for under $100. When you start trying to find his accessories, though, the price jumps up and you can expect to pay up to $400 dollars for this really odd looking Heroic Warrior. He's He-Man's top man. Top. Man. Get it? Yeah, the Energy Zoids were top-like warriors who were supposed to interact with the Gyratakker, a never released vehicle. I was collecting MOTU stuff at this time (I'm a bit younger than most fans) and I don't remember seeing this guy on shelves at all back in 1987.
The rest of the crew are after the break...
Masters of the Universe doesn't have all of the most difficult to find figures from this list! The Princess of Power line has a couple as well. Princess of Power figures are already tough to find loose and complete due to the clothing but Shower Power Catra is one of the toughest of them all. She's from the last year of the line, has seven accessories, and since she was a water squirting toy you know a bunch of these ended up moldy or with pieces lost down the drain. She's great for reenacting scenes from Flashdance, though. Just the loose figure can sell for between $100 and $200 dollars but a complete one may cost you between $400 and $500.
You're going to see a lot of figures from 1987 on this list due to the fact that it was the final year of the vintage line in most countries and lots of the figures released were produced in smaller numbers and just didn't get picked up by most kids. Take Twistoid here, the evil Energy Zoid designed to spin like a top. Few fans remember this guy from their childhoods and even fewer still actually owned him. He has a few accessories and depending on completeness and condition can run from around $200 dollars just loose to around $800 with all of his goodies. He's evil, garish, and he spins right around baby, like a record.
Scare Glow's popularity as a cult favorite of MOTU and 1980's toy collecting in general can't be denied and over the past few years the prices of loose Scare Glow figures have skyrocketed. It's not uncommon to see graded loose samples and figures in excellent condition with authentic accessories selling for between $300 and $800 dollars. That's pretty impressive for a figure that was originally designed as part of a cost effective subset which used few new parts and mostly reused accessories. The only new elements were Scare Glow's head and his fabric cape! Scare Glow's amazing appearance and the fantastic art work from the vintage line have helped to win him over with collectors. Plus, there's the whole mystery that he was called the "Evil Ghost of Skeletor" which led some to believe that he's really a Skeletor variant. Is he? No, not really. But it's fun to pretend! Watch out for reproduction parts on this guy as they're very, very common.
Laser Power He-Man was released in 1988 but was only available in Italy and Spain. The MOTU line had ended in the USA at this point but the line was still popular internationally and there had been some earlier plans to move the line forward with a new focus on Power Crystals and interactive accessories. Being that this is a battery operated figure finding one that still works is a challenge. It's a very cool variant of He-Man, though, and while the Spanish version used the classic He-Man head sculpt the Italian version used an all new headsculpt that looked like the later released New Adventures He-Man (or Dolph Lundgren in the opinion of some collectors). A loose figure in rough shape can be found for as low as $200 while a complete and working loose sample can sell for closer to $900 dollars. This is an interesting piece that feels like it connects MOTU to the New Adventures line conceptually and it's just a sweet looking figure.
Spinnerella is the "Dizzying Defender" of the Great Rebellion! Released in 1987 as part of the third and final series of vintage Princess of Power figures Spinnerella is really tough to track down. She's quite uncommon, she has a complex fabric outfit and a few accessories, and she's expensive. Even an incomplete loose Spinnerella can sell for between $600-$1000 dollars and the price just goes up from there for complete samples. She's just not a character you see that often, either, so that makes things kind of interesting. Spinnerella did get a Masters of the Universe Classics figure made of her but that and an enamel pin from Han Cholo based on her appearance in She-Ra and the Princesses of Power are the only Spinnerella collectibles I'm aware of. Trying to get your hand on a vintage Spinnerella can only be described as...dizzying!
One of the greatest mysteries of MOTU collecting is that of the brown haired He-Man figure. Now officially known as Wun-Dar due to his release in MOTUC he's also been known as Savage He-Man, Wonder Bread He-Man, and even labeled as a Conan prototype over the years. Within the past year an old letter from an upset mother sent to Mattel in 1983 seems to point to this figure (which some fans refuse to believe truly exists) being a barebones mail away promotional item from a "Buy 3 Get 1 Free" offer. Regardless of his origins collectors want this guy and it's not uncommon to see him selling all over the place from $200 to nearly $4,000 dollars! Yikes! There's a lot of fraudulent and customized Wun-Dars out there so be careful before you drop a whole loaf of bread on acquiring this guy.
Laser Light Skeletor- 1988
Laser Light Skeletor is the counterpart to Laser Power He-Man. Like that He-Man Variant, Laser Light Skeletor was only released in Italy and Spain and definitely serves as a precursor to the New Adventures Skeletor figure. This is one of the coolest looking Skeletor variants of them all and with light up eyes and a light up hand and Havoc Staff he's pretty popular with collectors. This guy can sell for between $600 and $1200 dollars depending on his condition and whether or not he has all of his accessories. Not only were the "Laser" MOTU figures originally intended to be part of a new chapter in the brand but apparently there were even plans for them to be part of an interactive, live action TV show, kind of like Captain Power. How crazy would that have been, right? Mattel did a pretty nice job on this pair in Masters of the Universe Classics but how cool would it be to own these original figures? I love the look of the pair.
In Argentina the Masters of the Universe line was put out by Top Toys who designed a unique variant of Kobra Khan for their line. Kobra Khan Camuflado, or Camo Khan as he is more popularly know, is a camouflaged variant of Kobra Khan. There are a few different variants of the figure itself but the most popular has Buzz-Off's arms, gold hands and feet, and gold ridges down his body. He can also be found toting a green or brown Clawful mace or Buzz-Off's axe. Just this guy's arms sold for $400 recently and getting a complete loose one is going to run you closer to $2,000. This is one of the cooler international variants but he's a tough find because of his rarity, his high price, and the fact that he's camouflaged. Kobra Khan seems like a very fitting character for a sneakier, more intimidating paintjob, doesn't he? Mattel and Super7 must think so as they've included him in MOTUC and the ReAction lines in all of his camouflaged glory.
Some of the earliest Stratos figures had blue beards instead of grey beards, thus making for a variant. A fairly uncommon variant, I might add. Why was his beard blue? Who knows? He's trendy. The prices on this guy seem to be all over the place with some loose figures selling for under $400 dollars and others selling for closer to $2,000. Some of these loose figures are all over the place so you have to take these prices as a guideline. That being said it's interesting that lots of fans who collected MOTU back when it was released seem to have memories of this variant but it seems like it shows up for sale very infrequently. There also seems to be the red and blue wing variations on this guy as well, though since Stratos' accessories are easy to come by that's not too much of a concern I'd imagine.
He's big! He's rare! He's European! That's Tytus for you! One of the few releases from the never fully realized Powers of Grayskull line, Tytus is a 13 inch giant only released in Europe who will set you back thousands of dollars, if not a bit over $10,000. Seriously, this guy is so uncommon that it's tough to find a lot of sales data on him. He has rooted hair which is often found damaged or poorly barbered and a couple accessories that sell for more than most of the figures on this list. If you've got enough money setting around to buy a decent used car why not spend it on Tytus instead?
Megator is Tytus' evil counterpart and he's another figure who pops up so rarely that it's tough to get a good read on his pricing. Recently a couple Megators with no accessories sold for just shy of a $1,000 dollars but you know a complete one would probably double that, especially if he was graded. Heck, I have no idea how much this guy could go for. Like Tytus his armor and weapon are really hard to come by plus he's got rooted hair, too. Mattel remade the MOTU giants in Masters of the Universe Classics so that's probably the only way most collectors will ever lay hands on these guys.
What do you think? From your experience are there any really expensive Masters of the Universe figures we missed? Let us know in the comments below!