Friday, November 5, 2021

Action Figure Review: He-Man from He-Man and the Masters of the Universe by Mattel


   My review marathon of Mattel's He-Man and the Masters of the Universe line based on the Netflix series of the same name continues with a look at the standard He-Man from the 5.5 inch line. Yes, Mattel has divided this line up into two scales, 5.5 inch and 8.5 inch, which always seems like a strange move to me. With a toyline based on a cartoon on Netflix that is largely untested with today's kids, is there really a need for multiple scales? I really think the idea behind this is that having different scales creates more SKUs for store shelves but that's at the expense of a more robust toyline. Still, despite my complaints there it does seem that Mattel has lots more figures in store if the line is successful. I've already talked quite a bit about the new He-Man design in my review of the He-Man and Ground Ripper set so for this one we'll just jump right in and look at the basic He-man for this line. Let's check him out after the break...

The Facts:

Height: 5 3/8ths inches

Articulation: Balljointed hips, "Power Attack" balljointed mid-torso, swivel shoulders, swivel wrists, and a balljointed head.

Accessories: Power Sword 

Non-Scalper Price: $10 dollars

The Positives:

* In this series when Adam transforms into He-Man he bulks up and looks completely different, kind of like the 200x series or Revelation. He's very bulky with exaggerated proportions and more armor and clothing than He-Man is generally known for wearing. I really do like the logo on his chest as it's both a stylized "H" and reminiscent of the Power Sword in this series. The harness isn't removable but it is a separate piece permanently attached to the figure. The colors are pretty cool. A bit darker than you typically see for He-Man but it works and the paint apps are all neat and clean. 

* Mattel gave He-Man a rather friendly face here and it works. It wouldn't have been my choice for the default He-Man look but it's a pretty good likeness of the character. This is definitely He-Man, just with a more stylized look. Big hair, lantern jaw; he kind of reminds me of the 200x He-Man, which I love. This is the same headsculpt (the entire sculpt is the same, actually) as the He-Man figure from the Ground Ripper set, by the way.

* This is the first of the He-man figures from this series that I've reviewed which has painted details on the gauntlets and they look marvelous. I love how big and bulky they are and the inclusion of the "H" logo (which kind of resembles the Sword of Grayskull) is a really cool detail. 

* I don't like that these figures only have swivel shoulders (the 8 1/2 inch figures have better articulation) but everything else I'm OK with. He-Man feels very sturdy and the Power Attack feature is pretty cool. Essentially, the mid-torso joint is a spring-loaded balljoint. Twist him left or right and his upper torso springs back. Pull his torso back and he springs forward. It definitely feels like an upgrade of the action waist feature on the vintage figures and makes these fun to mess around with as the can swing weapons, punch, and leap forward.

 * The Sword of Grayskull (which is what the Power Sword is called most of the time in the series) looks really cool here. This version of He-Man has the sword given a gold hilt like in the show and the details all stand out really nicely. It's similar to a buster sword, sort of like the 200x version of the Power Sword.


* Need He-Man' hands free to punch things? Then stow the sword on He-Man's back! It plugs right into the back of the harness and stays on securely.

The Negatives:


* Smaller heads are definitely common in some stylized designs but He-Man's head definitely looks too small here. I'm not seeing this as a stylized look but as an inaccurately proportioned head.


* He-Man's his are a bit loose. Not horrible where he can't stand up but his legs to tend to spread out to the side a bit too much, like he's trying to do the horse dance from Gangnam Style.

   While I'm very much enjoying the show for being a very different take on the MOTU mythos that doesn't feel like a completely different genre (it's still fantasy/ sci-fi action/adventure), I'm a bit mixed on the new toyline. Some of the stuff kind of bores me a bit but the new 5.5 inch figures seem to have more promise. They're not as articulated as I'd like but they're fun to mess around with and Mattel seems to be planning to make lots of characters in the coming months. He-Man is a Good and a 1/2 figure; not anything comparable to the best MOTU lines but not a bad toy. It's something different which is a bit refreshing. He-Man in clothes. It's a radical concept!



 I've reviewed so many action figures of Prince Adam/ He-Man that he has his own review archive. Check out Fabulous Secret Powers for more He-Man and Prince Adam stuff!

For more He-Man and the Masters of the Universe reviews check out the following:
5 1/2 inch
8 1/2 inch



  1. Nice. Hadn’t visited this site in awhile and I’m all down for some MOTU reviews. Glad I found my way back here.

    1. Thanks for stopping by again! Lots more MOTU stuff coming!

  2. Nice. Hadn’t visited this site in awhile and I’m all down for some MOTU reviews. Glad I found my way back here.

  3. Uhh… Looks terrible. It doesn’t feel like He-Man / MOTU at all. I prefer the original figures from the 80’s. They should give these figures their own brand, Freaks of the Universe…

    1. I do wish they matched the look of the show a bit better. I don't think they're that bad, though. Some of the designs are quite good though I tend to like the unpowered versions of the characters better than the powered up versions.


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