It’s nearly impossible to imagine He-Man and the Masters of the Universe as a separate entity to its 1983 Filmation cartoon. Prince Adam, Orko, and the Sorceress seem constants in the pantheon of Master’s lore. But, the toys were first. And, packed with those 1982 toys were the famous mini-comics featuring a very different Eternia. An Eternia very much defined by the art of Alfredo Alcala and based on early concept artwork by Mark Taylor. It wouldn’t be until later that year in DC Comics Presents #47 that Prince Adam made his first appearance.
Mattel knew what they were doing when they released their newly-tooled 5.5” Masters figures for San Diego Comic-Con 2019. The Masters of the Universe Origins He-Man & Prince Adam SDCC exclusive figures are, in my mind, the most nearly perfect exclusive to date. The box itself acts as a comic that integrates the figures as pages, opening and closing the story. WHAT?!? So cool! For the first time, He-Man features a boot knife, true to the Taylor concept art and his depiction in the Alcala draw comics. Prince Adam sports his original DC blue duds which were later adapted into the 1983 Alcala drawn Dragon’s Gift mini-comic. Granamyr y’all! Back to the packaging, the comic style story features none other than the Green Goddess (an early version of what would become the sorceress). The Teela figure originally represented two different characters in the play pattern and within the story’s universe, and the Goddess was one of them. Bottom line, these Mattel 5.5” Masters of the Universe Origins figures are just plain fun! They stay very true to the original figure’s roots, aesthetic, and appeal with that bonus, well-integrated articulation.
While this 2019 SDCC 2-pack does essentially contain two of the same figure, the deco and accessories keeps each unique. The lighter skin tone and hair on Prince Adam are a nice nod to his DC Comics roots. The only warranted complaint is the Power Sword handle. It’s too thick for the grasping hands and will fall loose most of the time. Mattel has fixed this issue. An improved complete metallic plastic Power Sword comes with the Wave 5 He-man. That release also includes the retro-style head that was first available with this 2-pack. It’s surprising and notable how much of this pack has stayed, well, exclusive. Especially the fist hands, which remain limited to this release. In a time where most SDCC exclusives come down to packaging and less of a wait, it’s nice that not all of these contents have been repackaged. The skin tones for the characters, some of the accessory deco, and the hand options are all only available through this pack. Let’s not forget about Prince Adam’s top-quality soft goods vest as well. The Filmation version of Prince Adam from the Sky Sled pack features a sculpted vest, a departure from his 1984 release. I couldn’t be happier with this line and this exclusive especially. While Origins distribution has remained spotty and some characters hard to find, the overall delivery by the Mattel product department on each wave remains top notch. The Masters of the Universe Origins He-Man & Prince Adam SDCC exclusive figures are a pinnacle of convention exclusives, casting a long shadow on all former exclusives and those yet to come. MOTU Origins is the hotness and, most definitely, has the power.
Check for availability at TC’s Rockets in San Diego