The Success of Mattel Toy Line, The Masters of The Universe

The Success of Mattel Toy Line, The Masters of The Universe



What is your favorite genre? Cosmic warriors, Battle clad barbarians, mystical mages and sorcerers, anthropomorphic beasts, cyborgs and androids? How about dragons, ghosts, or even giants? Can’t make up your mind? Or if you are interested in all of the above then welcome to the world of Eternia and the Masters of the Universe. 

While Kenner’s Star Wars figures dominated toy shelves in the late 70’s, toy company competitors scrambled to take part in the “Boy’s Toys” craze sparked by the greatest Sci-Fi franchise of all time. Without a blockbuster film to push sales, Mattel met the challenge by producing its own toy line with a clear contrast to the stiff-armed androgynous 3.75 scale bodies of Vader, Chewbacca, and Luke Skywalker. Instead He-Man and Skeletor hit shelves in the 5.5 scale sporting biceps, quads, and pecs that would make The Rock go do 1 more round of burpees and drink another protein shake.  Sporting the bodybuilder physiques and representing every type of character possible, the Masters of the Universe toy line was a wild success leading to multiple waves of figures, vehicles, and play sets along with comics, a film, and the beloved Filmation cartoon series. 40 years later, the property continues to live on through new Netflix shows and multiple toy lines all being celebrated in one of the most intimate conventions which directly caters to its unwaveringly passionate fan base.

PowerCon in Anaheim, California is a yearly convention returning after a 1-year COVID hiatus and it didn’t seem to skip a beat. Whether prompted by He-man, She-Ra, the film, the cartoons, the comics, or mini-comics, all fans gather once a year to share in their love of the property in all its forms through panels, cosplay contests, vintage toy hunting, and best of all, reconnecting with the community with fans from most states as well as many countries.

Like many artists, I started making fan art inspired by the rich character roster and design work. At my age, early 40’s, the craving for nostalgia keeps me dipping back into the deep pool of Masters inspired artwork making magnets, White Cells, and other sculptures based on the characters I never had or my brother never let me play with. If you are a fan of the property in any of its forms check out PowerCon, get a ticket or check out the panels and sights available on YouTube.

Art above by Mark KindNuggets, Tweeterhead, Josh FettupToys, and Alex Klein

Writer: Mark KindNuggets 


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