Masters of the Universe

When you think of iconic toy lines for each decade, Masters of the Universe sits right along side Star Wars, GI Joe and Transformers as the biggest thing to happen to toys in that era, but the MOTU journey to becoming a reality went through quite a few trials before finally becoming the mighty toy line we all know and love. By the early 80’s, Mattel already had the girl’s toy market locked down with their ultra successful Barbie doll line, but they wanted to jump back into the boy’s toy market as well. Mattel had a good run with the Big Jim line in the 70’s and a semi-successful line with Battlestar Galactica but needed to develop something fresh for a new audience. So the Masters of the Universe line was finally released in 1982. The MOTU line went through several different designs prior to release but Mattel finally settled on a 5.5 inch tall action figure, which was not typical at that time, since Star Wars had made the 3.75 inch design the new norm. Each figure would also include a mini-comic to introduce each character to us and give a small back story on them. This was a fantastic way to personalize each character and make them important to their target audience. The success of the Masters of the Universe spawned a spin-off line called Princess of Power in 1985. This series centered on Princess Adora, who was secretly She-Ra, who also conveniently happened to be the sister of He-Man. Both lines also generated animated series for each line with He-Man debuting in 1983 and She-Ra debuting in 1985. Both series were wildly popular at the time and a huge hit with children of all ages.

The Masters of the Universe figures really caught fire with a whole generation of children growing up in the 80’s, and sold extremely well. Mattel finally proved they could truly do more than just make Barbie Dolls and their accessories. Many of the original MOTU characters would go on to become household names during their run. It wasn’t just toys either, the Masters of the Universe line would go on to spawn several multi media outlets. It certainly wasn’t uncommon for popular toy lines in the 80’s to generate an animated series or comic book, but a live action movie…..that was most definitely quite the feat at the time. Even though it wasn’t the box office smash that Mattel was hoping for, it did go on to become a beloved cult classic film that still holds up to this day. Mattel also did a fantastic job at introducing all different types of interesting and memorable characters. Sure, everyone probably knew He-Man, Man-At-Arms, Teela, and Skeletor but how about Stinkor, Grizzlor, Ram Man, Man-E-Faces or Tung Lasher. These guys were so weird looking, that it just made them interesting. The Masters of the Universe line officially came to an end in 1988 with Princess of Power ending the year before in 1987. The Masters of the Universe gang have been revived, re-booted and re-made quite a few times since then, but nothing will ever beat the classic 1980’s toy run.

Mattel released some real quality products from 1982 to 1988, and just like every toy line, the values of certain items can greatly fluctuate over time. This is based on several factors, including the item’s time period, scarcity, consumer demand and overall condition. The good news for Masters of the Universe collectors is there’s always a demand for items from this era, as Mattel created some truly iconic pieces. Many individual figures can still be easily found in loose condition without their accessories in most secondary markets, but MOC figures are becoming harder to find in good condition. The recent revival by the company, Super 7, has really had a huge influence on the classic MOTU Values recently. Just like Mattel’s Classic MOTU re-make line, their Commemorative Series line, or the Funko Pop series, it has been proven over and over that the public and loyal fan base just cant get enough of these classic Masters of the Universe characters. Values on the original MOTU items remain steady and have seen an increase in prices lately with 80’s nostalgia becoming hot again. MOTU Figures from this era will always maintain their value for a variety of reasons, with the biggest being that Masters of the Universe is an iconic brand that remains extremely popular with collectors. These characters are remembered very fondly by the kids who grew up in the 1980’s. The figures, playsets, vehicles, and creatures from the Masters of the Universe line will only increase in value as these figures and sets become rarer and harder to find in the future.

Click These Links to See Individual Masters of the Universe (MOTU) and Princess of Power (POP) Pages

1982 MOTU

1983 MOTU

1984 MOTU

1985 MOTU

1986 MOTU

1987 MOTU

1988 MOTU

Princess of Power (POP) Toy Line

1985 POP

1986 POP

1987 POP