MOTU Wave 1 – 1982

Masters of the Universe Wave 1 – 1982


When you think of iconic toy lines for each decade, Masters of the Universe is among the biggest things to happen in that era. Mattel already had huge success with their Barbie doll line, but wanted to get back into the boy’s market. Masters of the Universe made its debut in 1982, with each figure including a mini-comic to introduce the character to us. Mattel gave us eight core figures in 1982, along with two vehicles, Battle Cat, and one of the most iconic playsets in toy history, with Castle Grayskull.

For more information about Mattel’s Masters of the Universe line from 1982, see bottom of the page for a complete summary.

Masters of the Universe – Wave 1 (1982): Figures

The first wave of figures for the Masters of the Universe line contained 8 figures in total. There were 4 good guy, 3 bad guys and then Zodac, who is technically a neutral character.

Beast Man

Market Value:
Carded $450 – $650
Loose $75 – $125

Beast Man: Evil Warriors
Accessories: Whip, Chest Armor, 2 Arm Bands, Mini-Comic
Years Released: 1982, 1983
Scarcity Factor: Can still be found but it’s getting tougher each year
Notes: Where would Skeletor be without his right hand man, Beast Man. He had a special feature that allowed you to twist his waist and watch him throw a Power Punch. Beast Man was consistently featured throughout the Masters of the Universe line and animated series.

He-Man

Market Value:
Carded $950 – $1,250
Loose $100 – $150

He-Man: Heroic Warriors
Accessories: Power Sword, Battle Ax, Shield, Harness, Mini-Comic
Years Released: 1982, 1983
Scarcity Factor: Tough to find on the secondary market
Notes: “BY THE POWER OF GRAYSKULL, I HAVE THE POWER!!”. If you could only get one MOTU character as a kid in the 80’s, it had to be this guy. He-Man was understandably the biggest and most popular figure of the entire Masters of the Universe toy run. There were different variations of He-Man through the years, but he always remained the head honcho of this toy franchise.

Man-At-Arms

Market Value:
Carded $400 – $600
Loose $75 – $125

Man-At-Arms: Heroic Warriors
Accessories: Mace, Chest Armor, Arm Armor, Leg Armor, Mini-Comic
Years Released: 1982, 1983
Scarcity Factor: Can still be found but it’s getting tougher each year
Notes: Man-At-Arms was the wise and experienced council to He-Man, as well as being Teela’s father. The biggest variation to Man-At-Arms was the addition of mustache on later issued figures. This was mostly done to give him an older and wiser appearance.

Mer-Man

Market Value:
Carded $350 – $500
Loose $75 – $125

Mer-Man: Evil Warriors
Accessories: Sword, Chest Armor, Mini-Comic
Years Released: 1982, 1983
Scarcity Factor: Can still be found but it’s getting tougher each year
Notes: Mer-Man was another one of Skeletor’s main enforcers. Like the other characters in this line, Mer-Man had a special feature that allowed you to twist his waist and watch him throw a Power Punch. Mer-Man was also featured heavily throughout the Masters of the Universe line and animated series.

Skeletor

Market Value:
Carded $900 – $1,200
Loose $100 – $150

Skeletor: Evil Warriors
Accessories: Havok Staff, Power Sword, Harness, Belt, Mini-Comic
Years Released: 1982, 1983
Scarcity Factor: Tough to find on the secondary market
Notes: Skeletor remains one of the most iconic villains in modern toy pop culture history. If toy villains had a Mount Rushmore, Skeletor would definitely be joining the likes of Darth Vader and Megatron on it. Like the other characters in this line, Skeletor had a special feature that allowed you to twist his waist and watch him throw a Power Punch.

Stratos

Market Value:
Carded $350 – $500
Loose $75 – $125

Stratos: Heroic Warriors
Accessories: Clip-On Wings, Jetpack, Backpack, Mini-Comic
Years Released: 1982, 1983
Scarcity Factor: Can still be found but it’s getting tougher each year
Notes: Stratos was one of He-Man’s most trusted allies in the fight against the Evil Warriors. Like the other characters in this line, Stratos had a special feature that allowed you to twist his waist and watch him throw a Power Punch. Stratos has two color variations to his wings, the standard red and variant blue.

Teela

Market Value:
Carded $350 – $500
Loose $60 – $110

Teela: Heroic Warriors
Accessories: Snake Headdress, Snake Staff, Shield, Min-Comic
Years Released: 1982, 1983
Scarcity Factor: Can still be found but it’s getting tougher each year
Notes: He-Man’s trusted friend, Teela is the daughter of Man-At-Arms. Like the other characters in this line, Teela had a special feature that allowed you to twist her waist and watch her throw a Power Punch. Teela has two hair color variations, the standard brown hair and variant red hair. She also has two different boot color variations, the standard brown and the variant red.

Zodac

Market Value:
Carded $250 – $350
Loose $50 – $100

Zodac: Evil Warriors
Accessories: Removable Armor, Laser Pistol, Min-Comic
Years Released: 1982, 1983
Scarcity Factor: Can still be found but it’s getting tougher each year
Notes: Zodac began as an evil character, before shifting to a more neutral cosmic entity. Like the other characters in this line, Zodac had a special feature that allowed you to twist his waist and watch him throw a Power Punch. There are no major variations to Zodac during his toy run.

Masters of the Universe – Wave 1 (1982): Exclusive Figures

Mattel released only one exclusive figure in 1982, but it’s a big one. There is a lot of debate about this figure, but it does exist and was a mail order exclusive through Wonder Bread.

Wun-Dar (Wonder Bread Mail Order)

Market Value:
With Packaging: $5,000 – $10,000
Loose: $1,400 – $1,900

Wun-Dar: Heroic Warriors
Accessories: Black Zodiac Armor, Zodiac Pistol, Loaf of Bread, Power Sword, Half-Power Sword
Years Released: 1982 (Wonder Bread Mail Order Only)
Scarcity Factor: This item is extremely rare and also very expensive if you can find one
Notes: Wun-Dar is basically a re-paint of the original He-Man figure, (supposedly) released in 1982. He was an excusive figure and only available through a Wonder Bread mail order offer. Wun-Dar was described as a savage ancient version of He-Man. This is a very controversial figure due to its scarcity and the fact that Mattel never actually claimed the character as part of the Masters of the Universe line. There is actually a very long story that goes with that, but let it suffice to say that this figure was very real and absolutely did exist.

Masters of the Universe – Wave 1 (1982): Accessories

Mattel did not release any separate accessories for the initial MOTU line in 1982.

Masters of the Universe – Wave 1 (1982): Creatures

Although Mattel would release some great creature sets in future years, only Battle Cat was released for the first wave in 1982.

Battle Cat

Market Value:
Boxed $400 – $550
Loose $120 – $160

Battle Cat: Heroic Warriors
Accessories: Helmet, Saddle
Years Released: 1982, 1983
Scarcity Factor: Can still be found but it’s getting tougher each year
Notes: Prince Adam’s cowardly tiger, Cringer, could change into the mighty Battle Cat whenever trouble loomed nearby. Battle Cat was He-Man’s trusted battle ally and friend against Eternia’s evil forces. This was a very well sculpted figure and remains incredibly popular with collectors.

Masters of the Universe – Wave 1 (1982): Playsets

Mattel would give us some really fun playsets for the MOTU line during its run, but none more iconic than the original, Castle Grayskull.

Castle Grayskull

Market Value:
Boxed $450 – $650
Loose $100 – $150

Castle Grayskull: Heroic Warriors
Accessories: Opening Drawbridge, Combat Trainer, Armory and Weapons, Trap Door, Throne, Ladder, Flag, Laser Cannon
Years Released: 1982, 1983
Scarcity Factor: Can still be found but it’s getting tougher each year
Notes: Aside from He-Man and Skeletor themselves, Castle Grayskull is the most iconic item to come out of the Masters of the Universe line. The image of the legendary castle can be instantly recognized by anyone who grew up in that era. With its trap door, opening and closing drawbridge and weapons armory, there was a lot to do in this playset, not to mention a most impressive front exterior shot of the skull with fangs. This set was just plain cool and if you are lucky enough to own one in the original box, consider yourself lucky.

Masters of the Universe – Wave 1 (1982): Vehicles

Mattel released two vehicles as part of their first wave in 1982.

Battle Ram

Market Value:
Boxed $175 – $250
Loose $75 – $100

Battle Ram: Heroic Warriors
Accessories: Missiles, Main Gun, Laser Gun Turret, Wheels
Years Released: 1982, 1983
Scarcity Factor: Can still be found but it’s getting tougher each year
Notes: The Battle Ram was the first vehicle to be released in the MOTU line and is actually two vehicles in one. This was a cool ride for He-Man to get around on, in case Battle Cat was sitting it out. The Battle Ram actually shot out real missiles through a spring loaded action button.

Wind Raider

Market Value:
Boxed $175 – $250
Loose $75 – $100

Wind Raider: Heroic Warriors
Accessories: Grappling Hook, Winch, Sticker Sheet
Years Released: 1982, 1983
Scarcity Factor: Can still be found but it’s getting tougher each year
Notes: The second vehicle released in the MOTU line, the Wind Raider, had a working grappling hook and winch. Apparently only the good guys got playsets and vehicles for this initial wave from MOTU.

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 run 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 that character to us, along with a small back story. This was a fantastic way to personalize each character and make them important to their target audience. A DC Comics series of the Masters of the Universe line also began in 1982.

Mattel gave us eight initial core characters in 1982, which would all come to play hugely important roles in the shaping of the Masters of the Universe world. He-Man and Skeletor were, of course, the stars of the MOTU line but we also got Man-At-Arms, Teela, and Stratos to join He-Man on his adventures. For the Evil Warriors, we had Beast Man, Mer-Man and Zodac to join Skeletor, but Zodac would later shift to a “neutral” cosmic enforcer type character. In addition to some fantastic figures, we also got one of the most iconic playsets in modern toy history with Castle Grayskull. This amazingly cool playset gave the good guys a place to call home and made for many great adventures. The design of Castle Grayskull was beautifully done and was released at a reasonable price point for that time period. Finally, we got two vehicles for the Heroic Warriors, with the Battle Ram and Wind Raider, along with a nicely sculpted Battle Cat creature for He-Man to ride into battle on.

The packaging for the Masters of the Universe line focused on bright eye catching colors that grabbed your attention. The Masters of the Universe logo sat at the top of the card, just above a red rock explosion that seemed to jump out at you, along with the name of the character above the bubble. Overall, the MOTU packaging was colorful and attractive, which helped make the line even more iconic.

8 Back Card

Mini Comic Book

Mini Comic Book

12 Back Card