With the exception of Hasbro’s G.I. Joe and Star Wars, vehicles have become a thing of the past for most action figure lines. That’s especially true for any figure line larger than a 3 ¾” scale. But back in the golden age of action figures, even the lowliest toy line had at least a couple vehicles, be they saddled beasts or gigantic rolling bases (looking back, I’m amazed I had the Technodrome. Thanks Mom and Dad!)
Of the many things it did right, some of the best things about Masters of the Universe were the vehicles. Like the toys, many of them had all sorts of action features and interesting designs. Here’s a list of my five favorite classic MOTU vehicles.
5.) Wind Raider: The workhorse of the MOTU world, the Wind Raider was the vehicle you’d use when you wanted to get He-Man and Man-at-Arms from Point A to Point Dread. The toy had a neat grappling hook feature that allowed you to dangle a hapless He-Man figure around the living room and laugh as he smacks into the coffee table.
4.) Attak Trak: While the electronic aspect of this toy–it was battery-operated could roll along awkwardly on its treads–was cool, what I always liked most about the Attak Trak was the idea that it had “a mind of its own,” i.e., some rudimentary artificial intelligence.
The Attak Trak, whose whimsically-spelled name was no doubt responsible for a generation of kids misspelling two common words, was also a rare case where the toy was actually a lot cooler than the cartoon version, which looked like a Winnebago on treads.
3.) Point Dread & Talon Fighter: Man, I loved this thing. It had a cool hawk-like design, a great blue/yellow color scheme, and came with a little perch that could either stand on its own or be attached to the top of Castle Grayskull.
While the Fighter was just another airplane in the cartoon, in the mini-comics it came with–including a little storybook and record that came in the box–it was a badass fighter jet that could turn the tide of battle, which was a lot cooler, frankly. I’m not sure why the Talon Fighter was so underused in the cartoon, though I also don’t know why the Attak Trak was a big gray box.
2.) Battle Ram: Another workhorse in the MOTU fleet, although mostly for its Sky Sled component than the overall vehicle. I distinctly remember one Christmas where my cousin Mike and I both received a Battle Ram from our respective aunts (his mom and my mom). That was a lesson they had learned the hard way (see #1).
While the Sky Sled was probably the best feature of the Battle Ram, it also had a cool firing missile.
1.) Battle Cat: If you had He-Man, you had to have Battle Cat. That’s like having a Lone Ranger with no Silver. Though he was little more than a repainted tiger from an old Big Jim set with some armor, Battle Cat was memorable just for being a tiger. A green tiger, with a saddle, and a distinctive pointy mask I still prefer to the 2002 reinvention.
My aforementioned cousin Mike received a Battle Cat for his birthday. Little Poe didn’t have one yet, and I remember being so upset I actually went and sulked somewhere instead of enjoying the birthday party. What the hell, young me? Selfish brat!
Anyway, eventually I did get my own Battle Cat, and as I mentioned, our parents learned their lesson and we both opened Battle Rams the following Christmas.