Show and Tell > Man-Hero and Skulldar

by Justin Gammon

Maybe you’re like me, and you’ve been hearing a lot lately about the Masters of the Universe Classics toyline (seems like most of the news is coming from this blog 😉

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I haven’t been a huge follower of the newly-released toyline (mainly because of the prices), but it’s my impression that Mattel is gouging the living hell out of MOTU fans, and making it a pain in the ass to get the limited edition figures they want.

Recently, Mattel has unveiled its collector’s membership where you can sign up on Matty Collector’s site to be guaranteed a figure when it’s released. That’s a big improvement, but it’ll still cost ya $260 plus shipping on 13 figures. Luckily, the figures they unveiled at SDCC were so cool and badass, everyone forgot about all their belly-aching and decided to sign up (myself included. I really didn’t wanna miss Moss Man).

So, what’s my point with all this? Well, I say screw it. It’s great that Mattel is revisiting our childhoods with the MOTUC toyline, but they know we will do whatever it takes to get these toys, because we are crazed fans with a disposable income.

Howabout we switch it up a bit. Maybe show Matty Collector who’s boss. Instead of reliving our expensive childhoods through Mattel, let’s relive a cheap childhood we never had (most of us anyway). Behold. MOTUB: Masters of the Universe Bootlegs.

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For pennies on the dollar, you too can be a proud owner of Mexican bootleg He-man and Skeletor toys. They’re tons cheaper than what Mattel’s offering, and much more unique.

Look at He-man for instance. (Maybe we should we call him Man-Hero. Sounds like a regular, lame bootleg name.)

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Where else are you going to find a completely unpainted, Caucasian-flesh-toned Man-Hero figure? Not on Mattycollector.com. That’s for sure.

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This figure is kind of versatile actually. You can custom-paint Man-Hero to be any ethnicity. You can even paint him blue.

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He’d be a bootleg Faker (maybe his name would be Foney).

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Another cool bonus is the figure’s mangled hand with an axe BUILT-IN! This way, he’ll never lose his weapon.

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If that’s not enough for you, just put him near a light. You’ll instantly get “crappily-made, translucent plastic, ghostly-glow action.” I don’t remember seeing “Inner-Glow He-man” from the ’80s lineup.

The plastic on this guy is so flimsy, you could probably crush the figure with your bare hands. (Wow. Less plastic. He’s even environmentally friendly.)

Oh, and let’s not forget Skeletor. (Let’s call him Skulldar! Seems like a nice bootleggy name.)

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Skulldar is a lot freakier than the original Skeletor. You telling me you wouldn’t be more afraid of this maniacal, scraped-up, melting-eyeball, silver-cap-toothed skull head?

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And look how ripped this guy is. He’s so buff, he’s practically swollen. I know the MOTU guys were muscular, but Skulldar really looks like he’s about to burst. I think he’s actually outgrown his armor and cowl and everything.

The figure’s actually more solid and better constructed than Man-Hero. He actually looks like a bootleg of a MOTU knockoff.

Take a closer look at this guy’s belt and bracelets.

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Now that’s genuine, Mexican craftsmanship.

Maybe this guy was originally unpainted too. Is this the handiwork of a child laborer on an assembly line, or is it just a custom paint job by the kid who previously owned this toy?

A couple more thoughts. It’s weird. Man-Hero obviously looks like He-Man, but he’s actually a custom sculpt. Not just a recast version of the original Mattel figure. Skulldar, on the other hand, doesn’t really look like Skeletor at all. We’re just supposed to infer that based on his blue-violet color scheme and skull head. I’m willing to bet these two aren’t really from the same series of bootlegs, but hey, don’t they make a great couple?

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Justin is a designer and illustrator by day, and weirdo toy blogger by night. He writes regularly for WeirdoToys.com – the virtual home for odd, ugly and neglected toys.

Comments now closed (14)

  • Darnit…now I want a skulldar….now I have to buy a second scareglow to make him….DARNIT!!!

  • Wahaha… Ive seen some pretty bad bootlegs, but "Skulldar" takes the cake!!

  • @Cade:

    Scareglow would be way to tall to make a Skulldar….you would need to crop off a few inches off his thighs to make that work. 🙂

  • Thanks guys. Glad you enjoyed it.

    And thanks, Poe, for giving me the opportunity to share the weirdo-toy love on your site.

    Yeah, Man-Hero & Skulldar are pretty screwed up, and I love how short Skulldar is.

    If you like these toys, then you should definitely check out these other He-Man & Skeletor bootlegs I posted on my site a while back.
    http://www.weirdotoys.com/2008/07/07/masters-of-t

  • Great write-up! I enjoyed that.

    Does anyone remember the MOTU rip-off line being sold at Big Lots a few years back? They weren't obvious bootlegs such as these, but there were a lot of similarities. They were around the 3.75" scale, and came with all sorts of accessories and such. I never picked any up but was often tempted to.

  • Great stuff, as always. Anyone else getting an "Action League Now!" vibe from Man-Hero? "The Flesh! He's super strong, AND super naked!"

    It's also weird to find two toy blogs that I've been following separately coming together. It's like finding an old crush who is now dating someone you work with…sort of…

    Justin, I also find myself getting MOTUC and Mattel updates almost exclusively through this site. I guess what I like about both of your blogs is that it's very conversational and humorous. I just find a lot of web sites take this stuff far too seriously. We're a bunch of twenty- and thirtysomethings talking about TOYS for cryin' out loud!

  • @Ben: try 40 somethings too – even less dignity…..

    These are so awful they are almost essential. That Skulldar face really is properly freaky. Nice article and good job Justin.

  • See, the Four Horsemen really messed up their Skeletor–he needed a grill like Skulldar!

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  • man, I almost peed in my pants reading your article.

    you turning every feature of these crappy toys into added value truely convinced me !!!

    I WANT THESE !

    they are priceless classics-to-be

    but not the Masters of the Uni-worse, who scared the s**t out of me.

  • @dafly – Ha! Glad I could sell you on the true brilliance of the bootlegs. They really are more unique than that mass-produced, well-made crap from Mattel 😉

    Masters of the Uniworse toys are pretty scary. They look like undead versions or something. Creepy.