The Horde Poster: From Adam to Whiplash

Welcome to the third in my four-part exhaustive analysis of the Masters of the Universe promotional posters from the 1980s. This one is the Horde Poster, which actually probably have come second–after the Grayskull poster but before the Eternia poster. I’m not certain because I can’t find his signature, but I assume this one was, like the others, painted by William George.


We have poster Papu to thank for this hi-res scan.

  • (Prince) Adam is just the first of many characters who are doing nothing but riding the Battle Bones in boring fashion and making my job here that much harder.
  • From the look of it, you might think the Bashasaurus is flinging that silver testicle aloft toward its enemies. Not so. That thing is attached to the vehicle, and odds are it’s going to go over the cliff, causing that bitch to flip and send Man-At-Arms hurtling into the abyss. Yet another masterpiece from Duncan’s magical workshop.
  • Are Battle Bones actually reanimated krayt dragons?
  • Battle Cat and Panthor get to growl at each other menacingly from across the canyon.  Exciting.
  • Why does Beast Man always get to drive the vehicles?
  • Buzz-Off never helps anyone. Now he’s just flying over the battle, watching his friends march to their doom. What a douche.
  • It almost looks like Clawful and his pals are actually carrying the Battle Bones, like a casket.
  • “Hmmm, Dragon Blaster Skeletor…you carry a lot of stress in your shoulders. Big knot right here. Have you ever thought about yoga?”
  • Evil-Lyn seems to ride Panthor way more often than Skeletor. Just sayin’.
  • If he’d been in the live-action movie in the 1980s, Fisto would have been played by Richard Moll.
  • Finding Grizzlor on this poster–or any of the Horde–is like looking for Waldo, despite the fact that the poster features a giant “Horde” logo front and center. Way to highlight the new product, Mattel!
  • I think Hordak is doing the Moon Walk. It’s either that, or he’s running full-tilt for the edge of the cliff.
  • Jitsu seems to be doing the British royalty hand-wave.
  • Wait to shoot at nothing, Kobra Khan.
  • Is it me, or could the Land Shark have been 10x more badass if it hadn’t been, y’know, bright purple?
  • Again, you can barely see Leech, despite his being awesome.
  • Oh God, here come the m’s. OK, Man-at-Arms, as previously discussed, is evidently driving the Bashasaurus one-handed.
  • Man-E-Faces is yet another member of the Battle Bones Brigade.
  • Mantenna‘s eye-popping action figure is virtually impossible to see, thanks to the Horde being set off in the distance of the Horde poster.
  • What’s Mekaneck saying to Prince Adam? I’m guessing it’s something like, “I just noticed–were you and He-Man, like, separated at birth or something?”
  • Mer-Man is (sigh) riding the Battle Bones. Or carrying it. Whatever.
  • Evil red two-headed demon whose limbs can be mixed and matched at will? Say hello to Modulok, arguably one of the greatest toys in the original MOTU line. So let’s put him front and center–but make him less than an inch high and mixed in among a patchy red background! PERFECT!
  • No, no, Moss Man–torches are for the mobs chasing mutant freaks like you.
  • When he’s so far back and walking on the ground, Orko looks like a Jawa.
  • And then there’s Panthor.
  • Where did Roboto pick up that lovely sabre?
  • This Christmas, Spikor wants the one thing he can never have: a hug.
  • Stinkor, what’s with the blue shield? Do you have colorblindness along with your trimethylaminuria?
  • Stratos says hi!
  • Sy-Klone spins me right ’round baby right round. Like a record baby. Right round round round.
  • Y’know, Thunder Punch He-Man, the harness is really an overrated form of armor. You might also want to think of something more than bantha fur to protect your junk.
  • It’s only in these Mattel promotional images that Teela actually wears her snake armor.
  • Trap Jaw is bringing up the rear of the Battle Bones. Not much to see here.
  • Same goes for Tri-Klops.
  • You have to admire Skeletor’s open-mindedness. Where some might look at Two-Bad and see a crippling disability, he sees his newest Evil Warrior.
  • Whiplash doesn’t have what you’d call a  strong chin, does he?

And that’ll wrap it up for this edition. Stay tuned in two weeks for the fourth and final poster!

Comments now closed (22)

  • Awesome! I have this poster, unfortunately it did not hold up well and the edges are a little frayed.

  • God I love me some MOTU fantasy art! It'd be nice if the Horsemen threw in a sword for Roboto when they get around to him… I think it works.

  • Man. I love the old MOTU poster art. I think I had this poster. In fact, they were giving it away at some retail store (Kmart or something. can't recall). I "met" He=Man (guy in a suit), and he gave me this poster.

  • Totally dig those posters. Mattel should seriously consider offering reprints for sale or doing similar ones for the MotU Classics line.

    I love how He-Man punches into the air shortly before realizing that he ain't Extendar, with Skeletor wondering what the heck that muscle-bound hero is trying to do and Hordak yelling to wait for him.

    Just realized that Orko's O-ring is missing. Telling from his size, that's probably just Faker hiding underneath, ready to strike down the unsuspecting Teela.

    And Evil-Lyn… dammit, just look at how desperately she'd trying to catch Buzz-Off's attention!

    These posters are so desillusional at this size.

  • @Poe: I love the art work.

    Man how cool would it have been if Mattel had got Frank Franzetta to paint some MOTU pieces.

  • @Poe: Wow, I've seen it but never new who did it, in fact ive never came across Ken Kelly's work so big thanks for that 🙂

    I am currently trying some fantasy pieces myself and slowly constructing a website.

  • Mossman shouldn't be carrying around a torch… being a MOSSman and going to close to Sy-Klone.


    Why isn't Stratos flying?

  • someone has to help carry Battle Bones! plus, he's waving to the photographer!

  • Reily-

    I think the idea in the commercials and such was that He-Man's Thunder Punch could knock you down without his hand actually touching you,due to the shockwaves or somesuch. I don't remember me or any friends playing with it that way,but I think that's what was intended.

  • I get the feeling that these battles would have ended much faster if they'd invented bridges in Eternia.