Review > Wun-Dar (Masters of the Universe Classics)

Wun-Dar was offered as an incentive to those who subscribed to the 2010 Club Eternia plan. But who is Wun-Dar, you ask? His origins lie in the mists of time, when Masters of the Universe was still in its infancy. Fans have attempted to piece together his story, but no definitive answer has ever been found.

Here’s what everyone agrees on: sometime in the early 1980s, probably just around the time Masters of the Universe first debuted in toy stores (and two years before the cartoon), a promotion was offered whereby those who entered received a He-Man action figure. The figure came in a baggie, possibly with a small paper insert for other Mattel products. Unlike the normal He-Man figure, it had brown (not blond) hair, black boots, a black belt, and a more brownish loincloth, giving it a decidedly Conan-esque look.

Despite what you may have read, he did not come with any weapons. Over the years, various weapons and armor became associated with the figure, for unclear reasons: the black Zodac armor and gun from the Weapons Pack, the axe and sword from “Man-E-Weapons” (a rare variant of Man-E-Faces that came with multiple weapons). There is no evidence that the “Savage He-Man” came with any weapons at all.

Along with the weapons, at some point the figure acquired an association with Wonder Bread. Wonder Bread did offer at least one MOTU-related promotion in the 1980s, but it was for collectible cards, not figures. That doesn’t preclude the possibility that Savage He-Man came from a Wonder Bread promotion, but given the uncertainty, it does make his longtime nickname “Wonder Bread He-Man” misleading.

While some fans have suggested Savage He-Man was a mass-produced bootleg of some sort, the most reliable examples of the figure have a level of detail that suggests they came out of the true Mattel mold very early on (over the years, as a mold is re-used again and again to make new figures, the details tend to soften a bit–and when a bootleg is made by making molds from an actual figure, the details are softened even more). Moreover the paint on the figure, especially the head, is what you’d expect from a factory. The result is a highly sought-after, very expensive, and often faked He-Man figure (so if you’re thinking about getting one on eBay, caveat emptor).

To this day, no one knows where Savage He-Man came from. Even Mattel’s own research was unable to come up with any answers, though they seem willing to believe they produced it. And the sheer number of Savage He-Man figures out there suggest it was a fairly widespread promotion.

It’s possible the answer to the mystery will come to light one day, but in the meantime, fans can content themselves with Wun-Dar, Mattel’s tongue-in-cheek salute to the brand’s most famous legend.

Packaging: The usual (see pic). Now, as for the bio: despite what you may think, Wun-Dar is not supposed to represent the barbarian He-Man of the early minicomics (confirmed by Mattel here). Instead, he gets a brand-new and somewhat odd bio that raises more questions than it answers. For instance, did Wun-Dar ever actually use the Power Sword halves, or was he just tasked with protecting them? Where were they being kept, anyway? And what’s the point of splitting the sword into two halves if you’re evidently keeping both halves in the same place anyway?

I do love the phrase “battling evil in a savage way” though. The art on the bio makes him look like David Cassidy; I would have preferred a more Schwarzeneggerian look, myself. The art is brand-new, by the way, not a re-working of existing art.

Design & Sculpt: Not much to report here that you haven’t seen in He-Man and Zodac, so I refer you to those reviews if you want an in-depth look at the sculpting. (This is why the preamble to this review is so long–the mystery is more interesting than the figure.)

Since this seems like as good a place to discuss it as any, I do wish the He-Man head resembled the vintage head a bit more. I suppose the MOTUC look is more evocative of the cartoon version, but an alternate head more closely based on the original figure would be great (perhaps as the head of the aforementioned “blond barbarian He-Man”).

Plastic & Paint: Wun-Dar continues the odd trend last seen in the He-Man vs. Superman tw0-pack whereby the figure actually has nicer paint applications than the first release. I’m referring to the belt and gauntlets, which are black with silver dry brushing, giving them a great worn metallic look.

Aside from that, he has brown hair and black boots with gray straps. The paint work on my figure is fairly clean and neat.

Articulation: Standard MOTUC articulation: ball joints at the shoulders and hips, hinge joints at the elbows, knees, ankles and abdomen, and swivels at the biceps, wrists, waist and calves. The ankles also have “rocker” side-to-side motion. There’s some looseness around the ankles, but I haven’t had any problems getting him into whatever pose I want.

Accessories: Wun-Dar is wearing a black version of the Zodac vest and carries a black Power Sword and black Zodac pistol. At the bottom of the back of the armor is a white circle with three colored dots, a reference to the Wonder Bread part of the figure’s legend.

I’ll be honest, as soon as I’m done with this review I’m ditching the black Zodac armor for the Beast Man armor from the Weapons Pak. I’m ditching the pistol too. I don’t much like the more sci-fi aspects of Wun-Dar, myself. The sci-fi stuff is for Man-At-Arms, Trap Jaw and the Cosmic Enforcers. Incidentally, the reason the Weapons Pak comes with the electric pink Zodac armor and gun, rather than the black set from the original, is because they were included with this figure.

Wun-Dar also has an “Eternian baked good”–a loaf of bread, another nod to the Wonder Bread myth. It’s a cute addition.

As for the sword…I know Mattel seems dedicated to giving any He-Man repaint a Power Sword and a half Power Sword, but in this case, given the weapons Savage He-Man is usually associated with, it would have made much more sense to include the short sword that came with Man-At-Arms (which is the MOTUC version of the so-called Grayskull sword, which came with the Castle Grayskull playset in the 1980s–as well as “Man-E-Weapons”).

Quality Control: The half-sword came out very bent–a common problem apparently, owing to the way it was held in the package. Fortunately, I don’t care about the half-sword at all, but it is annoying. He also has a “mole” just under his nose.

Overall: On the one hand, Wun-Dar is arguably a repaint with a loaf of bread. On the other, he’s very much a nod to diehard MOTU fans, representing just how dedicated to MOTU lore Mattel is on the Classics line. And he’s fun.

Since he’s basically just a He-Man repaint, I’m starting with an average score–3 ravens–and adding a half-raven for the bread, and a half-raven for the whole Wun-Dar concept. If he’d come with the Grayskull sword and a newly-sculpted Grayskull axe, it might have pushed him to 5.

I don’t think Wun-Dar is a must-have figure, except for completists (although there are a lot of completists on this line) and fans of the whole “Wonder Bread He-Man” thing. But the colors do give him a more barbaric look; take away the armor and you basically have Conan.

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Comments now closed (25)

  • It's always been a pointer to Mattel's complete and utter incompetence in business that they still can't say that a figure from the very heights of the original Line's conception is/isn't really one of thiers – could you make that up?

    Cool figure though and surprisingly so for what amounts to a very inside-joke. Great review too.

    I look forward to getting mine when Digi River stop burning their Customer Complaints for february on the south-west coast of Iceland and the skies clear enough for the Wright Brothers to go back to work shipping our swag.

    The bonfire for the upcomming Tytus CF will be even bigger so if anyone fancies seeing Europe this summer best get on an Airliner now……don't blame me if you have to live like a frenchman in the toilets at Manchester Airport for three months though……

  • I prefer the 200x version.

    Sorry, I had to say that. Anyway, it's hard for me to believe that nobody knows where the original came from. You'd think someone who worked for Mattel would surface and give a final explanation.

  • He does look quite good with the Beast Man armor, but as someone who passed on the weapons pack I think I'm just going to display him without the armor or the gun and just go for a Conan-esque Savage He-Man. The loaf of bread is fun though.

  • @Paul: wun-dar didn't have millenium version.

    great review, as always poe.

    i do have a question though, in a general sense, that could maybe get asked for the next matty Q&A… or not, whatev… here goes… why do we keep getting more accessories for the motucs than they have hands or places to keep the extra weapons? for example, man at arms has extra weapons, but design tweeks were made to give him a place on his person to store the weapons… then we get evil-lyn, who has to clutch her knife at all times and can't two-hand her staff… same w/ teela. now here w/ wun-dar, he basically has to hold the gun and the sword at all times… why can't we give the guy a holster or a scabbard? vintage man at arms didn't have a back rack for a plethora of weapons, so clearly, it seems they're willing to go the extra mile for some characters… why not others?

  • Ah, see, I'm not a completist, but I missed out on the first-release He-Man, and so Wun-Dar is my stand-in. He works great as the He-Man from the original minicomic, so I prefer him, anyway. I'm sure Matty will come out with a savager He-Man later, though. Hopefully I'll be able to resist.

  • I suspect that Mattel knows where he came from. In fact I think they haven't ever said the entire truth about this character for nefarious reasons.

    I can't say what, I just think they don't want to say.

    I'm glad I have him, but I'm not really a fan of the whole "put the odd Beastman armor on him" that's so popular right now. I like him with no armor at all.

  • Part of me could definitely are mattel not having anything on what this toy was but I think it has more to do with rights issues. If wonderbread or any other company did this figure they could be entitled to some sort of royalty. Or else it could be a pre motu toy and therfore revealing where it came from would screw up rights issues on who exactly created what.

  • The more I study it, the more messed up He-Man's face sculpt looks.

    Great review as always Poe and some great photos.

  • I cannot wait for mine to arrive. Don't have a He-man either, wonder what he'll look like with Goddess power vest….that or naked savage style. Yellow Beast armor does look rad though.

  • Hmm, the Man-at-Arms link isn't working.

    As for whether or not Mattel knows, they might… and may simply be keeping it secret because it's more fun that way. I mean, will people care as much once the truth has been revealed?

  • I almost snagged one of these from BBTS during the 2 minutes they had him available. Had he come with black He-Man armor instead of the Zodac armor I'd have pulled the trigger. But for a "savage" He-Man the spacey Zodac armor just looks odd.

  • Maybe the reason they do not confirm or deny is to keep the mystery and wonder alive.

  • @Andrew: They haven't "confirmed" or "denied." They just said they don't know what the story is.

    And I can believe that. Sometimes this stuff just falls through the cracks.

  • Wun-dar looks awesome in the brown Beast Man armor. I dig the idea of the black Zodac armor and gun being gifts from The Goddess and thinking of the Beast Man armor being his "savage" duds from before he saves her.

    I had no interest in the Weapons Pack but fortunately I found someone on eBay who must have bought one and was selling everything he didn't want from it in various lots. Scooped up the Beast Man armor for 6 beans including shipping!

  • COOL review as always Bro!

    I like this figure, but I didn't buy the subscription. So, I'm making my own and I hope it looks like the original.

  • I don't like the look of the Beast Man armor on him. But, hey, that's just my opinion.

  • Poe, will you be doing a review of the Pak, or more specifically, Wun-Dar with the Beastman armour from there?

  • Someone I know tried putting the beastman suit from the pak on his He-man and it didn't fit with the back hair having to move up making the figure look down constantly and arms getting their articulation hindered.

  • @Novelty: I wasn't planning to do a full review of the Weapons Pak, but I might take some photos.

    @MechaShiva: That happened when I put it on, too, but you can get the head to look straight if you work at it.

  • I think part of the reason displaying him with the glaive must be the ankles. Mine are super loose.

  • Much like He-Ro and Fearless Photog, I had never heard of Wun-Dar, the "Wonder Bread" He-Man until I first started using the internet and first found the dot org when I randomly decided to run a search for MOTU.

    So also much like He-Ro, Wun-Dar does little for me in terms of nostalgia, but I still think he's pretty cool. He's a great "incentive" for purchasing a sub, and at most he's basically a novelty/inside joke, much like Mo-Larr and Toothless Skeletor.

    I too have ditched the black Zodac armor in favor of the Beastman armor from the weapons pak. Part of me was a little disappointed they didn't make Beastman's armor yellow, much like the armor I have from one of the original weapons paks, but the way it is, its perfect to give to Wun-Dar. As for the black armor, maybe I'll give him to Zodac, or then again, maybe I won't.

    As far as the back story behind Wun-Dar… I'm not all that concerned about finding out. Sometimes having a little mystery is good. With all of the merchandising and licensing and sub-licensing of MOTU, its completely believable that did indeed just fall through the cracks. I doubt there is any vast conspiracy by Mattel to deny anything or any such rights in concern. I'm sure they got asked to produce a run of these figures by some company, possibly to be offered not in any relation to He-Man or MOTU, and they produced a small run. Regardless, even though knowing is half the battle, sometimes ignorance is bliss.

  • This is actually my favorite rendering (if you want to call it that) of He-Man. I dig the ray gun and the color choices. Too bad he's exclusive 'cause I'll never be able to pick him up. 🙁

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