Vintage Month > Poe’s Five Favorite Classic He-Man Vehicles

80f3_1With 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.

vehwindraider1a5.) 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.

vehattaktrak1a4.) 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.

pointdread3.) 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.

vehbattleram1a2.) 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.

vehbattlecatcomp1a1.) 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.


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  1. dayraven

    dude, love the list, but i must say, my top five would be a little different:

    5) Battle bones… any vehicle that can haul twenty figs into battle AND then fight asa member of the team… yikes. BB is actually my most wanted rehash for MOTUC

    4) Battle Ram- as you said, it was two vehicles in one, it carried two figs, and you had a mobile mortar launcher along w/ a sky sled. and the missile firing mech was a good one.

    3) TF & PD- come on, this one was a vehicle and landscape, that's just unexcelled. plus, the fighter was designed so you could stage daring feats of aerial usurpitude on top. that rocks!

    4) the jet sled- ok, all it was a rocket wing pack/jet ski thing, but it had a cool exclusive chest harness, it gave the guy in question several play options (worked great in water too!) and had detachable missiles.

    1) spydor- fire that bad boy up and he scared the babies, terrified the pets, and annoyed the parents. he crawled very well on his own, so you could run to another part of the house to establish an alibi. he ruled, pure and simple. and if you had an arachnophobic in the house… oh lord, you could induce heart attacks w/ a single late night visitation!

  2. Mark

    I still have the original Panthor. I used to have Monstroid, great toy. As for Bashin' Beatle I am not sure if it is a good toy or not the more I have one, its still MISB, got it really cheap, I think less than a fiver. I would love a Spydor and a Landshark to display my MOTUC.

  3. Dead Man Walking

    @googum The Bashin' Beetle was made up for 200X MOTU, but it does have a more than passing resemblance to the original Bashasaurus.

  4. Dead Man Walking

    I'll take the Nightstalker, Stridor, Spydor, Roton, Dragonwalker, Landshark, Panthor, or any of the PoG dinosaurs over the Windraider Attaktrack, or Battle Ram. But that's just me.

  5. wilyjeff

    "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."

    You neglected to mention Batman, DC Superfriends, TMNT, Power Rangers… vehicles aren't dead at all!

  6. Brainlock

    I had the Wind Raider and the Battle Ram, the latte of which was one of the first things I ever repainted. Odd thing is, I still have no idea where the tank part of that thing went to. I had the Sky Sled part for years before it got boxed up in a move (and one of MANY things lost last year when I didn't pay storage rental!), but I have no clue where that tank went.

    Never had a Battle Cat until the 2002 Happy Meal version.

    (or was that just Panthor?)

  7. Even though I'm not a huge He-Man fan, I, um, I have three Battle-Cats. From a yard sale, only one still has the saddle. I think Frodo and a Shadowrun dwarf are riding one on my display now.

    And was the Bashin' Beetle one of the old school MOTU rides, or was it made for the 2002? That'd be my favorite, if only because I somehow picked one up.

  8. elvis8batman

    Great article, and even though I'm sitting out on MOTUC (I think they look great, but just can't afford to collect yet another line), reading the bit about Battle Cat really makes me think that I might buy the re-release of He-man if they make a Battle Cat for him in MOTUC! Same goes for Skeletor and Panthor!!

  9. Baena

    Sometimes we'll never know why Filmation did what they did. LOL!

    Love the article, gotta agree with you yet again on many things, MotU Vehicles being one of those things.

  10. I also loved the giant skeletal walker/carrying case. But then, I think I may love vehicle-like carrying cases just as much as I do plastic and cardboard playsets.

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