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Parts Reuse in MOTU, Part Six: 1987

Masters of the Universe, for all its diversity and creativity, was quite an economical toyline, creatively (and sometimes uncreatively) using and reusing the same molds over and over again throughout its run. Sometimes this was done fairly invisibly, and other times it was as plain as the nose on Faker‘s face.

In this series I’ll be cataloging the reuse of existing molds, in context of what is known and what is likely about which figures were created in what order. For example, He-Man’s prototype was almost certainly finished before Man-At-Arms, so Man-At-Arms reused He-Man’s legs, rather than vice versa. I’ll also include parts that were reused from other toylines.

Sometimes existing parts were modified for use in new toys. For example, Beast Man’s chest seems to have been based on He-Man’s chest sculpt, albeit with a great deal of hair added to it. This didn’t save money on tooling, but it did save some time and effort for the sculptor. I’ll point this out whenever I see it. Whenever a modified part is used again, however, I’ll refer to it as belonging to the toy that used it first (for example, Stratos and Zodac reuse Beast Man’s chest).

I won’t comment on “invisible” parts, such as neck pegs or waist springs that are normally not seen.

First, the toys from 1987 that had (at the time) all new parts. For fun, I’m including toys that were advertised as part of the 1987 line, but never released:

He-Ro (unreleased)

Eldor (unreleased)

Gyrattacker (unreleased)

Rotar

Sorceress

Mosquitor

Sssqueeze

Blast-Attak

Beam-Blaster & Artilleray

Image source: He-Man.org

Blade

Gwildor

Saurod

Tyrantisaurus Rex

Bionatops

Turbodactyl

Gigantisaur (unreleased)

These toys from 1987 reused some existing parts – some of those parts were first created in the same year, however:

King Randor

Clamp Champ

Ninjor

Scare Glow

Buzz-Saw Hordak

Snake Face

Rotar

Image source: He-Man.org

Cliff Climber/Scubattack/Tower Tools

As with 1986, there was quite a bit of new tooling used in the 1987 line, sprinkled with some liberal reuse of parts in selected figures like Scare Glow and Ninjor. The Powers of Grayskull line saw a partial release with several of the dinosaur figures, but unfortunately its main protagonists (He-Ro and Eldor) were never sold in stores.

Update: Øyvind and an anonymous person in the comments pointed out that Buzz Saw Hordak doesn’t have the original Hordak legs. It looks like he has different leg musculature and enlarged feet. I believe some versions of Hurricane Hordak also have these legs. Thanks for the correction!

Lastly, there were the Meteorbs- a frequently overlooked bunch of transforming egg toys produced by Bandai under the name Tamagoras in 1984, and rebranded for the MOTU toyline as Meteorbs. Not having held these in my own hands since the 80s, I’ve done my best to catch parts reuse, but I trust that if I’ve misrepresented anything here someone will correct me:

Cometroid

Image source: He-Man.org

Gore-illa

Image source: He-Man.org

Dinosorb

Image source: He-Man.org

Crocobite

Image source: He-Man.org

Astro Lion

Image source: He-Man.org

Orbear

Image source: He-Man.org

Rhinorb

Image source: He-Man.org

Tuskor

Image source: He-Man.org

Ty-Grrr

Image source: He-Man.org

Comet Cat

Image source: He-Man.org

More in this series:

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12 thoughts on “Parts Reuse in MOTU, Part Six: 1987

    1. Thank you, I update the image for Buzz Saw Hordak. 🙂

      I do acknowledge that King Randor’s and Clamp Champ’s armors are different – that’s why I say they’re “modified”. Thanks for reading!

      Like

  1. I love this blog! Thank you for the many fun, fascinating posts.

    I’ve often wondered if He-Ro’s left arm was/would’ve been a Flying Fists He-Man reuse, with some modifications to the gauntlet. Looks very similar!

    Like

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