Growing up, if I could pry myself away from the infamous aisle of Star Wars figures at Toys R Us, I'd occassionally check out the He-Man stuff. Now, my adventures with He-Man toys were pretty strange. I loved the cartoon and everything, but I was never much into having the figures. However, the earliest Christmas present I can recall getting is the original Skeletor...I think I still have a picture of me opening it. He-Man figures were weird...they were fun to play with, but they lacked the ambiance of a Star Wars or GI Joe figure in that, after about a week, they lost their ability to stand.
The rubber bands connecting their legs to the rest of the body became loose so easily, it was hard for me to do anything with a He-Man figure besides make 'im sit down or lean him against a wall. What fun is an action figure if you can't stand him up?
Still, some of the figures were impossible to pass up. Some of them are actually legendary to people in my age group, simply because they're so odd. Nowadays, they make action figures with the stupidest accessories and features possible. Back then though, a 'scented' action figure or a guy who had fuzzy grass skin was something to call home over. With that, let's review the top five He-Man figures of all time...
Stinkor-- Stinkor was an absolute hero to us kids. Back in whatever grade it was, the class was reading those old Weekly Readers. There was an article about kids eating the small pieces of plastic off toys and choking, and sure enough....there was a picture of a kid chewing on Stinkor. Now, to a six year old, Stinkor was now a bona-fide celebrity. We all assumed the true meaning of this Weekly Reader article was that Stinkor was bad, so of course, we all had to have him.
How can you beat a figure that's marketed as having a 'skunk' scent? It's true. Stinkor looked like a Siamese cat with some painted-on stripes and a highly dubious costume. It was certainly a unique look, but when you add in the fact that he smelled like watered down body odor, you really had a winner. Stinkor's definitely a mainstay in the He-Man Hall of Fame.
Hordak-- Retrospectively, I guess I was wrong, but back in the day Hordak seemed to me to be the coolest looking toy of all time. The weird skull-face, the cape, the gothic red bat...he had all the tools necessary to become one of the 'Rulers'.
The 'Rulers' was my name for a special group of toy villains who banded together and controlled my entire toy universe. If I remember correctly, here are it's members: Jabba the Hutt, The Emperor from Star Wars, Mumm-Ra, some black and red Visionary figure I renamed 'Stellix', and Hordak. Judging from this, Hordak was in the top 5 most powerful toys I've ever owned. Unfortunately, he only used his power to get choice seating in my giant Sectaurs playset, but still...it was definitely an honor.
Evil-Lyn-- I could be mistaken, but I believe Evil-Lyn was the first female action figure I owned, given to me by my sister. I protested, being a boy and all. I had to keep up the image that I wanted nothing to do with this surrogate Barbie. In truth, I was stoked as hell. Finally, the rest of my action figures would have the opportunity to have sex. Of course, at this point, I had no idea what sex was, so that basically just entailed having another figure mash his face against Evil-Lyn's face and tits. It wasn't exactly an erotic story, but at least I finally had something for Darth Vader and Mumm-Ra to fight over besides the ability to command the Stormtroopers.
Moss Man-- Everyone remembers Moss Man. But not for the right reason. Everyone remembers how they destroyed Moss Man. It's true, Moss Man has the distinction of meeting some of the most creative deaths of any action figure. His fuzzy exterior made him vulnerable to a vast array of 'special weapons' - slime, hair gel, basically anything you could find that was remotely wet. It ruined him in an instant. I never got the chance to do that to mine...I lost him on the front lawn somewhere. So I guess he really could camoflauge himself. I was so used to false advertising by this point...I wish I had heeded their warnings a little more carefully.
MODULOK-- Just looking at this toy makes me shiver. This had to be one of my most highly-sought toys of all time. When I saw the commercial for this guy, I freaked out. I begged for it. But it was to no avail. I was a spoiled kid toywise, but for some reason, I could never convince my mother to buy me Modulok. It drove me insane.
Then, one day, I woke up early. I had to go with my parents to meet my brother's fiance's family for the first time. As everyone else was still sleeping, I started praying for the arrival of Modulok. Now I say 'praying' in the loosest sense. Have you ever been to a funeral where the widow throws herself over the casket in a giant display of mass emotion or hysteria? I topped that five time over.
I was absolutely LIVID. I was thrashing myself against the couches and floor, pleading with the heavens above to 'please give my Modulok'. Sure enough, as we got in the car for the four-hour drive, my mother handed me something to keep me busy....the Modulok action figure.
How does one explain that? Now, as someone who's studied scientology and the universe's evolution from a scientific standpoint pretty heavily, I'm usually pretty quick to argue the existence of any 'greater power'. But when I reflect on what happened that day, I'm really not so sure. However, if there is a God, I'd like to think he realized the importance of a little kid getting that awesome action figure he wants so desperately. That thought keeps me sane. :)
Why was Modulok so cool? Well, he had two heads, and about 25 body parts which you could interchange, making the possibilities for mutant action figures virtually limitless. It took all of two weeks for me to lose 23 of those pieces, but I always kept the two heads. They were like my own prelimary version of Bo'marr Monks.
Course, not everyone who reads this can relate. Not everyone is of the 'He-Man generation'. But young or old, you had to have had a toyline that's stuck with you through the years. I'm sure everyone has their own personal Moduloks and Stinkors. If you get anything out of this post, I hope it triggers the memory of some action figure you longed for and finally received. Why? So you can kick yourself in the head now for not leaving it in the box so you could hock it on eBay and put a down payment on a house. We're all suckers. :)
Gallery of the Day - Transformers gallery. See some pics from the original cartoon at our Transformers picture section.
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