I'm sure most of you assumed He-Man and Skeletor only got around town on tigers and panthers. Not true. They only did that when they wanted to look impressive. The biggest hero and the most unscrupulous villain in Eternia may not agree on much, but even they realize that we live in a technological age, and there's no sense driving tigers around when cars keep getting cheaper and cheaper.
There's plenty of good reasons for both of 'em to have cars. Obviously, they want to scout their vicinities as quickly and efficiently as possible. Panthor and Battle Cat were fast runners, but they got real tired and slow after that tenth mile. Besides, riding those huge beasts of burden all the time really does a number on the groin area. Skel and He-Man are pretty flexible for such muscular guys, but spreading their crotch over the backs of huge felines isn't really advisable in a world without hot tubs or Ben Gay.
Of course, cars look a lot different in Eternia. The 'add-ons' aren't as mundane as what we see. These guys aren't debating on paying extra for four-wheel drive or turbo-lock breaks - rather assorted missile launchers and slide-out wings. Automobiles like this probably cost a lot more than what we pay for our Fords and Toyotas, but fuck me if a little extra dough isn't worth driving around in a car that looks like a big red shark.
Today we take a look at He-Man and Skeletor's vehicles - the Attak Trak, and the fabled Land Shark. Both are inspiring models, albeit for entirely different reasons. We'll start with He-Man because blondes usually get top billing. It's up to you to decide who's got the cooler set of wheels.
When He-Man started thinking about buying a car, he had much to consider. The roads in Eternia don't work the same as they do here, mostly because Eternia doesn't have roads. Instead, the terrain consists of either a heavily adorned forest or a vapid desert, depending on the mood of the person who wrote the particular episode in question. But whether a desert or the woods, the fact remains: simple tires aren't the way to go. Too susceptible to getting flats, and He-Man would be wasting the 'most powerful man in the universe' moniker if he had to spend half the day as an armchair mechanic.
The Attak Trak solves the problem - instead of four tires, it's got four power treads. They're not just for cosmetic appeal, either. These things enable He-Man to roll right across even the toughest obstacles, because the treads actually flip into the air if they encounter any trouble. It's a dual purpose feature - flipping treads helps He-Man progress through his journeys quickly, but more importantly, he looks really badass while he's doing it.
Obviously, Skeletor is jealous, and admittedly a bit worried. He-Man's been able to kill off the minions of Snake Mountain even without the aid of God's Tank...how are they gonna stop him now? Skeletor's only recourse is making fun of him for driving a car with so many misspellings in it's name. He-Man said it was intentional, for 'style points'. I can't confirm that.
Also known as the 'Flip Trak,' He-Man's kooky car is heavily armed with four lasers. The efficiency doubles with this, since you can just blow up the rocks that're too big to crawl over. And let's not discount the safety features here...one of the only vehicles on the planet equipped with a seatbelt. He-Man never skimps. He's a sucker for any retail plans with the word 'deluxe' in the header. Salesmen must've had a field day with the guy; I'm surprised he didn't agree to adding neon trim around the treads.
On the cartoon, the Attak Trak was more than a mere vehicle - it could talk and offered insightful suggestions to the heroes when they were too stupid to know if they should drive directly into tornadoes. It was one of those Brit pissy-voiced cars too, like Sky Lynx or Knight Rider. I wish they'd make a Knight Rider 2010 series and have someone like Samuel L. Jackson do the voiceover work, just to mix things up a bit. Hell, I'd even settle for Harvey Fierstein. I don't know why every talking car has to sound like it should be handing out failed term papers.
The toy sold very well, possibly the most-remembered vehicle in the entire Masters of the Universe line. That's not exactly saying much, because the 'vehicle line' included two monster spiders, two rubber birds, and if memory serves, a skeletized dinosaur. Not the stiffest competition, but whaddya gonna do? Vehicles have to be considered a luxury in a world where half the people are born with wings sprouting out of their back anyway.
He-Man's won the battle. This time. Skeletor has no choice but to flee - it's either that or get run over by a huge tank. There's no major decision to make here. Still, the skull-faced blue death man promises to return with a 'surprise' for our hero. He said this in a weird tone of voice, so I'm not sure if it was meant as a threat or if Skeletor bought He-Man a really great present. As we continue on, we'll find that there's no presents. Only doom.
Yes, Skeletor went out and bought his own car. Damn bandwagoner. He liked the Attak Trak's mobility and treads, but felt that he needed something a little more evil-looking, considering that he's supposed to be the grim reaper incarnate and all. His salesperson introduced a model that fit all the needs and then some - a car that could get the job done and looked scary. Friends, I present the Land Shark...
Come on, admit it. You'd be scared if you saw this thing driving down the street. Especially if you noticed that the driver didn't have any skin on his face.
The 'Land Shark' is essentially a souped-up parade float. It'd almost look endearing if it didn't have all those cannons glued to the sides. To be honest, things like the Land Shark are why people can't take Skeletor seriously. I mean, look at him up there. He looks like the finale in a circus act. I'm surprised he's not leading a troop of elephants walking on their hind legs. But I don't think Snout Spout had any brothers.
Skeletor's new car has tank treads too, but they're immovable and unimportant. They're just there so He-Man can't say he's the only one who has them. If there's one thing Skeletor wants more than the alleged secrets of Grayskull, it's keeping those dirty Eternians from adding anymore fuel to their elitist fires.
His first victim is Mekaneck, He-Man's pal with the really long neck. Definitely not a front line soldier, but who knows when a long neck will come in handy. Besides, all Skeletor's out for right now is to make a statement. He wants to send a little message. It doesn't matter which one of He-Man's friends he runs over, so long as the info gets back - Skeletor's got a car, and it eats people.
Indeed. The Land Shark is equipped with forty-thousand guns and lasers, but it's main attribute is the shark head, which constantly bites as it's rolling along. It was a neat feature to the kids who had the toy, but sadly nobody could ever resist the temptation to make the thing bite as fast and often as possible, causing the spring mechanism to break and lumping the beast in with all the other wrecks at the used car lot.
But if you played your cards right, you could eat three or four heroes before breaking it. And that's Skeletor's intent. If the Attak Trak runs on gasoline, the Land Shark runs on Mekaneck's blood.
STOP!! I'M JUST A DAY PLAYER!!!
After eating Meckaneck, Skeletor finds He-Man. Urinating on a tree. It's not the proudest moment for our hero, but there's no time to regret upping to that biggie-sized Diet Coke. The Attak Trak's back at Grayskull. He's without wheels. And worse - he's about to be digested by a big metal shark. If He-Man's eaten, that means Man-At-Arms is in charge of protecting Eternia. If that ever happened, I'd assume King Randor's first order of business would be ordering two grosses worth of white flags.
He-Man considers all the options. He could fight Skeletor, he could retreat and wait for a more even-sided battle, he could pray for a miracle. What will he do? What should he do? He-Man frantically assesses the situation, and then gives a closer look to the Land Shark. After seeing the sleek sharkskin exterior, cobalt blue treads, and cutesy fuzzy dice in the rearview, He-Man knows there's just one thing to do. With all the power in the universe swarming inside his psychotically overtanned physique, He-Man looks up to his sworn enemy and utters three words that change the face of Eternian life forever:
"Nice wheels, brother."
The two settled their differences, got a pizza and grabbed some Buds. After exchanging personal theories on when cars really need an oil change, they agree to let bygones by bygones for the cause of a greater, friendlier world.
The treaty lasted only two days, but they were some of Eternia's best times. I'm not sure who truly had the cooler car, but let's hope neither of these guys ever enter their vehicles into an interplanetary competition. The poor souls will have their egos shattered to bits once Panthro drives out with that giant freaky rolling cat fortress.
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