Could Axel Gimenez’s MOTU Mini Comics Art Inspiration tease new MOTU Origins figures? We take a look at what he’s using as inspiration! Axel Gimenez posted to his Instagram page an image of him working on new Masters of the Universe card back artwork based on inspiration of vintage MOTU Mini-Comics that can clearly be seen in the photo. Can this be a hint of new figures to come? Let’s take a closer look at the mini-comics spotted on his desk and what they can tell us! Can Mini Comic Art Inspiration give tease use as to what new Origins Figures are to come?
Post on Axel Gimenez’s Instagram page is an image of him working at his drafting table on new Masters of the Universe card back artwork, and if you look closely, you will see several vintage Masters of the Universe Mini-Comics sitting on the table nearby. With the help of one of our viewers, Allison, we were able to decern which mini comics Axel was using as his inspiration. Seen sitting on the table is “The Obelisk”, “The Dragon’s Gift”, “King of the Snake Men” and ‘Masks of Power”. Coincidentally, a lot of the characters featured in these issues are figures that have been in recent rumor leaks lately! So it seems very fitting that Axel would be working on card art for them! Take for example, “King of the Snake Men”, that issue features King Hiss, Kobra Khan, Tung Lashor and Rattlor, which are all figures we featured in our 2 leak articles Snake Men coming to MOTU Origins in 2023 and More Snake Men coming to Origins in 2023, which we published in March. So let’s take a look at each of these min-comic issues and see what the use of these for art inspiration may tell us about potential upcoming characters!
Once a year, the great Obelisk rises from the ground and it’s powers and meaning are always different. In the mini comic the Obelisk, He-Man, Teela and Buzz-Off fight off Skeletor and his Henchmen when the great Obelisk rises and they fight to decipher it’s meaning. We also see a cameo of Mattel’s version of Snake Mountain make an appearance in this issue as Skeletor and his henchmen hide out.. Mekaneck helps He-Man read the words carved on it’s top and the Sorceress translates that this is a prophecy of things to come and says that the Obelisk contains both good and evil powers by uttering either ” Powers to Good” or “Power to Evil”. Skeletor over hears this and in a fight to the end, both good and evil creatures emerge. Then as He-Man and Skeletor utter words at the same time, the Obelisk begins to crumble. We have covered both Mekaneck in the leak article Mekaneck & Road Ripper Coming to MOTU Origins in 2023!, and Snake Mountain as a possible release in our special 3 part series What MOTU Vehicles and Playsets are Next in the Origins Line?. Let’s take a closer look at each below.
Mekaneck takes a starring role in “The Obelisk” mini comic. He helps He-Man decipher the secret carvings written on the Obelisk. According to our friends at @canaldosrosmineiros, Mekaneck & Road Ripper are coming to Origins in 2023! This has not been confirmed by Mattel and no official images have been released yet, but our friends at @canaldosrosmineiros were right about the She-Ra and Beast Man coming to Masterverse, so there is a really good chance we get this set as well. Released by Mattel in 1984, Mekaneck was a member of the Heroic Warriors, and had the power of long-range viewing. His original working title was Spy Man due to his ability to spy with his periscopic neck. Mekaneck’s periscopic neck would pop up from his torso when twisting his waist. His body was a reuse of the He-Man humanoid body, including blue arms, blue torso and blue legs with silver boots. His torso however had to be modified to allow his periscopic neck to fit inside. He had a new unique body armor that was later also used for Stinkor, and he came with a yellow battle club accessory. So in tieing in with our leak on
Home to Skeletor and his bumbling henchman, Snake Mountain is the pinnacle of the Evil Warriors home when it comes to the world of Masters of the Universe. The famous Snake wrapped mountain with it’s glistening eye, as seen on the Filmation cartoon is the main location where Skeletor cooks up all evil plans to get He-Man once and for all. We covered the possible release of a Snake Mountian in our special 3 part series What MOTU Vehicles and Playsets are Next in the Origins Line? We first saw Snake Mountain on the package art for the Landshark, Snake Mountain was pictured with Trap Jaw and Clawful running down the mountain side. And yes the Snake Mountain was depicted just as the 1984 Mattel version looked, wolf speaker and all! We next saw Snake Mountain on the 2021 Power-Con exclusive Leo Faker & Duplicat 2 Pack artwork, back and front! Again, depicted in classic 1984 Mattel style. So now that we are learning that Axel Gimenez is taking inspiration from a mini comic that features Snake Mountain in it, this is yet another clue that this amazing playset might become a reality!
Snake mountain debuted in 1984, and unlike the Snake Mountain we were all used to seeing on the Filmation cartoon, Mattel used a design they already had for an unreleased jungle playset instead. Mattel tried to make the best of the design by adding a snake face carved into the mountain and a green snake that popped out from the side. It had a ladder, hand cuffs, a suspension bridge, and even some stairs that were too narrow for your figure to climb up. The inside of Snake Mountain had little to be desired; a sticker, a ladder and a net…. not much going on in there, but kids still had a blast playing with that Wolf speaker that made their voices boom! Even though it did not look like the Snake Mountain in the Filmation series, kids still loved this set and hold a special place in their hearts for it today.
The Dragon’s Gift
In the mini comic ” The Dragon’s Gift”, a stranger appears at the Eternian Royal palace with a magic Amulet that ends up turning Man-At-Arms into a Crystal Statue. He-Man takes the Attak Trak to see Granamyr to help undo this evil spell that has been cast upon Man-At- Arms. They are asked to unroot and bring back the Sky Tree, but in the end He-Man is unwilling to take the Sky Tree’s life to save another life. In the end being tested by the mighty dragon Granamyr, He-Man shows great mercy and wisdom and is granted the spell he needs to free Man At Arms from his crystal prison. This issue features Skeletor in Disguise, an eldery mini comic version of King Randor and Queen Marlena, and the Attak Trak makes a cameo as well! All of these versions of these characters have yet to be made into the Origins line! So if Axel Gimenez is using this mini-comic for Card Back art inspiration, then that is very exciting news!
Crystal Man at Arms
Crystal Man at Arms was featured both in this mini comic and in Filmation cartoon, that adapts this story line into it’s episode. Super7 as part of it’s 5.5″ Vintage style line wave 3 in 2019 released a Crystal Man at Arms action figure as well. They did a really good job on that one as it looks and feels like something that would have been released in the 1980’s but with that Filmation style to it, and the Crystal translucent effect is spectacular. The Card Back even features a scene straight out of He Man and the Masters of the Universe Filmation cartoon where Teela is so upset at the sight of her father in a crystalized form. Let’s hope we get an Origins version of the is Crystal Man At Arms! Mattel has already created an Art of Engineering Skeletor, so they are capable of making a beautiful Crystalized figure already! You will also see Crystal Man at Arms Illustrated on the back of the Royal Eternian Guard Card art, which we will touch on more later.
King Randor & Queen Marlena- Mini Comic versions
We recently got the announcement that the vintage style King Randor was going to be joining the Origins line. You can see the latest images of his figure in our MOTU Origins Official Whiplash Reveal + Detailed Images article. He has even appeared on a few Canadian Websites for 9 Preorder! As featured in our article Masters of the Universe Origins Teased Figures From Card Art, King Randor and Queen Marlena have been illustrated in their mini comic form on several card backs in the Origins line thus far. Here you can see the pair on Teela’s card back as Randor looks like he is ready to defend the throne! They also appear on the Man-E-Faces card back enjoying a performance by the 3 faced being, who uses his alternate faces primarily for the purpose of playing roles on stage. He is also able to change to numerous other faces alongside his robot and monster faces and by the looks of the art on the card back, he quickly needed to morph into his monster persona to fend off Skeletor. You will also see King Randor and Queen Marlena in thier Mini Comic form illustrated on the Royal Eternian Guard Card art, which we will touch on more later. Being featured in “The Dragon’s Gift” mini comic is yet another clue that we might be getting a Mini-Comic King Randor, Queen Marlena 2 pack someday.
Skeletor in disguise
In the mini comic “The Dragon’s Gift”, Skeletor disguises himself and sneaks into the Royal Palace only to turn Man at Arms into a Crystal Statue with his magic amulet! And as I hinted several times above, we have a trifecta of teased images in the Royal Eterian Palace Guard’s Cardback Artwork!! Here we can the very same scene “The Dragon’s Gift” min comic where Skeleor in Diguise turns Man at Arms into a Crystal Statue and Mini Comic Versions of King Randor and Queen Marlena watch in horror, all illustrated on this beautiful Card Back art! Somebody please correct us if we are wrong, but I don’t think there has yet been a figure made of Skeletor in Disguise, so this will be very interesting to see if Mattel pulls the trigger on this one!
The Attak Trak has been featured in the Masters of the Universe cartoons many times. Although it looked different that it’s toy version in the Filmation cartoon, that Attak Trak was a character all it’s own as it spoke and respond to He-Man and the gang in it’s robotic voice! Released in 1983, Mattel’s battery powered motorized version of the Attak Trak did not resemble the one in the cartoon. This version of the Attak Trak featured similar motorized tank treads to that of the cartoon, but that is where the similarities ended. It held only 1 figure that was strapped down with it’s rubber band like seat belt and was a bright red color and beautifu blue accented stickers! Featured in many famous Masters of the Universe Art posters, that Attak Trak is was beautiful illustrated making it a very popular vehicle! It is one of my personal favorites, (pictured below) as I still own a fully functional working version! I just love watching those treads spin around and making that thing run across the room with He-Man strapped in the seat!
King of the Snake Men
In the mini-comic, King of the Snake Men, Kobra Khan is featured in the issue accompanying Skeletor into the depths of Snake Mountain when they come across an energy source that unleashes King of the Snake Men, King Hiss. Then thru that same energy pool unleashes Tung Lashor and Rattlor as well! Well, it does not seem like coincidence that we received leaks from our friends at CANAL DOS ROSMINEIROS that these Snake Men are coming to MOTU Origins in 2023! So again, it seems fitting that Axel Gimenez was using this comic as inspiration for his upcoming MOTU Origins Card Art!
As featured in our More Snake Men coming to Origins in 2023, he took was part of the CANAL DOS ROSMINEIROS rumored Snake Men to be coming to Origins Line in 2023. King Hiss as stated above was first featured in the King of the Snake Men mini comic as the villainous leader of the Snake Men and one of He-Man‘s most powerful enemies! First released by Mattel in 1986, King Hiss was the Supreme leader Snake Men. He looked like a humanoid, but underneath, he was really a Serpent Snake Man. The King Hiss action figure was made of several parts removeable parts including a human head / torso and arm shell pieces that clipped onto the figure to conceal the slithering snake body underneath. His legs were human shaped as well but did not transform. He wore green armor with golden yellow gloves. His accessories included a red shield and a green snake staff, similar to that of the other Snake Men. King Hiss was an all-new figure sculpt due to the transforming nature of the character and was released much later in the line, when there were plenty of tooling dollars to pull off such a new character.
Unveiled in March by, CANAL DOS ROSMINEIROS, the first of Snake Men are coming to Origins in 2023! Among them included is one of my favorite Snake Men, Kobra Khan! We also got a leaked list that matches many we have seen in the past, check out our New MOTU Origins and Masterverse Leaks Surfaces article for more on that!. Now as we featured in our previous article Masters of the Universe Origins Teased Figures From Card Art, Mattel is famous for teasing us of figures to come in their card art! Kobra Kahn made a clandestine appearance on the Roboto card art as he is hiding in the bushes lying in wait! Then in the latest reveal, on the new Roton package, Kobra Khan is also seen the artwork on the front of the packaging as well.
Kobra Khan was released by Mattel in 1984 as a member of the Evil Warriors, as he often made appearances as one of Skeletor’s henchmen on the 1980’s Filmation cartoon. He was later considered one of the Snake Men following their introduction to the line in 1986. Kobra Khan was the first of the “gimmick” heavy figures which featured a “venom” spray feature that would mist out the water thru an opening in his mouth. You would lift up his head and fill his torso with water and then press down on his head, thereby activating his “venom” spray. Kobra Khan was the first of the Snake Men in the line, so still used some shared parts to the previous MOTU figures, unlike the Snake Men who followed him and had all new sculpts. His however was an all-new design one to allow for the water filling feature, and two to give that snake like appearance. Kobra Khan’s torso’s design featured a scaly design with brown scale straps and an all new belt design as well. Kobra Khan came with a simple red laser pistol, the same as came packed Zodac. Now that we have seen Kobra Khan on two packages, the leak from CDR, the leaked Mattel list and now Axel’s upcoming art work, we can piece together all these clues to give us more confidence that Kobra Khan is indeed coming to the Origins line in 2023!
As featured in our Snake Men coming to MOTU Origins in 2023,, Tung Lashor was one of the Snake Men to be leaked by our friends at CANAL DOS ROSMINEIROS to be also be rumored to be coming to Origins Line in 2023! Tung Lashor, first introduced by Mattel in 1986, was the technically the first of the Snake Men to be released, under the Snake Men subline. He first appears in the “King of the Snake Men” minicomic, in which he and Rattlor are summoned from another dimension by none other than King Hiss. Tung Lashor was featured as one of the Evil Horde on the She-Ra Princess of Power filmation cartoon series. Tung Lashor was made up of all new sculpted body parts and resembled a poisonous dart frog, more than a snake. He featured a unique 3 figured hand design that resembled a tree frog. His bright pink and purple colored body really stood out and he sported a green Snake Men logo on his chest. He also was a gimmick heavy figure, as his distinct action feature was his signature lashing tongue! This action feature was activated by rolling the wheel on Tung Lashor’s back and it made the tongue dart in and out his mouth. He came with a purple snake staff and teal colored dragon fly cross bow.
Also featured in our Snake Men coming to MOTU Origins in 2023, Rattlor was another one of the Snake Men to be names by CANAL DOS ROSMINEIROS to also be rumored to be coming to Origins Line in 2023! Rattlor was released by Mattel in 1986, the second to come under the Snake Men subline. Rattlor too like many of the gimmick heavy figures featured a popping neck feature. He was unique in that it had a completely new body, new tail, and new head ! His chest sculpt was all new as well and his body was covered in a scaly texture. The snake attack action feature was activated by pressing a button on his back, which was hidden with the rubber tail, made the spring-loaded elongated neck pop up. If you notice, Rattlor had an especially long torso, and that was by design to accommodate the elongated neck inside. Rattlor’s signature Rattling sound was made by shaking him, mimicking the noise of a Rattle snake. He was packed with a burgundy snake shaped staff.
Masks of Power
In the mini comic “The Masks of Power”, He-Man and Fisto fight against the evil forces of Skeletor when he unleashes two beasts that emerge from the mystic Masks of Power. He-Man can be seen transforming from the quite Prince Adam (in his Blue Vested mini comic version) into the powerful He-Man by uttering those 5 magic words ” By the power of Grayskull!” The Sorceress makes a came appearance in this issue asking He-Man to recover the Sword of the Ancients to send back the evil beasts that Skeletor unleased. All of Skeletor’s main minions; Trap Jaw, Mer-Man, Beastman and Evil Lyn also make an appearance in this issue! We even get to see Mer-Man battle it out with He-Man sending in his giant red octopus! In the end, He-Man recovers the Sword of the Ancients and defeats the evil demons.
Blue Vested Prince Adam
This Blue Vested version of Prince Adam was one of the very first Origins figures to be released a part of the 2019 San Diego Comic Con exclusive Prince Adam / He-Man 2 Pack! Packaged in a beautifully illustrated book like box, this version of Prince Adam included a lovely jeweled and gold trimed soft goods blue vest. Since this version already exists, there is nothing to stop Mattel from releasing him as a standard release. Perhaps they may change the soft goods vest to a plastic one like what came with the Sky Sled, but only time will tell!
Carback and Packaging Art tells us a lot about what might be to come in the Masters of the Universe Origins line. We did a 3 Part series where we explored the Characters, Vehicle & Playsets and Creatures that were teased thru Card Art! Be sure to check those out, as they are a really fun read and incorporate vintage images, art and great MOTU history!
You can also watch our teaser thru card art Part 1 – Characters, Part 2- Vehicles and just released Part 3- Creatures You Tube videos below: