Axel Gimenez posted a very intriguing post to Instagram today, with a Super7 5.5″ Vintage Style He-Ro in package next to him and he says “Working, working, and working 💪🏽” with a pen sitting next to He-Ro. Now He-Ro holds a very special significance to the Toy Habits family, because it was a friendly trade of the MOTUC He-Ro’s staff that brought the Toy Sorceress and Michael of Toy Habits together to form an amazing partnership of the Toy Habits team you all know and love today! So, if this is a real indication of He-Ro coming to the MOTU Origins line, believe me I would be totally over the moon! that I don’t know about you, but I feel like we have been getting small hints of the Powers of Grayskull for a while now. First with the Camo Khan Card Art Teases, then with the Moss Man MOTU Origins Art Reveal, which both were heavily influenced and teased many Powers of Grayskull characters! If you follow us on YouTube, you know that we have been predicting The Powers of Grayskull to be coming to the MOTU Origins line in 2024! We have had several theories and wish list videos where we discuss our theories on the Powers of Grayskull being the next big theme in the MOTU Origins line, as it naturally follows the Rise of the Snake Men, where the Snake Men originated in Preternia, but we will have more about that for you below.
How cool would it be to get a shiny vac metal gold colored MOTU Origins version of He-Ro, just the thought of it makes me so happy and excited! Also, this opens the door to the Powers of Grayskull characters and dinos! The possibilities are endless! So let’s explore this MOTU Origins He-Ro Tease!
Then a week ago we had the following posted by ¡Yo tengo el Poder! (@yo_tengo_el_poder) | Instagram, coincidence, I think not!
He-Ro has been a very popular yet desired character for many years.¡Yo tengo el Poder! (@yo_tengo_el_poder) | Instagram
Even though we were introduced to the character in Mattel’s 1987 catalog in the United States as the protagonist of the Powers of Grayskull subliminal, it never saw the light and became a desired figure for years. It finally saw the light inside the Classics collection in 2009, but its vintage version was still highly requested, so Super7 released that version in 2019 to the delight of the fans. A new release has been released in 2022 by Mattel within the Masterverse line, based on his appearance in the Masters of the Universe Revelation series.
And, surely, we won’t be long to see the Origins version.
¡Yo tengo el Poder! then included a series of images from He-Ro from early Mattel Prototypes to the Super7 version, to the MOTUC version to the latest Masterverse verision that was recently released. I don’t know about you, but this does not seem like a coincidence!
Here you can see early prototypes of the never produced He-Ro figure by Mattel.
Here you can see early test shot prototypes of the never produced He-Ro figure by Mattel as well.
And of course, once we got to Masters of the Universe Classics, He-Ro was finally released as a production figure for the first time in MOTU history! It was quickly followed by the Super7 5.5″ vintage style version. Then in 2022, we finally got He-Ro in the Masterverse line!
History of He-Ro
He-Ro was a character that Mattel came up with that was supposed to be the new lead heroic leader in the late 1980’s Powers of Grayskull Line to take the place of He-Man. By that time in the line, interest in Masters of the Universes was waning and kids’ attention was now going elsewhere. Well, the Powers of Grayskull line was very short-lived with only a couple of Dinosaurs and Giants being produced in the oversees markets. Only a prototype was made of He-Ro, with gorgeous gold colored vac-metal armor, but sadly, the He-Ro figure was never produced.
According to He-Ro | Wiki Grayskull | Fandom:
He-Ro is the name of two fictional characters in the Masters of the Universe franchise, both linked to the main character He-Man and both achieving only a “prototype stage”, until 2009, when the initial version was finally released as part of the Masters of the Universe Classics line.
He-Ro was planned to be a new character introduction, the centerpiece of The Powers of Grayskull, a spin-off line of Mattel‘s Masters of the Universe toy line in 1987. The Powers of Grayskull was to be set in Eternia’s prehistoric past, called “Preternia” to differentiate, and promised to reveal secrets about the source of He-Man’s power, through the adventures of He-Ro, a young but powerful wizard who lived in that time.
In Mattel’s license guide it stated that Gray (the original alter ego for He-Ro) could, “by placing one hand over his heart & flexing the other into a muscle & saying, Magic & strength tempered by heart… I stand for peace!”, he would become He-Ro of Grayskull, the most powerful wizard in the Universe.
However, the line was cancelled in early 1987, and none of this came to fruition. The 1987 Mattel Toy Catalog published pictures of the proposed toys from the line, including an action figure of He-Ro. Three of the dinosaur toys from the line actually made it to stores, and the two “giant” action figures saw release as exclusives in Italy, but He-Ro was never released as a toy.He-Ro | Wiki Grayskull | Fandom
The Powers of Grayskull
As we mentioned above, the Powers of Grayskull was a short lived off shoot of the Masters of the Universe line in the late 1980’s. Set to take place in the pre-historic land of Preternia, only a couple dinosaurs were made and of course our famous two giants Megator and Tytus.
According to the lore, the Powers of Grayskull are a set of magical abilities that grants immense strength, wisdom, and protection against dark forces to the bearer. These powers were first imbued in Castle Grayskull, which served as a center of power for good forces in the universe. The guardian of the castle, Sorceress, possessed the powers and could bestow them on the chosen champions. The powers of Grayskull include strength, agility, wisdom, telekinesis, teleportation, and the ability to communicate with animals. The primary power is the Power of Grayskull, which can grant the wielder incredible strength and enhance their fighting skills. The powers of Grayskull are often sought by the villains of the universe, such as Skeletor, who wants to use them for his evil purposes. However, the powers can only be used for good, and only a worthy champion who possesses a pure heart and courage can wield them.
The packaging of the three dinosaur toys that did see release before the line’s discontinuation bore the following text:
“Travel back in time through a secret time portal–and discover the ORIGIN of THE POWERS OF GRAYSKULL! Learn how He-Man became so strong! And explore the magical world of Preternia–home of HE-RO, the Most Powerful Wizard in the Universe! Monstrous dinosaurs and fierce giants–both good and evil–struggle for control of this strange & hostile land! The dinosaurs in the time of Grayskull–Tyrantisaurus Rex, Bionatops and Turbodactyl–each possess a fantastic mechanical power! Can HE-RO master all the good magic of the Ancient Wizards, and protect future Eternia from forever falling in the claws of evil? Look For HE-RO and The Powers of Grayskull coming your way in 1987!”He-Ro | Wiki Grayskull | Fandom
This brief overview set the stage for the Powers of Grayskull storyline, and was elaborated upon in the mini-comic The Powers of Grayskull: The Legend Begins!
This book was intended to be the first of a three-part mini-comic mini-series, revealing the whole He-Ro story to the toy-buying public. However, only this first installment appeared, the last mini-comic produced.
When the Sorceress and He-Man arrive, followed by Skeletor, they find King Hiss leading a Snake Men attack on a village in the hope of drawing out “The Elders”, using some of the cybernetic dinosaurs to their advantage. Hiss serves an “unnamed one” and agrees to unite with Skeletor on the basis that he might be an emissary. Seeing Skeletor’s interference, the Sorceress allows He-Man to enter the battle but “for reasons that will be made clear to you in the future” he had to be disguised. He finds himself overwhelmed, but then a shadowy figure appears who turns the odds with a powerful wand. The stranger then sends the Snake Men back to their base and all the time travellers home. The Sorceress describes the intervener as “the Greatest Sorcerer of all!” and He-Man is left asking “But who is he?He-Ro | Wiki Grayskull | Fandom
Finally He-Ro in Action Figure Form!
MOTU Classics He-Ro
We finally got the very first action figure produced of He-Ro in 2009, Mattel brought us He-Ro as part of the Masters of the Universe Classics line as a San Diego Comic Con exclusive! He was sold in limited quantities and also was latter available on Mattycollector.com.
He came packed with 3 different color gems, green, purple and red. They were randomly packed in, and you would not know which one you were going to get until you opened the package. Funny enough, that little gem was how the Toy Sorceress and Michael met! The Toy Sorceress was looking for the green gem, and Michael had one he was willing to trade, a few email exchanges later, the two became good friends and partners on the ToyHabits.com website and the rest is Toy Habits history! It only seems fitting that they are now both co-authoring this review!
Fast forward the clock to 2018, and here comes Super7 with their awesome retro style 5.5″ Masters of the Universe figures. They did what Mattel was unable to do nearly 35 years earlier, they actually produced a stunning He-Ro action figure, shiny gold vac-metal armor and all! He included his staff of power. When you pressed down on the top of the staff, the staff opened up like a flower petal and revealed a beautiful translucent green gem inside!
The Packaging for this figure was also modeled after the short-lived vintage Powers of Grayskull line with that gorgeous new logo and illustrated art of He-Ro holding his staff on the front, and an illustration of He-Ro battling Megator on the back.
He-Ro in the Revelation Cartoon
He-Ro was famously seen for the first time in animated form in the 2021 animated series Masters of the Universe: Revelation; episode The Forge at the Forest of Forever. In this story, He-Ro appears in Preternia, a kind of afterlife where the heros of Eternia go to spend their afterlife. Here, He-Ro was one of the two sons of King Grayskull.
This is the appearance that the new Masterverse figure is modeled after, and I think Mattel did a wonderful job capturing the likeness of his animated version.
When He-Ro was revealed back in March, we could not be more excited and could not wait to have him in hand! He-Ro’s face sculpt features a younger looking He-Ro than we’ve seen since he debut in the Masters of the Universe Classics line, with long flowing brown hair, a head band with a red jewel in the center, and an angular face design. He has silver and blue forearm bracers with brown leather like straps that are removable! The waist piece reminds me of Roboto for Masterverse, so we could see that same style coming down the line for more figures. He also includes a nice red soft goods cape, similar to that of She-Ra. The boots and shin armor match his gold chest armor, which features an H that resembles two arrows pointing away from each other. Finally, He-Ro’s staff has a basic visual design but can open up to reveal a green gem! I love how this figure turned out, but my only wish is that he can with either vac-metal chest armor and boots, or that they made his chest armor and boots a more shinny gold color somehow. Super7 was able to do it, and Mattel has been incorporating vac-metal into their Origins line, so Mattel has no excuse.
If you follow us on YouTube, you don’t want to miss our Powers of Grayskull wish list video!