With the New Eternia Masterverse sub-line, Mattel has been has been on fire paying homage to the original concept art and prototypes from the Masters of the Universe Vintage line! In this article, we delve into the concepts from yesteryear with our New Eternia Masterverse figure anthology cataloging the Masterverse figures that have been produced and the figures that are remaining from the first eight. With the recent reveal of New Eternia Man-At-Arms at SDCC and the figure landing in collector’s hands already, this leaves only Teela and Mer-Man as the remaining figures in the original first eight Masters of the Universe figures to get the New Eternia Masterverse treatment.
The First Eight
Masters of the Universe, created by Mattel in 1981, consisted of a collection of action figures, with accompanying accessories, vehicles, and playsets. The line was supported by the animated series created by Filmation, as well as a series of comics. The toys were extremely well-received, running through 1987 with several waves of releases. Let’s focus our attention on the first eight figures that were released as Wave 1 from the Masters of the Universe vintage line as we think about what the New Eternia versions of the remaining figures yet to be produced in the New Eternia Masterverse line!
Viking He-Man is one of two inaugural figures kicking off the New Eternia Masterverse sub-line. We first saw Viking He-Man in all his glory at Power Con 2021 and could not wait for get this figure as this was one we were really looking forward to. He came packed to the gills with weapons and accessories and I feel like he really got the deluxe treatment at the standard price point! This version of Viking He-man comes with an early concept style Viking horned helmet, large golden colored shoulder armor, concept style chest armor, golden colored belt, right wrist bracer and a larger removable gold & brown colored left wrist bracer. He is wearing a brown colored, leather like loin cloth and matching brown boots with tan trim. His right boot sports a knife holster. Viking He-Man comes packed with a small dagger, all new power sword design with a leather-like wrapped hilt, vintage style shield, helmetless alternate head, and 2 alternate hands. We will explore all the accessories in further detail below. For being a standard priced figure, he sure feels like a deluxe one!
Inspired by the early concept sketches of Mark Taylor, Viking He-Man is the first of the New Eternia sub-line! Viking He-man features the same 30 points of articulation as the rest of the Masterverse figures and shares the same buck, but beyond that, there are so many exciting features about this new He-Man that we have not seen before!
Numerous prototypes were sculpted during production and development of the first he-man figure. The figure in the photos is a five and a half inch resin hard copy taken from the fifth He-Man clay sculpt by Tony Guerra, who would go on to sculpt the eventual production piece, which at the time, was a first. In their desire to save money on the production prototypes, Mattel management usually asked sculptors to incorporate shrinkage in the form of head rotocasting and body injection. This sometimes resulted in prototype figures with heads which were disproportionate in comparison to the size of their bodies. Tony, along with Mark Taylor, insisted on keeping the prototype figure’s body evenly proportioned in order to produce a more pleasing end result for use on test and package samples. This hard copy, painted by Roger Sweet in 1981, would have been used by the design team to make further changes. Even though this is an early version of He-Man, many key characteristics of the prototype figure can be seen here. The character is super-muscular and is nearly as wide as he is tall. Other similarities include the fur shorts, belt, and wrist armor. The most notable difference is the viking helmet which stayed with the character of He-Man up until the eleventh hour. The significance of this piece to He-Man’s history cannot be underestimated.
The Battle Ram Blog states that, “Emiliano Santalucia of The Power and the Honor Foundation has learned that the character known as Vikor, commonly thought to be an early He-Man concept, was in fact Taylor’s sketch for the aborted Mattel Conan line. In retrospect perhaps it should have been obvious – he looks very much like the classic Conan character, and not much like any version of He-Man (shown below)”
New Eternia He-Man Review
Check out our review of the Masters of the Universe Masterverse New Eternia He-Man below!
This version of Skeletor gives you so many dsiplayability options and really is 2 figures in one! As mentioned above, because Skeletor’s cape and chest armor is layered, it allows you to display him in both his Barbarian Skeletor New Eternia look, and his Classic Armor look. By swapping the head and removing the cape, you now have an amazing looking classic Skeletor, so you get 2 Skeletors in 1! With all the accessories he comes packed with and the alternate head sculpt, your display options are unlimited!
Inspired by the concept sketches of the late great Mark Taylor, Mattel Masterverse Line brings us Barbarian Skeletor was originally dubbed Evil Incarnate according to the concept sketches and his helmeted look really pays homage to the illustration! You see nods to the concept art represented in the New Eternia figure like the helmet, Scimitar, and chest armor and the rest, the wonderful designers over at Mattel filled in the rest!
It is interesting to see that Skeletor’s Ram’s head on his havoc staff was meant to come apart, akin to a ball and chain. Also, over the years, Skeletor has been represented with 5 and 3 toes and in this version, he has all 5 present and accounted for.
You can also see the inspiration for the scimitar in the concept art with a helmeted (vs. hooded) version of Skeletor. Viking He-Man’s rear box description alluded to Skeletor wielding a Scimitar of Chaos. It’s a typical to see Skeletor without a purple Sword of Power but this Scimitar gives him a unique look.
According to the Wiki Grayskull:
Realizing his Pupil Keldor had not intention of releasing him from Despondos, Hordak merged him with an extra-dimensional being called Demo-Man. While this saved Keldor’s life, it also drove him temporarily insane, and convinced him to open a portal to Despondos and lead what he thought were “his people” to Eternia. Hordak intended to use this ruse as a means to escape once the portal was opened, but the new merged being “Skeletor” was quickly defeated by Oo-larr, the jungle He-Man, and Hordak remained trapped. Soon after, with help of Evil Lyn, Skeletor gained control of the powerful spirit inside of him, increasing his abilities ten-fold. He was now the true Overlord of Evil and one of the most dangerous men on Eternia!Demo-Man | Wiki Grayskull | Fandom
New Eternia Skeletor Review
Check out our review of the Masters of the Universe Masterverse New Eternia Skeletor below!
Leaked back in March 2022 by our friends at Canal Dos Rosmineiros, Stratos has landed and we have our hot little hands on one! Adding another figure to the growing New Eternia Masterverse sub-line, this version of Stratos has a very different look than previous versions of the heroic winged warrior as he has a face mask that plug into his belt! Some familiar pieces making their way back to the line are his Emerald Scepter of Avion and his classic red wings that go on his arms. His wing have a special suprise so let’s dive into the details of this fantastic update to an old friend!
New Eternia is all about showcasing original designs based on classic concepts and this New Eternia sketch is where the design for the New Eternia Stratos originated from. You can see the feathers around the neck and the red pack where his mask plugs in so it is great to see this concept come to life.
New Eternia Stratos Review
Check out our review of the Masters of the Universe Masterverse New Eternia Stratos below!
Back in August of 2022, we got our hands on New Eternia Zodac from the Masterverse line and wanted to share it with you all so please enjoy the photos! If you remember, according to our friends, @canaldosrosmineiros, who broke the news of Zodac, Galactic Protector He-Man, and Two-Bad joining the Masterverse, we finally have our hands on the New Eternia Cosmic Enforcer.
We are not sure why Zodac was made in New Eternia style given his concept art pretty much was a direct copy to the vintage figure but here are the sketches and color renders for your viewing pleasure!
New Eternia Zodac Review
Check out our review of the Masters of the Universe Masterverse New Eternia Zodac below!
Beast Man is the savage right-hand man of Skeletor, who has control over many wild creatures and possesses shear brute strength. Beast Man was one of the first eight characters to be created for the Masters of the Universe toy line by Mattel in the early 1980s, and one of the first four to be completed and released, with the other three being He-Man, Man-At-Arms and Skeletor. According to the Wiki Grayskull, “when the character was developed by Mattel, the name of Beast Man was reused from a figure in Mattel’s earlier Flash Gordon toy line. The Masterverse New Eternia Beast Man was released in 2022 and is the quintessential Beast Man everyone has been waiting for and ever he was revealed back in mid March, the wait is over and he is on Target shelves much earlier than we anticipated. This version of Beast Man is the classic blend of the old and new styles and is essentially two figures in one so get that wallet ready for some hurt as this is one figure you will need two of!
Back on March 14, 2022, the YouTube Channel (CDR) leaked an image of the New Eternia Beast Man concept art and it’s great to see the box art that was done by the one and only yo_tengo_el_poder! He posted these two images of Beast Man and the curios thing about the image where Beast Man is swinging through the trees is that there is an ominous image of the head of New Eternia Barbarian Skeletor off in the distance perhaps summoning Beast Man and his lackeys.
New Eternia Beast Man Review
Check out our review of the Masters of the Universe Masterverse New Eternia Beast Man below!
The role of a Man-at-Arms in the government of Eternia was to advise the ruling planetary monarch and the Royal Guard on military and police affairs. Another figure that was delayed and produced in the MOTU Origins Power Con 2020 exclusive Lords of Power set. As seen in Mark Talor’s B-Sheet design, the name for the figure was dubbed “Arms Man.” The concept for his armor added an element of fur or bristles and had hoses and wires coming from it. Interestingly, like Skeletor’s original concept for his Havoc Staff, his mace weapon was originally supposed to function as a ball and chain, detaching from the handle to be swung about on a string. In the Mondo Sixth scale version of Man-At-Arms, they paid homage to this concept (among others)!
According to the Battle Ram Blog, “Mark has reveled an early version of the character in his “Sketches 1” set of prints that he made available at Power-Con 2018. This character, called Paladin, has the familiar green and orange color scheme, and familiar helmet and face armor (albeit much more concealing in this version). His costume is much more primitive-looking than the more familiar Man-At-Arms design. The ventilator that was later moved to his chest area is up near his face here. He has a spiked orange mace at his side, but also carries a futuristic rifle. According to Dušan M, this was apparently the design used in the aforementioned Rob-N toyline, although it originally had a different color scheme.”
The latest wave of Masterverse Wave 11 figures are knocking it out of the park and this Masterverse New Eternia Man-At-Arms is no exception! The other New Eternia figure in this wave is Trap Jaw and Mattel is firing on all cylinders! This New Eternia Man-At-Arms is arguable one of the best versions, next to the MOTU Classics version of course! There are so many ways to display this figure with the extra head sculpts, helmets, and weapons and accessories that you might need to buy two of these figures! The New Eternia versions of the Masterverse figures are the best in the line and this version of Man-At-Arms hits all of the high points!
You can check out the New Eternia Man-At-Arms review here:
Future New Eternia Figures
Mer-Man was part of the first series of Masters of the Universe action figures released by Mattel in 1981-1982. The character was conceived as Skeletor’s most prominent henchman after Beast Man. With the leak of Mer-Man coming to the Masterverse line, it only makes sense that they would give him the New Eternia treatment. Although a version of this style of Mer-Man was developed and produced in the Power Con 2020 exclusive Lords of Power 5-Pack, it will be amazing to see how Mattel brings the classic concept of Mer-Man to life, in New Eternia style.
Rounding out the first 8, which have yet to be produced are Man-At-Arms and Teela! How fitting that this pair are father and daughter so let’s check out the concepts and what could be coming for the New Eternia Masterverse line.
Teela is the Captain of the Royal Guard at the palace of Eternos and thus responsible for training and protecting Prince Adam of Eternia. While Adam is He-Man, Teela often assists him in his battles, though she is unaware of his alternate identity. Teela was one of the first characters developed for Masters of the Universe, although her figure was released in the second half of the first wave. Released in the later half of 1982, Teela was the first female figure in the MOTU line and here is the concept we could see come to life as a New Eternia figure. This design, developed by Mark Taylor, was conceived as a powerful heroic warrior armed with a shield and spear!
Here is another concept of Teela drawing. Her outfit is similar to the design on the B-Sheet but her head illustration flowing hair! It would be amazing to get a couple different versions of Teela in New Eternia Masterverse style.
Other New Eternia Figures
Although not part of the first 8, Two Bad was also developed as part of the Masterverse New Eternia sub-line, along with Jitsu! Check out thier reviews, backstory, and concept art below:
Complete YOUR Collection!
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