Since He-Man and his crew first appeared on the scene as toys and a comic series, the He-Man action figures have been a very collectible item. Today, the toys, television series and movies have made He-Man a bit of a legend and as a result his popularity continues to grow.
Just check online. There are literally dozens of sites, mostly run by fans, dedicated to the legacy of He-Man. With each television series or movie, Mattel, the makers of He-Man, have launched a new selection of He-Man action figures and so the collecting goes on.
Without question, He-Man himself has enjoyed the most incarnations and remains the most collectible, but there is a wide variety of characters that make up the full family of He-Man action figures.
The first cartoon series appeared in 1983 and ran till 1985 and this inspired a new range of He-Man action figures that were considered innovative in their time. The cartoon, He-Man, was also considered revolutionary, as it was the first cartoon series that was accompanied with a range of toys.
Besides He-Man himself, some of the action figures that were in the range included Battle Cat, He-Man’s constant companion also known as Cringer; a selection of evil warriors which included Skeletor, Beast Man, Blade, Blast-Attack, Buzz Saw Hordak, Clawful, Crocobite and Dinosorb.
There was also a range of heroic warriors and these included Buzz-Off, Cliff Climber, Extendar, Fisto & Stridor, Flying Fists He-Man and Gwildor. It was also possible to buy some of the fighting theatres such as Castle Grayskull and Eternia.
The next range of He-Man action figures was inspired by She Ra, Princess of Power, who was He-Man’s sister. This more feminine range of collectibles included Angella, Arrow, Blue Lightning, Bow, Castaspella, Catra and Clawdeen. These He-Man toy figures appeared between 1985 and 1987.
The next series which appeared in 1989 was called the New Adventures of He-Man and this new incarnation inspired its own range of He-Man action figures, albeit to a lukewarm response. Some of the figures in that collection included Artilla, the Battle Bird, Flipshot, Flogg, Hoove, Hydron, Karatti, Kayo, Lizorr and Nocturna.
In 2000, Mattel launched a commemorative series of He-Man action figures that were closer to the original Masters of the Universe series launched in the early 80s. As well as some of the old figures, Mattel included special gift sets with Prince Adam. Some of the figures included Man-at-arms, Mer-Man, Stratos, Teela, Trap Jaw and Zodac.
Then in 2002, to mark the new millennium, Mattel launched a new more modern range of He-Man action figures. These included Battle-Armor He-Man, Battle Armor Skeletor, Battle Cat, Battle Fish, Battle Glove Man-at-Arms, Battle Hawk and the Battle Ram Chariot.
Most recently, Mattel decided to bring the He-Man action figures lineup back to their roots and launched the classic range. This range looks most like the original and includes characters such as Beast Man, Chief Carnivus, Count Marzo, Evil Lyn, Faker, Gygor, He-Ro, Hordak and Keldor.