Created by Mattel in 1982, the Masters of the Universe were not only an incredibly popular toy line, but also a pop-culture phenomenon.
This toyline featured the Heroic Warriors of Eternia led by He-Man in constant conflict with the Evil Warriors led by Skeletor. Skeletor's goal was to unlock and control the secrets inside Castle Greyskull, an ancient castle/headquarters featured in the toyline. The entire plot and play of the figures revolved around this constant struggle for power between good and evil.
Various evil groups were introduced in the line whom fought against both the Heroic Masters and the Evil forces of Skeletor, including Hordak and his Evil Horde as well as King Hiss and his Snake Men.
The largest series of figures produced in the line came from Series 6 in 1987, which also featured 3 characters from the live-action "MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE" motion picture.
Over the course of the line, Mattel created many different characters with various features. From fists that "punched" to figures that sprayed "venom", the toyline was such a success that He-Man, Skeletor and other characters have pretty much become household names over the years.
Along with accessories, each basic figure came packaged with a mini-comic featuring the Masters of the Universe characters.
The Masters of the Universe line has been relaunced at least 3 times with various degrees of success.
In 1989, Mattel introduced "THE NEW ADVENTURES OF HE-MAN". This series contained some names and situations from the original series, but was more of a relaunch then anything else.
In 2000, Mattel created a limited edition Commemorative Series of the figures, using sculpts and packaging similar to the originals.
In 2002, Mattel launched a new manga-inspired line of Masters of the Universe that also spawned an Emmy-award winning cartoon series.
The current "CLASSICS" exclusive toyline from Mattel is made to appeal to old-school He-Man collectors and fans. Capturing the look and original feel of the figures with updated paint schemes, the Classics line features weapons and biographies to expand the rich mythology of the original Eternian Warriors.