Masters of the Universe Action Figures

Before "Masters of the Universe" became a snarky pejorative for arrogant Wall Street traders and jargon-happy Silicon Valley venture capitalists, He-Man, as the franchise is also known, was Mattel's answer to the "Star Wars" action-figure line, which Mattel had rejected just a few years before. That decision turned out to be an unintended gift to Kenner, one of its arch competitors, as "Star Wars" actions figures went on to become one of the best-selling toys of all time.

From 1982 to 1988, the six-inch figures clogged toy-store shelves, with such characters as He-Man, Teela, and Skeletor, all of whom became the stars of the animated TV show "He-Man and the Masters of the Universe" in 1983, when the FCC lifted the ban on children's programming that was essentially an advertisement for toys.


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