THE BIRTH OF SKELETOR!

A theme that was hinted at during the production of the original toys was the possible origin of Skeletor. This was a late development, and only appeared in one of the final series minicomics, The Search For Keldor. The idea was that Skeletor was in fact Keldor, King Randor's long lost brother. This was a great concept, not only because it strengthened the mythology, but also because it moved away from the notion that Skeletor had come to Eternia from another planet. No explanation was ever given for how Keldor mutated into Skeletor, but the suggestion was made that Keldor had been a student of magic. From that, fans could assume that one of Keldor's incantations went badly wrong, and transformed him into the evil Lord Of Destruction himself.

I used the Keldor theme in my Grayskull story, and added a few surprise elements, suggesting that the secret was known by others besides Skeletor. My interpretation of the tale was that while Randor and Keldor were leading an uprising against the Horde, Keldor vanished and was never heard of again. In my tale, Keldor would have been a young man in his early twenties - skilled with the sword, but more interested in defeating Hordak by means of magic. I avoided giving an account for how the incantation failed, because I think the theme works without the need for an explanation.

Mattel never made a Keldor figure as part of the original toy series, but clearly the theme has remained popular, as a model has now been designed and produced. The scan shows the limited edition Keldor that was released at the 2003 San Diego Comic Con. Only 3000 of these figures were produced, and so they are already collectors' items. The figure was designed by the Four Horsemen, and I think it is a fabulous creation. Admittedly this Keldor is different to how I interpreted him, but I think the design captures the magician aspect of Keldor really well. Also featured are two additional heads - a mid-transformation head and a Skeletor head, which obviously allows for the various stages of Keldor's mutation to be acted out! Below is an animation which shows the three heads in sequence.

On the left below is Keldor in his inner box packaging. The right hand image is the back cover illustration on the outer box. As with all collectors' items, the value of the Keldor figure is not an exact science. Dozens of the figures appeared on eBay almost immediately after Comic Con, and the prices (for unopened boxes) were approximately 80 US$ to 120 US$, or 65€ to 100€, or £50 to £75. Keldor boxes signed by the Four Horsemen are rarer and obviously the prices are higher.