The Classics collectors' line has brought together characters from all of the incarnations of the Masters Of The Universe. It is an ambitious project and has brought fans together, but it has also revealed old loyalties! Many fans have a strong preference for one era, while others are all-inclusive. Some believe that the Classics can draw together all of the diverse MOTU strands into one coherent story. Others feel that the various eras are too significantly different for the plan to work.
The simplest option is to treat the Classics almost as a new concept, welcoming all of the characters and disregarding the old factions. I think that is great if it works for you, but I am one of those who finds that approach difficult to follow. I was an original era fan who found the later He-Man (New Adventures) line completely at odds with the story I had grown up with. I could not relate to the Princess Of Power line either. Unsurprising really; I was not part of the target audience.
Of course, even the original era had two fundamentally different incarnations. The barbarian concepts were swiftly replaced by the cartoon version. I have written about this elsewhere on Vaults. When I expanded this site to include the Classics, I decided I wanted to acknowledge the origins of the characters. That is why the Photographs page does not include every figure. On that page, you will see only characters who were part of the vintage toy line, or who appeared in the Series One and Two minicomics.
Not wishing to disregard the rest of the line, I created
the Official Biographies page as well, which includes every
figure and its accompanying background story. I accept the distinctions I use on
this site are my own and neither represent an official opinion, nor represent the
views of all fans. Some visitors to Vaults have asked for a little more
information about the characters with origins outside the vintage era. I have
therefore added this page, and hopefully this will give a greater insight into
some other corners of the Classics universe. I use the term non-original
to represent these characters.
The first image on this page shows Chief Carnivus (left) and Count Marzo (right). Carnivus first appeared in the Mike Young Productions cartoon which accompanied the 2002 era toys. He was not made into a toy at the time. Count Marzo was also a cartoon character, but his association with the MOTU goes back to the Filmation cartoon. He reappeared in MYP, but had been largely redesigned. Classics Marzo uses the MYP style. Carnivus and Marzo therefore represent the inclusion of cartoon characters in the Classics. I dislike Carnivus because he really does look so cartoonish. Marzo, by contrast, is much better, and fits more closely (although not completely) with the Classics style.
Gygor (above) is a concept character from the original MOTU era. He was never made
into a figure. Several designs were drawn for characters which never reached
production. Others were turned into prototypes. There will be additional concept
characters in the Classics line. This will be an interesting mix as the line
progresses. The first prototype character to be released was He-Ro (below left).
He-Ro was originally intended to help create a background story for the Masters,
and this is evident in the Classics biographies. I expect we will see Eldor
at some point. He was also made as a prototype character.
Another concept character for the Classics line is Vikor (above middle). Vikor is the January 2011 figure, and obviously a character in his own right, but he did not start that way. Vikor is based on Mark Taylor's concept drawing of He-Man. This character definitely reflects the barbarian origins of the Masters, and is a welcome addition to the line. The 2011 subscription bonus figure is the clumsily-named Preternia Disguise He-Man (above right). This character is He-Man wearing a little more clothing than normal. He was featured in a late minicomic.
The Princess Of Power line was the first spin-off line. There was a direct
parallel with the Prince Adam / He-Man secret identity in Adora / She-Ra. Adam and
Adora were shown to be twins who were separated at birth. The picture above shows
Adora on the left, who was never made into a figure originally, and She-Ra on the
right. I never followed the POP line or its accompanying cartoon, but there
is no denying that it became a very popular era and still has a lot of fans. There
is no doubt that the Classics line will include lots of POP characters.
Optikk (above) is the first character from the He-Man (New Adventures) line,
and probably my least favourite Classics figure. NA was, for many
MOTU fans, the final nail in the coffin. He-Man and Skeletor were sent into
space and Castle Grayskull became a starship. It was simply wrong! NA was
an attempt to bring some new life into the Masters concept, but it was the
wrong direction. I am convinced that a return to the barbarian roots would have been
far better. I doubt the NA figures will have the same level of support as
I think one characteristic of the Classics line will be to create several
new characters from old ones. As mentioned, Vikor is a prototype He-Man turned into
a new character. Zodak (above left) first appeared in 2002. Then he was Zodac; the
same character as the vintage Zodac, but redesigned. When the Classics arrived,
Zodac was split into two characters, Zodac and Zodak, making the 2002 version a new
character but using the mis-spelling from the Series Two vintage minicomics! The
other pictures here both show a new character, King Grayskull, who was invented for
the Classics line and credited with building Castle Grayskull. The repainted
reissue is shown on the right.
The image above shows Classics Keldor (on the right) next to the 2002 limited edition figure. Keldor was first mentioned in the minicomic The Search For Keldor. It was one of the last minicomics, and certainly not part of the pre-Filmation era, but I liked the idea that Skeletor may have been King Randor's long lost brother. I used this theme in my Grayskull Saga. Of course, had this story been continued as it began, Keldor would never have been blue nor evil! I have always imagined Keldor as looking very much like Randor, but he was not portrayed that way when made into a limited edition figure for the 2003 San Diego Comic Con. Only 3000 figures were produced. Classics Keldor was painted in a horrible bright blue and did not include several of the SDCC figure accessories. Fortunately his cloak can be removed and used on Skeletor.
So there we have it: a brief summary of some of the aspects of the Classics
with non-original backgrounds. I am sure the expansion of the line will bring more
elements into the mix. Hopefully you will see why I feel it is important to
acknowledge the diverse origins of the Classics characters, and why I have
chosen to make these distinctions on this site. Remember all of the Classics
will be featured on the Official Biographies page as they