ETERNIAN STEEDS AND VEHICLES
Several steeds were produced during the life of the vintage toy series. The majority were imaginative machines, although probably the most famous and widely collected were the fighting felines, Battle Cat and Panthor. Surprisingly, the warriors of Eternia never rode horses, although Night Stalker and Stridor were horse-like mechanical steeds.
The early vehicles (Attak Trak, Battle Ram, Wind Raider and the Talon Fighter) were all
'heroic' machines, but eventually the evil warriors ended up with some of their own
vehicles (such as Roton and Land Shark), and Evil Horde leader Hordak was also given a
steed in the form of the mechanical Mantisaur.
Battle Cat is shown here with his master He-Man. The toy had no articulation at all, but
Battle Cat was always a great favourite among fans. For fans of the original Masters
themes, Battle Cat represented the wild, barbarian side of Eternia. Yet he was also a key
figure in the Filmation cartoons when he became the alter ego of the cowardly Cringer.
Panthor was Skeletor's equivalent of Battle Cat, and the toy used the same mould. Panthor
was flocked, or given a fur covering, which rubbed off very quickly. You can see the effects
in the photograph here. This is why I am pleased Classics Panthor was released unflocked.
Panthor was the first of Skeletor's steeds.
In The Clash of Arms minicomic Stridor was paired up with Fisto, so I photographed
them together for this image. Stridor was a mechanical horse that could talk. It was never
clear whether Stridor was a creature of artificial intelligence or a cyborg. The same
mould was used for an evil version called Night Stalker.
I was always slightly disappointed that the toy Attak Trak was bright red, and the
one drawn in the minicomics was brown. I thought brown worked much better, and I suppose
my main criticism of the vehicles was that they were too colourful. Yet Attak Trak was
always my favourite vehicle and its flip tracks were great.
Land Shark was one of Skeletor's vehicles and was featured in the rather poor minicomic,
Hordak - The Ruthless Leader's Revenge!. The caterpillar tracks are part of the
mould rather than separate wheels. The main feature is the shark jaw which opens to trap
Battle Ram was one of the first of He-Man's vehicles, and had the curious distinction
of being able to travel through space and time. The front section of this vehicle was a
sky sled which detached from the main section. Battle Ram was featured in one of the
very first minicomics, Battle in the Clouds.
Another fan favourite, Wind Raider was featured prominently in one of the best
minicomics, The Power of... Point Dread! by Gary Cohn. This vehicle crossed
MOTU eras too, for it was used in the Image Comics stories of the 2002 era. Wind
Raider had a lifting hook which could be raised by turning the dragon head device.
Although I included Mantisaur in my Grayskull Saga, I had not seen detailed
images of the toy when I wrote the story. That is why my version of Mantisaur is a
living creature rather than mechanical version you see in this photograph. It is a
very basic figure, but it was good that Hordak was given a steed.
There were several other steeds which are not shown here. You can find images of Bashasaurus, Dragon Walker, Road Ripper, Spydor, Roton, Night Stalker and Battle Bones on the Collector Posters page.