Hobbies are a natural part of life, either as an escape from the pressures of real life or as just something to enjoy passing the time. Some people collect stamps as their hobby, others build cars… I collect toys. We all have our own stories on how we became a fan of a particular property or how we started our hobbies. This is mine……
Masters of the Universe, referred to as MOTU from here on, was the second toy line I can remember getting as a child. The first one was Kenner’s Star Wars and the only reason that came to be is because I was given a whole bunch of figures from a parent of a child, a few years older than me, who went to my school. I remember my mum called up the parent to make sure I was actually given the toys and didn’t steal them :)
I can vaguely remember my first figures of the original MOTU line. I am pretty sure my first figure was Trap Jaw. I know I definitely had him very early on in my childhood but I can’t remember exactly if I got him as a birthday present or as Christmas present or just for being good. To be honest, I don’t even remember asking my mum for more MOTU toys but I know I certainly got some. I clearly remember having Mekaneck and Ram Man at school and learning about their action features while there.
I was a fan of MOTU for what seems like an eternity as I look back to my childhood but I think in reality it was closer to only a couple of years. I watched the cartoon, I collected the stickers and other random merchandise, and I ate the MOTU inspired snack chips called Battle Snax. I was completely engulfed by the MOTU property. But eventually, as I grew older, I moved away from MOTU and onto other things like Transformers, G.I. Joe and M.A.S.K. I would still go back to MOTU and get a figure now and again but for the most part I had moved on, and the basic sculpts and articulation of MOTU seemed to pale in comparison to the toys I was now interested in. I even looked at MOTU as a younger child’s property even though I was still a child myself.
Fast forward now, to my introduction to the World Wide Web during the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Like a lot of people during this time I began to look up certain thing on the internet, one of those things being MOTU. It was at some point in one of these “surfing” days that I stumbled on to he-man.org, a fan community that were also child hood fans of the MOTU property. I wasn’t completely comfortable with joining a community to talk about toys at that stage so after a quick look around I was off again.
Moving forward again, I remember coming across a file on a P2P file sharing site for a new MOTU cartoon. Naturally, I downloaded the first couple of episodes to check it out. Upon viewing I was quite surprised on how different it looked from the one I grew up watching. It was not long after when I went into a department store and found the entire first wave of the new toy line based on the new cartoon, which is now referred to by the by the fandom as 200x. Naturally, I bought the entire first wave. It wasn’t until perhaps a few weeks later that I found the cartoon was being shown here in Australia on Cartoon Network so now I could watch it every week day.
Unfortunately, I could never find anymore toys in stores and I eventually stopped watching the cartoon. I don’t even know if they continued to show the entire series. I could have easily have found the toys available to buy online but buying online was a new concept for me. I was still used to going into a store to buy something I wanted. Without the cartoon and toy line my focus turned to other things.
This marked the end of my interest in MOTU for a second time.
(I would later find out that Mattel had grossly mismanaged the 200x toy line which is still a sore point for some collectors.)