The 12 Coolest Masters of the Universe Action Features

By Rob Bricken in Daily Lists, Toys
Tuesday, April 21, 2009 at 5:03 am

6) Dragstor
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Part car and part monster, Dragstor used the old racing car toy gimmick of ripcord action to great effect. When the good guys tried to run from him, this Evil Horde henchmen would flop down on his belly and zoom after them thanks to the wheel on his chest. Sadly for today's collectors, racing around on his face caused paint wear. Also, it was almost impossible not rev Dragstor's wheel up as fast as it could go, then put it on your little siblings arm to create the mother of all burns. Thus, Dragstor was often confiscated by angry parents who had no need for speed.

5) Kobra Khan
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Kobra Khan was sort of a prototypical member of the Snake Men, showing up on shelves two years ahead of his scaly brethren. You could rip off Khan's head, which was pretty damned freaky but not the action feature in itself. No, his head came off so you could fill him with water, put his noggin back on and then spray "hypnotic mist" from his mouth at his enemies like he was a green, reptilian spray bottle. Kobra Khan is also useful if you feel like enlivening your window-cleaning routine, or, storing vodka in if you worked at a professional toy magazine (cough).

4) Thunder Punch He-Man
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While some toylines made a big fuss about action figures that twisted at the waist and simulated punching action, that was standard fare for the Masters of the Universe. Mattel therefore outdid themselves whenever they came up with a way to make automatic punching an even bigger deal. The most explosive example of this was Thunder Punch He-Man, who not only twisted to deliver a crushing blow, but also used BANG! Caps inserted in his back to deliver an even more impressive clobbering! Not to mention a great deal of smoke from He-Man's backpack. Kids always felt like they were getting away with something when they got to use near-fireworks, too.

3) Webstor
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The creepy, spider-like Webstor had a grappling hook, which would have probably been enough for this list -- every kid in the '80s wanted a grappling hook. But once you attached the grappling hook on to something, and started pulling the string, the evil Webstor climbed up the rope by himself. It is 2009, and I still don't know how this works. I am very content with it being magic.

2) Horde Trooper
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Curses upon Mattel for letting such an awesome figure be so damned rare! These robot soldiers looked a bit like Stormtroopers from Star Wars and could be dramatically defeated. When He-Man slammed his fists into the Horde symbol on the minions' chests, they would collapse in on themselves, utterly trounced by the Power of Grayskull. He was easily reassembled, meaning it was a breeze for He-Man or She-Ra to beat the crap out of this or bastard dozens of times in a row. Destroying these peons never less awesome.

1) Battle Armor He-Man and Skeletor
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For the sake of realism, some kids occasionally had to inflict damage on their toys. How many G.I. Joes suffered a firecracker-induced fate? But Mattel allowed kids to witness some of the requisite damage their toy battles should inflict with the introduction of Battle Armor. As Skeletor and He-Man engaged in combat, striking each other's chest armor would cause the wheel inside to flip and show the armor, now damaged with one slash! Hit it again, and the armor suddenly had two slashes. And then it could be reset to allow for infinite punishment. As one of the first toys that actually replicated damage, this brought a whole new dimension to action feature combat, and made all those imaginary fights infinitely more worthwhile.

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