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Masters of the Universe: What Were They Thinking?
by: -RoG-

I consider myself to be a very lucky guy. I was a child of the 80s, which means I got to play with ALL of the BEST toy series ever created. The Transformers, Gi-Joe, Robo Force, Voltron, Go-Bots, and of course...

He-Man!

One of my favorite toy lines of all time, He-Man had some awesome figures, vehicles, and playsets. Not to mention that the accompanying cartoons were awesome. I still remember holding a broomstick high in the air at the beginning of the show and yelling, "I Have The Power!!"

As cool as He-Man toys were, looking back on it, I really have to wonder what they were thinking when they made some of them. Today I would like to cover 2 of the most bizarre characters they came up with:

MOSS MAN and STINKOR

Both of these characters came out in 1985; the second series of He-Man figures which included the infamous "Battle Armor He-Man" and "Battle Armor Skeletor" figures. MOSS MAN and STINKOR really stood out though, there was just something... different about them. So let us begin with the almighty MOSS MAN.

MOSS MAN FIGURE! (1985)
Here we have MOSS MAN. The box describes him as a "Heroic Spy and Master of Camouflage". They go on to say, "MOSS MAN With his 'fur' of forest green, he fools & frustrates the wicked foe!". First of all, MOSS MAN was really fuzzy, and I you could actually stick velcro onto him. After a few battles though, his "fuzz" started to get really crappy. A genius marketing ploy by Mattel: "We'll create a figure that gradually disintegrates so that they'll have to buy it over and over again!". And what about that "master of camouflage" they were talking about...

Tri-Klops thinks to himself, "Does that idiot really think I can't see him?"
Clearly Mattel wanted to elaborate just how much of a "Master" MOSS MAN was when it came to camouflage. Just look at the artwork here from the back of the box. Doesn't he just blend in with the BLUE and PINK leaves perfectly??? And you can tell that his enemy "Tri-Klops" is completely baffled, right? WRONG. He's looking directly at him, and my guess is that MOSS MAN is about to get the beating of his life. He doesn't even seem to be aware that Tri-Klops is coming for him. He's just looking at his shiny battle-club in awe. He reminds me of a fucking caveman for crissakes...

Twist his waist and work his powerful arms!
Ah yes, how could I forget. They include illustrations so that you can see all of the amazing things that MOSS MAN can do! This is what it says under the illustration, "Twist his waist and work his powerful arms!". I can twist his waist? GASP! I could be playing with Snake Mountain and all of its awesome features, but no, I get to twist MOSS MAN'S waist for fun to make him "swing his battle club!" instead. Does the fun ever end!? No it doesn't! Prepare yourself for MOSS MAN'S most awesome feature!

Ahhhh, Winter Fresh!
That's right! MOSS MAN came with a "fresh pine scent"! That's right, he smell just like those pine tree air-fresheners that you hang in your car.
Scented Action figures! Have you ever heard of such a great concept!?
Now, not only could you do battle with MOSS MAN, but you could enjoy that winter fresh feeling at the same time! What more could a kid ask for?

As ridiculous as MOSS MAN'S "features" may seem, I have to say he is my favorite He-Man character of all time. But what about this guy...

STINKOR! (1985)
Here we have STINKOR! That's right. This guy was the other "scented" figure in the 2nd generation of He-Man figures. Unlike MOSS MAN, STINKOR used his smell as a deadly weapon! He was described as the "Evil Master Of Odors" on the box. And he smells so bad that even he can't stand his own smell! So what did they do to help out this skunk-man hybrid? They gave him special armor that covered his nose and apparently filtered out his own stench. So he could bring his enemies to their knees just with his horrific bodily odors! But it gets better, check this out!

Smell My Stench!
STINKOR apparently had the power to aim his odors. And they were so strong that you could actually see them! Just look at the illustration! "STINKOR uses his powerful scent to repel or destroy!" Did you hear that? His scent can DESTROY. He must be quite a stinky bastard.

Twist his waist and make him swing his battle shield!
Again, with STINKOR they included illustrations showing what the figure could do. "Twist his waist and make him swing his battle shield!" Apparently they thought that this "waist twisting" thing would be a real hit with the kids. Cuz they talked about it on almost all of their figures. And he didn't even come with a cool weapon. Sure, he stunk to high heaven, but I still liked getting a cool sword or something with a figure. he just came with a shield. Sorry, but a shield and no weapon just doesn't cut it.

"Say, He-Man, could you be a pal and lend me some deoderant?"
See? Even STINKOR knew that there was no reason for a shield when he got in a fight, it'd just get in the way. And he seems to be holding his own just fine... He-Man has dropped his sword and can't even breathe!  

So what have we learned from STINKOR?
We've all heard that old saying "the pen in mightier than the sword", but perhaps STINKOR is telling us that, "there is nothing more mighty than smelly like a steaming bowl of shit." These are truly words to live by.

I'll be covering more of the strange toys from the 80s in the near future.
In the meantime, try buying MOSS MAN and STINKOR on eBay. I strongly suggest buying them in their original UNOPENED PACKAGE. Cuz if it's a loose figure, it's almost guaranteed that their scent will be long gone.
Happy Sniffing, you smelly bastards.

-RoG-


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