I’ve been on a real Masters of the Universe kick lately, thanks in large part to a couple of books I got for Christmas that detailed pretty much everything about the franchise, from the toys to the toons to the comics.
I admit that I haven’t been so great about keeping up with He-Man’s more recent exploits, but man, if there’s anything that might make me change that, it’s remembering how Modulok used to be the master of my universe.
And if you’re just as into Hordak and Kobra Khan and cans of nontoxic slime, good news! This week’s episode of The Purple Stuff Podcast is all about Masters of the Universe. It’s HE-MANIA, starring me and Jay from The Sexy Armpit.
The episode runs around 75 minutes long and covers a dozen of our of greatest MOTU memories — everything from the old Christmas special to the time I met Skeletor and Mario Lopez at Toys “R” Us. Give it a listen by clicking the giant play button below!
You can also download this week’s episode by right-clicking here.
Hey! Remember when I went to that comic convention and bought a giant pile of cheap books? Well, it’s finally time to dissect them!
Down below: Six more ancient comic book ads from Dino Drac’s growing library, covering everything from cereal to Sea-Monkeys. Alliteration!
Inhumanoids #2, March 1987
Star Comics was a Marvel imprint that dealt chiefly in adaptations. This was where so many cartoons found second lives, so it’s only fitting that I pulled this ad from an old issue of Star Comics’ Inhumanoids.
The individual titles may have been hit-or-miss, but seeing our toy box heroes in another format was always a trip. Perhaps the best thing about Star Comics were ads like this, where heroes and villains from distant franchises banded together for promotional soirees.
Behold, the one and only time when He-Man, Lion-O and R2-D2 were canonically together. I bet they talked about hyphens a lot. Read More…
The name “ARCO” is most synonymous with a chain of cheap gas stations, but you’ve probably owned some of their toys, too. Though the company managed to score some big licenses (everything from Disney to The Chipmunks), it was arguably more famous for its fantasy and sci-fi toys, which ran the gamut from medieval monsters to futuristic astronauts.
ARCO’s wares were most commonly found at pharmacies and bric-a-brac stores. Most of their toys had a “generic” feel, right down to the thinness of the cardboard backers. These were modest toys meant to be sold in places where expectations were lower.
That’s partially how ARCO built its name. A kid might’ve ignored their stranger offerings at a Toys “R” Us store — after all, nobody’s gonna pick Unknown Monster #26 over some dude who had his own cartoon series and cross-promotion with Wheat Thins — but in pharmacies and discount shops, they were virtual oases in deserts of picture frames and aerosol cans.
During the early ‘80s, ARCO put out a wide variety of “spooky” toys, which are now impossibly rare and fetch far more money than plastic cans full of rubber worms ever should. Justifying the demand is the fact that they’re the most genuine and weirdly sweet of all spooky toys. Remember that spread of hardcore classic shit under Ralphie’s Christmas tree? If he was into ghosts and goblins, it would’ve been all ARCO.
Take their collection of Creepy-Crawly Things, for instance. This was a line of five cent rubber creatures made more extravagant by the addition of thematic containers. The various monsters would’ve barely passed as vending machine toys individually, but putting them in such neat containers made the Creepy-Crawly Things line glow like a radioactive bug light that somehow attracted small, disaffected children. Read More…
Here’s another bunch of old junk food from my always-growing collection. At this point, our apartment stocks more old food than new food. It’s like the world’s most misleading pick for a emergency fallout shelter.
WWF Superstars of Wrestling Bars!
More commonly known as WWF Ice Cream Bars, absence has made our hearts grow fonder. One could argue that the desserts are more famous now than they ever were while still in production!
Being a wrestling fan helped, but even kids who’d never heard of Roddy Piper couldn’t resist these. With layers of soft cookie, vanilla ice cream and a hard chocolate “chaser,” each bar was like a mash of a Chipwich and a Fudgsicle.
WWF Ice Cream Bars debuted in the ‘80s and lasted through the early 2000s, with the gamut of “wrestler cookies” constantly being refreshed to reflect the most current roster.
As a kid, they were my #1 reason to treat every ice cream man like Santa Claus. Everything that came off of those trucks was fun, but WWF Ice Cream bars felt like edible collectibles. Were they not so delicious and meltable, I would’ve lined the whole series up on my bedroom shelf. Read More…