Horde Prime Revealed!

Longtime readers know that I’m a huge fan of the He-Man & She-Ra Christmas Special, from 1985. (Officially titled He-Man & She-Ra: A Christmas Special, but that shit’s clunky.)

I watched it on that long ago December night with my older brother, and to this day, we still quote it. I’ve seen it dozens of times since. I’m surely in the minority, but to me, that bizarre Christmas special is just as classic/important/awesome as any other.

Without getting too deep into its story, the special featured every key character from both Masters of the Universe and Princess of Power. (Something that, to the best of my recollection, only otherwise happened when She-Ra was first introduced. Even some of the most rarely seen villains had cameos. +1 for Spikor!)

But the biggest thing fans remember about this special is Skeletor. Drunk with Christmas spirit, the villain “goes good” for a night, almost against his will. It wouldn’t be until the Undertaker stopped Jake Roberts from attacking Macho Man that the world saw a bigger face turn.

If you aren’t a Masters of the Universe fan already, it’s a tough sell. The original series is dated and goofy, and if there’s no nostalgia at play, I guess it isn’t the easiest thing to sit through. Still, you gotta see the Christmas special, at least once. Even if you don’t know who the characters are, so what? Hey, I only wish I was in your shoes. Something tells me that the He-Man & She-Ra Christmas Special would be ten times better if you had no freakin’ idea what was going on.

Of course, aside from Skeletor’s momentary heroism, my other big memory is of Horde Prime.

I know he was mentioned (and maybe even showed up a few times) on Princess of Power, but I didn’t watch that show regularly. In accordance with its color palette, I “wasn’t supposed to.” All I knew of Horde Prime came from this one cartoon.

And what a twist he was! Apparently, Skeletor and Hordak both answered to him. He was the true master of evil!

Like a strange mix of Dr. Claw and Emperor Palpatine, the giant demon could only be partially seen. Shrouded in green mist with only a faint outline to betray his form, Horde Prime was a truly frightening sight for a six-year-old who previously never knew a horror greater than Skeletor.

I think Horde Prime needs to be seen to be understood, so, a video:

Oh, come on. That’s insanely cool. It’s like the great and powerful Oz had a baby with Red Ronin.

Horde Prime only hung around the special for a minute — just long enough to pit Skeletor and Hordak against one another in a sick competition to ruin Christmas. He was in and out of my life quickly, but Horde Prime made such an impression.

Research tells me that the character was fleshed out a little more on Princess of Power. Like, enough to where we can argue a blood relation to Hordak. But if my memories are the true story, Horde Prime was a beautiful, bewildering demon seen once during a random Christmas special, and never again after that. A monstrous mystery that tantalized and tormented me for years and years. If only the animators had given us one good look at the guy!

Well, I’m happy to report that “seeing Horde Prime” can finally exit my bucket list. Thank you, Mattel.

Okay, I don’t know the whole deal with the Masters of the Universe Classics line. All I can tell you is that the figures are gorgeous and hideously expensive. I’m pretty sure they’re sold strictly by mail. The important thing is that the line includes a HORDE PRIME figure.

(And also a Photog figure. But man, that is another post entirely.)

The toy succeeds on every level except scale, though I suppose I can’t blame Mattel for not making a 4000’ Horde Prime action figure. He kind of looks like an uber Hordak, clad in what can safely be called the “ultimate villain costume.” Black with blood red trim, and sort of spiky. It gets no better than that.

When you remove the ceremonial mask, Horde Prime’s true face is revealed. Yep, he’s totally Hordak-like. Then you can get rid of the cool red head and pop a different one on. This other one makes Horde Prime look like a deranged grandpa bugman, so for the most part, yes, I will stick with the red devil head.

A biography on the back of the package sheds even more light on the character. His real name is Anillis Kur, and he’s really, really old.

I don’t know what Mattel charges directly, but at least on the secondary market, these MOTU Classics figures cost a small fortune. Around $40 a pop, with shipping. Those prices shut out all but the most devoted collectors, and though I’d normally balk at an action figure that costs as much as a night out, I couldn’t let this one slip by. I had to see what was under that mask.

So, now I know. Horde Prime has two heads, or something. Or maybe the human head is supposed to represent a “young” Horde Prime? I’m not clear on it. Look, I have a new thing to throw on one of my shelves and forget about ten minutes later. I needed this.

I sure am gonna miss the mystery, though.


38 Responses to Horde Prime Revealed!

  1. You have looked beyond the veil… and cannot unsee what has been seen. I pity you. I… pity you.

  2. Seriously though, those figures are bathsit insane cool… and expensive. Once you pop you just can’t stop.

  3. Second head is tossed in there since that’s how he was depicted in a UK comic at some point. His outfit was totally different, so the Lewis Carroll looking mug is more of a fun easter egg rather than something the other head transforms into. I believe a description of the mostly unseen character in one cartoon episode describes Horde Prime as having 2 heads, so it may also be a play on that somehow.

    I think the head also looks like it should be teaching Kung Fu to Fraggles, and I base that opinion on nothing.

    Just realized the similarity between Dr. Klaw and Horde Prime being unseen head honcho cartoon villains whose only clearly visible traits are violent armored metal fists of angry pounding.(VAMFAP) And both characters faces were revealed by action figures years after the fact.

    I’m a bit thrown off by Horde Prime’s knuckle count up there on his animated VAMFAP. In addition to razor thumb, I can’t tell if I’m looking at 3 huge fingers or 6 thinner digits. Looks like the action figure just said hell with that business and went with 5 fingers.

  4. Thanks for the info! I’d heard about the two heads things and knew he was a comic character too, but didn’t know that the extra head was based on the comic look. Cool!

    (They did the same thing with Destro and CC on the reveal-through-toys front, too. At least if you don’t count CC as a snakey alien guy.)

  5. HOLY SHIT THEY MADE PHOTOG?! THIS IS AMAZING!

  6. I wanna see photog!!!

  7. I gotta admit….I’ve been waiting hardcore to see your response to a Photog figure since I heard it was coming out. I’d love to see a DinoDrac article revisiting/explaining the amazingness that was the Photog phenomenon on X-E. It was the first time I witnessed something go viral on the internet.

  8. I’m a big fan of the special too. Despite my childhood love of the show and toys I never saw their Xmas funtime until it was released on DVD a few years ago but heck if I didn’t instantly fall for it!
    I was going to relate Horde Prime to Dr. Claw myself but apparently I’m not a fast enough reader. To me, the difference is I’m not toally disappointed to see Horde Prime’s face.

  9. YES!! Matt — this was all kinds of win, and I thank you, good sir. :)

  10. @FakeEyes22- The ingenious thing about the Dr. Claw action figure was that they covered his face in the package, so you literally had to buy it to find out what the guy looked like. And when you did, the reveal was… kind of a letdown. He looked pretty much like a deranged Colonel Sanders. In retrospect, I probably would’ve covered it up too, if that’s what I was peddling.

  11. Pretty neat action figure of a character I had no knowledge of. Seems like a bad guy that Jack Kirby might have had battling the Fantastic Four or the Avengers. Horde Prime looks like Galactus’ much angrier and even more melodramatic brother.

  12. That figure looks bad ass and extremely goofy at the same time, which makes me love it!

  13. Horde Prime was somewhat unexpected but turned out to be a pleasant surprise.

    “I have a new thing to throw on one of my shelves and forget about ten minutes later.” — heh… I had a chuckle at that sentence.

  14. I’ve watched MOTU and saw this special a million years ago but I never had/wanted any MOTU action figures. However that Horde Prime figure is baaad aaass. He looks more like a boss from the game Diablo 3 and I like the Galactus style head gear.

    Wait a minute they revealed Dr. Claw’s face?! (Does quick Google search) Oh my God he looks so weird and not what I expected given the way his voice sounds.

  15. That is pretty cool. I was into He-Man as a kid, but not She-Ra. seeing Skeletor and Hordak together is kinda weird for me. I wish I could explain that better, maybe like walking into the girls bathroom. Maybe we’ll just stick with weird.

  16. Oh man. I had already blocked out that whole Dr. Claw’s face thing. That’s still a major disappointment that they even went there.

  17. I have not seen the special. I lost interest in “He-Man” somewhere around the turn of the millennium and couldn’t get the love back. (Even if I did enjoy watching the 2002 revival with my brother. I’m all for passing the good stuff onto the next generation.) Under any circumstance, the action figure is really cool. They did a nice job on him, especially the first devil head and detailed costume.

  18. for the first time yesterday i read your feature on the slime pit and was tempted to reply. i felt the exact same way about the horde and just how badass they were – my favorite characters of the MOTU line and now my son plays with my horde toys. the modulok mini-comic was so much my favorite that it’s falling apart at the seams.

    anyways, that yesterday and then this today… it’s like Christmas!

    i had no idea MOTUC was doing the horde prime figure. so awesome.

    oh, and i was always always disappointed by the voice of hordak in the show. horde prime is more of the voice i really was hoping for from hordak. i think the 2002 revamp did a better job or hordak. too bad that series was cut prematurely short. so stinking good.

    love this site – been visiting this and xe for years and always enjoy coming back to find new posts.

  19. I love how Christmas Dino-Drac has crumbs in his fake beard.

  20. Am I wrong, or was Horde Prime a part of the 2002 “reboot”?

  21. “a deranged grandpa bugman”

    You truly have a talent with words that can’t be replicated. I’ve visited your site for years, and besides the material you cover, your style is what keeps me coming back. Keep up the good work!

  22. WE NEED A PHOTOG FOLLOW-UP!!!

  23. Thanks HTP! :)

    And Reesie, there will be one. :) I was tempted to make this a combo review, but $80 or whatever seemed like a lot to spend for one blog post. I’ll get to Photog in 2013. (Without checking, that may end up being the original post’s tenth anniversary.)

  24. like most other boys, i didn’t watch much of She-Ra beyond the intro/crossover with MOTU, but I think I would have watched more if Hordak didn’t fucking oink like a pig all the time. I had forgotten about it until I watched this clip, and my hatred rushed back to me.

    why would they take such a badass-looking villain and ruin him with that comical snorting???

  25. The MOTU Classics figures come to $28 and change(with shipping). Which is why I do not own any of them. But I will say that the majority of them are pretty awesome. I wonder if they’ll ever make an updated Modulok.

    And I second seeing a review of Photog here. I’ve been tempted to shell out the $30-$40 on the second hand market to get him.

  26. Pretty sure the “Grampa bugman” head is from the British comic books… something along those lines…

    Love the Christmas special though, watch it every year. And now on DVD instead of a washed out VHS taped off T.V! Technology! :D

    Love those new Mattel toys too, but too rich for my blood. I only own Prince Adam/Orko and Skeletor. One day I will own my favorite character – Battle Cat! And mayhaps Cringer (comes with Queen Marlena).. who’s prices are cookoo.

    But someday… :)

  27. For those interested, MattyCollector had a Black Friday sale on a bunch of the new MOTU figures. I picked up 4 of them for $15 apiece and if your order was over a certain amount you got an additional 15% off your total. Also picked up the GB PKE meter prop…figures and PKE meter for $100. Horde Prime wasn’t on the list though :(

  28. In the first panel it looks like Prince Adam really let himself go.

  29. Oh, the He-Man/She-Ra Christmas Special. When the giant, penis-shaped helicopter appeared on screen, I nearly passed out laughing. I’ve since referred to it as the Helicockter.

  30. Thank you, Matt! There was someone cosplaying as Horde Prime at NYCC last month, and until now I didn’t know who that person was dressed as! This is seriously awesome.

    Oh, and I have the Photog figure. It’s every bit as glorious as you’d expect it to be.

  31. Now I feel a little bad for spending $40 on Gundam models. Besides the one I get for feeling like I’m kicking my future kids in the mouth in lieu of dinner.

  32. One should never feel bad for spending $40 on Gundam models, unless you’re an asshole like me who buys them for $60 and then doesn’t build them.

    This Horde Prime guy looks like a total badass, but…grandpa bugman…I can’t.

  33. Oh Gosh!! Hordak and Skeletor are COOL!!!

  34. Man I wish I had money to dump on $40 action figures right about now. Horde Prime is completely bad assed!

    where the hell did the grandpa bugman come from?? Guess I should actually tear into my She-Ra DVD’s sometime and find out.

    I grew up loving this Christmas Special. Me and my dad still giggle about when Skeletor turned nice. It’s on my must watch list every year now that I have the DVD. I wanted to cry when I found it came out I never thought it would see the light of day ever again. I went out and bought it like a rabid demon the moment I caught wind of it and I love subjecting friends to the horror.

    @Black Doug SAME HERE! Thing kills me every time it comes on the screen.

    @Jason updated Modulok the very thought sets my heart all a quiver.

    @Annette I have an Arcadia I dropped a decent amount of money on and have yet to do anything with so toss me on the asshole pile right next to you :P

    @Matt OMG I can’t wait for the new Photog article! I followed the original religiously every day for months on end and then pretty much have checked in from time to time ever since!

  35. I remember little about Horde Prime, but that little alien dog… yikes! That thing’s nightmare material. I would have snapped that thing’s neck, even if I was one of the good guys.

  36. My 3 year old & 1 year old sons watch this everyday. Thank you, Netflix, for helping me raise my kids right!

  37. The grampa bughead is the version of his face from the comics.

    p.s. anyone else notice his hand is a fist of robo-dicks?

  38. I never really liked the idea of Horde Prime. To me, Skeletor and Hordak are both always out to glorify themselves and it’s totally out of character for them to suddenly have another villain that they both answer to. But, the christmas special did bring us what I believe is the only animated appearance of Rattlor!

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