Simple as it was, SLIME was perhaps my favorite of all Masters of the Universe toys. The neon green pseudosnot taught me that toy slime wasn’t just what it literally was, but also whatever we imagined it to be.
In Masters of the Universe lore, Hordak uses Slime to turn randos into zombie slaves. He’ll trap adversaries in his wretched Slime Pit, pour the junk over their bodies, and voila: Instant fealty!
Fans rarely bring up Slime without mentioning the Slime Pit, which kind of sells it short. Released in 1986, the glop was super enjoyable even when you weren’t doing weird things to action figures.
Show of hands: How many of you cared for your Slime as if it were some sick baby raccoon rescued from the side of the road? (Or maybe more accurately a potted plant from your beloved, inanimate yet so alive.)
Below are four frightening facts about Masters of the Universe Slime.
Note: None are actually frightening.
#1: Mattel’s Slime has a LONG history.
Slime — meaning this exact Slime — arrived long before He-Man. Mattel’s Slime canisters debuted in 1976 and quickly became a sensation, garnering all sorts of unpaid media coverage. Think of them as the fidget spinners of the late ’70s.
The toys were so successful that they even spawned spinoff versions, like cans with rubber worms, and cans with loose eyeballs. Slime even had its own board game!
When I draw a line between Mattel’s original Slime and the Masters of the Universe version, it isn’t dotted. I’m saying that MOTU Slime was *literally* the OG version. It was made from the same materials, bore the same logo, and the plastic canisters were (partly) forged from the same mold!
#2: Slime was the centerpiece of a brilliant promotion.
While a can of Slime came packaged with every Slime Pit, they were also available individually. I distinctly remember our old Kay-Bee stocking them right near the registers. When it came to impulse items, phony toxic waste sure beat candy bars.
The cans shared a starring role in what was possibly Mattel’s best promotion ever. For a few months in early 1986, kids would get A FREE CAN OF SLIME with the purchase of any two Masters of the Universe figures!
It might not sound like a big deal if you didn’t live through it, but this was no ordinary promotion. Hell, it even had its own television commercial!
The appeal for kids had nothing to do with money, because our parents were paying for this shit either way. It wasn’t even about the toys, really. The promotion became this weird rite of passage for He-Man fans — a quasi-communal cultural event that we NEEDED to take part in, driven as much by duty as the desire for toys.
(Are you buying that?)
#3: The Slime Pit turned up on an episode of She-Ra.
The Slime Pit may have been an important cog in the Masters of the Universe toy line, but it never appeared on He-Man’s cartoon. It did make a brief appearance on She-Ra’s, though.
Well, sort of.
In the Season 2 episode, Loo-Kee’s Sweety, She-Ra finds herself trapped in what Catra calls “the slime pit.” Since the cartoon version bears little resemblance to the toy, some may claim that there’s no legit link. I disagree!
In animated form, the Slime Pit is basically just a big hole at the bottom of a cave. The goop is brown and free-flowing, looking more like swamp water than a green sneeze. Brothers from different mothers, at best.
Also different are its effects. Whereas toy line Slime turns characters into brutish slaves, here it only makes them tired and immobile.
The connection between these Slime Pits might seem too tenuous to mention, but during the scene’s final moments, there’s a brief shot of a slime-spewing dragon skull. It’s basically just background scenery, but it resembles the playset’s skeletal spout far too strongly to write off as a coincidence!
#4: Harry Potter brought back the Slime Pit.
As part of the MOTU reboot in the early 2000s, Mattel unveiled the Mutant Slime Chamber, an intense re-imagining of the playset we grew up with. It was way cool, but an even better “sequel” to the Slime Pit debuted just a year earlier… as part of the Harry Potter toy line!
Released in 2002, the Slime Chamber was clearly inspired by Mattel’s original Slime Pit, right down to the oozing monster head. It was amazing to get that sweet waft of Slime Pit nostalgia from such an unexpected place!
I have two headcanons regarding the Slime Chamber playset:
1) Someone who grew up loving MOTU got a job designing for Mattel. The Slime Chamber was a subtle tribute to what brought him to the dance.
2) The He-Man and Harry Potter universes have a Cloverfield Paradox thing going on, where they’re totally separate yet totally not. “Hogwarts” was probably one of Hordak’s nom de plumes.
Thanks for reading random facts about Masters of the Universe Slime.
Oh, and before anyone asks: I used Nickelodeon Slime for the first few photos. It’s the only stuff on the market that comes close!