Blog Archive

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Masters of the Universe Classics Box Numbers

For those of you who don't open your MOTUC Figures here is a Checklist of Box Numbers. I put this list together for my own reference but I am sure someone might find this useful.

None King Grayskull SDCC 2008
N6444 He-Man 12/1/08
N6447 Beast Man 12/1/08

N6445 Skeletor 1/15/09
P1620 Stratos 2/15/09
P4009 Faker 3/17/09 (NYCC)
P4010 Mer-Man 4/15/2009 & 4/23/2009
P4012 Zodac 5/15/2009
P4013 Hordak 6/15/2009
N8523 He-Ro SDCC 2009
P4015 Man-At-Arms 7/15/2009
P4017 Tri-Klops 8/17/2009
P4024 Webstor 9/15/2009
P4026 Teela 10/15/2009
P4028 Zodak 10/15/2009
P4027 Scareglow 11/15/2009
N6444 "Original" He-Man Re-Issue 11/15/2009
P4030 King Randor 12/15/2009
P4031 The Goddess 12/15/2009
N6445 "Original" Skeletor Re-Issue 12/15/2009

P4034 Adora 1/15/10 (name on box)
R6241 Battle Armor He-Man 1/15/10 (name on box)
N6447 "Original" Beast Man Re-Issue 1/15/10 (box dated 2009)
R4721 Battle Cat 2/15/10 (name on box)
R6245 Trap Jaw 2/15/10
R6249 Wun-Dar 2/15/10
R5245 Figure Stand 2/15/10 (name on box)
Moss Man 3/15/2010
R6253 Evil-Lyn 4/15/2010
Optikk 5/17/2010

Monday, December 7, 2009

Leo Half Promotion MOTU Card by Air India

This figure is awesome! It demands its own post. Thanks so much for sharing Lofftap and Kupra99.

As posted by Lofftap on Leo Half Promotion MOTU Card by Air India, yes red card I know, but has quite a few major differences then the other Red cards. The back is completely original with different art and different fonts set for it's main market of buyers, along with it simply being a half card, but also having the yellow boarder on the corner top with a He-Man font printed and etc.... What you think about adding this one Josh? It's mine and totally legit... From what I know anyways only two of these have I ever seen surface and the other is owned by someone who lives in Spain if I'm not wrong. The half card Leo He-man picture on the Grayskull Museum website, is 99.9% for sure mine, since I have already talked to (Seb) one of the owners of the website and he has confirmed this picture came from the German Collector, who I will keep anonymous but was the person who I bought mine from and the two cards looked to be completely the same.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Vintage LEO Masters of the Universe Figures

The mystery of licensed MOTU figures from India started sometime in the 1990's. The mix of classic and New Adventures figures and card styles just added to the richness of the line. Although the figures are fully licensed and produced by LEO (Mattel Toys (India) Ltd.) they are extremely rare and hard to find.

The figures come on a classic sized card although it is slightly smaller than the U.S. and European versions. Most of the figures are available on classic style red cards although there are a few different layout variations. A few of the figures were available on blue New Adventures themed cards. Many of the figures were available on a varaity of card styles.

The LEO figures were very similar to the U.S. versions but the few differences are often dramtic. The Faker with his orange Skeletor Armor & Belt, orange Havoc Staff, and black eye liner is one of the most sought after variations. Also prized is the dark blue Skeletor, although a lighter Skeletor was also produced by LEO. Two more of the rarer figures included the Flying Fist He-Man and Mantenna.

The figures and weapons are usually marked India, Malaysia, or not at all. They were not usually packaged with minicomics although I have seen a few pictures of carded ones online that appear to have a minicomic included.

Here is a list of the figures that I have confirmed to have been produced by LEO. It is far from complete but I tried to only include figures that I could personally verify. There are many others that people claim to own, have seen, or heard of. Once I get evidence of their existance I will update the list. A large variety of figures were produced by LEO although I have only seen carded examples of the ones listed below. If you have any information about any figures or variations not included please post a comment.

RC= Red Card
NA= Blue New Adventures Card

* Beastman RC
* Evil-Lyn RC
* Extendar NA
* Faker RC
* Flying Fists He-Man NA
* He-Man RC
* He-Man NA
* He-Man AIR INDIA Short Card
* Karatti NA
* Leech RC
* Man-At-Arms NA
* Mantenna NA
* Mer-Man RC
* Moss Man RC
* Prince Adam RC
* Prince Adam NA
* Ram Man RC
* Skeletor (Light Blue Skin but darker than U.S.) RC
* Skeletor (Dark Blue Skin) RC
* Skeletor (Dark Blue Skin) NA
* Teela RC

Loose examples:
* Battle Armor He-Man
* Battle Armor Skeletor
* Clawful
* Fisto
* Grizzlor
* Jitsu
* Leech w/ Darker Painting & Black Crossbow
* Leech w/ Red Crossbow
* Man-E-Faces
* Modulok
* Orko
* Spikor
* Spikor (white trident & blue limbs)
* Stratos
* Sy-Klone (paper chest decal)
* Tri-Klops
* Whiplash
* Zodac (gray Skeletor belt & He-Man sword)

Beasts/ Vehicles/ Accessories
* Battle Cat Boxed
* Panthor Boxed
* Megalaser Carded

I also was fortunate to pick up a boxed Castle Grayskull at some point. It has more black paint on the exterior and the weapons are a green-grayish color.

The prices on the LEO figures have increased dramatically over the years. The figures seem to have been quite limited and never really exported at the time. Coupled with the fact that many of the carded examples are in less than fair shape, excellent carded examples of these figures tend to fetch premium prices.

Monday, November 24, 2008

He-Man Glue Sticks from Argentina

These glue sticks were licensed by Mattel by Rondi and released in Argentina. Each one includes 30 mls of glue and the same small 1.5” red He-Man figure inside the tube among the glue. The tube stands about 5” tall and is labeled “Pegamento Escolar” which translates to “Scholastic Glue.” The original box only contained 36 glue sticks with each one dated 1983.

When I saw these for sale the seller has a display box with 38 glue sticks. He had them for sale individually but I was told that I had to purchase all 38 if I wanted the display box. Even though the box is missing its lid the artwork on the sides made this purchase well worth it. It features Skeletor squirting Tri-Klops with glue on 2 sides and Evil-Lyn squirting Mer-Man with glue while Orko is glued to each of them on the other two. I am not sure what the top of the box featured but I would guess it had He-Man on it since he does not appear on any of the sides.

I have seen a few of these pop up over the years but I believe this to be the only full box of 36. Surprisingly the glue inside is still quite gel-like despite the caps being far from airtight.

MOTU Argentina Glue Sticks

Thursday, September 4, 2008

2001 SDCC He-Man Statue

This is the statue that introduced fans to the new Four Horsemen / Mattel He-Man & The Masters of the Universe line. Available at the 2001 San Diego Comic Con and limited to only 500 numbered pieces, these statues sold out fast. You could also wait in line and get it autographed by all 4 members of the Four Horsemen - Eric, CB, Jim, and Chris. The box was designed so that the base could be autographed without opening it.

Made of hard resin, it stands 15" tall. The statue comes in 6 pieces: an autographed base, legs, upper body, Power Sword, axe, and shield. All pieces are housed in Styrofoam packaging.

Each statue came in a shipping case marked: Masters of the Universe He-Man Collector Figure, 53364-9993

Below are some pictures of a Mattel sample statue. It is un-numbered on the base but is otherwise identical to the 500 numbered pieces. The box does have the original “PP Sample For CPI Review” sticker on it.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

To Grade or Not to Grade

Grading the condition of figures has always been a tough job for me as a collector but especially as a seller. You never want to over-grade a figure and have the buyer upset or under-grade a figure and not sell an item. I never embraced the Condition Grading System where C-10 is Mint and C-1 is Poor. This always seemed to have too wide of a scale with no standard of what a C-8 or C-whatever is between collectors. I seemed to gravitate to the more simplistic Mint, Near-Mint, Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, and Poor nomenclature. Although it is also unstandardized, it seemed easier to see where a figure fits in. Both of these systems are very subjective and fail as a true grading system. This is where professional grading services attempted to fill a niche. I personally do not favor graded figures for my personal collection but do recognize the role they can play. Let’s take a look at some of the Pros and Cons of getting your figures professionally graded.

To be fair I will highlight what I consider to be some of the reasons I would get a figure graded. The best argument for grading figures is the preservation of the collectible. By allowing the figure to be incased protects it from UV damage, dust, and direct physical harm. It does not protect it from fire, water damage, or theft. From a seller’s point of view, getting a high grade on a high-end item ensures buyers will pay a premium. I have gotten figures graded just for this reason, so that I could maximize how much they would sell for. From the opposite perspective, buyers embrace grading because it makes buying a figure online much more reliable since it was independently graded. Action Figure Authority (AFA) also allows you to look up the item number to ensure its authenticity. These are the few positives I could think of, I am sure many of you swear by professional grading and wonder why anyone would decide not to get their figures graded. So…

Getting your figures professionally graded is expensive. It is just not always cost effective, especially if you do not plan on selling them any time soon. You may be better off investing that money in additional collectibles (or the bank). If you want to preserve your figures, just buy the acrylic cases. I have purchased hundreds of hard acrylic cases from Cloud City Collectibles (and now and these figures are protected that same as if they were sent out to AFA – for about half of the cost.

If you are a seller, realize that poorly graded figures don’t sell as easily or for as much as an ungraded figure of the same condition might. Once the item is tagged with a 70, buyers know it is an inferior condition figure. If it is not graded but great photos show that the figure could potentially get a higher grade, buyers will make their own opinions.

I personally do not always agree with AFA grading, and not because I feel they are inconsistent or wrong. Collectors all weigh flaws differently. Personally I would rather a card with flaws over a very yellowed bubble. I want to be able to see the figure. AFA’s grading system allows for high condition figures to carry a “Y” rating which I disagree with. Some collectors would rather a card with one major flaw versus a card with many minor flaws – or vise versa.

Since I mentioned it already, there are many collectors who feel that AFA (or any professional grading company for that matter) is inconsistent with their grading. We have all seen the posts on the boards of collectors who have opened a low grade figure to get re-graded only to get it back with a higher grade than the first time. Although they try to be as objective as possible, grading is still a subjective art.

The last area I will address has to do with the logistics of graded figures. There are a far greater number of ungraded figures compared to graded figures, except perhaps for 1 of a kind or very rare items. Just because AFA says it is the highest graded example does not mean that it is the best condition example out there. On a similar note, too many new figures get graded. A new figure with a grade of 85 is not impressive but a vintage 8 Back with an 85 is considered a gem. I am not sure who all these people who get a $5 200X Man-At-Arms figure graded are but I wish I knew their motive. Even if it gets a 95, who cares, it’s still a new figure that potentially has thousands like it out there.

AFA is not the only service out there, although it is the current standard for action figures. Companies like Collector’s Source Grading have tried to enter the market by creating a more complete grading scale to address some of the concerns I mentioned above. If you have seven 8 backs graded by AFA would you want the last one in a Collector’s Source Grading case rounding out your collection?

These are just my thoughts on professional grading and I know it sounds a little negative. I have used AFA in the past and will continue to do so in the future. Getting figures graded has its purpose and can be an asset to buyers and sellers alike. Don’t get caught up in the hype and make sure you make your own grading judgments. Just because it is graded doesn’t make it better than an ungraded figure. There are many gems out there that you can still hold in your hand without ¼” of acrylic separating you from your childhood.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Laser Power He-Man & Laser-Light Skeletor

Laser Power He-Man and Laser-Light Skeletor were 2 of the last figures made as part of the Classic He-Man and The Masters of the Universe toy line. The figures were only made for release in Europe and are either marked "Made in Spain" or "Made in Italy". Each one requires a AA battery to work. They are dated 1988.

LP He-Man's Power Sword lights up when you raise his arm. The LP He-Man comes in 2 different versions - one with a Classic He-Man head and the other with a new sculpt. A prototype of the LP He-Man is part of the Archives of Eternia collection and will be available for viewing at shortly.

The eyes and staff of LL Skeletor light up when you raise his arm. He also comes with a purple hooded cape.

Although there are no official production numbers available for these figures they are the hardest to find (and often most expensive) figures for collectors. Over the years, I have come across a few dealers in Italy that have been able to get a couple of sets each. I have never been able to get them directly from a Spanish dealer.