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The other problem with He-Man

I recently gave my two cents about He-Man action figures over at TMA Toys, but after I wrote it and thought about it more, I think there is a “deeper” reason I just don’t like He-Man.

I couldn’t relate to He-Man

Whats not to like about Beach Head?
What's not to like about Beach Head?

It has nothing to do with the action figures, at least not directly. The action figures have their own flaws, as I noted in the review, but my biggest problem with He-Man overall is just the theme and characters. I was a GI Joe kid and the reason I was (to my best guess) is because I wanted to be a GI Joe guy. For the most part, GI Joes were all human…I could relate to them all on that level at least. Whether it be a ninja, a machine gun guy, a medic or an fighter pilot, they were all recognizable as people with talent and skills, and that gave little kids like me dreams of being all the above.

I wanted to dress like GI Joe guys and have all their equipment and guns. I wanted to fly a helicopter and have a kick ass backpack filled with stuff. I wanted a laser gun and I wanted a helmet like Cobra Commander’s. When I watched He-Man or played with the toys, I didn’t feel any of that. I didn’t want to be He-Man.

I admit, transforming from dork to hero is appealing no matter what, but I couldn’t picture myself as a over-muscled blonde with a loin cloth and giant sword. Nor did it excitement to think about riding a giant green tiger. What little I paid attention to He-Man as a kid, I think I wanted to be Man-At-Arms more than any of them because he seemed the most realistic. He didn’t have any powers to speak off, he was just a normal dude that kicked ass (but he did have an awesome mustache).

For most He-Man fans I’m sure their defense of this is the exact opposite…they didn’t want to be a normal guy with a gun and a flashy costume, they wanted to be something extraordinary with super powers fighting off bug-eyed monsters and skeletons. To each his own, I guess. I just know it was easier to imitate GI Joe than it was He-Man. I didn’t run through the woods at the park pretending I was chasing down Skeletor and his goons. I was ducking behind fallen trees and hiding in trenches thinking I was fighting off hordes of Cobra infantry while keeping a keen out for Storm Shadow.

2 Comments

  1. Don The Idea Guy Don The Idea Guy September 10, 2011

    I’m with you. I had a single He-Man action figure… Man-At-Arms (though, riding around on a giant green saber-tooth tiger would still have been pretty cool!)

  2. King Tom King Tom September 10, 2011

    I did have a bunch of the MOTU action figures, but I think I got them before GI Joe and the Transformers.
    You’re right, they weren’t relate-able, but they were creative. And I think that was the big draw. Of course, once I did get those GI Joe and Transformers figures, that’s where my attention went.
    On a side note, the Beach Head image reminds me of something- I must have been in second grade, playing GI Joe with a bunch of friends. Someone had just gotten Beach Head and I asked what those things on his chest were. “Magazines” was my friend’s answer. To which I replied “how would he get time to read on important missions?”

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