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
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.