Saturday, August 6, 2011

Amazing Classic Masters of the Universe Art!

I am absolutely in love with this gallery of classic Masters of the Universe paintings by clearly the most epic trifecta of artists ever: Earl Norem, William George, and Esteben Maroto. As a child MOTU was my next big toy obsession after Star Wars so it's amazing to see the original, untouched artworks that were used in both packaging and promotions. Let me share with you six of my favourites and tell you why I want to have their babies in my non-existent womb!


I think most of all I love that Mattel went to this amount of effort to sell their toys - it's difficult to think of a company who is producing this sort of quality work now. It's satisfyingly other-worldy and epic and you just can't beat that psychedelic, eye-burning palette that screams, "I AM A MAN-SKELETON AND I AM GOING TO MURDER YOU WITH A GIANT MECHANICAL PURPLE SHARK!! SO STAY THE FUCK OUT OF MY SPACE-DESERT!!" If I had a van, this would be painted on the side, and you would be in the back on a mattress!

It's fantastic to see this work clearly as it was somewhat obscured on the original packaging. And had obnoxious writing all over it, even though it clearly speaks for itself:
I'm a shaaarrk! I'm a shaaaarrrrrk!!
Oh! And did you know that the maniacs at Unique Movie Cars Las Vegas made a real life version of this carnivorous murder wagon?:

If I owned a real-life Land Shark I would paint a van on the side of it, and you would be on a mattress in the back between the cannons.

You see, the great thing about this is art is it made everything seem way more super awesome than it really was. It tapped directly into your easily-manipulated, and incredibly unruly, child imagination and allowed you to 100% believe in everything they were selling you. Look at this:

Locked in battle with He-Man, in front of the terrifying Snake Mountain, King Hiss looks like the most badass badguy that was ever spat onto the page. And then look at the actual figure you were buying:

And yet we DID NOT CARE! Thanks to artwork like this, our imaginations were all to willing to fill in the gaps!

OH! And look at this:

So can I just say: fuck the Filmation animated series that failed to ever create anything that lived up to even 10% of the epic, balls-to-the-wall action and design that was promised by the toys! Even as a dim-witted child I hated that series which was nowhere near as cool as these paintings suggest. I mean even Fisto looks cool in this one! FISTO! He has a porn moustache and a giant fist! And yet here he is punching the crap out of a wall and nearly knocking off Clawful's head! AMAZING.

And OMFG!:

If you were getting tired of He-Man and Skeletor endlessly butting heads, then here comes Hordak and his appropriately named Horde! This was mind-blowing as a child! These guys were MANIACS. Modulok is wearing lilac underwear and STILL looks stone-cold! This painting makes Conan the Barbarian look like Stephen Hawking!


THEY RODE DINOSAURS??! I don't even remember this stuff! Skeletor rode a purple T-REX?! WHY AREN'T WE TEACHING THIS IN SCHOOLS?! Even Clamp Champ has come to the party! He's the black guy in the lower left who is wielding a GIANT CLAMP. AND IT LOOKS INCREDIBLE.

One more, and this one has to be the winner!

If you ever doubted that Skeletor was totally pimp then this painting should iron that out for you. For a guy with no face and a shrill, girlish voice, he sure has a huge throne, a monstrous panther, and a hot yellow woman with hypnotic eyes on her boobs. Hello, new wallpaper! SKELETOR HAS MADE IT. And it kind of looks like he has transparent knees.

Be sure to check out many, many more at the link up the top!


  1. Holy crap, I think that first image made me more manly. I'd better go shave.

  2. Awesome! I love the first pic and the last one, haha! Skeletor, that damn pimp!

  3. This is SO GREAT! These colour schemes are amazing. I love the Land Shark.. but where do Skeletor's legs go?!?

  4. Wherever Skeletor wants! Hopefully wrapped around Teela!

  5. Forget his legs! Look at what he's holding on to!

    That's not a steering wheel, or a control of any sort. Skeletor is holding on for dear life! He's completely at the mercy of that wild Land Shark.

    If his face could convey emotion, it would be that of terror. As in his own terror, not making you terrified.

  6. I love how in the Hordak painting they didn't bother trying to make his red bat thing anything other than a plastic accessory that clips onto his arm.

  7. Campbell - Notice how the package describes the Land Shark as "Evil Monster/Vehicle" suggesting that it has some sort of life and will of his own. His legs are probably embedded in its soft Taun-Taun like belly and he is indeed hanging on for dear life!

    Ive - I totally noticed that too! Despite being epic badass versions of toys, they are still toys. What purpose would that bat-thing serve as shown in that painting? It's not alive. These artist's don't give a damn!