It doesn’t take a sword and a calling to be a hero and Prince Adam aka He-Man proves that! He-Man and the Masters of the Universe may have started from a toy line, but it resonated in all of our hearts ever since. Let’s dive into this crazy fantasy world, shall we?
1. Mattel had developed the toy line to He-Man and the Masters of the Universe long before the television series came into play, as they knew the cartoon would aid in selling the toys much like it had done for animated shows in the past. This meant a huge influx of characters and creatures were made in order to have them ready for writers and animators to fold into the cartoon over time. There were so many, in fact, that they couldn’t use all of them and some villains and characters went to the She-Ra series.
2. Despite the fact Prince Adam is a teenager and is meant to be shown as younger and more slight in build, the animation costs needed to be cut down so the exact same build and design for Prince Adam is the one used for He-Man. Sure, it made things somewhat confusing but the studio heads thought kids would still understand that Prince Adam was a young man.
3. During test groups for She-Ra: Princess of Power, kids seemed confused by the idea that He-Man was her brother. Because of this, cross-over episodes were brought into Masters of the Universe that would tie-in to the upcoming She-Ra pilot to help keep things clear. Subsequently, there would be several episodes that had cameos between the series different characters.
4. If you lived in France when the show aired or was re-run in syndication, you never actually saw Skeletor’s face. It was determined by networks in France that Skeletor’s face would be deemed far too frightening to children, so those episodes that heavily featured his golden skull face were never aired.
5. It’s rumored that He-Man was thought up when early talks about a Conan the Barbarian line of toys was in the works due to the movie’s release, but when producers noted the movie would have an R rating, they scrapped the toy line idea and decided to come up with a more kid-friendly version of the Barbarian-esque fantasy character.
6. Orko, the friendly sidekick to Prince Adam and He-Man was once named Gorpo, but revisiting that animation cost trivia up there, they changed the name to Orko so that animation cells could be used twice by flipping them over. No matter how you look at it, that “O” was always going to look the same. It’s stated that, should they have not done these shortcuts, the production of the show would’ve gone up by tens of thousands of dollars per episode.
7. He-Man and the Masters of the Universe never aired on Saturday mornings, like most shows debuted in the 80’s. Instead, it was the very first cartoon to immediately go into weekday syndication that meant it had episodes that aired Monday through Friday every week. After this, an influx of syndicated series started up with toy companies hungry to get in on that action.
8. Alan Oppenheimer was the voice for Ming the Merciless in the Flash Gordon cartoon and the voice was so loved that he was asked to bring it to life once more as Skeletor in He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.