Collecting Loose He-Man Action Figures
Memories, Sweet Brutal Memories!
As a kid, I was so into He-Man that I could call it an obsession. I had dozens upon dozens of those glorious figures, all with the same body, cheesy Frank Frazetta-style appearance, and of course, that beautiful half sword deal. He-Man, Skeletor, Beastman, you name it, I had it. I remember fondly going to the Lacky Clinic for medical visits and always being cheerful because I knew, if I was good, dad would buy me a figure from the pharmacy next door.
I have since grown up a bit and put a few years under me. My original collection has dwindled down over the years as figures have gotten lost or were given to nephews. However, I still keep that ever watchful eye out for those rare gems that every collector just has to have. I am not beyond exploring the dollar bins at the local flea market in search of a He-Man figure or two. More often than not, my search yields nothing of the sort, but when it does find me a figure, I am as happy as can be.
In this article, we are going to look at some of the figures that fetch a good amount of money even though they are not on the card or still in the original packaging. We collectors call these figures loose. So without any more nonsense, let's get this going. By the power of grayskull, I have the power!
I know this is just the original He-Man action figure painted blue, but by god I love it! Faker was the equivalent of Skeletor's Trojan horse. He looked like He-Man in every way except that his eyes glowed... and, well, he was blue. I can remember being a kid and pretending this was what He-Man looked like after he nearly drowned in the moat surrounding castle Grayskull.
This toy was released early in the toyline in early 1982. This figure is a blue He-Man wearing Skeletor armor, which really set it off a bit as one of his more elaborate rogues in my opinion. What was really cool was the sticker that showed that Faker had robotic inner workings, which was often misleading as many collectors claimed he is a magical creation crafted by dark forces to overthrow Eternia while others insisted he is simply a robotic double of everyone's favorite muscle bound super hero. I should note the confusion came as a result of the popular TV series in which Faker is a magical creation.
While the figure was one of the earlier releases, it did get a second release in 1987 with a slightly different paint scheme and a solid head as opposed to the hollow rubber the original one had. What can you expect to pay for this blue gem of the Masters of the Universe figure line? Fakers loose and complete have sold for high dollars but can usually be found online for right around $50. Mint on card figures will run you right at $1,200.
Teela is the captain of the royal guard and sworn protector of the rambunctious Prince Adam. Her figure was released as part of the second wave of the first generation action figures and instantly was a hit with collectors. Teela's figure initially looked like she was an amazon of some sort and this was something of a shock to a lot of people when they finally saw her in the animated series.
The figure really revolutionized the action figure industry because prior to the He-Man series, girl figures were rare and often overlooked by the male population who bought action figures. Barbie was the forerunner of female toydom, but Teela gave girls the chance to be the warrior that He-Man was and this made her very sought after. Guys wanted her to complete "the gang" while girls wanted her because they had never really had an action figure that was tailored to them before.
Of course, as a collector, this meant Teela was a must have at any regard. Her figures flew off shelves and were usually one of the faster ones to sell out in stores worldwide. With Teela's snake staff, cobra hood, and shield kids, she was ready to join the masters of the universe and protect Eternia from the bony clutches of Skeletor.
A loose Teela complete with that shield, staff, and hood can be found for as high as $100, but if you look hard enough, you can usually net one for right around $30. A mint on card Teela action figure will set you back about $120 to $250 depending on card condition.
Battle Armor He-Man
Released in 1984, this was the action figure line drawing inspiration from Hot Wheels. Hot Wheels had released a series of cars that had crash damage. The cars looked normal until you collided them with other cars; they had instant crash damage. This effect was added to the armor of both He-Man and Skeletor. The result was armor that looked great and after each hit would appear dented and battle damaged.
The armor damage idea was very innovative and these figures became the staple of most kids playing with the toys. It made the battles more realistic and a lot more fun, but on a sadder note, due to the amount of contact it took to turn the rotating damage piece around, a lot of these figures were really damaged and the paint scuffed. Finding a mint figure of this nature is not an easy task to say the least.
Battle Armor He-Man came with his signature sword and a battle axe. The figure really brought an exciting new element to playing with the series and made it a lot more interactive. As a kid, I can remember thinking how all of the figures in the series deserved a battle armor piece, but of course, my grass cutting funds would have never allowed me to buy all of them and eventually dad would figure out I was faking sick to get a new figure. I was as blue as Faker.
A loose figure complete with his sword and axe can be found for around $30 to $35 and one on the card will set you back about $250 to $300. This figure keeps going up in value though, so I always keep an eye out for it.
Part of the third wave in 1984, Orko was comic relief for the Masters of the Universe action figure series and was accepted with arms wide open. I have often thought Final Fantasy's Vivi character was a much more magical version of He-Man's goofy sidekick Orko. Orko was a great addition to the film series. As with any figure that did not have the same He-Man-style body, the figure was very highly sought after.
Orko came with a rip stick so to speak that allowed you to spin him like a top. This made the figure super fun to play with. In all honesty, it was another of the many innovations the Masters of the Universe toy line brought to the mainstream.
Orko's figure is one of the more valued ones for collectors primarily based on the nostalgic TV series more than anything. A loose figure is going to run you in the area of $30 to $45 while mint on card Orko's have fetched upwards of $400.
There You Have It!
Even though these are some of the more valued pieces that are still a bit easy to find, I encourage you to pick up any He-Man figure if the price is right. He-Man set a standard for action figures with it's in depth variety and even more so with the innovative toys it pushed forward at an age when GI Joe and Barbie had cornered the toy industry.
I have been fortunate enough to snag a Battle Armor He-Man with sword but no axe for a buck at a yard sale and even a complete Man at Arms for four dollars at a flea market. It just takes the eagerness to look for these things when you are out. If you are into collecting the more modern He-Man figures, the classic line is for you and those are usually easy to find at card and comic shops. Happy hunting and may the power of grayskull be with you!