5½″ HE-RO AND ELDOR
The year is 1987 and Mattel is toying with the idea of a spin-off Masters of the Universe line, developing ideas under a new banner, The Powers of Grayskull. They push out some large cyborg dinosaurs and, in Europe, a couple of giant figures, but nothing to match the 5½″ MOTU toys. He‑Ro and Eldor make it to the protoytype stage... but no further. Mattel abandons the line.
It is only with the release of the Masters of the Universe Classics that Mattel revisits the long abandoned POG concept. He‑Ro appears in 2009. The giant Tytus is released the following year and Megator the year after. Eldor doesn't make an appearance until 2014. And while the Classics represent the definitive versions, many fans always wanted He‑Ro and Eldor in 5½″ scale.
Super7 started releasing 5½″ toys based on Filmation cartoon designs in 2018, and this line is now several waves in. But Super7 also decided to produce the missing He‑Ro and Eldor figures. They were made to order and finally released in 2019. For MOTU fans this is a very significant and welcome moment.
We've known what these figures should look like for many years because images of the prototype toys have been presented online on some fan sites. Super7 endeavoured to replicate these as accurately as possible. I think I'm right in saying they managed to track down the prototypes in order to make this happen. Four Horsemen Studios made the new sculpts.
I'm glad to say Super7's He‑Ro and Eldor are very close to the 1987 figures. They've even replicated the crumpled cloth look on Eldor's trousers. The only obvious update is the change in how the legs are attached to the trunks. The original MOTU used a piece of rubber for this purpose; the new 5½″ toys have moulded joints.
Fans will appreciate the inclusion of trivia booklets with these figures. Photos of the prototypes are included (scanned below) plus examples of concept art from when He‑Ro and Eldor were being imagined. Super7 do nostalgia incredibly well, and they've linked up with The Power and the Honor Foundation to find some source material and background information.
I'm glad these two figures have made it to production after a thirty-two-year wait. That said, I've never liked the He‑Ro concept. He does, after all, look like a superhero rather than an Eternian warrior, and continues the dubious magic transformation theme which began with Prince Adam. Eldor is much more interesting. As such he is definitely the better of the two.
HE‑RO is very shiny. The look is true to the prototype, of course, but also the reason he looks out of place next to regular MOTU figures. As a replica he can't be faulted, but I find the same problems with the leg joints that afflict Super7's other 5½″ figures. He comes with a staff that neither stays fully open or fully shut, regardless of how it is posed, which is disappointing.
ELDOR is a really good figure. The legs work fine and he can be posed easily. The book accessory is a bit
plain. He works nicely alongside the original toys even though he is actually the first 5½″
figure with a moulded tunic. He's just a great design, and I love the face sculpt in particular. He looks old
and wise. It's a joy to have him in the collection.