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Mon, 17 Jan ’11

Conan the He-Man

Vikor is billed as an Eternian, but he looks a bit more down-to-Earth.

by James A. Miller

With his magical sword and fantasy-based cartoon, He-Man always seemed like a character straight out of some ancient mythology. In the years since his creation as an action figure, he has spawned his fair share of geek-flavored urban legends among toy connoisseurs.

For instance, a mysterious He-Man variant figure with dark hair was long-rumored to have been a mail-away premium from – huh? – Wonder Bread. Mattel has never confirmed or denied this. Nevertheless, a while back they gave a nod to the tale when they released a new look-alike character named Wun-Dar. Included in his accessories was an “Eternian baked good”, otherwise known here on Earth as a loaf of bread.

Another persistent rumor holds that the Masters of the Universe toy line was originally intended to tie into the 1982 movie Conan the Barbarian. The story goes that once Mattel’s toy gurus realized just how family-unfriendly Arnold the Vulgarian’s R-rated flick actually was, they came up with the He-Man brand as a replacement. Rumors of this sort may have been based on one early He-Man concept design that was quite Conan-like.

Never letting a good in-joke go to waste, Mattel has turned this debunked myth into hard plastic as well. Vikor (pictured above) may be officially billed as the “He-Man of the North,” but the overall design looks just a tad familiar. For now, the real Arnold has left Conan’s kingdom to become a ruler of a different sort. By Crom, if he won’t be back, his doppelganger works just fine. Vikor goes on sale January 18th, 2010 at MattyCollector.com.

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