By Zack Smith
As much as we love Mattel's "Masters of the Universe Classics" figures...we're pretty sure the Comet Warriors were the last figures from the original line anyone expected to get a Classics re-do, let alone as the high-profile San Diego Comic-Con exclusive figures for this year.
Yes, MattyCollector has revealed the Comet Warriors as part of the bevy of Comic-Con exclusives available at the Mattel booth July 18-21. It's a two-pack featuring a couple of the craziest characters from the original Masters of the Universe line...and this is a line that included the likes of Mekanek and Stinkor.
The preview images are pretty small, but you can see they feature the on-the-nose-named duo of Stonedar and his protege Rokkon, whose name makes it sound like he's not so much looking for justice as that blue jean baby queen, prettiest girl I've ever seen, see her shake on the movie screen, Jimmy Dean. Jimmy Dean. Rokkon.
...sorry. It gets in your head.
In addition to more-detailed, highly-articulated designs by the Four Horsemen, the Comet Warriors feature radar-like laser guns that fit into their chests, because that's really the best place to put a laser weapon. They also come with snap-on rock pieces that let them achieve their full-on mock-rock states.
The Comet Warriors were a later-era addition to the He-Man line that featured warriors from space who landed on Eternia in rock-form, and could use their abilities to lie in wait to ambush evil forces, or be thrown at your little brother's head, causing your dad to give you a spanking. Hypothetically.
Here's the original commercial:
As with many He-Man toy commercials, the cool-looking backdrop of that commerical was not for sale.
To fully understand what Mattel was thinking, you have to view the Comet Warriors as the natural end-product of a series of short-lived 1980s toy trends.
First, the "Transformers" were popular. We all know this. So a variety of other transforming toys were made in their image, most notably the Gobots, who worked because they were cheaper and less complicated to transform.
But how to distinguish your transforming toys from the Robots in Disguise? Why, have them turn into other non-vehicle things kids see every day, like rocks!
Which led to the "Gobots" spinoff..."Rock Lords."
Featured in a little-released theatrical film that teamed them with the "Gobots," then consigned to obscurity afterwards, the "Rock Lords" inhabited a rocky post-apocalyptic planet and battled each other by, again, hiding in plain sight, or possibly rolling downhill at their enemies. There were also pig-like "Gnarlies" and some rock-dinos, including a rock-pterodactyl. No, I don't know how it flew either.
To be fair, the non-rock versions of the characters looked pretty cool (the barely-released "Jewel Lords" line was nifty as heck), but once you'd been brainwashed by the above commercial, complete with self-transforming rocks and the aforementioned cool backdrop, you'd realize, in the words of Charlie Brown, "I got a rock."
Rock-based toys reached the pinnacle with "Rocks and Bugs and Things", where a variety of backyard beings revealed hideous faces and could consume hard-plastic beings called "Mordels."
They featured such characters as "Gravelguts" and "Blooderfly," which couldn't have gone over well with parents. That's more of a story for the short-lived "scary toys" of the mid-1980s, including the Boglins and the Inhumanoids. Ahh, the Inhumanoids...
As a final influence on the Comet Warriors, we'd be remiss not to mention the influence of Halley's Comet, which was a big cultural touchstone when it headed 'round in 1986. Comets figured into a number of movies, TV shows and such (a few years before Halley's came, there was "Night of the Comet", pitting mall girls against zombies, and then Will Vinton's "The Adventures of Mark Twain," a claymation epic based around Twain's birth and passing on the comet's two visits).
The most direct influence of this short-lived comet-mania were the Matchbox Parasites, which combined Matchbox cars with transforming robots that hid inside said vehicles, and were explained as evil creatures from the tail of Halley's Comet, because...toys, that's why.
So, in summary: He-Man + Transformers + Rock Toys + Comet Mania = Comet Warriors.
Now you know. And knowing is half the battle.
The Comet Warriors can be pre-ordered for pick-up at SDCC starting on June 4 -- and will be available at the Mattel Booth at SDCC for everyone to pick up.
Excited by their return? Let us know!