The Ten Most Expensive He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Collectibles

Mattel exited the 1970s defeated, having been blindsided by Kenner’s successful toy line. So, they became determined to create a mega-hit that would place them back at the top. Rather than dealing with a licensed product, Mattel opted to create an original brand that they could fully profit from. Taking advantage of their marketing department, they gained a clear idea of what type of toy would resonate with the 1980s child. This led to them embracing the power and creating He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.

Seeing that the swords and sorcery genre was experiencing a wave of popularity, Mattel decided to create a barbarian-themed hero as the star of their new line. To create this character, Mattel’s Roger Sweet and Mark Taylor designed prototypes and art. After a wave of creativity from the company’s development team, the company was ready to launch the Masters of the Universe in 1982.

The Masters of the Universe toys quickly caught on and became a smash hit with consumers. To help increase interest in He-Man, Mattel worked with Filmation to create a beloved cartoon series. Meanwhile, the action figures came with mini comic books that highlighted the adventures of the characters. For several years, He-Man cashed in with several action figures, vehicles, and play sets.

Presenting the ten most expensive He-Man and the Masters of the Universe collectibles that have sold at online auction sites

Even though the 1980s Masters of the Universe toy line crashed and burned by 1987. Despite the demise of the original line and the mediocre success of the second line that entered the market in 1989, fans still fondly remember the toys. Thus, they are happy to hunt down the action figures, vehicles, and play sets from the vintage toy line. They also seek out other collectibles from the 1987 live-action film and other sources.

Understanding the lasting impact of He-Man, we sought out the ten most expensive Masters of the Universe collectibles that have sold at online auction sites. So that it is clear what the value of these collectibles is, we removed all bulk collections from the rankings. We also only took the most expensive instance of a toy into account.

10. Pop Culture Shock Masters of the Universe He-Man 1:4 Scale Statue

Pop Culture Shock Masters of the Universe He-Man 1:4 Scale Statue

Since 2008, Pop Culture Shock Collectibles has brought quality, detailed collectibles of the most beloved franchises to the market. Using his years of experience working for manufacturers like McFarlane, Diamond, and Palisades, Jerry Macauso founded the company. The company has successfully introduced beloved statues and figurines of pop-culture favorites, including He-Man. Most of their statues are created at a 1/4 scale, allowing the painters to apply realistic details.

Pop Culture Shock Collectibles introduced a polystone resin statue of He-Man in 2014. This statue was the first in the Masters of the Universe series that Pop Culture Shock created. To help harken back to the original toys, the company included a bio on the back of the box. This bio explained how they set out to faithfully bring to life the look and feel of the animated cartoon series.

New pieces required some assembly, such as pegging He-Man to the Castle-Grayskull-themed base. The character’s hair also needed to be pegged in, for the company offered two different hairstyles. Once he was assembled, He-Man stood tall with his sword held up toward the sky.

Pop Culture Shock only created 750 pieces of this He-Man statue. So, even though the piece is recent, it is also rare. One of these statues, #57 out of 750, made its way onto eBay. Even though the auction was for an open-box collectible, it closed at $7,500.00 on July 19, 2021. As the statue had only ever been displayed behind a glass case, it was still in excellent condition. However, this final sales price may not be indicative of the value of this collectible.

9. Mattel Masters of the Universe He-Man and Battle Cat Set (1981)

Mattel Masters of the Universe He-Man and Battle Cat Set (1981)

Mattel understood that they needed more than just action figures to make the Masters of the Universe a success. So, they set out to expand the roster with vehicles and play sets. They also made certain that He-Man would have a memorable and trustworthy mount, Battle Cat.

To create Battle Cat, Mattel’s design team took one of their tiger toys from a previous toy line. Knowing that they could not release a simple tiger, they decided to paint the toy green with yellow stripes. They completed the look by adorning the beast with red armor.

In the cartoon series, Battle Cat was the transformed form of Prince Adam’s companion, Cringer. Meanwhile, the original mini-comics presented Battle Cat as a wild animal that He-Man tamed and rode into battle. Both of these versions were loyal companions of He-Man and his friends.

Mattel released a box set that contained both He-Man and Battle Cat in 1981. As this was part of the original series of MOTU toys, collectors love to seek out this set. Thus, one of these sets sold for $7,999.99 on June 19, 2023, after it appeared on eBay. While the set was in the box, the box had visible damage near the front window.

8. Masters of the Universe Jason Edminston Original Artwork framed

As the Masters of the Universe have returned with various toy lines over the decades, various artists have gained the chance to work on the box art. Recently, Super 7 gave their designers the chance to work on a Masters of the Universe line. After acquiring the license, the company set out to release several action figures that called back to Mattel’s original toys. This line also included new versions of some of the most beloved, classic play sets.

Super 7 gave James Edministon the task of creating new box art for both the Castle Grayskull and Snake Mountain play sets. Edminston had professionally worked on illustrations since 1996. Throughout his career, he’s done work for several toy manufacturers, including Hasbro, NECA, Super 7, and more. His tendency to create traditional art made him a perfect choice to create art that would harken back to the original toy line.

While his work can easily be seen on the packaging for these toys, both toy and art collectors love to locate the original paintings. Luckily, these original paintings were made available on eBay a few years ago. Each painting was 11” x 14” and framed. The set sold for $9,500.00 on November 21, 2016.

7. Mattel Masters of the Universe Tytus (1987) Loose CAS 85

Mattel Masters of the Universe Tytus (1987) Loose CAS 85

As the Master of the Universe entered new years of production, they added a slew of additional characters. While most new characters were contemporary allies and enemies of He-Man, some of these new characters stemmed from Eternia’s past. For instance, Mattel introduced Tytus, one of the warriors who fought alongside King Grayskull and He-Ro in 1987 for the Powers of Grayskull sub-line.

Tytus fought valiantly against the forces of the Snake Men back in the Preternian Era. According to the mini-comics, He-Man met him after the Sorceress transported him to the past. He-Man then met Tytus, along with the evil Megator, in the Land of the Giants. Meanwhile, the toy’s box art depicted him battling King Hiss with He-Ro at his side.

Meanwhile, Tytus’s toy stood apart from the prior He-Man figures. While most toys from the line had sculpted hair, Tytus had brushable strands. He also came in a windowed box instead of a blister card.

As a toy that was released near the end of the Master of the Universe’s original run, few copies of Tytus are available to the public. Luckily, one of these toys was made available on eBay. Helping to increase its value, the CAS graded the toy and awarded it an 85. This also meant that the loose toy was contained within an acrylic case along with its box. This toy sold for $9,999.99 on January 03, 2019.

6. Masters of the Universe Costume Worn by Dolph Lundgren

Masters of the Universe Costume Worn by Dolph Lundgren

For many years, the Masters of the Universe felt untouchable. Both its toy line and animated series were a huge hit with the public. Thus, Mattel’s toy line became a hot property that was prime for licensing. Amongst these licenses was the option to create a live-action film.

The Cannon Group picked up these rights and assigned Gary Goddard to direct the film. In 1987, audiences across the world received the chance to witness Dolph Lundgren take up the sword as He-Man. The cinematic adventure set him in the sights of the evil Skeletor, played by Frank Langella. Unfortunately, this film lacked the charm of other sword and sorcery films, so it never made back its budget.

Despite the live-action film’s flop at the theaters, fans still perk up at the chance to own memorabilia and props from the production. This interest became evident when Dolph Lundgren’s He-Man costume became available through Julien’s Auctions. The costume included a burgundy loincloth with grommeted laces. It also featured a brown leather belt with buckles, another brown belt with an orange holster embellished with gold, and a brown leather crisscrossing belt. There was also a burgundy cape with golden epaulets along with other elements witnessed on the silver screen.

This iconic part from the live-action film sold for $10,240.00 on November 09, 2013.

5. Mattel Masters of the Universe 8-Back Skeletor

Mattel Masters of the Universe 8-Back Skeletor

When Mattel launched the Masters of the Universe toy line, they produced only 8 characters that came on colorful card backs. These eight characters were He-Man, Teela, Beast Man, Stratos, Mer-Man, Skeletor, Man-At-Arms, and Zodac. The backs of these cards notably only featured these eight characters. Thus, the fandom dubbed these 8 characters the 8-Back toys.

As mentioned previously, He-Man’s arch-nemesis, Skeletor, was included in the original Masters of the Universe run. As he was the main villain for the toy line and the cartoon, it was important to include him in the launch. Skeletor stood out with his skull-like head and blue, muscled body. He also wore dark purple armor and carried a purple ram’s head staff.

As both one of the most popular characters from the line and one of the first productions, the 8-back version of Skeletor is highly sought after. Thus, fans often send their mint copies of this toy to grading services like the AFA. However, even non-graded toys still garner a lot of attention.

One of these toys, which was in MOC condition, was sold on eBay. The seller documented that the corners and the edges were worn and there were present issues with the figure’s paint job. Moreover, the blister was yellowing and there was a visible crease on the card. Despite the flaws, the listing is documented as ending at $11,995.00 on July 31, 2023.

4. Mattel Masters of the Universe 8-Back He-Man

Mattel Masters of the Universe 8-Back He-Man

Like Skeletor, Mattel understood that they could not launch the Masters of the Universe toy line without the star, He-Man. So, they made certain that he was a key component to the initial wave of 8 action figures. While He-Man has appeared in multiple waves since the initial launch, fans still treasure the 8-Back figure.

In the Filmation cartoon, He-Man was the heroic alter-ego of Eternia’s prince, Adam. Through the power of Grayskull, he transformed into the powerful He-Man and also powered up his companion, Cringer. As He-Man, he defended Eternia against various villains, especially the cruel Skeletor. Meanwhile, the mini-comics depicted He-Man as a barbarian warrior from the Eternian tribe.

As the title character, fans often seek out the various forms of He-Man action figures. They are particularly interested in collecting the 8-Back release of this character. Thus, one of these action figures sold on eBay for $11,995.00 on November 03, 2022. This toy was MOSC and featured a clear blister. The seller also noted that there were no dents or cracks in the card.

3. Mattel Masters of the Universe Eternia Series 5 Playset (1986) AFA 70 EX+

Mattel Masters of the Universe Eternia Series 5 Playset (1986) AFA 70 EX+

Even though Castle Grayskull and Snake Mountain are the most recognizable play sets from the Masters of the Universe toy line, neither is the rarest. Instead, one of the most massive play sets from the line is much rarer to encounter. When the Eternia Series 5 play set was released in 1986, Mattel marketed it as the biggest Masters of the Universe set ever. Its size and high price tag led to few sales, making it one of the rarest parts of the original run.

The Eternia play set had multiple gimmicks, areas, and features. For instance, it featured 3 towers with different themes: the central tower, Grayskull Tower, and Viper Tower. It also came with three battery-operated vehicles: Battle Tram, Sky Cage, and Jet Pack Fighter. Meanwhile, its accessories and weapons included elements like a weapons rack, ladder, grappling hooks, laser guns, and ramps. The ramps were particularly useful because they allowed both Castle Grayskull and Snake Mountain to connect to the set.

One of the Eternia Series 5 play sets made its way to an online auction house. When the listing closed on March 22, 2023, the set sold for $13,369.40. This play set received a grade from the AFA, helping it achieve this high sales price. The AFA awarded the set a grade of 70 EX+.

2. Mattel Masters of the Universe Jet Sled & He-Man Gift Set AFA 85

Mattel Masters of the Universe Jet Sled & He-Man Gift Set AFA 85

Beyond releasing new characters and play sets to the Masters of the Universe toy line, they produced new vehicles. While some vehicles were massive, some of them were only large enough to fit a single action figure. Such was the case for the Jet Sled that Mattel produced in 1986.

The Jet Sled was a simple vehicle, somewhat similar to a jet ski. However, it had wings on its side, indicating that it could fly. Moreover, the vehicle came with detachable jet accessories that could attach to the top of each of these wings. To ride the vehicle, action figures could hold onto the handles of the Jet Sled. It also came with a harness that a player could place on an action figure. Once attached, this harness helped secure the MOTU action figure to the sled by attaching its back to the vehicle.

While most consumers obtained the Jet Sled in a single card-back package, that was not the only way to purchase it. Mattel also included it in a special gift set that included a He-Man action figure.

One of these gift sets was set up for purchase on eBay. According to the seller, this set was a rare find, with only four sets known to exist. Further improving this set’s value was a grade from the AFA. The AFA had awarded the set an 85 grade, with the box earning an 85, the figures earning a 90, and the window earning a 90. It sold for $19,999.00 on August 06, 2010.

1. Original 1983 William George Snake Mountain Art Painting Masters of the Universe

Original 1983 William George Snake Mountain Art Painting Masters of the Universe

As Mattel prepared the Masters of the Universe toy line, they assigned some of their best designers and artists to the brand. They needed to create a look and feel that would allow the toys to stand out. It was also important to work with artists that could make the toys pop and stand out in the toy aisle.

One of these artists was William George, who had studied under Norman Rockwell. Throughout his career, he created art for covers of publications like magazines and paperback books. He also created box art for multiple toy lines. He is especially remembered for his work on the Masters of the Universe toy line.

One of William George’s most beloved works was his art for the Snake Mountain play set. When this play set came out in 1983, his painting was featured on the front of the box. It featured a realistic depiction of the play set.  The painting also featured a battle with He-Man climbing up the steps of the mountain to strike at Skeletor. Meanwhile, Man-At-War stood at the side of the mountain’s monstrous face.

This painting was sold on eBay for $20,000.00 on March 10, 2020. The canvas painting came in a frame with a silver frame. Its dimensions were approximately 28 ½” x 36 ½”.

Do you have old and used He-Man and The Masters of the Universe toys?

If you have a collection of old and used toys, you can turn those toys into cash. There is no reason to let those old toys collect dust. Contact us today to sell your He-Man and The Masters of the Universe toy collection.

Our professional, friendly, and expert staff have decades of experience as collectible toy buyers. If you are ready to sell your collection today, follow our link above or call us at 888-946-2895.

Made in Collaboration with:

Chris Ingledue 


Bio: I am the founder and owner of Wheeljack’s Lab pop Culture and Toy Shop. My vision has always been to reunite customers with their favorite childhood toys and pop culture, triggering fond memories, and reigniting their imaginations. Every day, I work in the “lab” where it’s Christmas 365 days a year. I scour the internet, like when we had the Sears Catalog of yesteryear, for the next great treasure. Then, I await the arrival of the postman as if he were Santa Claus himself and helping collectors worldwide with their versions of Christmas. Every day as a vintage toy buyer is an absolute joy!

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