He-Man and Battle Cat Have a Bold New Look in Their New Netflix Cartoon

Illustration for article titled He-Man and Battle Cat Have a Bold New Look in Their New Netflix Cartoon
Image: Mattel

No, not the show Kevin Smith is doing. That cartoon is a continuation of the original ‘80s series and thus its target audience is 40-year-olds. This is the new Masters of the Universe show for kids.


Mattel revealed this first look at the CG animated “reboot” series during a “Virtual Analyst Day Meeting” (via ToyArk) along with a new line of action figures. As a 40-year-old Masters of the Universe fan myself, it doesn’t matter a whit what I think the new He-Man and Battle Cat look like, but they honestly look fine to me. Battle Cat’s armor is pretty rad, and leaves him looking far more cat-like than his original duds. I can’t really get a handle on what’s going on with He-Man’s sword, but won’t lose any sleep over it. Even He-Man and Battle Cat’s hilariously tiny waists work for me.

Besides, although I’ve loved the franchise for my entire life, Masters of the Universe was always going to need massive updating to have any hope of catching modern kids’ attention—just as She-Ra did with her own excellent reboot. I don’t know if this will do it, but any grumpy old He-Man fan can content themselves that they’re still somehow getting the ‘80s cartoon back this year.

Image: Mattel

However, as a Master of the Universe action figure connoisseur, I will say these new toys are rather lacking. For being seven inches tall, they appear to be very poorly detailed. He-Man’s head looks way too small, which is clearly not a mark of quality craftsmanship. As for Evil-Lyn’s decision to cosplay as Korra from The Legend of Korra, that’s her business and her business alone.

Masters of the Universe is set to release on Netflix later this year.


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Rob Bricken was the Editor of io9 from 2016-18, the creator of the poorly named but fan-favorite news site Topless Robot, and now writes nerd stuff for many places, because it's all he's good at.


Mos Gza

I never understood how a franchise like MOTU with all of its nostalgia, its premise of sci-fi/fantasy, and deep gallery of colorful characters could never succeed in any consistent way like, say, a GI Joe (and its thousands of comics and toys) or Transformers (with its thousands of cartoons and toys). It just feels like any time HeMan gets some form respectful treatment (like that CN 2002 cartoon, or DC’s comic version before it got injected into the Injustice murderverse) it quickly loses traction, gets cancelled, and all together disappears. It’s a shame, really.