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Vintage Mattel Masters of the Universe Series 1 Man at Arms 1982 Review

The Mattel Masters of the Universe Man At Arms was first released in 1982 as part of the inaugural wave of action figures.  He was also known by the name Duncan. He was the best friend of  He-Man, was a soldier, inventor and the foster Father of Teela from the series. 

Initially he was released on an 8-back card and later the 12-back card. This figure was a great example of Mattel’s ability to fuse barbarian mythology to technology. 

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Man at Arms Review

Man at Arms was a member of the Heroic Warriors Clan and was by far the most tech savvy of all the original wave of figures. His design resembled that of a futuristic Spanish conquistador with his armour and helmet covered in sculpted hoses and cables.

His armour was removeable and he came with extra body armour including shoulder and arm protector.

His body was the standard He-Man torso, arms and legs but using a solid green plastic with no detail making it look like he is wearing a green body suit under his armour.

If you look closely, you can see he also has sculpted hair under his helmet, but in order to save costs it was painted in the same blue so it’s hard to notice it.

In the cartoon Man at Arms had an armour on both of his arms and legs whereas on the toy he only had armour on his left leg and arm, which fits in with Roman Gladiators who only wore armour on the side they generally defended with, giving more freedom of movement to his attacking arm. In the cartoon however, he was given armour on both sides to save on costs as this meant the same film cell could be used for multiple shots whereas if only one side was armoured, they would have to use a different cell for “reverse” shots.

He had swivel articulation on the head, arms and hips, with the same Power Punch action feature on his torso as He-Man and Skeletor. 

He also lacked the distinctive moustache that the cartoon character was famous for. For accessories he came with a mace and removable armour on his left leg and arm. The figure also came packaged with a mini-comic book.

One of the original working titles for Man at Arms was Arms Man. The earlier releases of the figure, on the 8-back cards, had red dots on the front of his helmet but later versions had these omitted. Man at Arms was the adoptive father of Teela.

Weapons and Accessories:

• Mace

• Removable Chest Armor

• Removable Arm Armor

• Removable Leg Armor

Values as of February 2022

MOC $200-$1500

MLC $20-$40

Loose $5-$15

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