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2013/35/1 Toy action figures (2), 'Masters of the Universe', Thunder Punch He Man and Battle Cat, plastic, made by Mattel Inc, Taiwan, 1981. Click to enlarge.

Thunder Punch He-Man and Battle Cat action figures

These two toy action figures, (Thunder Punch) He-Man and Battle Cat, were fictional characters from the "Masters of the Universe" cartoon series produced during the mid-1980s. The action figures are examples of numerous merchandising items produced as a commercial tie in. The action figures were popular around the world as children waged their own fantasy games.

According to Cross in "Kid's Stuff: Toys ad the Changing World of American Childhood", the American toy manufacturer, Mattel, …


Object No.


Object Statement

Toy action figures (2), 'Masters of the Universe', Thunder Punch He Man and Battle Cat, plastic, made by Mattel Inc, Taiwan, 1981

Physical Description

Plastic toy action figures depicting characters (Thunder Punch) He-Man and Battle Cat from the 'Masters of the Universe' animated television series. The moulded He-Man figure has a muscular body, blonde hair and wears a red chest plate with the letter 'H' strapped to his body. He wears red briefs, orange belt, orange wrist bands and long grey and red boots. He carries a grey double-edged broad axe in one hand and has a yellow sword and silver shield. The moulded green plastic Battle Cat figure features orange stripes and is modelled in a stalking position, mouth open and teeth bared in an aggressive manner. His head is covered with a red armoured helmet and on his back is a large red saddle.



The toy action figures were made by Mattel Inc., Taiwan, 1985.

Other series characters made by Mattel included Skeletor, Beast Man, Blade, Blast-Attack, Buz Saw Hordak, Clawful, Crocobite and Dinosorb. In 1985 He-Man's sister, She-Ra, was added together with Angella, Arrow, Blue Lightning, Bow, Castaspella, Catra and Clawdeen.

The character of He-Man was like a superman superhero. His everyday persona was Prince Adam, the son of King Randor and the earthling, Queen Marlena. Randor and Marlena ruled the kingdom and planet of Eternia. Prince Adam was transformed into He-Man by the Sorceress of Castle Grayskull. After this he could then transform himself at will by raising his "Power Sword", his main weapon, and proclaim "by the power of Grayskull…" Then after the transformation he announced "I have the power".

Battle Cat was an armoured green tiger. He was He-Man's transport and friend in battle. In everyday life Battle Cat was Prince Adam's lazy, yet fearful pet tiger, Cringer. In the Masters of the Universe stories he was transformed into a brave and noble steed by He-Man's power sword which fired out a bolt of energy. Once transformed, Battle Cat doubled in size and wore a full head of armour and a saddle with armour extending over his neck and rump.



The action figures were purchased online as props for the Museum's exhibition, 'The 80s are back' held between 2010 and 2011. They are significant as they are representative examples of licensing and commercial cross-overs from television programmes to toys. In the 1980s, everything was produced as tie-ins from lunch boxes to sleeping bags. This practice was so important that it was decided to acquire these figures for the Museum's permanent collection in 2013.

Cite this Object


Thunder Punch He-Man and Battle Cat action figures 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 17 October 2021, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Thunder Punch He-Man and Battle Cat action figures |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=17 October 2021 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}


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