|Vending machine header card|
I first became aware of these many years ago when I got a green Ram-Man (who was sadly missing his axe) in a lot of random minis off eBay. He was the only one I had up until last year, when I set out to track down more of them. Fast forward to earlier this month, and Man-E-Faces and the He-Man holding an axe were the final two I needed. Thanks to the kindness of another collector and luck on eBay, I got them both within the same week!
According to what I have been able to find out online, these guys were sold in the mid-late 1980s in toy vending machines under the name "Warriors of the Universe." It must have taken someone hours to come up with that name in order to not use Masters of the Universe, huh? I actually don't remember seeing these out in the wild as a kid. I'm sure if I did, I would have gone nuts trying to amass as many quarters as possible.
Here's a list of the MOTU characters included in the set, from left to right, top to bottom in the above photo:
|Ram-Man & Zodac close-up|
He-Man with sword (possibly Faker)
These figures are made of a firm-yet-flexible plastic, maybe a bit softer than a MUSCLE figure, but not rubbery like a Monster in My Pocket figure. They're about 1.5" tall. They were also released in a variety of solid, non-clear colors, but I wanted to put together a set of the transparent versions because I think they look cooler. You can argue that the details don't show up as well on clear figures--and you'd probably be right--but man, nobody will ever be able to convince me that a mini figure doesn't get an extra jolt of awesome when it looks like a Jolly Rancher. The clear colors include orange, red, green and blue (if there are others, I haven't seen them).
|Comparison with MUSCLE & Monster in My Pocket figures|
Here's a shot of Mer-Man and Man-at-Arms minis in solid color versions. Interestingly enough, Mer-Man is made out of hard plastic while Man-at-Arms is made out of soft, rubbery plastic. Now that I've finished my clear set, I'll probably try to fill out a set in solid colors.
What about you? What do you think of these guys? Do you own any or remember seeing them in vending machines?