Serpentine King Hssss 2016 MOTU Classics Figure
Serpentine King Hssss action figure from the Masters of the Universe Classics line.
During his exile in the Void, King Hssss led the Snake Men in profane devotional rituals. Using the Staff of Ka, Hssss invoked the combined power of his evil deities to transform himself into a serpentine demigod. Fearing that Hssss would breach the confines of the Void, the Council of Elders called upon He-Ra, protector of the Power Sword and granddaughter of both King Grayskull and He-Ro, to retrieve the Staff of Ka from the dreaded Void. Cleverly avoiding battle in that murky realm, He-Ra outwitted the serpentine King Hssss and stole the Staff from him. He-Ra returned the Staff of Ka to Eternia, where it eventually fell into obscurity. Deprived of the Staff, Hssss’ few strands of human DNA slowly resurfaced and returned his appearance to a normal, albeit slightly altered version of his human form.
The Masters of the Universe Classics line, launched in 2008, is a new line of action figures based on the classic characters from all aspects of the Masters of the Universe franchise. Available solely from Mattel’s website and aimed purely at collectors, the line also includes biographical descriptions of the characters designed to tie the diverging aspects of the mythos together.
Based on the look of the original 1980s MOTU toys, this new toy line was aimed primarily at the adult toy collector market, often available only through subscriptions (from MattyCollector). Sculpted by the Four Horsemen, these toys were updated versions of previous figures as well as characters that never before had an action figure made of them; such as Filmation’s Queen Marlena, Fang-Man, Lizard-Man, Count Marzo, Granamyr, and many others. The toy line featured many redesigned and updated action figures from the original action-figure line from the 1980s, but it also included characters from She-Ra: Princess of Power (Adora, Madame Razz, Scorpia, Shadow Weaver, and others), The New Adventures of He-Man (Mara, Crita, and more), and the Mike Young Productions series from 2002 (Faceless One, Chief Carnivus, King Chooblah, Ceratus, and others). As the line progressed, characters from all versions of MOTU lore were included, from such things such as prototypes and concept art (He-Ro, Eldor, Demo-Man, Gygor, Vykor, and others), box art from vehicles and model kits (Sky High and the Fighting Foe Men), mini comics (the Goddess, Geldor, and Procrustus), and other books, comics, and media (Despara, Strobo, Goat-Man, and more). There were also newly created figures, exclusive to the Classics toy line, such as Draego-Man, Cy-Chop, Castle Grayskullman, and others. In February 2010, the figures of He-Man and Skeletor were available as Toys “R” Us exclusives packed in two-packs with Superman and Lex Luthor, respectively, from Mattel’s DC Universe Classics action figure line; with this dual line expanded to include two-packs featuring Aquaman/Mer-Man, Hawkman/Stratos, Bizarro/Faker, Supergirl/She-Ra, and Green Lantern/Zodac.
Masters of the Universe Classics surpassed the original 1980s toy line in terms of length, running continuously for seven years with more than 150 different figures produced since its launch in August 2008. Along with the Classics series, MOTU Minis and Giants figures were also released in 2014 and 2015. In 2016, Mattel ended production on the MOTU Classics and MattyCollector.com’s Club Grayskull series, with the production company Super7 now taking over the Masters of the Universe license.