#ThrowbackThursday – Masters of the Universe Touring Toy Display From 1986
March 20, 2014

In the summer of 1986, in a mall in Indianapolis, Indiana, the Mattel Toy Company presented their new line of the Masters of the Universe Toy collection with a touring “showroom” that went to malls in large cities.   It presented the line as a “show” for kids and their parents to walk through and utilized animatronics and screens to create faux holograms.  It also included a hired actor that portrayed Hordak and a really great looking costume.   The “booth” itself looked like Castle Grayskull.

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Inside you would find the debuts of new figures like Extendar, Stone-Dar and Rock-On as well appearances by the Snake Mountain and Eternia playsets.

I really miss this sort of pre-internet marketing stunts from toy companies.   I know it’s really costly to do something like this, but there’s such a charm to it and I’m sure it made an impression on the kids that were able to take the tour.

Someone had the forethought to record a video of this “toy-time capsule” and then all these years later post it on YouTube for us all to enjoy.


These are usually the sorts of things that end up “lost to time” and some young fans that are now collectors might remember this tour coming to a mall near them almost like a half-remembered dream.   So sit back and let the nostalgia wash over you.   Enjoy this Throwback Thursday!

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Daniel Pickett
Daniel “Julius Marx” Pickett has been around toys his whole life. The first line he ever collected was Mego’s World’s Greatest Super Heroes line back in the 70s. He has been surrounded by collectables ever since. In 1999 he was confounded by a lack of information and news about some of his favorite toy lines he was collecting. Since he couldn’t find the information he decided to pursue it himself thinking other people might also be interested in the same news. He started writing a weekly column on the toy industry and action figure for a toy news site and in a years time he tripled the sites daily traffic with his updates, reviews and product features. He built relationships with every major toy manufacturer and many sculptors, painters and mold makers. He grew his hobby into a world wide expertise that the industry has embraced. In 2004 he teamed up with his toy buddy Jason “ToyOtter” Geyer and they created their own website www.ActionFigureInsider.com. Daniel has been quoted in both industry and mass media press outlets. Over the years Daniel and AFi have been sought out as experts in the field. Daniel was regularly featured on “Attack of the Show” on the G4 network as the primary contributor to their “Mint On Card” segment, and our front page has been linked to from USA Today’s “Pop Candy” Blog twice. Daniel’s content has also been featured on MSNBC.com, Time.com, The Wall Street Journal, The Saturday Evening Post, CNN.com, AssociatedPress.com Wired.com, Fark.com, Boing-Boing, Gizmodo.com, Ain’t It Cool News, the Official Star Wars blog, Geekologie, G4, CNet and Toy Fare magazine, among many others. He has consulted on toy lines, books, documentaries and TV shows. But all of that really just sounds snooty and “tootin’ his own horn” – the long and short of it is that Daniel loves toys and he LOVES talking about them.
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1 Comment »

  • UncleMarsellus says:

    I don’t remember a mall display like that but my parents did take me to a Toys R Us where He-Man and Skeletor made an appearance. All I remember is them walking out of a back storage room and parading past me.

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