Part of what made Masters of the Universe such a success was how comfortable it was with getting weird. Between a villain with a skull for a face, a green tiger with orange (or yellow) stripes that the hero rides around on, a figure whose main feature is that you can suction cup his face to flat surfaces, and a couple of figures that could come apart and be re-arranged like LEGO, it was a weird toyline. And we loved it.

Aside from the toyline, the syndicated animated show, He-Man & the Masters of the Universe, is perhaps the best-known version of the characters. Filmation did a great job of giving us kids just enough backstory to make it easy to follow, but without worrying about tripping over it’s own tail by getting bogged down in canon.

Watching it as an adult, it’s admittedly pretty silly, even by 1980s standards, but as a kid, it was a fun adventure story with plenty of action and drama to keep us coming back for more.

In 1983, during the rise in popularity of He-Man, Kid Stuff Records licensed Masters of the Universe for their own audio drama records. Much like Filmation, Kid Stuff paid for the character names, designs, and basic storyline, but they were free to sort of do whatever they wanted beyond that. So Kid Stuff came up with their own version of Masters of the Universe that was, well, pretty wild!

Between their own disco-infused theme song, their own character voices and capabilities, and their own background lore for the battle of Eternia, their Masters of the Universe record makes for a very intriguing look at what might have been had different creative minds been behind the cartoon.

You can check out this alternate universe Masters of the Universe by heading over to and listening to the Kid Stuff Record as an episode of my podcast, When You Hear This Sound!

And, hey, even if you don’t enjoy their take on MOTU, at least you can appreciate that amazing album cover art!


  1. What a great line, “Part of what made Masters of the Universe such a success was how comfortable it was with getting weird.” So true! It was a very creative toy line.

    Speaking of toys with lots of wacky characters… While walking my 7-year-old to school today, I happend to have a M.U.S.C.L.E. figure in my pocket. I tried explaining to her how the designs of the M.U.S.C.L.E. figures have quite a wide range. It was a little challenging to explain with only one figure in hand (it was Tileman). I don’t even know what happened to all my M.U.S.C.L.E. figures from my youth. But my brother did give me 12 M.U.S.C.L.E. figures for Christmas last year. He wrapped each one up in a separate envelope. I plan on opening one a month.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *