He-Man and the Masters of the Universe is the story of Prince Adam, crown prince of the fantasy world of Eternia, and his quest to protect his lands from evil forces. Despite the fact that most people believe him a bumbling coward, Prince Adam is in truth the kingdom’s defender – by holding aloft his magic sword and shouting the magic words, “By the power of Grayskull! I HAVE THE POWER!”, he can become He-Man, the most powerful man in the Universe. Using this power, he can defend Grayskull from the evil warlord Skeletor.
Though He-Man’s adventures were definitely intended more for children than adults, the setting held strong influences from pulp fiction sources, especially Robert E. Howard’s Conan the Barbarian.
Though toys for He-Man and the Masters of the Universe were produced as early as 1982, with prototypes for the lines first seeing target audiences in 1981, He-Man first really became popular with the airing of the cartoon series beginning in 1983. One of the first cartoons created specifically for syndication, the first cartoon series lasted two seasons with 65 episodes each.
He-Man spawned several spin-off and sequel series, including She-Ra: Princess of Power and The New Adventures of He-Man. The most recent of these was The New Masters of the Universe, which unfortunately was canceled halfway through its second season due to a lack of toy sales and low television ratings.
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