If I had my way, 90% of our BEST. GIFTS. EVER. advent calendar would be from the Masters of the Universe line of toys!
Masters of the Universe – Snake Mountain by Mattel (1984)
That kid ready to drop some mad beats into a snake megaphone is smug as all shit because he has one of the best/worst toys the 80s had to offer, Snake Mountain, home of new age motivational speaker and perennial failed foe of He-Man, Skeletor. The in-universe history of all He-Man related things are incredibly interesting to me, as they are the perfect union of a richly detailed fantasy setting and randomly made-up garbage someone spit-balled in an office somewhere. “Skeletor’s hideout? Yeah, sure, he’s got an evil castle. We already have a skull-based castle for the heroes? Damn, that was an oversight. Um, make it a snake and also make it a mountain. No, Gary, I’m not just shouting out words! Yeah, Skeletor totally learned the knowledge of how to make his lair with the power of something called the Golden Disks of… Knowledge. Whatever, it’s a kid’s show, Gary! Let’s get lunch.”
The toy’s history was weird in its own right. According to the He-Man Wikia page:
The 1980s toy version of Snake Mountain looks little like its Filmation appearance. It is a purple mountain, with its most notable feature being a demon-like face on one side. There is a trap-door inside the gate, which is operated by a switch underneath. The toy also included a removable echo microphone, with the head of a snake near the top. The microphone stored inside the toy, with the head of the snake showing out the right side of the mountain. The demon face also had a lever located on the inside of the castle which allowed the user to operate the mouth of the face. This action combined with a user speaking into the echo microphone gave the appearance that Snake Mountain was talking in a frightening voice.
Yep, that giant doofus face wasn’t part of the Filmation show but was a major feature on the toy, which even as a kid felt lazy to me. In fact, there are lots of weird little additions on the toy that are worth mentioning. Let’s look at the box art:
- Snake Mountain seems less of a mountain, and more of a dump for biowaste. Are those bones and spider guts embedded in the wall? Skeletor, invest in a quality composter.
- That snake is about to take a bite of Skeletor, which is perfectly in keeping with that dude’s success rate on the show
- Why is there also a wolf-head there, and is it at all upset that the place isn’t called “Snake and Wolf Mountain”?
- Bondage Man-at-Arms
That last one is for the ladies (and a certain percentage of the gentlemen). Trouser-Snake Mountain.
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