|MANTENNA: The Evil Spy With Pop-out Eyes!
"He Man and the Masters of the Universe" was one of America's hottest franchises from
1983 to about 1986, when at long last the spotlight was wrenched away by the
Transformers. At only three years old during its peak, I was actually too busy with the
Smurfs and the Glow-worms to get caught up in He-mania, and wasn't even dimly aware of
its more feminine spin-off, She-Ra.
I did, however, wind up with at least one of the associated action figures that immediately
caught my eye in a typical toy store visit...an almost indescribable bug-eyed mutant who
now stands as one of my favorite character designs in toy history.
So bizarre that no two artists could agree on what his mouth even looked like,
MANTENNA was the token "bungling underling" to She-Ra's arch nemesis, Hordak.
Apart from enhanced vision, his telescoping eyes could emit any type of ray the writers felt
like using, including a "balance distortion ray" in his debut appearance that does nothing but
make people fall down.
Mantenna has since been reborn as a non-posable "Staction" figure
by NECA toys, and he's looking creepier than ever while perfectly
blending the original cartoon and figure designs.