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Mer-Man is a fictional character from the Masters of the Universe toy line from Mattel and accompanying animated series He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. The Mer-Man toy was part of the first series of Masters of the Universe action figures released by Mattel in 1981-1982. The character was conceived as Skeletor's most prominent henchman after Beast Man.

History

Minicomics

Main article: Mer-Man (early minicomics)

Mer-Man seizes He-Man's weapons.

Mer-Man was one of Skeletor's earliest minions. He sought to be Skeletor's equal, and to that end, offered to help Skeletor defeat He-Man in exchange for his weapons, believing they would make him just as powerful as the Lord of Destruction himself. Mer-Man managed to successfully steal He-Man's harness and Power Sword, but was defeated by Stratos[1]. He was later summoned by Skeletor in an attempt to captured Castle Grayskull, managing, along with Beast Man, to knock He-Man unconsious. Mer-Man tossed He-Man's body into the sea, but he survived and returned to defeat Skeletor and his henchmen[2].

Some time later, Mer-Man was attacked by Leech of the Evil Horde[3].

Filmation Animated Series

Mer-Man in the Filmation series.

Hailing from the Crystal Sea[4], Mer-Man was an aquatic ocean warlord in service to Skeletor (Filmation). Though he reported to Skeletor at Snake Mountain, Mer-Man usually dwelled within the seas themselves, and often operated independently of Skeletor and the other Evil Warriors; engineering his own water-based schemes. Mer-Man had telepathic abilities which allowed him to control other sea creatures, and had own aquatic henchmen who served as his footsoldiers[5].

Mer-Man once attempted to sacrifice Zoar to the Sea Demon, Bakkull, which would have allowed him to command Bakkull, the mightiest of the sea demons. The plan was foiled when Zoar was rescued by Man-At-Arms. Twenty years later, Mer-Man attempted to sacrifice Man-At-Arms' daughter, Teela to the same demon, but was foiled again, this time by He-Man and Zoar[6].

Mer-Man would later strike out alone, using the Pearl of Power to subjugate the underwater city of Aquatica and mind control its people[7]. He also attempted to seal the Variable High-frequency Oscillator for his own sinister ends[8].

Masters of the Universe (2002)

Mer-Man was the self appointed "king of the seas" and ruled his own underwater kingdom. He became embroiled in a battle with his rival, Aquarus, over another underwater settlement not yet under his control. Though Mer-Man won the battle against Aquarus, he returned to find his own kingdom in ruins[9]. Soon after, Mer-Man joined Keldor and fought alongside him during the battle of the Hall of Wisdom, after which he was imprisoned behind the Mystic Wall in the Dark Hemisphere[10].

Mer-Man in the Mike Young Productions animated series.

Mer-Man was instrumental in Skeletor's plan to escape the dark hemisphere, searching for years for enough Coridite crystal in the Sea of Rakash to power a device to destroy the Mystic Wall[11]. Mer-Man joined Skeletor's assault on the Royal Palace of Eternia and kidnapped Man-At-Arms, having his enormous, flying fish-pet devour him whole. Man-At-Arms was rescued by Teela, and Mer-Man next turned his attention back to the Coridite crystal, which Skeletor had forgotten about; Mer-Man attempted to use the crystal for himself, but found its powerful difficult to control[12].

Later, Mer-Man attempted to engage Snake Face in combat when the Snake Men returned and seized control of Snake Mountain, but was turned to stone before he could land a blow[13]. His body fell to the floor and smashed into pieces, but he was restored to life by Skeletor, breathing a sigh of relief as his body reformed[14]. Later, Mer-Man claimed the body of Snake Face (himself turned to stone by this point) as a trophy for his lair[15].

Masters of the Universe Revelation

Mer-Man in Masters of the Universe: Revelation

Main article: Mer-Man (Revelation)

Mer-Man did not always see eye to eye with Skeletor and Evil-Lyn, but on occasion could be pursuaded to collaborate with them. He made his home in the Crystal Sea where he ruled over the Aquaticans. When Skeletor was presumed killed, Mer-Man became embittered that Evil Lyn had forgotten him and lamented that they had not joined forces to control Eternia themselves. By this point, Mer-Man had lost an eye and no longer wore his golden armour[16].

Toys

Masters of the Universe (1982)

1981 Mer-Man: Mer-Man was one of the first wave of toys, designed in 1981 and released in 1982. His toy design was based on DC Comics' character, Swamp Thing. This design was later used for Stinkor in the same toyline.

The original 1981 Mer-Man toy

Masters of the Universe (2002)

2002 Mer-Man: A toy of Mer-Man was made in 2002 to accompany the Mike Young Productions show. The design of the toy is based on that show, with brown armor and a head reminiscent of the original Lords of Power prototype.

Mer-Man's toy from the 2002 line

Masters of the Universe Classics

Classics Mer-Man: As part of the Masters of the Universe Classics toyline, this Mer-Man toy was released only on Mattel's collector's website in 2009. This toy came with two heads, one which imitated his classic head and one which was based on the prototype, Lords of Power design. This toy was sculpted by the 4 Horsemen, and came with a bio on the packaging which read:

Real Name: Squidish Rex

Ruler of the undersea realms of Eternia, Mer-Man was forced to serve in the armies of Skeletor after his kingdom was destroyed in a battle with rival ocean clans. His allegiance with Skeletor brings him to the surface world more often then he would like. Lurking deep beneath the Sea of Rakash, Mer-Man awaits the evil call to arms of Skeletor!

Vintage toy styled head

Lords of Power styled head

Masters of the Universe: Classics Mer-Man, shown with both head types.


Super7

Filmation: As part of Super7's Masters of the Universe line, this toy was meant to be as faithful as possible to the FIlmation series portrayal of Mer-Man. This toy was released in 2018.

Super7's Filmation Mer-Man

Vintage: Also made by Super7, this toy was made to be similar to the original toy from 1982. This toy was released in 2019.

Super7's vintage toy styled Mer-Man

ReAction Mer-Man: Mer-Man also received a toy from Super7 as part of their ReAction Figures line.

Mer-Man's ReAction figure

Masters of the Universe Origins

Origins Mer-Man: In early 2021, as part of the Masters of the Universe Origins toyline, a Mer-Man toy based on the original 1982 toy was released.

Mer-Man from Masters of the Universe: Origins

Origins Lords of Power Mer-Man: In the Origins toyline, Mattel also released a series of figures based on the prototype, Lords of Power designs. Mer-Man received a Lords of Power toy in mid 2021.

Lords of Power Mer-Man from Masters of the Universe: Origins


Trivia

  • According to designer Mark Taylor, Mer-Man's design was based on Bernie Wrighston's rendition of DC Comics character Swamp Thing.
  • The mold of the Mer-Man toy was later reused by Mattel in 1985 to create Stinkor, another villain in the Masters of the Universe line. The only differences between Mer-Man and Stinkor are that Stinkor is painted black and white, wears different chest armor than Mer-Man and was chemically treated to smell musky.

References

  1. Battle in the Clouds
  2. The Vengeance of Skeletor
  3. Leech: The Master of Power Suction Unleashed!
  4. Teela's Quest
  5. Teela's Quest
  6. Teela's Quest
  7. Search for the VHO
  8. Search for the VHO
  9. Icons of Evil: Mer-Man
  10. The Beginning Part 1
  11. The Beginning Part 1
  12. [[The Deep End
  13. Rise of the Snake Men, Part 1
  14. Rise of the Snake Men, Part 2
  15. Episode 40: Captured
  16. The Most Dangerous Man in Eternia
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