The Origin of 5.5
In 1982, toy company Mattel launched their Masters of the Universe (MOTU) line of action figures. Features of the figures included:
- extremely muscular bodies
- bent arms and legs in a crouching position
- six points of articulation (generally speaking)
- a height of around five and a half (5.5) inches
The MOTU figures were an instant hit, and other toy manufacturers scrambled to make action figures in the same style, so that kids could play with their figures right alongside the MOTU figures. The style became known as “5.5”, (sometimes called “barbarian” or “muscle” style). And toy companies have kept making 5.5 figures right up until present day!
The 5.5 Revival
At the 2019 San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC), Kevin Smith announced “Masters of the Universe Revelation”, a new cartoon that will bring the property back to television and will faithfully pick up where the original cartoon left off.
Mattel announced at that same SDCC that they would be making a new line of MOTU action figures called “Masters of the Universe Origins.” The line will feature the same characters with the same 5.5 inch height as the vintage 1982 line, but the figures will also feature several additional points of articulation, to bring them more in line with modern action figures.
Netflix recently announced that a second animated He-Man series will also be airing soon, but it will be more of a re-imagining of the franchise. Netflix will also be releasing a live-action MOTU movie in the near future.
With all this activity, it looks like MOTU is on the verge of becoming popular again, which might mean that other 5.5 figures are about to become more popular too!
My 5.5 Mission
There are a ton of sites on the internet about MOTU, but there aren’t very many about the lesser known 5.5 figure series. My site will focus primarily on the other 5.5 figures that were made by other toy manufacturers, including Remco, Sewco, Mannix, Funko, Sungold, Toys ‘N Things, and more.