Mattel’s Masters of the Universe Stratos was a simian created in the early 1980s in the cartoon series “He Man And The Masters Of the Universe”. He had the ability to fly. He was the King of all the “Bird People” and as such was chosen to fight alongside with He Man. He not only could fly but had great eyesight as well. This made him a great spy against the enemies of He Man. Mattel chose to make an action figure out of him during the same time with the other Masters Of The Universe heroes and villains. Mattel initially created Stratos to be an evil figure but he did not stay that way for long.
The powers that Stratos had emanated from a rod called the “Emerald Staff”. This staff gave all who were in the land of Avion, his kingdom, the ability to fly. Apparently this was not enough power for Stratos, because in addition to his wings, he also strapped rockets on his back to fly a little faster. The extra power he had in his eyes is not explained. He once lost his power in a war with the Ilkorts and Skeletor. The Ilkorts monsters attacked, and in the melee, Stratos lost his wife and the Emerald Staff. But he had He Man on his side. Even though Skeletor brought up a huge monster with his newfound “Emerald Staff”, Stratos jerked it out of Skeletor’s hand. Stratos saved Avion but apparently is hiding extra powers in the Emerald Staff. If Skeletor could call up huge monsters, so could Stratos. Stratos was given a set of “brass knuckles” or something like them on the right hand. In the comics he used this to produce a laser beam.
Stratos and the other 1981 and 1982 MOTU action figures are 5 ½ inches tall. This was a departure from the standard 3 ¾ inch figures of the day. He was made with gray plastic in the same mold as Beast Man. He came with rockets strapped on his back and wings attached to his arms. The wings were held in place with elastic bands at the wrists. The rocket packs and the straps to hold them on came in red or in blue colors. The wings also bore the same color schemes. Since this action figure was created close to the “Beast Man” figure, there are no boots. All Stratos wore for clothes was a tiny set of blue shorts.
The rocket pack that Stratos wore was not functional. The only way this action figure was going to fly was in the hands of a child. He did have the ability to twist at the waist, like other Masters Of The Universe figures. An elastic band gave Stratos the “power punch” and also brought him back to normal position once again.
The Mattel Stratos figure had a few variations. The wings and the rocket packs with the straps came in two colors. Other than that, the later versions that came out were very different.
The first series of the Masters Of The Universe figures included Stratos. He came packaged in a couple of card variations. One was the “8 back” version and the other was the “12 back” version. The “8 back” is more desirable and rare than the “12 back” if you are a collector. The reason for the difference is that more action figures were added as time went on so more of their pictures appeared on the back of the Stratos bubble pack.
A loose Stratos action figure will run around $70 to $80 dollars without the bubble package. If he has an “8 back” bubble packaging and is in tip top shape, he may run as much as $2000 dollars. A 12 back will go for $300 or so.