Before the Mattycollector revamp, before the 200X redesigns, before the failed "He-Man in Space" debacle, and even before the Filmation cartoon premiered, Masters of the Universe spent a solid two years as a ground-breaking and massively popular toy line, holding it's own in a world ruled by Star Wars and G.I. Joe.
And the main antagonist of this world that skillfully blended fantasy and science fiction, was a muscle-bound, skull-faced evil overlord, know only as Skeletor.
In those primordial days of Masters of the Universe, specifically before the release of the cartoon, which transformed Skeletor into a bumbling baddie with a ridiculously high-pitched voice (I, personally, never liked the cartoon, in case you can't tell), the boned-faced one was a far more menacing figure, with his clawed hands and ram-skull-topped magical staff, his ghostly visage looming out from under the darkness of his deep violet hood.
I discovered Masters of the Universe through my best friend in 4th grade, and we immediately went MOTU-crazy, snapping up as many figures as our lawn-mowing money would allow and filling our Christmas lists with characters like Merman and Stratos and bizarre vehicles like the Attack Track.
But before the collection received the ol' Christmas boost, I spent a couple of months with only two MOTU figures; He-man and Skeletor. These two figures, bristling with bladed weapons and rippling with coiled musculature, were, to me, like two mighty titans, battling over the very future of an entire universe; each clash of the swords spewing forth lightning; each brutal punch cracking and rumbling with thunder.
Later, Masters of the Universe, and Skeletor specifically, would become a bit watered down (again, I blame the cartoon), and the toys would begin to turn towards the silly, focusing far too much on gimmicks and less on character background (this would change greatly with Mattycollector's Masters of the Universe Classic line).
But for a brief period, in the early morning dawn of the toy line, Skeletor was a fearsome foe, a dangerous force of evil and one heck of an awesome action figure.