The Obligatory Birthday Post 2024 – with Bonus Skeletor

April 18 was my birthday. And it was a somewhat weird birthday this year, because last year for my birthday I had lunch with my Dad at a local restaurant and then visited my Mom at the care home where she lived. At the time, there was no indication that neither of them wouldn’t be around the next year. So this was a rather sombre birthday for me.

I initially considered whether I should just get in the car and drive somewhere for the day and have a nice lunch at a restaurant somewhere. However, I had to scrap that plan, when my furnace decided to fail on Tuesday evening, since the repair technician came in early on Thursday morning, so I had to be at home to let him in. So my birthday started with a furnace repair, though thankfully one that was fairly uncomplicated and only took a little over an hour.

As I was at home anyway, I decided to have sailor’s curry, since I always have it around the time of my birthday.  I didn’t make the curry from scratch, since I still had some in the fridge from Christmas, so I only to make the side dishes and rice.

I didn’t get any birthday cards in the mail, but then the physical greeting card is an endangered species anyway. However, I got a notification in the mail that the deed to the house has been transferred to me and that I have been legally entered as the owner in the land register, which was actually better than a birthday card. I also got well wishes and birthday greetings via e-mail, WhatsApp and social media as well as phone calls from relatives and friends.

In the afternoon, I also got an actual visitor (aside from the furnace technician), namely my neighbour Marina who brought me a bouquet of flowers. Marina’s birthday was actually the day before, so I gave her some chocolates in return.

Flower bouquetBut even though the flowers are the only “proper” birthday present I got, I did get some nice things for myself. This is actually how it’s been for several years now. My parents didn’t really know what to give me, so they just told me to get something nice for myself.

Last weekend, a German specialty online collector toy shop had a time fifty percent off sale, so I splurged on some Masters of the Universe Classics figures which happened to arrive just in time for my birthday. Plus, a friend hooked me up with a Masters of the Universe Origins Thunderpunch He-Man, which was never regularly available in Europe. I also got a cool t-shirt as well as Bitterthorn by Kat Dunn at the mall earlier this week. Plus, the paperback edition of the John the Balladeer stories by Manly Wade Wellman I’d pre-ordered a while ago arrived, as did the massive Masters of the Universe character guide. So I just declared those things birthday presents:

Birthday presentsTen-year-old Cora would think this was the best birthday ever (now I’m trying to remember what I got for my birthday, when I was ten. I remember that Christmas, but not my birthday). Meanwhile, adult Cora doesn’t particularly care what anybody thinks about buying toys for myself or wearing a Skeletor t-shirt.

You’ll notice a couple of Princess of Power figures, precisely Bow, Mermista and Perfuma, there. Now I have always enjoyed the adventures of She-Ra as much as those of her twin brother He-Man. But while we got She-Ra and Hordak in the Masters of the Universe Origins and Masterverse toyline pretty quickly, it’s also obvious that Mattel isn’t particularly interested in making the rest of She-Ra’s supporting cast in either line. In Origins, there’s only She-Ra and the male Horde members (and some of those are still missing as well). In Masterverse, we at least have Catra, Frosta and Shadow Weaver (plus Hordak and Grizzlor) to keep She-Ra company, but there’s not even a sign of core characters like Bow or Glimmer, let alone the more off-beat ones like Netossa or Spinerella or Flutterina. Hell, we don’t even have an Adora in either line yet.

2024 is She-Ra’s fortieth anniversary, which means that this would be the perfect time to re-release some of the She-Ra characters in Masterverse and/or Origins. Yet so far Mattel shows no sign that they even remember She-Ra anniversary, let alone plan to do anything to celebrate. I have no idea why – whether it’s due to the tangled rights issues with She-Ra and her supporting cast or whether there’s still some lingering prejudice that She-Ra injected girl cooties into Masters of the Universe and killed off the franchise the first time around, which is apparently a common belief, though it’s a lot more complicated than that. Come to think of it, there hardly were any toys at all for the 2018 She-Ra and the Princesses of Power reboot, even though the cartoon itself was successful and has a dedicated fanbase.

At any rate, I’ve decided to pick up the Masters of the Universe Classics versions of the Princess of Power characters, since that line actually made all of She-Ra’s supporting cast and many of the New Adventures characters and other obscure characters that never had a figure in any other line as well. So in many cases, Classics figures are the only way to ever get these characters. Besides, most of the Princess of Power characters are actually quite affordable by Classics standards and they fit in well with the Masterverse figures. So I hope to eventually assemble the whole Great Rebellion of Etheria in all their glittery pastel-coloured glory.

There’s also Duncan a.k.a. Man-at-Arms turned into a snake person, which is based on a storyline from the 2002 Masters of the Universe cartoon, where King Hiss transforms several of our heroes into snake people. The episode in question can be watched here. Everybody is returned to normal by the end of that episode, but there were plans to turn Duncan back into a snake person for a couple of episodes, causing the heroes to lose their strategist and weapons master and Adam and Teela to lose their father figure. But those plans never came to be, since the cartoon was cancelled before they could get to that part.

Another toy I picked up at that fifty percent off sale was a loose Masters of the Universe Classics Panthor, shown here lounging on the Skeletor t-shirt, which is remarkably fitting. Because for reasons best known to themselves, Mattel still hasn’t made Panthor in the Masterverse line, even though they did make Battle Cat. So when I had the chance to get the Classics Panthor for a really good price (he’s normally very expensive), I snapped him up. So Skeletor is finally reunited with his best friend/ride.

Because it’s obvious that Panthor is probably the only being in the whole universe that Skeletor truly loves. Note that when Evil-Lyn kills turns Panthor into stone and apparently kills him in Masters of the Universe: Revelation, Skeletor is absolutely furious. This is even more notable because only a few episodes before, when faced with Duncan’s heart-rending scream, after Skeletor kills the Sorceress, it becomes very obvious that Skeletor doesn’t understand love. He literally has no idea why Duncan reacts the way he does, why he stops fighting to cradle the body of his beloved, why he doesn’t even resist when Skeletor has him thrown into the dungeon. Because Skeletor cannot love and doesn’t even understand it. Yet he does love Panthor.

In this Skeletor is similar to his former mentor Hordak. Like Skeletor, Hordak is also a terrible person who repeatedly abuses and brainwashes his own followers. However, Hordak also has one being in the whole universe he loved, namely his pet/companion Imp. Though it does seem as if Hordak feels some attachment to Adora as well, considering how eager he always is to bring her back into the fold, though he would probably deny it. And in the 2018 She-Ra series, Hordak befriends Entrapta of all people or rather Entrapta befriends Hordak.

The bio on the back of the box of the Classics Panthor (mine didn’t come with a box, but the bio is online) explains that Skeletor, when he was still Keldor, rescued Panthor from a hunter’s trap as a cub and raised him as his loyal pet, which is remarkably similar to how Adam found Cringer.

Anyway, Skeletor was thrilled to finally be reunited with his best and only true friend in the whole universe, so let’s have some pictures of their reunion:

Skeletor hugs Panthor“Panthor! I missed you so much, my buddy.”


“Come here, come to Daddy. Trust me, I’ll never ever let that nasty Lyn hurt you again.”


Skeletor pets Panthor“Who’s a good kitty? Panthor is a good kitty. Skelly loves his Panthor.”


Skeletor on Panthor

The Masterverse Skeletor fits on the Classics Panthor well enough.

“And now forward into battle, my loyal steed.”


Skeletor on Panthor“Onward to Grayskull, Panthor. Let’s whoop He-Man’s and Battle Cat’s collective arse!”


Skeletor poses with Panthor.“But first, we need a portrait of the once and future King of Eternia, currently temporarily parted from the throne that should be mine, and his most loyal steed.”



Anyway, that was it for my birthday this year. I have some more toy photo stories coming up as well as other posts planned.

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8 Responses to The Obligatory Birthday Post 2024 – with Bonus Skeletor

  1. Estara Swanberg says:

    Happy belated birthday! At our age (though I think you’re ten years younger than me? Is that correct? I’m 57 this year) what happens to the parents changes up so fast.
    Two years ago my father died in a very fast bodily and mental decline within half a year (88 at the time) and since last December my mum who has full blown dementia now is in a very good home, but she hardly eats and moves anymore and looks like the wind could blow her away. If she gets to her birthday this year, she’ll be 90.

    • Cora says:

      Thank you and my condolences for the loss of your father. My Dad went from “mentally totally sharp and still went to work every day” to dead in the span of a month and things only got really bad in the last week or so. If you include the time when he started feeling not so great, it was two months. He made it to 85, which is pretty good, except that he always said he wanted to be 100. My Mom’s decline was longer and slower. She’d been declining for a while, but things got really bad in the last two and a half years, when her hip gave out and she never really recovered from the replacement surgery. She had dementia in the end as well, though she still recognised me, and was completely bedridden in the last three months. She did not quite make it to 82.

      I’m six years younger than you BTW, but I was a late baby and both my parents were late babies as well. I only have one aunt left, who’s 92 now and still going strong. She just managed to break her arm while weeding her garden – at 92.

  2. Happy birthday, Cora! It’s good that you’re buying presents for yourself. I’ll have to figure out what to buy for myself when my birthday rolls around.

  3. Sarah Elkins says:

    “Who’s a good kitty? Panthor is a good kitty. Skelly loves his Panthor.”


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