1980s Movie Villains

It’s been a weird and wonderful month so here is my weird and wonderful 80s League 80s Movie Villains (late entry) post for March 2017.  There are so many amazing 1980s evil doers to pick from so I went for the first villains to spring to mind and had to reel myself in as the list got longer and longer. I’ve listed my choices in alphabetical order.

The 80s League are a bunch of like minded and creative types who enjoy writing and chatting about all things 1980s including movies, TV, music, fashion and so much more. You can check out all the other related 80s Movie Villains posts and podcasts via the links here – Real Weegie MidgetRediscover the 80sReturn to the 80s post and podcastStuck in the 80s podcast and postOld School Evil and 80s Reboot Overdrive.

Rick Moranis as Dark Helmet from Spaceballs (1987)

Starting with an inept, yet tyrannical, villain. Dark Helmet didn’t know an asshole from his elbow but managed to, somehow, command a starship and was feared by his crew. Mostly becasue he enjoyed using his ring to dole out corporal punishment to the privates, literally. Played to perfection by Rick Moranis, Dark Helmet’s prowess using Schwartz was only matched by his stupidity and love of dolls. “They’re not dolls! They’re action figures!”

1980s Villains - Rick Moranis as Dark Helmet from Spaceballs (1987)

Dave Prowse and James Earl Jones as Darth Vader from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

1980s Villains - Dave Prowse and James Earl Jones as Darth Vader from Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

The flip side of Dark Helmet, a skilled warrior, leader and downright evil dude. Darth Vader is a bad-ass. Yes, he doesn’t always win but in the final duel of this movie he methodically rips Luke Skywalker apart, made even more evil by his final revelation, after slicing off Luke’s hand. Willing to overthrow his own master, freeze folk, break deals and take massive risks involving asteroid fields in a bid to rule the galaxy, Vader is an outstanding 1980s villain.

Jack Nicholson as The Joker in Batman (1989)

1980s Villains - Jack Nicholson as The Joker in Batman (1989)

The Joker as I like to picture him, a crazy villain with a lust for power and money who will happily kill his own men, and thousands more to get what he wants. Utilising gadgets, weapons, trickery and subversion, Nicholson’s Joker is a triumph of comic book evil. “Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight? I ask that of all my prey. I just like the sound of it.”

Grace Jones as May Day from A View to a Kill (1985)

1980s Villains - Grace Jones as May Day from A View to a Kill (1985)

May Day is a fictional bodyguard and enforcer employed by Max Zorin and acts as the secondary antagonist of the 1985 James Bond film A View to a Kill. An original character, created specifically for the film, she was portrayed by actress Grace Jones. A strong and deadly opponent that bests Bond and several other agents throughout the movie, May Day has a change of heart after being abandoned by Zorin and helps Bond foil his plot.

Max von Sydow as Ming the Merciless from Flash Gordon (1980)

1980s Villains - Max von Sydow as Ming the Merciless from Flash Gordon (1980)

No beating about the bush, Ming is one evil dude. From his fist appearances in the 1930s he has been the long standing enemy of Flash Gordon. Ming is a ruthless tyrant who rules the planet Mongo and all it’s people. He is infatuated with Dale Arden, whom he plans to marry, and has little regard for life, willing to have his own daughter tortured and enslave entire planets. Possibly the best maniacal laugh of the 1980s, Ming pulls no punches in this wonderfully camp movie, produced by Dino De Laurentiis.

Last, but not least… Frank Langella as Skeletor in Masters of the Universe (1987)

1980s Villains - Frank Langella as Skeletor in Masters of the Universe (1987)

Skeletor was the primary villain in the 1987 live-action Masters of the Universe film, portrayed by Frank Langella. As this was a motion picture, Skeletor was allowed to be far more menacing than the cartoon version. During the course of the movie, Skeletor captures Castle Grayskull and imprisons the Sorceress. Later, he absorbs the power of the Great Eye and transforms into a golden-armored warrior god, but is ultimately defeated by He-Man. Rather than dark purple, he wears all black, and his costume is less scant, covering his entire body with a robe and a flowing cape. Langella’s performance is highly regarded by fans and critics alike.

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Custom action figures by Stolf

Custom, re-painted and re-purposed action figures by Stolf including Fallout-Man, Mick-He-Mouse, Kung Fury, The Toxic Avenger, Solid Snake G.I. Joe, Transformers and He-Man. Some of these customs are for sale, you can contact Stolf and see more of his work via customstolf on Instagram.

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Custom action figures by Stolf - Fallout He-Man
Custom action figures by Stolf - Fallout He-Man
Custom action figures by Stolf - Bamse BebopBamse Bebop based on a design by Grim Nyberg
Custom action figures by Stolf - The Toxic Avenger
Custom action figures by Stolf - Mick-He-Mouse
Custom action figures by Stolf - Solid Snake G.I. Joe
Custom action figures by Stolf - Transformers Hot Rod
Custom action figures by Stolf - The Real Ghostbusters Janine's Genie
Custom action figures by Stolf - Skeletor
Custom action figures by Stolf - Merman
Custom action figures by Stolf - Teela
Custom action figures by Stolf - King Randor
Custom action figures by Stolf - Hordak
Custom action figures by Stolf - Kung Fury

Multicade of the Universe – custom He-Man arcade cabinet by Tom Ace

Toy collector, customiser and all round master tinkerer Tom Ace picked up a vintage arcade machine about a month ago, with 620 games built in. “The guy told me it was called a Multicade, so naturally I had to put a Masters of the Universe twist on it, and I turned it into Multicade of the Universe!”

Tom designed, printed and installed all of the graphics, replaced the T-trim, changed out the buttons and joysticks, replaced the clear plastic over the control panel, tinted the glass and added an LCD monitor. The entire cabinet is smothered in retro Masters of the Universe imagery originally used to promote the hugely successful Mattel He-Man and the Masters of the Universe toy line and the animated television series produced by Filmation.


“[It’s] been a fun project and the games are a ton of fun to play!”

Tom is indeed the Master of the Universe when it comes to creating something that toy collectors, arcade enthusiasts and 1980s kids would love to get their hands on. Some might even be prepared to trade their precious Wonder Bread He-Man and Laser Light Skeletor for such an awesome looking arcade cabinet.

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Castle Grayskull & Snake Mountain repaints by Ryan Lansdon

One of the most famous childhood playsets of all time, Castle Grayskull was a huge epic looking beast with ladders, guns, weapons rack, trap door and came in a wonderful shade of murky green. Here’s where Masters of the Universe fan , and toy collector, Ryan Lansdon stepped in and unleashed his artistic skills upon the classic He-Man playset. Ryan got to work and now the castle looks like a real castle! Below you can see the highly detailed repaints and the classic originals for a side-by-side comparison. “By the Power of Grayskull…I Have the Power!” Masters of the Universe Snake MountainHe-Man and the Masters of the Universe Castle Grayskull Next Ryan took his hand to Snake Mountain, the rather amusing looking playset that was always the poor cousin of Castle Grayskull despite packing a trap door, voice changer and huge snake. Anyone else think the face on the front looks like Cyril Sneer from the Raccoons? Anyway, another glorious repaint later and you have two awesome looking playsets with details that really pop! I wonder what’s next for this talented artist? I vote for the Ghostbusters Firehouse.

Follow my Retro Toys Twitter account for all the toys, games and comics action you could ever want. Also give my Retro Gamer account a whirl for everything computer and console related.

He-Can and Skelecan: The pop culture art of Grim Nyberg

Graffiti and mural artist Grim Nyberg has taken a couple of broken Masters of the Universe figures and created He-Can and Skelecan. Custom figures taken to a whole new level of awesome, they have the power!

His work also includes huge bespoke murals inspired by Ghostbusters, Star Wars, RoboCop, Mario and other Pop Culture Icons. I’m sure he would be happy with more commission work so drop him a line via the website.

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He-Can and Skelecan by Grim Nyberg (He-Man and Skeletor)
Robocop by Grim Nyberg
Ghostbusters Slimer by Grim Nyberg
Mario by Grim Nyberg
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by Grim Nyberg
Star Wars Darth Vader by Grim Nyberg
Mars Attacks by Grim NybergReturn of of the Living Dead by Grim Nyberg

Turtle Movie by Grim Nyberg
“Here’s a piece I did last summer to show the community that graffiti can be beautiful if it finds a legal place to exist.”

Grim Nyberg

Skeletor and Evil Lyn Masters Of The Universe Cosplay

By OrangeSwine on Deviant Art.

Looks like the cartoon characters just stepped out of the animation and into real life, great job.


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By the Power of Grayskull! Rideable He-Man Cringer / Battle Cat Statue.

Zach Curtis walked into Library House Books and Art, 24164 Front St, Grand Rapids, Ohio and found this rather huge, and fierce looking, Battle Cat. “So I walk into a book store in Northern Ohio and there is Battle Cat!” Must be popular, they have a footstool for easy mounting (Oo-er). This is part of an exhibition by the local artist Peter Koelsch, the designer and creator of this rather excellent looking beast. The owner of the Library House Books, Dorinda Shelley, can be seen proudly sat atop the statue below.

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Peter Koelsch Masters of the Universe Battle Cat statue
Peter Koelsch Masters of the Universe Battle Cat statue

Peter Koelsch Masters of the Universe Battle Cat statue

Tom’s Vintage Toys

Tom’s Vintage Toys – 1127 Lincolnway E, Mishawaka, Indiana is an independent toy store and treasure trove of all things collectable.

The stock is like a flashback in time with more cool retro boxed items than I have seen outside of a museum or dedicated collection. You can find Tom’s Vintage Toys on Facebook. No mail order so be prepared for a road trip (in a big van). Permission to drool, granted.

Tom's Vintage Toys
Tom's Vintage Toys
Tom's vintage Toys
Tom's Vintage Toys
Tom's Vintage Toys
Tom's Vintage Toys
Tom's Vintage Toys
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