Highsnobiety

If it seems like there's an endless cavalcade of Virgil Abloh-related endeavors even as we near a year after his passing, it's because there is. It's not that folks are merely attempting to milk the designer's good name but that Abloh was simply involved with more stuff at any given moment than most of us oversee in an entire year.

Seriously: Abloh was simultaneously juggling work with Louis Vuitton, Church's, Cassina, Off-White™, MLB, and his "Figures of Speech" exhibit prior to his death in late November 2022, to name just a few of the projects he had going at once.

One of the projects that Abloh had begun developing even earlier in 2021 was part of his burgeoning partnership with toy company Mattel, makers of UNO, Barbie, and Hot Wheels. Specifically, Abloh was in touch with the Mattel Creations team, who oversee the company's premium projects, like the Masters of the Universe toys redesigned by artist Madsaki.

It was that same toy line, the one with He-Man and Skeletor, that captured Virgil Abloh's eye. A fan of MOTU, Abloh repackaged the toys in surprising ways like burying the action figures at the bottom of Off-White™'s beauty boxes.

Now, on October 21, Mattel Creations is releasing a standalone line of Masters of the Universe c/o Virgil Abloh™ figures devised by Abloh and Alaska Alaska, the London-based design agency he founded.

“Virgil had a deep interest in the MOTU property, in which aspects of his interest was rooted in nostalgia," affirmed Alaska Alaska.

"The design direction looked to preserve the existing iconography, using color theory as a point of entry into novelty, and collector’s culture, drawing a parallel between art collector and comic book collectors."

Abloh and Alaska Alaska's transformed He-Man, Skeletor, Battle Cat, and Skele-God are coated in various shades of beige, stripped of the vivid comic book hues that made the Saturday morning cartoon such a powerful purveyor of toys. They're renamed, too, sporting provocative quotation mark-wrapped monikers like "WOMAN" (He-Man) and "HER" (Skeletor).

Makes sense for a line called “LOADED MESSAGE.” On the fun side, they all come with comic book created by Reggieknow, a longtime Abloh friend.

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