Memorygasm – “He-Man Smells Trouble”

by Howie Decker @HowardTheDeck on May 20, 2013

in Masters of the Universe, Memorygasms

The “trouble” He-Man is smelling in this 1985 Golden Book is a skunk-man who smells so pervasively of ass that he has to wear a special mask to filter out his own wretched stench. His name pretty much sums up how I feel about the entire MOTU franchise: Stinkor.

Animals flee before him! Birds fall choking from the sky! Villages evacuate! Forests wilt! And yet he gets super upset when Skeletor boots him out of Snake Mountain for rendering the air unbreathable.

Take a good whiff of the obvious, Stinkor. As we’ve established, not even you can stomach the smell you’re bringing, so unless you’re passing out free masks, GTFO and take a long walk into a deep cave.

I’ve only included three pages from the book because, honestly, it doesn’t get any better than: “I never want to smell you again!”, and, “Stinkor, you smell terribly even when you haven’t fired the stink-ray.”

If you’re so inclined, and you probably are, you can read the entire thing at

It defies belief, but Stinkor first appeared as an official line action figure. The “Evil Master of Odors” emitted an honest to God unpleasant scent, achieved by mixing the plastic with patchouli oil (an atrocious substance the hippies at my high school wore) in the molding process.

Can’t you just hear the conversation in Toys “R” Us?

KID: “Mom, can I get this buff skunk guy? He really smells!”

MOM: “Sure, son, go ahead and get two. Your dad and I just love spending all our money on asinine toys that make our house smell like a toilet.”

The figure came with a minicomic called The Stench of Evil!. I read that too. Here are my favorite lines:

“Yes! Yes! I revel in all that is foul!”

“Then let us take the smell of evil to Eternia!”

“That smell – it’s worse than a hundred skunks!”

“If only I can hold my breath long enough to strike!”

“What is perfume to us is poison to Stinkor!”

Nerds of a certain age might be interested in one more little detail. The illustrations for He-Man Smells Trouble are by Jim Holloway and Harry Quinn. Holloway got his start in the Golden Age of D&D (see some of his classic work here) and quickly became a legend in the gaming art world. Harry Quinn also worked on a number of early D&D modules, as well as TSR’s popular Endless Quest series.

All images via

@eclectik May 20, 2013 at 2:39 am

The fact that the MOTU toys gave us “Smell-O-Figures” (Stinkor, Moss Man) should be applauded … but, My hands were stinking after playing with them!
The characters and the plots though were great, it really seemed like NO ONE had a bad idea in creative, they were all like … sure! lets!

Dex (@Dex1138) May 20, 2013 at 6:36 am

My favorite line is on the first page “Skeletor’s men used their weapons against the smell.” No wonder they lost all the time.

Sammy May 20, 2013 at 9:24 am

The visual of Skeltor’s men using their weapons against the smell is hilarious

2 Warps to Neptune May 20, 2013 at 3:06 pm

According to the MOTU Wiki:

“Stinkor was presented to Lou Scheimer and other staff at Filmation for inclusion in the original She-Ra: Princess of Power cartoon series as a member of the Evil Horde, but his questionable superpower kept him from ever making an appearance on television. According to Filmation staff, when the description of Stinkor was read out at a meeting of the story editors, all of them burst out laughing at the idea of a character who was `a walking fart joke’ and vowed never to use Stinkor in any episode script[1].”

The footnote leads to a dead link, but damn, I really wish he’d made it onto She-Ra. “I smell the power!”

Howard Decker May 20, 2013 at 3:50 pm

that’s amazing. If someone from off-planet asked me to sum up 80s action figures with one example, I’d have a hard time not choosing Stinkor. Questionable gimmick, good execution (regardless of how solid the idea is), high collectibility, recognizable.

Daily D May 20, 2013 at 4:51 pm

I must have this book

Count Marzo May 20, 2013 at 5:18 pm

“His name pretty much sums up how I feel about the entire MOTU franchise: Stinkor.” WHAT?! >:(

I need to score this book. I have a few but not this one….yet. 🙂

Stinkor is awesome. One of my favorite figures that holds A LOT of nostalgia value. It’s all about that scent! My vintage Stinkor that I still have 27 years later STILL smells. If I never need to “recharge” his scent, well I have a perfect idea for that… lol 😉

Howard Decker May 20, 2013 at 5:53 pm

Hah right. Yeah as soon as 2W2N sent this in I went to eBay and started watching 2-3 copies. My son would friggin’ love this book.

StephenT May 20, 2013 at 10:03 pm

This article reeks of awesomeness.

Howard Decker May 21, 2013 at 9:47 am

Doesn’t it just stink?

ClarenceRHM May 21, 2013 at 6:58 am

Oddities like Stinkor may have been one of the reasons I couldn’t get into He-Man as a kid.

She-Ra, on the other hand…

Howard Decker May 21, 2013 at 9:45 am

I’ll admit, Hordak was a much badder villain than Skeletor, but She-Ra had it’s share of oddities too!

JJ May 21, 2013 at 9:11 pm

more pages from these books please!

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