Castle Grayskull Oddities

Like many people who were young boys in the early 80s (as well as some young girls, and even possibly some odd men and women who weren’t young at the time), I used to have He-Man’s Castle Grayskull. As a child, there were many things I didn’t question about the toy that perhaps I should have. Looking back on it right now, there is at least one thing that strikes me as weird.

Let’s take a look:

What’s odd about this? Well, look at that trap door in the throne room. When the throne is moved, the trap door opens.

First of all, Castle Grayskull is supposed to be the home of the good guys. Do the good guys usually resort to tricks like trap doors? As I remember, He-Man usually faced enemies bravely without tricks. I don’t remember him ever resorting to something like a trap door, particularly in his own house. So…why is it there?

Second, why does the trap door apparently let out in the antechamber of the castle instead of in a dungeon or something. Ha ha, evildoer, you’ve fallen for my trick and through the trap door! Now you gotta…climb back up the same ladder you did a moment ago. Yeah, sorry about that…for some reason we never built stairs and have to use that ladder.

Last, why would they have made the trap door to be triggered by movement of the throne? Isn’t that an odd way to trigger a trap door? Oh, you have me trapped in my own home, evildoer. Before I respond to your threat, let me just shift my throne so it no longer faces you real quick…

Granted, this was a toy and was made a while ago. I’m sure it isn’t supposed to stand up under scrutiny and I’m not supposed to subject it to such. Regardless, this seems kind of odd to me now. I can’t help but wonder about it, however much it’s pointless for me to do so.

About David S. Atkinson

David S. Atkinson enjoys typing about himself in the third person, although he does not generally enjoy speaking in such a fashion. However, he is concerned about the Kierkegaard quote "Once you label me you negate me." He worries that if he attempts to define himself he will, in fact, nullify his existence...
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6 Responses to Castle Grayskull Oddities

  1. Ah… memories.
    Maybe it wasn’t a trapdoor, but an escape route for He-Man.

    • That theory doesn’t work much better. First off, it would be odd for He-Man to use an escape route instead of bravely facing an enemy, particularly one who had invaded Castle Grayskull. Second, it would be an odd design choice to design an escape route that one had to move an object across the room in order to trigger. “You have trapped me, evildoer. Would you mind rearranging my throne real quick while I stand on this perfectly innocent carpet? It isn’t like I can escape anyway, so you might as well help me rearrange the furniture before you beat me.”

  2. With the unified Power Sword in hand, Skeletor’s next move is to disguise his fleshless face with grayish clay, to better resemble the colossal visage hewn into the front wall of Castle Grayskull. When he enters the castle, Teela doesn’t recognize her enemy, and presumes that he is the King of legend. Once Teela has shown him to the throne, Skeletor reveals his ruse and uses the thrones secret devices to trigger a trap door, sending the woman to the dungeon.

  3. jk says:

    There is an entrance to the dungeon in the floor of the ground level, directly beneath the trap door. It is depicted in an illustration on a sticker, showing various creatures reaching through bars. Presumably, you imagine the bars on that opening up in concert with the trap door to dispose of the victim. One could also imagine that the throne can be moved by a remote mechanism such as a button rather than needed to be pushed. All of this is much easier to imagine than a man who is super-powerful and has a magic sword, or why a “castle” amounts to about 200 square feet. Your point about morality, however, is less easy to explain. Then again, who thought the U.S. would use Guantanamo?

    • You give He-Man a little more benefit of the doubt than I do, apparently, other than on the morality front. As for the morality issue, though, He-Man was typically presented as having far fewer moral failings than the US. As nice as we like to think of it, there have been many terrible things the US (and I still do love it) has done. I think Guantanamo isn’t that unexpected given some of the things the US has resorted to in the past.

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