Classic 80s Boy Cartoons Made You Feel Like a He-Man

The eighties unleashed a whole new array of cartoons for kids to dig into, with the new TV fare offering up adventures from the Smurfs to Muppet Babies. And if you were a young man during the big-hair decade, these 80s boy cartoons were right up your alley … and made you feel like a real He-Man.

He-Man and the Masters of the Universe

During its original run, He-Man was a successful show for young boys. The setting is in Eternia which has been threatened by Skeletor who wants to conquer Castle Grayskull – this castle contains a powerful sword called “the power” that grants great wishes or eternal life. Skeletor has the sword but not yet been able to get inside of Grayskull (this is the direction that most episodes seem to follow).


The Thundercat’s world is threatened by the forces of Mumm-Ra. The show follows a team of catlike humanoid warriors called “thundercats” who are sent on missions to defend their home planet and fight against evil mutants such as Slithe, Mutilor, Tygra, and Clawful. It was created by Rankin/Bass and was in production from 1985 to 1989.

The Thundercats’ main characters are Lion-O, Tygra, Panthro, Cheetara, Mumm-Ra (the most powerful of the evil mutants), Wilykit and Wilykat (mischievous young cats who befriend the thundercats), Snarf, and the Thunderkittens.


The series takes place in a distant planetary system called the Voltron System, which is made up of five planets: Arus (the home planet), Pollux, Taurus IV, Baltozar and Farrad. By combining their powers they form the giant robot known as “Voltron.” The story follows a team of space explorers who are sent to the Voltron System by King Alfor of planet Earth (a “sixth” planet) in order to study and hopefully learn how to grow a new, stable source of energy.


The show revolves around the lives of a group of sentient, humanoid robots from the planet Cybertron (known as Autobots) and their enemy, Unicron’s Decepticons. The two sides are engaged in an all-out war in which one side tries to destroy the other by any means necessary; including force or trickery.

The Transformers universe was revived on the big screen in 2007, a series of blockbuster films starring Shia LaBeouf as Sam Witwicky, a teenager who gets caught up in the Autobots’ battle with their alien enemies.

The series and films also spawned multiple lines of Transformers toys that are among the most successful in history.

G.I. Joe

The show revolves around a special military unit of anthropomorphic animals that use high tech weapons and vehicles to fight the evil forces of COBRA – an organization led by the villainous Baroness who is aided by her second in command, Destro; all under the watchful eye of General Hawk.

Dungeons & Dragons

The show followed the quest of five young teens, led by a warrior princess named Willow and her friend Prince Otho. Based on the classic role-playing game of the same name, the kids travel across dimensions to find five artifacts that will help them defeat a demon sorcerer who is trying to take over the world.

Defenders of the Earth

The show features the characters Flash Gordon, Dale Arden and Dr. Hans Zarkov from the iconic Sci-Fi Film “Flash Gordon” (1936) as they are joined by other pulp heroes such as Mandrake The Magician, Lothar of the Jungle and Prince Thun of Atlantis to fight Ming The Merciless who had established law and order across the world.

Challenge of the GoBots

Based on the toy line of transforming robots with rubber tires, “Challenge Of The Gobots” ran from 1984-1985.

The show followed a group of freedom fighters that includes Leader-One and his friends Scooter, Sprockett and Cop Talker who fight against the evil Renegade Commander and his army of Rock Lords (Rock Monsters) and Trash Can droids.

(Like 80s Boy Cartoons? Then you might like our article on 80s Girl Cartoons, click here. Or maybe like Forgotten 80s Cartoons, click here.)

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