One of my earliest memories is the Christmas when my father gave me a He-Man action figure. I was beyond excited. I still have it floating around my parents’ house, beaten and bent like favorite toys should be. If you haven’t guessed, He-Man was my first fanboy love. I still think about the big guy sometimes. Thankfully, my job lets me geek out about the things I used to really care about.
The past couple of times I’ve worked on novelty real estate articles, I’ve taken my cues from our loyal readers who wanted to know the value of Hogwarts Castle and SpongeBob’s pineapple. This time, however, I have to admit, figuring out the estimated value of He-Man’s fortress—Castle Grayskull—was all for me.
What did I find after I saddled up my giant tiger and went in search of numbers? At the end of the day, Castle Grayskull isn’t worth nearly as much as other imaginary castles the Movoto team has valued. I estimated Castle Grayskull would be worth $2,143,360 in today’s currency.
Why so little, you ask? Frankly, the castle is a bit of a mess. Also, it’s shaped like a giant freaking skull.
Related Resources from B2C
» Free Webcast: Build Better Products by Identifying and Validating Your Riskiest Assumptions
By The Power of Fictional Real Estate
Imagine, if you will, instead of Prince Adam holding up his sword and calling on the power of Grayskull there is a blogger out there holding up his PC and calling on the power of the Internet. Yeah, that’s pretty me every time I write one of these posts. This mystical power lets me expertly find the three things needed to evaluate fictional property:
- Comparable properties
I’m going to start with the most difficult part–the location. Prepare yourself, because we’re taking a journey to another planet. Well, sorta.
This Part Took an Eternia to Figure Out
Location plays an important part in figuring out the price of any property. But what do you do when the location of fake real estate is on another planet—in this case, Eteria? As I’ve done in the past, I’ve located a real-world equivalent. For example, J.R.R. Tolien’s Middle-Earth is based on England. So, when I found the value of Bilbo’s digs, I based it on English real estate. In this case, I needed to figure out an analog for Eternia, a strange world populated with all sorts of zany cultures and technologies.
Try as I might, I was unable to figure out where He-Man’s creators based Eternia. So I turned to He-Man himself. I fired up my browser, took a gander at the big guy, and decided to base the castle’s location on He-Man’s physically characteristics. For good measure, I also utilized a map of Eternia.
A Big Blond Strongman
If you haven’t seen He-Man series in a while, let me remind you of the main character. He is a tall, muscular blond man. That’s one of the reasons Dolph Lundgren played our hero in the live-action movie. Knowing this, I made the assumption that if He-Man would be from Earth, he’d likely be Northern European.
With this in mind, I examined my Eternia map. Castle Grayskull sits in a wasteland outside of a giant forest. In addition, if you—or your action figures—would travel east or west, you’d run into a sea or ocean, respectively.
Combining these two pieces of information, I decided that Castle Grayskull would be in one of these countries and regions: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden, or the United Kingdom.
Eventually, I picked Sweden. Why? Well, more than 50 percent of the country is forest and it sits between the North Sea and Baltic Sea. In addition, the southern portion of the country sits relatively close to a lot of diverse cultures. This is a bonus, as Eternia is filled with every type of made up creature you could dream up. Half-squid, half-aardvark with moss for hair? Eternia has it.
With this out of the way, I turned to finding a more detailed location.
Castles in Sweden
As awesome as He-Man’s castle is, I knew it was very, very unlikely there would be a skull-shaped castle in Sweden. In fact, I doubt there is one in the entire world. (If you know of one, let me know.) Instead, I looked for sinister-looking castles to use in this evaluation. I came up with this list:
- Bergkvara Castle
- Bohus Fortress
- Marsvinsholm Castle
- Örebro Castle
- Vaxholm Castle
Once I had this list of Swedish structural engineering know-how, I utilized my expert novelty real estate knowledge to pick one that would be the best real-world equivalent of Castle Grayskull. After long hours of staring at castles, I eventually picked Örebro Castle, a medieval fortification, which was, at least in part, constructed in the 13th Century. I picked Örebro mainly because of its age and because it has a striking feature, which it shares with Castle Grayskull. He-Man’s castle is surrounded by a what I like to think of as a bottomless pit. Örebro Castle is surrounded by a moat. This allowed me to place Grayskull Castle in Örebro, Närke, Sweden. And no, I have no idea how to pronounce any of that.
Once I had this, I needed Castle Grayskull’s size.
Just Scale It Up
I had a bad feeling about trying to find the size of Castle Grayskull. I’ve been at this long enough to know when something seems off. I was correct. To pick the size of the big green fortress, I had several options. They were:
- Estimate the size of the castle from the original cartoon
- Scale the castle based on the size of the 1982 toy castle
- Search for fan drawings
In a perfect world, there would be a detailed drawing of the castle. Unfortunately, Mattel didn’t create Castle Grayskull with “unreal estate” in mind. I ended up getting creative. I relied on a sketch from a mini He-Man comic and a diagram of the 1982 toy castle. I figured out that the castle is essentially a rectangle. From here I used an old Movoto standby: scaling.
To scale, you need to know the size of one object, which you then use to figure out the size of a second object. Basically, I needed to know how tall He-Man would be in real life. There is some fan debate. He could be 6’2” or 6’4”. I’ve even seen an argument for him being 6’7”. (Yikes! How tall would all the baddies he faced have to have been?) I ended up sticking with 6’2”.
I found that the 1982 toy castle was as tall as three He-Man action figures. Additionally, I estimated the front of the castle was as wide as two-and-a-half He-Man action figures laying head to toe. In other words the front of the castle was about (in feet):
- 18’6” tall
- 15’3” wide
This meant the the width and length of the castle were:
- 15’3” wide
- 30’6” wide
Based on these numbers, I estimated one story of the structure was about 5,582 square feet. This would make Castle Grayskull, which has three stories, about 16,745 square feet.
Honestly, I found this somewhat small. However, there’s a lot of inconsistency between the toys and the TV show in regard to perspective. And, seeing as I based most of my assumptions off the 1982 toy, I wasn’t too surprised. Seriously, folks, the entrance to the castle is only slightly bigger than the He-Man action figure.
With both the location and the size figured out, I needed one final piece of the puzzle: comparable properties.
Comparable Properties and Cost
There are no skull-shaped castles for sale in Sweden (disappointing, I know). Not that I thought there would be. In fact, there are very few castles for sale at all. After scouring the Internet, I was only able to locate one castle for sale in the whole country, and it wasn’t even all that close to where I based Castle Grayskull’s location. Still, it’s something. The castle was being sold at $128 per square foot. This means Castle Grayskull would be worth $2,143,360.
This is a pretty low amount, but let’s think about it. It’s a skull-shaped castle that is probably haunted. It’s falling apart and located in a bad area, away from nearly everything in Eternia. Then again, this fixer-upper might be hiding something much more valuable underneath—just like Prince Adam.