Sunday, October 27, 2013

Nostalgia Theater: Sectaurs -- Icky Bug Guys Doing Battle

In 1985, yet another toyline emerged that attempted to wrest valuable mindspace of kiddies away from the He-Man-G.I. Joe-Transformers trifecta that dominated most of the decade. This time out, the erstwhile contender was toymaker Coleco (which had made a big splash in the girls' market a few years earlier with Cabbage Patch Kids), and the product on offer was Sectaurs: Warriors of Symbion. While their action figures were packed with articulation, accessories, and features, what I remember most is how...icky the whole thing was.

With a mythology steeped in mysticism and magic, Sectaurs was a pretty transparent riff on Masters of the Universe, with the big twist being that all the characters were a bizarre insect-humanoid hybrid (the result of some experiment gone awry or some such). Whatever the whys-and-wherefores, the end result was that the heroic Sectaurs of the Shining Realm, led by the noble Prince Dargon, did heavily toyetic battle with the denizens of the Dark Domain and their evil leader General Spidrax. Yeah, the He-Man rip-off factor was pretty obvious even to five year-old me. Here's a TV spot for the line:


Seriously. Icky.

While I basically ignored the first wave of Sectaurs during their initial release, my brother and I ended up getting Dargon, along with his giant steed, Dragonflyer, as a gift in summer of '87 while visiting Edmonton. Given that the toyline (which consisted of five figures, five steeds, and one playset) had already been discontinued by then, I can only assume that whoever gave it to us picked up the two-pack out of the remainder bin. The innovation with the steeds, by the way, is that they were articulated puppets. You'd put your hands in a little glove that would serve as the animal's legs.

While Coleco packed it in early with Sectaurs, as was par for the course for '80s action figure lines, Marvel Comics did put out a short-lived comic (see the pic above), and as I was doing a cursory web search in support of this post, I came to learn that there was also an animated series from Marvel as well. Honestly, I had no idea this thing even existed until a few hours ago. Nonetheless, exist it did. For five episodes, anyway, in fall of '85. Presumably the goal was to build interest and spin-off a full series the next fall, but I'm guessing kids couldn't get past the "ick" factor. Just a guess. Take a look at the intro, and you tell me:

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