Saturday, September 13, 2008

Retro Toybox: Sectaurs--Warriors of Symbion

You asked for it! Today’s totally terrific topic is:

I was actually inspired to write this for bragging purposes, but more on that later. Here’s the scoop:

Sectaurs were one of the many exceptionally excellent and exciting action figure collections that appeared in that whirlwind of toy-goodness we like to call "the 80's." Officially, they are Sectaurs: Warriors of Symbion, with Symbion being one of those mythical far-away planets that has technology well in advance of ours.

They were created by Coleco in 1984, and their basic story was that the inhabitants of Symbion were affected by genetic experimentation gone wrong. All the people were weird hybrids of insects and humans, and the regular insects were giants that could be ridden like horses. The toy line was accompanied by an animated mini-series (available on YouTube), a Marvel comics mini-series, and other story and activity books. There's more to the story, like some telepathic connective stuff and typical "bad guys trying to take the powerful weapon" storylines, but I'll leave that up to you the readers to discover. I'm going to focus on the toys.

The line was built around 7 inch (eight if you count he antennae) figures which were very sturdy and well articulated. There were the typical good guy/bad guy teams with unique characters. Dargon was leader of the "Shining Realm" and came with an awesome steed named Dragonflyer. Dragonflyer, like other creatures in the series, was half puppet and half electronic toy. The legs of the beast were a pointy black glove, and the slick translucent wings flapped noisily on two AA batteries. All in all, it was perfect. Dargon, and the other characters, could also be purchased with a smaller insect sidekick. There was something for every price range. The "Dark Domain" was led by General Spidrax, who also came with a flying insect steed named Spider-Flyer.

The real gem of the collection, however, was The Hyve. The Hyve was like Castle Greyskull's taller cousin. The giant mountain fortress had a trapdoor, swinging boulder, and puppets of a giant spider and a small rubbery insect.

Notably absent were toys of the female characters. The girls just never got any respect back in those days. I've read that there were female figures planned for the second wave, but unfortunately the line fell victim to the highly competitive toy market of the time.

Now time to show off. Guess what I got today. No really, guess. Guessed it yet? I got the Hyve!!!! It's not entirely complete, but it's in great shape and I paid...wait for it...THREE DOLLARS!!!! Yep, it pays to wake up on a Saturday and go to garage sales. I also have Dargon and Dragonflyer from back in the day. I vividly remember buying it on clearance at Best (anybody remember that place?) one cold winter day with a handful of birthday money. It's been a favorite ever since. A while back I found a bunch of others in a clearance bin at a collector's store for $1 each, in various conditions. They show up on ebay often and it's not too costly to start a decent collection. Well, except for the Hyve. That thing will empty your wallet.

Photo gallery

Here are a few pictures I took of the items in my collection. Sorry about the amateur photography skills.

The Hyve, front and back:

Back row left to right: Mantor w/ Raplor, Zak w/ Bitaur, Dargon, Skito w/ Toxcid. Pinsor w/ Battle Beetle is in front.

Dargon with Dragonflyer:

Well, that's it for now. More random goodness is on the way. Maybe with winter approaching I'll spend more time indoors working on this blog.


NoelCT said...

Not only did I never have a Sectaur, I didn't even know the series existed until Anthony mentioned it on his blog a little while back. Since I'm no longer an action figure collector, I relate to this stuff through media tie-ins.

In terms of this specific line, the tv series didn't do much for me, but I'm really looking forward to giving the comics a read. Mainly because they're written by Bill Mantlo, the uber-maestro behind the comic adaptations of ROM and MICRONAUTS.

Aiwaloki said...

You are so lucky. I have been waiting for one. I had one as a kid and I remember how huge it was.