SECTAURS: WARRIORS OF SYMBION

In 1983 Coleco struck gold with Xavier Roberts’ Cabbage Patch Kids. After the video game implosion of that year they moved forward with toys and dolls which had brought them success, leaving Colecovision and the Adam behind. By 1985 they stopped production of all electronics and focused solely on toys, board games, stuffed animals, and dolls. In 1985 they also released the short lived toy line, SECTAURS: WARRIORS OF SYMBION.

With the success of Mattel’s Masters of the Universe toys (which in turn was spawned by the success of the Star Wars toy line), every toy company was looking to create the next Sci-Fi / Fantasy money making empire. This made the 80’s a fantastic time to be a kid. We were living in a world were toy companies took chances, some paid off while others did not. The market was toy driven for the most part with toys spawning the cartoons and comics. It feels very different today, with most of the toys on the shelves being spawned by summer blockbusters, cartoons, and a dash of comic books and nostalgia.

Coleco threw their hat into the ring in 1985 with the SECTAURS: WARRIORS OF SYMBION toy line. Sadly their gamble did not pay off and they only produced one wave of the toys. There were only 5 figures (3 good, 2 bad) packed with their insect companions, 4 deluxe figures (2 good, 2 bad) that came with a large puppet infused insect mount, and The Hyve Fortress play set in this single wave.  Here’s the back of one of the deluxe figures, in Spanish. It gives a good run down of the one and only wave..

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Here is a picture of one lucky collectors collection.

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Here is the “Origin” toy commercial and one for the Hyve Fortress play set. Interesting fact, the commercials were episodic with a “story” arc. You can find the videos on YouTube if you are interested.

I remember these toys being of great quality and having great accessories. Every figure came with bandoliers and holsters to carry their weaponry. The weapons were sturdy and ranged from swords and axes to pistols and rifles. All the insect companions had a feature like “biting action” or “water spraying”. The four mounts were also well made and all had a black nylon glove (some plain, some covered in spider hair) to puppeteer their legs and with a ring that would control their pinchers or jaws, some also had battery operated wings.

I had the bearded Mantor with his faithful companion Rapplor. Rapplor had a string that could pulled out so he could aid Mantor with climbing. The young and brash Zak with his fierce companion Bitaur. Bitaur had a button on his back that allowed him to have biting action. I also had the villainous Skito with his dangerous companion Toxcid. Toxcid had a bulb behind that let him suck up water and spray it out. As for the deluxe figures, I  had two. The mighty Pinsor and his tough Battle Beetle. The Battle Beetle had two powerful pinchers you could control. And the spider-like Skulk with Trancula. Trancula had furry spider legs that offered not that much action.

I absolutely loved these toys. They were bigger than the average action figure at the time and they had a great range of movement. The arms were formed but they had ball sockets in the shoulders. They also had joints at the knees, which was more than He-Man had at the time. I am always a fan of holsters and stuff to hold the figures gear on them, and these guys had that in spades. The rifles also came with straps so you could loop them around the figures shoulder. I am also a huge fan of sword and sorcery meets high-tech and these toys oozed that charm.

Accompanying the toy lines release was a five-part Ruby-Spears cartoon which ran on syndicate stations in September of that year. I don’t really remember the cartoon but in those days my access to the local syndicate stations was poor due to having a crappy antenna. The one difference I notice between the toys and the show was the characters eyes. The toys portrayed them as a solid bugs eye while the show cave them a cat like eye. Probably to show character’s line of sight.

Marvel comics also produced an eight issue comic series that, as always, told a bigger and better story than the show offered. These are the only thing from my childhood SECTAURS collection I have left.

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The SECTAURS: WARRIORS OF SYMBION toys only lasted for about a year but it spawned a cartoon mini-series, a comic book, coloring books, puzzles, children books, and dozens of memories that I’ll keep with me forever. Rumor has it that their frightful appearance and high price tag were what killed this innovated toy line. This is one of the reasons that now  the toy shelves are full of uninspired movie and cartoon tie ins and wrestling figures. Thank god we still have Star Wars toys.

 

 

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13 thoughts on “SECTAURS: WARRIORS OF SYMBION

  1. They were great toys. I had two and they were awesome. I was not a heman guy mostly due to the limited range of motion. I think that is why I went nuts for some of the first McFarlane toys.

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  2. I remember visiting my cousin. He had the Hive and a bunch of the figures. I had never seen them before, and was totally blown away. I was disappointed that he didn’t have any He-Man figures, though 🙂

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  3. You know…I’ve never thought about it in this way but you’re right. Toys were more inventive in the 80’s! As a kid, I feel like there were all manner of fantastic sci-fi and fantasy toys to choose from. But the last time I strolled through Toy ‘R’ Us or the Target toy aisles they are filled almost exclusively with movie tie-in merchandise. Huh. That’s sad! With corporate moves like, anchored in “proven” properties, I think we’ve absolutely lost something important, something of imagination and creativity.

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    1. Sadly with every inventive line was a canceled toy line, none of them really lasted. So with the loss of money toy companies got scared and only went with sure things like movies, shows, and weirdly wrestling lol. Seems like nowadays we see just as many classic toys having shows (lego) as we do shows having toys. There are a ton of new shows that still haven’t made the leap to toys. Either because they don’t know who to market it to or because they think it’ll be too weird. Star vs the Forces of Evil is a good example. The show has a strong female lead and a strong male lead as well. It is an odd show to boot. So the “powers that be” feel that girls won’t buy the toys and think boys don’t watch it

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      1. I’ve never heard of “Star vs. the Forces of Evil” so you are absolutely right about their marketing! It sounds brilliant though and something much needed in our cultural landscape.

        LEGO is something I think about often too. Now they have sets for everything from Star Wars to Marvel and DC to Harry Potter (as you said, based on proven success of the name) as well as their own original lines. When I was a kid, all they had were their original stuff. I remember sitting on the floor, looking at a pile of grey bricks, trying to figure out how to make my own Millennium Falcon. Was it a pretty rough facsimile? Yep. But I still loved it! I get a little nostalgic thinking of the creativity we’d pour into out LEGOS creating worlds with their actual sets and then trying to figure out how to cobble together some collection of body parts that could maybe, kinda, in the right light approach Spider-Man :).

        The refusal of companies to run the risk of originality in new toys and then show-to-toys transitions is just another example of why Hollywood loves sequels, prequels, reboots,and remakes so much. It’s a proven name. Sure, they’re fun. But I’d like to see some original creativity too!

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      2. Sadly…money is the key to everything. We see it in Politics (a lot now) to which soda is poured at your local restaurant. It’s an age old “truth” but its reach is more eye opening everyday.

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      3. You’re absolutely right. I love when I see Pepsi and Coke products side by side in some little restaurant or coffee shop or something. It happens so rarely but whenever I see it i think, “You go little place of business! Fight the man!”

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      4. That’s fascinating. I’ve never really been a drinker so beer culture is something almost completely foreign to me (save one horribly awkward night where I was roped into “charity celebrity bar tending” for a church I once worked at…spoiler alert – I was HORRIBLE) so I never considered it like this. But it makes perfect sense!

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      5. Yeah, the beer biz is kinda childish and cut-throat. You fight over tap placements, sign placements, menu listings…crap like that. Since the Feds cracked down on bribery you offer things like free menu printing, neon signs, blinky buttons, and t-shirts. The depths someone will sell their soul for a free t-shirt is horrific lol.

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