Vintage Vault: Sectaurs Prince Dargon by Coleco

It’s been a while since I did a Vintage Vault, but a trip to an estate sale last week netted me some good VV material with Sectaurs’ Prince Dargon, the leader of The Warriors of Symbion. He’s one of the few figures in this line that I still needed to add to my collection. Dargon was available in two versions. You could get him boxed with his mighty Dragonflyer steed, or you could get “Night Fighter” Dargon with his little bug buddy Parafly. The figures each had their own unique paint scheme and gear. Night Fighter Dargon was ironically painted silver, which means the one we’re looking at today is the one that came with Dragonflyer. I searched that whole damn house for Dragonflyer, but the people running the sale insisted that all the toys were in the one bin, and apart from an accessory-less Zak and Mantor there was nothing else from the Sectaurs. Loose, Dragonflyer is notoriously difficult to find with his wings still intact, so I’m probably going to have to break down and buy a MISB one someday which will give me doubles of Dargon. Curses!

DSCN0872

DSCN0873

I’ve gone on and on in the past about how much I love the aesthetics of this line. Look at him… he’s gorgeous! Most people who remember Sectaurs at all remember them for the super imaginative bug rider puppets or for having one of the biggest playsets of all time, but I think the figures stand just fine on their own. The big eyes and the antenna are just so damn distinctive and even the good guys look creepy. Dargon also looks seriously pissed off, like maybe Pinsor ate the last donut and he’s about to rip his antenna right off his head. I also dig how the yellow paint for his hair is so fresh even after all these years.

DSCN0878

The body sculpt is pretty similar on most of the good guys, but the flared shoulders and chiseled muscles in the armor look good, especially when accompanied by the cool glossy paint. Dargon is special because he has an amulet sculpted into his chest. I’ve never actually seen much of the cartoon and while I’ve read a bunch of the comics, I don’t remember any mention of the amulet. Maybe it’s the bug-guy equivalent of The Matrix of Leadership. The sculpted panel lines on his gauntlets and boots really impress the hell out of me. Alas, the stylish red striping on the front of my Dargon’s legs is a bit miffed, but nothing too bad. Hey, it’s tough to go into battle and keep your pants clean.

DSCN0874

DSCN0875

One of my favorite things about the Sectaurs has always been accessories, but it can also be one of the more frustrating things about collecting them. The figures themselves are quite common and often reasonably priced, but a lot of the ones I see only come with a fraction of their gear, or none at all. I thought I hit the jackpot with this Dargon, but I do believe he’s still missing something. I seem to remember him coming with another sword or rifle. He does have his removable belt, which includes two functional holsters for his twin vengun pistols. He also has his double-edged broadsword and shield. Like Masters of the Universe, I’m always a sucker for fantasy that mixes tech with swords, so I love the fact that Dargon comes with both. The guns and sword feature very detailed sculpts.

DSCN0876

DSCN0877

When it comes to articulation, you always know what you’re getting with the Sectaurs, and it ain’t at all bad. The head turns, the arms are ball jointed at the shoulders, the legs are ball jointed at the hips, and he has hinged knees.

DSCN0879

Dargon was two bucks and that’s why I love estate sales. Sure, I had to get up at 6am to get a ticket and then spent an hour eating a terrible breakfast at Denny’s and screwing around on my Kindle to kill time until it opened. But hey… Sectaur figure for two dollars! I was lucky that even after being tossed into a bin with a bunch of Barbies and MOTU figures that he had his pistols in his holsters and was still clutching onto his sword and shield. The odds of that were pretty slim. He’s an important figure and I’m glad to have him on my shelf. Unfortunately, every time I get a new Sectuars figure, I start jonesing to hunt down accessories or more complete figures on Ebay and I’ve managed to be Ebay Free for almost a month now.

 

Vintage Vault: Sectaurs Skulk and Trancula by Coleco

Today’s foray into the world of Sectaurs presented me with a real quandary. Generally speaking, I don’t like to feature figures that aren’t at least close to complete. That’s not usually a problem, since a majority of my features cover new, nearly new, or mostly new toys. Obviously, Vintage Vault can pose problems, and while some of the toys I have featured here have at least been close to complete, the stuff I’m looking at today is missing virtually everything. Nonetheless, Skulk and Trancula are so cool, and it’s been so long since I’ve been back to look at Sectaurs on Vintage Vault, I thought I’d make an exception here.

 

Obviously, no packaged shot, but Skulk came riding atop Trancula in a magnificent window box with his gear mounted beside him, still waiting to be clipped off the plastic tree. I’ve found this set to be among the harder ones to find complete, along with an example of Winged with his wings still attached. In fact, I picked up Trancula all by his lonesome from a fellow collector and Skulk came in an assortment of Sectaurs figures and parts that I grabbed a long while ago off of Ebay, so these two aren’t even from the same set. Skulk was loose, so I don’t have any of his accessories. I was tempted to just look at Trancula and come back to Skulk when I could get myself a better, more complete example, but then Trancula is a riding beast, so there’s no point in looking at him without including a figure.

I’ve already looked at one of the Sectaurs riding beasts, but in case you missed out, these toys are among the more clever ideas to come out of any of the 80’s action figure lines. They’re basically half toy, half puppet. You put your hand into the back and you can work the legs with your fingers and sometimes other parts of the toy via a lever or pull mechanism. Coleco wasn’t the first to come up with the idea of puppets interacting with action figures. I still remember being freaked out by the spotty, green alien hand in my old Mego Star Trek playset, but Coleco really took the idea and developed it into something new.

If spiders creep you out, then you may want to stay away from Trancula, because he’s one big hairy spider, and yeah, I think it’s the hair that creeps me out. The fur is thick and brown and has various black patterns and markings on his big bulbous backside. It’s really pretty ceepy and disgusting. But, is he actually a spider? Not really. He’s only got four legs, but that’s your fault because you only have five fingers and the middle finger goes into a pull-ring that works his jaws. I suppose Coleco could have tacked on some extra non-working legs to bring the count up to eight, but I think that would have ruined the illusion. Besides, these are all alien mutant insects anyway. Nonetheless, his spider characteristics carry through to his face with his multiple red eyes. His jaws have white fangs on the top and bottom and, as mentioned, his jaws open and close at the command of your middle finger. There’s a sculpted saddle that snugly holds a Sectaurs figure so he can ride this beast into battle.

Skulk is a very cool and distinct looking figure. He lacks the humanoid facial features of many of the Sectaurs and shares his beast’s spider-like features. He’s got six red eyes scattered about his face and a small mouth with two big white fangs. The back of his head has a gross bumpy texture and, take note, my Skulk’s antenna have been clipped off close to the base.

The body, on the other hand, is more humanoid. His torso is a fairly standard Sectaur sculpt with a chiseled, muscular build and slight flares to the shoulders. His arms and legs are segmented, just like an insect’s, and they end in big white claws. Skulk features the standard Sectaur’s articulation, with the arms and legs attached with ball joints, his knees are hinged, and his head rotates.

Skulk comes with a ton of cool accessories and weapons, and as I warned earlier, I have none of them. The only thing I have with this figure is his harness. The harness secures snugly around his torso and has a really cool sculpted backpack. It also has a functional scabbard loop for his sword and a holster for his gun.

I’ve featured enough Sectaurs here that you should know by now how much I love the Sectaurs figures by themselves, but I absolutely adore the whole hand puppet beast and rider gimmick. Skulk looks amazing seated atop Trancula and the pair makes for a great display. You could argue that the Battle Beetle has a better biting gimmick, but Trancula’s creepy spider factor just pushes him over the top for me. I’m also always amazed at how well these ride-ons held up over the years, particularly where the hair is concerned. Sure, he’s got some scratches to the paint, but the fur is all clean and fresh, even after almost 30 years. Yeah, it’s too bad my Skulk is missing… well, everything, but don’t worry, we’ll come back to him somewhere down the road when I finally track down a complete version.

Vintage Vault: Sectaurs Skito and Toxcid by Coleco

Its Friday and that means its time for another AD&D… oh wait, sorry, force of habit. As I’ve been promising for a while now, we’ll give AD&D a break for two or three weeks. today we’re taking a look at those loveable mutant insect warriors from the planet of Symbion. I’ve featured the Sectaurs here on FigureFan numerous times in the past, but this is actually the first time I’m looking at one of the bad guys from the Dark Domain of Synax. Part of the reason I pushed this one back from last Friday was because I was desparately looking for some of the stuff that came with him. I have all his accessories, but somewhere, I have an envelope with the mini-comic and other ephemera. Alas, I still couldn’t put my hands on any of it, so we’re going to just press on with the figure.

No in package shot. One day, I’ll get around to actually looking at one of these figures or beasts in a package. I remember getting Skito in a window box, but I’m pretty sure some of these figures were available carded as well.

And there’s Skito. Damn, I love the designs on these figures. They’re so very distinctive. Skito’s head sculpt is a little more human-ish than some of the bad guys we’ll eventually look at. He is separated from the good guys by having an olive colored skin. He’s also sporting pointy ears, fangs, and a set of cool, segmented antenna. There isn’t a lot of variation in the core bodies of these figures. Skito features the usual armored chest with flared shoulders, four fingered hands, both of which can hold his accessories, and feet that end in three pointy toes. The rest of Skito’s color pallet features a lot of black and green. His feet desolve from green into borwn. As always, I like the slightly metallic twinge on his chest paint.
Skito has the same standard points of articulation as all the Sectaurs. His head turns, his arms have ball jointed shoulders. His legs feature ball jointed hips and hinged knees. Not exactly super articulation by today’s standards, but not bad for the day. You can get some decent poses out of him.
As always, you get some cool gear with the figure. Skito features a removable harness that goes across his chest and around his waist. It includes a fully functional shoulder holster for under his right arm, and a scabbard loop on his left hip. The pistol is a little grey snub-nosed affair with a wonderfully detailed sculpt. The sword is also grey, slightly curved and the blade is segmented as if its made from bone or something. Lastly, he comes with a small shield.
Of course, one of the gimmicks of the Sectaurs line was the psychic link between the characters and their little buggy sidekicks. In this case, Skito’s is Toxcid. Toxcid’s big claim to fame was his ability to spit acid in people’s faces. The toy replicates this by allowing you to fill up the bug with water and squeeze it to shoot. I used to use Kool Aid to give it a red venomy look. In terms of play value, Toxcid probably isn’t the most exciting of the bug companions. He isn’t at all articulated, and unless you’re actually going to fill him with water and squirt people, he just kind of sits there. Still, I think his gimmick works better than some of the other bugs in the line. At least he doesn’t have a grappling hook built into him. Either way, he is a very nice sculpt and the coloring on him is very cool.
The Sectaurs figures continue to amaze me. As a kid, I was totally in love with this line, even though I never owned any. But nowadays they impress me all the more because of how well they hold up after all these years. Skito is a fun, well designed figure with lots of cool gear and he’s totally representative of this line as a whole. What’s more, they display beautifully on any retro-themed toyshelf or even beside my Masters of the Universe Classics.

Vintage Vault: Sectaurs Pinsor and Battle Beetle by Coleco

We haven’t taken a trip down to the Vintage Vault in a while, and since I was specifically looking for something different to do today, I figured we’d check in on the Sectaurs again. Yes, it’s another figure, but this time, we’re also looking at the big honking bug that the figure was bundled with. Meet Pinsor and Battle Beetle.

sekpin6

I’d point out that naturally I don’t have the packaging for these guys anymore, but it’s worth noting that a MISB set just slipped through my grasp a few weeks ago at a more than reasonable price. Oh well. Suffice it to say these figures came in a good sized window box that would have been really difficult for me to store and still keep free of getting crushed or torn or anything else, so it’s probably for the best that I missed it. Mine is not quite a complete set, as we’ll see in a little bit, but both figures are in beautiful shape, although the Battle Beetle seems to be losing a hair now and then. At least I hope that’s his hair.

I’ve gone on in a couple of entries about how much I like the Sectaurs as just plain action figures. They have distinctive designs, they’re well articulated, they fit in great with the Masters of the Universe Classics, and they come with great weapons and accessories. But what really made this upstart line of toys from Coleco so awesome was the innovative bug-puppets that they could ride on. Behold the Battle Beetle!

sekpin1

To the uninitiated, the Battle Beetle is one of a number of plastic creatures in the toy line that the figures can saddle up and ride, but you can put your hand into a glove-like thing underneath it to work it like a puppet. There’s a ring that you pass your finger through that works the pincers and the rest of the fingers are supposed to be his legs. He’s also got real hair on his back, and I don’t know about you but I find bug hair creepy. The Battle Beetle is one of the more common of the ride on critters, but they can all be tough to find in good condition because the hair tends to get pulled out or damaged and the glove is often missing. I was lucky to get this guy in almost perfect condition. The plastic portions of the Battle Beetle are nicely sculpted, with the same purplish color as the figures and he has a sculpted saddle that will fit any of the Sectaur figures. The pinchers work really well and you can use them to swoop down and grab another figure and carry it off. Sweet.

sekpin2

Pinsor is a fairly distinctive figure as he’s a bit more portly than the other Sectaurs I’ve looked at here (Zak and Mantor), but the sculpt is instantly recognizeable as part of the series, particularly in the head sculpt. He’s got a big beefy head, a Prussian-style mustache and the same blue bug eyes and rubbery antenna that the other good-guy Sectaurs possess. Apart from being broader, Pinsor’s torso is similarly sculpted and colored as Zak and Mantor, as are his arms and legs. Mine has a bit of paint scratching on his butt from being fitted into the saddle on the Battle Beetle a zillion times over the years.

The articulation on Pinsor is identical to Zak and Mantor. He has ball jointed shoulders and hips and hinged knees. His head turns 360 degrees. His hand-claws are sculpted a bit strangely, but they do work to hold his accessories really well.

sekpin3

Pinsor’s accessories include the removable rubbery belt and bandalier strap seen on the previous Sectaurs I’ve looked at here, although it’s style is unique to this figure. It includes a holster and a sheath for his pistol and sabre. Alas, I don’t have the pistol, but the sabre fits nicely on his back. He also comes with a big kite-style shield, which I love. It’s much better than the small target shields that came with Zak and Mantor.

sekpin4

sekpin5

As with the other figures in this line, this set holds up really well even by today’s standards. The sculpting and colors are nice and while the articulation on Pinsor isn’t what we would call outstanding today, it still beats the basic five-points that we still sometimes see cropping up in action figures today. And while I think the figures themselves are worthwhile by themselves, to really experience the coolness factor of the Sectaurs, you really need to own at least one of these bigger bugs. As mentioned, Battle Beetle here is probably the best one to go with, but he isn’t necessarily the best. Not to worry, though, I’ll take a look at some more of the Sectaurs figures and the bigger ride ons in the near future… as soon as I can figure out what tote they’re hiding in.

Vintage Vault: Sectaurs Mantor and Raplor by Coleco

It’s time to take another look at that amazing and somewhat lost line of figures by Coleco: The Sectaurs. Last time we looked at Zak and Bitaur, this time it’s another one of the good guys: Mantor and Raplor. Mantor was something of an Obi-Wan type character for the line. He played the part of wise advisor, martial arts expert and the keeper of the secret order, Keepers of the Way. Honestly, I don’t remember much about any of that from the cartoon or comic and it’s not really reflected in his weapons, but we’ll get to that in a minute.

When compared to Zak, it’s easy to see that Coleco reused parts to keep the cost of the line down. It’s just another interesting comparison between this line and Mattel’s Masters of the Universe. Mantor’s legs and arms are the same as Zak’s only repainted. The white on my Mantor’s biceps and thighs is showing a slight hint of yellowing, but considering the age of the figure, it’s not bad at all. At first glance, it might seem like the torso is a reuse as well, since they are extremely similar, but on closer inspection the sculpted muscle lines are completely different. Mantor has that really distinctive looking head sculpt that is unmistakeable for this line. It’s fairly smaller than Zak’s and not as squishy and rubbery.

Mantor originally came with his removable belt and harness, a crossbow and pistol and the same shield as Zak. Unfortunately, mine only has the shield. Since my Zak has two weapons, I let Mantor borrow his pistol, but one day I’m going to have to hunt down his crossbow. The belt and harness is made of soft rubber and features a clip on the back to hold the crossbow and a sculpted quiver with bolts hanging off his belt.

Mantor’s articulation includes three-sixty rotation in the head, ball joints in the shoulders and hips and hinges in the knees.

Raplor is Mantor’s Insectoid companion. He’s got a cool sculpt and paint job and mine has held up really well over the years. His action feature is a grappling hook on a string that you can pull out and retract by winding it around the removable spindle on his back. When I got mine out of storage it took me about an hour to get the string all unknotted and detangled. Raplor’s natural enemy is the cat, as my cat attacks repeatedly attacks his grappling hook and string at every chance he gets.

And that’s all I’ve got to say about this pair. As with Zak and Bitaur, I think these figures hold up really well and depending on how nit-picky you want to get with being complete, you can pick up Mantor without losing much money. Next time we look at the Sectaur’s we’ll tackle one of the real draws of the line, the big beast riders.

Vintage Vault: Sectaurs Zak with Bitaur by Coleco

If you grew up in the 80’s there’s a good chance you remember the Sectaurs line of figures. It never actually reached the heights and popularity of lines like Masters of the Universe, but with its own cartoon (ok, mini-series) and one of the coolest playsets of the era, The Hive, it was no slouch either. I never owned a single Sectaurs toy as a kid, but I sure spent time drooling over their page in the Sears Wishbook at Christmastime. Those of you who are familiar with this line will likely remember its most unique characteristic being the creepy gloved bug steeds that the figures could ride on. We’ll get to some of those eventually, but today we’re going to look at one of the regular figures: Zak, Captain of the Royal Guards, and personal chum to the line’s main goody-goody, Prince Dargon himself.                          

One day I may invest in a packaged Sectaur figure, but for now I’m just picking up the loose figures in good shape to slowly build my collection. In other words, I don’t have a boxed figure to show you, but you shouldn’t have to look too hard to find a picture if you’re curious. The figures came in window boxes with a baggie holding their weapons and gear, and beside them was their tele-bonded Insectoid buddy. Zak’s buddy is Bitaur.                            

The Sectaurs are nice, sizeable figures, which are pretty much perfectly in scale with Mattel’s Masters of the Universe Classics line. Zak’s body is generally simple in sculpt, but I really dig the way this guy’s armor looks. The toso armor has sculpted muscles and a cool blued steel, almost metallic finish, with flaired shoulders. The head sculpt is really distinctive too. The face is human, except for the vacant and creepy blue bug eyes. He’s got a sculpted helmet with two rubbery antenna protruding up over the forehead. The head is actually made of very soft rubbery plastic, which you can easily squish between your fingers. Overall, Zak’s sculpt is mighty good for a toy of the age and I think it holds up really well.                            

Zak’s articulation is typical of most Sectaurs figures. It may not be up to today’s standards, but it was pretty solid for its day. The head turns three-sixty, the shoulders are ball jointed, but there’s no other articulation in the arms. The legs are ball jointed at the hips and have hinged knees. The added articulation in the legs is designed so that they can mount their big bug steeds, but it also helps to make the figure a lot more fun to pose.

Zak comes with a nice amount of weapons and gear. For starters, he has a holster belt with a shoulder strap. The entire rig is made of soft plasic and can be removed. It’s sculpted very well and looks great on the figure. Zak’s weapons are all cast in gold plastic and include a rifle, a pistol and a shield. The shield fits into either of his hands with a grip. The rifle actually came with a shoulder strap originally, but mine is long gone. The pistol can be stored in the holster on his belt rig. One of the many things I loved about the Sectaurs line was the imaginative way it mixed swords, shield and laser guns, yep, just like Masters of the Universe.

And then there’s Zak’s Insectoid buddy, Bitaur. Bitaur is a pretty simple toy that kind of looks like a six legged alligator. He has a decent sculpt, which includes a red spiked collar. He has a biting gimmick that is activated by pressing the button on his back. Get it? Bitaur? There’s no other articulation on the figure and not a lot else to say about him. If you want to get into collecting this line, you’re going to often find the figures without their Insectoids. Hunting the Insectoids down separately shouldn’t pose too big a problem, but you might want to ask yourself if it’s really worth it. I’m happy to own them with the figures, but I don’t think that they really add much to the figures themselves.                                

I picked up Zak and Bitaur for about $20 shipped, which I thought was a pretty nice deal since they’re in pretty good condition and except for the rifle strap, they are complete. Like I said earlier, I always wanted to collect this line and now that I’ve started to get some, I’m extremely impressed with how well they hold up against other figures in my collection, which obviously can’t always be said about vintage figures. Their designs are imaginative and distinctive and the fact that they fit so nicely in with the MOTU Classics figures has given me even more incentive to track them all down.