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|Developed by||Dan DiStefano|
|Directed by||John Kimball|
|Theme music composer|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||5|
|Production company||Ruby-Spears Enterprises|
|Release||September 14 –|
October 12, 1985
Sectaurs: Warriors of Symbion is a line of action figures released by Coleco in 1985. Created by Lawrence Mass, Tim Clarke, and Maureen Trotto, the Sectaurs world blended humanoids with insects and arachnids. Marvel Comics released a limited series of Sectaurs comics, and the characters were also adapted for an animated miniseries.
"Somewhere in space, somewhere in time", a planet called Symbion is the site of a failed genetic experiment. Frightening changes take place that cannot be stopped. The result is a world where insects and arachnids grow to frightening proportions and the inhabitants have taken on their characteristics. Prince Dargon, ruler of the peaceful Shining Realm of Prosperon, and his allies are in conflict with the forces of Empress Devora, ruler of the Dark Domain of Synax, and her henchmen for possession of the Hyves, fortresses of an ancient civilization holding the key to ultimate power. Each character was "tele-bonded" with intelligent, non-anthropomorphic insect creatures called Insectoids that had a special ability, and shared each other's "pleasure and pain".
Heroic Sectaurs of the Shining Realm
- Dargon: Prince of the Shining Realm. He is bonded with a Flying Steed called Dragonflyer which has a biting action. His weapons included a broadskall sword, shield, twin venguns, and a slazor. Although Stellara is in love with Dargon, he secretly desires to marry Belana – the royal betrothed of his childhood friend Zak. An alternate figure was also released called Night Fighting Dargon, which had silver armor and antennae which glowed in the dark. Night Fighting Dargon included a Skall dagger, a Vengun, and trinoculars with lenses that glowed in the dark. The weapons were kept in ankle sheathes, rather than the standard belt holsters, enabling all of Dargon's weapons to be worn by one figure. Another insectoid companion, Parafly, was sold with Night Fighting Dargon as well, an Action Bug that attached to his back and featured flapping wings and a tail that glowed in the dark. Parafly appeared in one issue of the Sectaurs comic book, where he was depicted as more intelligent than common animalistic insectoids, and he temporarily granted Dargon the power to see in the dark. Night Fighting Dargon was the only figure actually released from the planned second wave of toys shown in catalogues.
- Pinsor: A veteran warrior who rides the massive Battle Beetle, a Steed with two heavy front arms that close with a pincering action. Pinsor's weapons included a skall battle axe, sword, shield, and a Vengun. He suffered from unrequited love for Stellara, whose affections lay with Dargon.
- Zak: Captain of Prosperon's Royal Guard, until his wisecracking insolence got him replaced. Zak's childhood friend is Dargon, who (secretly) doubles as his rival for Belana's affections. His companion, Bitaur, was an Action Bug with a biting action. Zak's weapons included a Slazor, a Vengun, and a Skall shield.
- Mantor/Mantys: A "Keeper of the Way", a scholar of the ancient powers contained in the Hyves and the Ancients who created them. His companion beast is Raplor, an Action Bug with a grappling line that extends from its mouth and a winch action to rewind the cable. Mantor's weapons included a crossbow, vengun, and skall shield. Said to be an expert of the native Sectaurian martial art of Kai.
- Stellara: A female warrior. In the comic book series, it was established Stellara's Insectoid died in battle some time ago and one story focused on her attempting to tele-bond with a new one, but was unable to complete the ritual because Dargon and the others were in danger. Nevertheless, the Insectoid she tried to tele-bond with aided her in saving them. In the comics, Stellara was a romantic interest of Pinsor, but she thought of him as a surrogate father; her true fondness was for Dargon. The two renditions of Stellara, despite sharing a name, were very visually different from each other. The unreleased Stellara figure from the planned second series of the toy line resembled her animated incarnation, and was to have included Rhine-Ox as her partner, an Action Bug with a headbutting feature. Her weapons were a Skall dagger, shield, and a Vengun.
- Bodyball: A character seen only in the unreleased second wave of the toy line. Rather than being paired with an Insectoid, Bodyball was one of two figures planned to have a special action designed into the figure itself. He could be folded up, much like a pillbug, and visually seemed to be a member of a race other than his Sectaur compatriots. Pictures of the figure showed oddly shaped claw and shield weapons as his accessories.
- Crossbow: The Shining Realm's Battle Bug, and part of the unreleased second line. Its projectile was a missile-like pod referred to as a "spear" in catalogue and package text.
- Gyrofly: The only Creeper that was planned to be released for the Shining Realm faction in the unreleased second line. It was a scarab-like device which opened its shell and released a spinning propeller projectile named Attack-Gnat.
Evil Sectaurs of the Dark Domain
- General Spidrax: Hideous leader of the Dark Domain's armies, armed with a whip coated in lethal poison. Unlike most Sectaurs, he enslaved his animal companion, Spider-Flyer, rather than form a bond with it. This was possibly because Spidrax had no forehead antennae (which all other Sectaurs possess) with which to initiate the tele-bonding process, but also to show his cruelty. Spidrax's weapons included a venom whip, Slazor, Skall shield, net, and twin Venguns. Spider-Flyer was a Flying Steed with biting mandibles. Like Dargon, the second wave of toys was to have featured a Night Fighting Spidrax, which included a staff weapon, boomerang, and attachable armor which glowed in the dark. Night Fighting Spidrax would have been paired with an Action Bug named Stranglebug, which was a spider with unusually long bendable legs that could be wrapped around a figure. Unlike Night Fighting Dargon, however, Night Fighting Spidrax went unreleased with the rest of the second series.
- Skulk: Empress Devora's hideous and opportunistic stepson, who rides the spider-like Trancula, an extremely furry Steed with biting mandibles. His weapons included a Skall dagger, shield, Vengun, and dart wing.
- Commander Waspax: Spidrax's rival. His Insectoid companion is Wingid, an Action Bug with flapping wings. His weapons included a Skall saber, shield, and Vengun.
- Skito: A mercenary. His companion, Toxcid, is an Action Bug that squirts water from his proboscis, said to be "poison" in the context of the stories. His weapons included a Skall sword, shield, and Vengun.
- Bandor: One of the unreleased second wave figures. Bandor included a flail, Skall sword, and shield. His insectoid was Swipe, which was an Action Bug with an extending proboscis weapon.
- Knuckles: The other of the two figures in the second line which was to have had a built-in feature rather than an Insectoid. His feature was likely a punching action with his "Mutant Arm". Knuckle's accessories included some form of hand weapon, a shield, and two small Skalibur guns which attached to the sides of his helmet and connected to his weapons belt by power cables.
- Fly Flinger: The Dark Domain's Battle Bug, from the unreleased second series. Its projectile was a glider-like second smaller insect generically named Fly.
- Snag: One of two Creepers planned to be released for the Dark Domain in the unreleased second wave of toys. Snag featured a short grappling line that fired from its mouth and could be rewound into its body.
- Axe-Back: One of two Creepers planned to be released for the Dark Domain in the unreleased second wave of toys. Ax-Back[clarification needed] featured a blade-like protrusion that snapped up from its back.
The Hyve playset was also produced, and is one of the larger playsets released in the 1980s. Accessories included a boulder-like wrecking ball, a heavy Skalibur turret gun, a ladder, and a cage. It featured a landing pad with a trap door, a collapsible bridge, and an interior detailing a "Bio-Control Laboratory". The Hyve came with two Mutant Insectoids as guardians. Narr was a glove puppet, while Vypex was a smaller finger puppet. Narr and Vypex each had a cave from which they could "ambush" figures during play. Since each was a puppet, their rear anatomies did not exist in toy form. As a result, the penciler who worked on the comic book never drew the rear portions of their bodies. The rear edge of Narr's abdomen was always obscured by the foreground, while Vypex's serpentine body never ended.
Notable Characters from the Comics and other Books
- Belana: Zak's royal betrothed, who secretly (and mutually) desires Dargon.
- Devora: Goddess-Empress of the Dark Domain and stepmother of Skulk.
- Galken: Rules the Shining Realm as a Regency, in the absence of his elder brother Markor. A politician, not a warrior. Uncle of Dargon.
- Gnatseye: A warrior of the Shining Realm. His Insectoid-companion is Jumpyr.
- Hardyn: Galken's cousin and chief adviser. He has been Supreme Tribune of the Shining Realm's Council of Judges, ever since Galken ascended to the throne.
- Markor the Mighty: King of the Shining Realm, father of Dargon. After disappearing years ago while searching for the Hyve, Markor was succeeded by his younger brother Galken.
- Scorpia: A villainous Keeper, and Spidrax's half-sister.
- Seacor: A headstrong youth featured in the animated miniseries. He's eager to prove himself to Dargon and Company. Seacor's Insectoid-companion is Altifly.
- Senrad: Devora's stealthy chief administrator.
- Slikk: This veteran thief is a loudmouthed troublemaker whose ribald jokes, outrageous lies, and embarrassing pranks make him less than popular with his fellow Sectaurs. Still, he's better company than the Dark Domain has to offer.
Glossary of Terminology and Locations
- Blue Forest: product of the Great Cataclysm, east of Synax. Common deportation ground for convicted criminals, since all those who journey through this zone are subject to complete and absolute amnesia.
- Citadel of Shadows: the first Hyve-gate shown in the comics. It lies halfway between Prosperon and Synax, but was destroyed by Mantor shortly after its discovery.
- Creepers: Smaller insects said to be bred as living weapons. They were to be released as "role-play" scale toys in the unproduced second line; they fit over a user's hand, not as a puppet, but supposedly as a life-sized weapon. Each possessed an action feature similar to the Action Bug Insectoids. There were three Creepers:
- Ax-Back (Dark Domain)
- Gyrofly (Shining Realm)
- Snagg (Dark Domain)
- Dark Domain: a military dictatorship and homeland of the less human-appearing "evil" characters of the series.
- Black Slayers: Dark Domain commandos, handpicked and trained by Spidrax.
- Grimhold: dark fortress of Synax; residence of Empress Devora and family.
- Headhunters: Dark Domain guerilla-barbarians, trained and led by Skulk.
- Marauders: Dark Domain swordmaster-robbers, handpicked and trained by Skito.
- Shadow Corps: Dark Domain soldier-fanatics, trained and led by Senrad.
- Sting Troopers: Dark Domain elite corps. With their swordsmanship and their cunning abilities at in-fighting, any one of them is rated a match for any ten ordinary Sectaur warriors. Trained and commanded by Waspax.
- Synax: Capital of the Dark Domain.
- Throne-Watchers: Dark Domain Imperial Guard, handpicked by Devora.
- Dart Wing: a spear of wing-buoyed skall guided as a weapon via telebond with its wielder. Each wing is razor-sharp and can cut like a sword.
- Desert of the Lost: product of the Great Cataclysm; lies southeast of Prosperon and southwest of Synax, due south of Mount Symbion. Common deportation ground for convicted criminals, since all those who journey through this zone are subject to near-suicidal depression.
- Forbidden Zone: basically, an uncharted area outside the hexagon boundaries that enclose all of known Symbion.
- The Great Cataclysm: result of a failed genetic experiment, which ruined the Civilization of the Ancients on Symbion. Insects and arachnids grew to frightening proportions; Humans took on the characteristics of arachnids and insects, with the Sectaurs as the results.
- Hyve: A mysterious, danger-filled fortress of the Ancients. Filled with guardian monsters and booby-traps, its wisdom is sought by good and evil Sectaurs alike. There are multiple gateways, or entrances, to the Hyve across Symbion; at least two exist within the hexagonal boundaries of the known world, and others are believed to exist in the Forbidden Zone beyond. The Hyve resembling the playset from the toy line – and guarded by Naurr and Vypex – is the second gateway visited in the comic series.
- Insectoids: giant, mutated insects and arachnids that cohabit Symbion with the Sectaurs. They frequently serve as allies, pets and/or steeds of the Sectaurs. Various similar types include Steeds, Flying Steeds, Action Bugs, Battle Bugs, and Mutants.
- Action Bugs: A term used in the toyline to denote the smaller partner Insectoids, which each possess a single button or crank activated feature. (Parafly has two special features, though one is simply parts that glow in the dark.)
- Battle Bugs: A form of Insectoid which is low-slung and carries an artillery weapon atop itself, with a seat for a Sectaur rider. One Battle Bug was to be released for each faction in the unproduced second wave of the toyline, both with identically-shaped bodies, but with different spring-fired projectile weaponry mounted atop them. The two Battle Bugs were:
- Crossbow (Shining Realm)
- Fly Flinger (Dark Domain)
- Flying Steeds: winged Insectoids large enough to be ridden by their Sectaur partners. In the toyline, Steeds are half-puppet figures, with a user's hand fitting into the legs of the toy and the middle finger operating some additional action feature. Additionally, they have flapping wings driven by a battery-powered motor.
- Mutants: eternally-living insectoids created by the Ancients as guardians for the lost Hyve.
- Steeds: Insectoids large enough to be ridden by their Sectaur partners. In the toyline, Steeds are half-puppet figures, with a user's hand fitting into the legs of the toy and the middle finger operating some additional action feature.
- Lake of Blood: northeast of Prosperon and northwest of Synax. So-named because of a great air/sea battle fought there by the great-grandparents of King Markor and Empress Devora. Said battle cost nearly a million lives.
- Meander: Also known as the Fog of Death, a product of the Great Cataclysm. A permanent valley of Meander was located southeast of Prosperon and southwest of Synax (beyond the Desert of the Lost) at the beginning of the comic series, protecting and hiding the second gateway to the Hyve, until it was dispersed using the power of the Hyve. A Meander was also seen early in the comic, accidentally released from the Hyve-gate known as the Citadel of Shadows. Exposure to this crimson fog results in prompt and violent corrosion of the flesh, unless protected by leaves of the Sentinel Plant.
- Mount Symbion: highest elevation in known Symbion; 5 miles (8.0 km). Located southeast of Prosperon and southwest of Synax, due north of the Desert of the Lost.
- Sea of Acid: product of the Great Cataclysm, located west of Prosperon. Will promptly and violently corrode the flesh of all those foolhardy enough to swim in it.
- Sectaurs: insect-evolved humanoid denizens of both the Shining Realm and the Dark Domain. They and the insectoids comprise, for the most part, the remnants of Symbionic civilization.
- Shining Realm: a constitutional monarchy, and the homeland of the more human-appearing "good" characters of the series.
- Bailiff: the bottom grade in the Shining Realm's Council of Judges, and the only title which gives a Junior Noble authority over a Senior one...unless, of course, that Senior is also a Magistrate. In order to become a Magistrate, a Bailiff must be appointed by the King/Queen (which rarely occurs), or must receive a Senior title (which usually occurs via marriage or inheritance).
- Berserkers: Shining Realm rangers, trained and commanded by Zak.
- Cavaliers: Shining Realm Royal Guard, handpicked by Markor (later Galken).
- Junior Noble: A Thane (aka Warden), Baron/ess, Viceroy, or Count/ess. Bailiffs are appointed by the King/Queen from among these four grades.
- Lightkeep: shining castle of Prosperon; residence of the Royal Family.
- Nomads: Shining Realm swordmaster-priests, trained and commanded by Mantor.
- Paladins: Shining Realm airborne commandos, handpicked and trained by Dargon.
- Prosperon: Capital of the Shining Realm.
- Senior Noble: A Prince/ss, Duke/Duchess, or Marque/Marchioness. Magistrates are appointed by the King/Queen from among these three grades.
- Symator: legendary double-edged "broadskall" [broadsword] of Prosperon, passed down from ruler to ruler for the past 20 generations. Dargon is its most recent owner.
- Tribune: the most powerful and prestigious title in the Shining Realm below King/Queen. There are only three Tribunes at any one time; they are normally appointed from among the siblings, cousins, and/or offspring (in that order) of the King/Queen...starting with the eldest. If the King/Queen has no eligible and worthy siblings, cousins, or offspring, s/he appoints the Tribune(s) from among the Magistrates. Thus it was Galken, not Dargon, who succeeded Markor as King...because Galken was both Supreme Tribune and the King's younger brother, while Dargon was merely Markor's son. Moreover, Dargon was unable to become a Tribune right away...since Galken's vacancy in the Tribunal was filled by his and Markor's cousin, Magistrate-Duke Hardyn.
- Skalibur: a bio-energy beam weapon of lost Ancient technology. Skalibur weapons are often found within the Hyve-gateways.
- Skall: shatterproof material grown as plant-like stalks and used almost exclusively in the manufacture of shields, armor and weapons (contact and edged). It is impervious to damage from venom.
- Slazor: pneumatic projectile weapon throwing pellets capable of piercing Skall. Slazors also use "vengas" (compressed poison) ammunition; these pellets burst on impact into small, toxic clouds. The merest whiff of vengas infects its victims with bliss so glorious that it drives them insane; the victims slowly die witless.
- Sting-Launcher: rubber-powered heavy weapon for firing spine-bombs or stun-spears. Commonly mounted on insectoid steeds. These weapons were carried by Battle Beetle in the animated series for the Sectaurs and used extensively, but were not present in either the comic incarnation nor the toy for Battle Beetle. Two types of ammunition were mentioned:
- Spine-Bomb canister designed to explode and release hundreds of razor-sharp quills (technically, flechettes) at high velocity over a six-meter-diameter area (three meters in every direction).
- Stun-Spears: used mostly to capture insectoids. One spear will paralyze a steed-size insectoid for an hour.
- Swamp of Death: located south of the Sea of Acid and southwest of Prosperon.
- Telebond: ability to share the mind and senses of another. This term is used exclusively in the comic to denote the deep mental bond of a Sectaur and Insectoid to each other, but in the toyline and mini-comics as also a blanket term for other lesser bondings, such as the secondary bond of Dargon and Parafly, or the mental attunement of a weapon such as a dart wing.
- Vengun: spring-loaded gun for firing poison darts; range about forty meters. Its skall darts are filled with the venom of a creature called a Venipede.
- Venipede: A giant insectoid, first discovered (by accident) in the Swamp of Death. Venom taken from a live Venipede is used to fill vengun ammunition.
- Venom Whip: a poison-tipped weapon crafted from a Triceralon antenna. Like a vengun dart, the whip causes instant death if it breaks the skin.
Rank Shining Realm Dark Domain Notes 1 King/Queen Emperor/Empress 2 Tribune Grand Marshal Acts as deputy ruler, as with the shoguns of Japan 3 Magistrate Field Marshal; Warlord 4 Bailiff General; Warmaster 5 Prince/Princess Brigadier 6 Duke/Duchess Colonel 7 Marque/Marchioness Commander 8 Count/Countess Major 9 Viceroy Captain 10 Baron/Baroness Lieutenant 11 Warden, aka Thane Ensign 12 Sheriff Sergeant Non-Commissioned Officer 13 Constable Grenadier Non-Commissioned Officer 14 Squire Lancer/Scout 15 Yeoman Musketeer/Spy
This article may be confusing or unclear to readers. In particular, The infobox claims the television series aired in September and October 1985. (September 2022)
- "Spidrax Attacks" (written by Dan DiStefano and Janis Diamond)
- "Slave City" (written by Dan DiStefano and Janis Diamond)
- "Valley of the Stones" (written by Dan DiStefano and Janis Diamond)
- "Trapped in the Acid Desert" (written by Ted Field)
- "Battle of the Hyve" (written by Matt Uitz and Janis Diamond)
- "Battle of the Fun Factories". Time. December 16, 1985. Archived from the original on April 24, 2011. Retrieved 2010-03-17.
- Yeoman Lowbrow (18 January 2018). "Plastic Power". Flashbak. Retrieved 4 September 2022.
- Perlmutter, David (2018). The Encyclopedia of American Animated Television Shows. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 542. ISBN 978-1538103739.
- Rovin, Jeff (1987). The Encyclopedia of Supervillains. New York: Facts on File. p. 140. ISBN 0-8160-1356-X.
- Markstein, Don. "Sectaurs". Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Retrieved 2 April 2020.
- "Because Every '80s Toyline Attempts a Comeback, SECTAURS Return!". Nerdist. 23 April 2017. Archived from the original on June 16, 2017. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
- Sectaurs at IMDb
- Sectaurs at Big Cartoon DataBase
- Sectaurs: Warriors of Symbion at Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Archived from the original on May 19, 2017.
- Puppet building article about the design of Sectaurs toys
- Article on the Hyve playset
- Stellara777's Sectaurs Page (includes reviews and synopses of the comic books)
- Comicbookdb Sectaurs page (list of all 8 issues of the comic)