It’s scary how many kids toylines were set after an apocalypse. Earth wasn’t spared, with toys like Visionaries and Starriors set after a cataclysm, and a few non-toy shows (but we’re talking toys here), but killing off alien planets popped up a lot. Robotix, and the cartoon backstory for Gobotron and the Rock Lords spinoff Quartex, as well tonight’s offering, Sectaurs: Warriors Of Symbion, all set after some cosmic, or in this case bad science, event caused the end of their worlds, forcing them to adopt new forms in order to survive. There were probably others I’m not remembering either.
I was never really into these toys. I guess bug people couldn’t pull my money away from transforming robots and Star Wars toys. There was also media to help push the toys because of course there were. Marvel produced an eight-issue limited series, there were read-along records, and as I just learned this week mini-comics packed into the toys. I think our next Free Comic Inside will take a detour to Symbion before returning to the Super Powers Collection. The story takes place on the planet Symbion, after a bunch of scientists do something wrong and mutate the planet. And you thought people worried about the dangers of some scientific experiments is a new thing? Now it’s a primitive planet of bug people who “tele-bond” with bugs, some large enough to fly on while others are just your pet dog.
There was also a five-episode miniseries that never made it to full series, and a series of serial-style advertisements that told of a battle between the heroes and villains. The cartoon was produced by Ruby-Spears, and while there were differences between the comics and cartoons (for example Spidrax leads the Dark Domain instead of the forces of Empress Devora, who leads in the comics I guess–I’m going by Wikipedia) they kept the geography and basic premise, that the two sides are fighting over “The Hive Of The Ancients”, a leftover laboratory that contains secrets that could win the war for either side. Let’s see how that turns out.
Hurray for playlist embeds! Created by Lawrence Mass, Tim Clarke and Maureen Trotto and released by Coleco, the Sectaurs line takes place on the planet Symbion, where some idiot scientists destroyed their world. The world is now a primitive society because apparently one test tube can wipe out technology and mutate humans into insect people. There were also large bugs and larger flying and riding bugs that in the toys were actually puppets the figure could ride, boosting the play value as you could have your hand fight your friend’s hand as the Shining Realm and Dark Domain did battle. (The non-riding bugs were finger puppets.)
There does seem to be quite a bit of thought in the geography and history of Symbion. I wanted to find a full playlist of the serials I mentioned but I could only find a few episodes. It followed a story of battle that only had a narrator and scenes of battle that were obviously being done by people. I don’t know if they were kids following a script or adults but I would like to see the whole thing someday. It’s a rather unusual ad campaign, but one that reaches a problem of not being sure it will be seen in order.
Overall, I’m still not interested in the toys but I do appreciate the world created for the toys and extended media. I always appreciate a good imagination and attention to detail where others wouldn’t think of it.