Actions figures should be 3 & ¾ inches tall. There can be no argument on this point. The 3 & ¾ inch standard became the standard for action figures after Kenner released their Star Wars figures in 1978, and I can’t stand any action figures that are any taller. The 6” A-Team figures from ‘82? No thanks? The 7” Rambo figures from ’86? No way. The Mego action figures from the 70s? They were more like action dolls than action figures.
There is only one action figure line to break the 3 & ¾ inch barrier that I have liked. That line was the Sectaurs.
Released in 1985 by Coleco (who brought us the Colecovision, the Telstar, the Adam, various handheld games, and, oh yeah, the Cabbage Patch Kids), Sectaurs were a line of 7” action figures. As a result of a genetic experiment gone wrong, the humanoids of the distant planet Symbion had been merged with insects. As is always the case with the victims of such genetic experiments (at least in movies and toy lines), the humanoids had largely adopted only the cooler parts of the insects, such as bug eyes and antenna. Sure, Skulk had an entire spider head, but most of the others were pretty much just insect-enhanced humans rather than pure insects.
So what was so great about the Sectaurs? Lots. They had cool metallic-blue and -green colors that were very insect like. They had awesome weapons and lots of them; every Sectaur was packing two or three very stylized guns, knives, swords, rifles, shields, or crossbows. They had sweet utility belts/harnesses to hold these weapons. And they had insect sidekicks (insectoids). Some of these sidekicks were small, about dog-size. These sidekicks could bite or spit or do other cool things. Others, though, were huge, huge enough for the Sectaurs to ride and for you to wear as a puppet. These sidekicks were connected to black gloves. You would slip your hand into that glove, turning your fingers into the sidekicks legs. These sidekicks could also do cool things: the beetle could snap his pinchers and the tarantula could bite. Some (the sidekicks of the main hero and villain) could even fly.
I got several of these Sectaurs for Christmas ’85 (I think), and I was quite taken with them. I was so taken with them that when Skulk’s bandolier broke, I wrote to Coleco suggesting they release accessory packs for the Sectaurs. I got a letter back from Coleco stating that while they appreciated the idea they couldn’t accept it. I’m not sure if it was a form letter or not, and I unfortunately didn’t keep it (I know; what was I thinking?).
Supporting the Sectaurs line was an animated mini-series and a Marvel comic. There was also a multi-part dramatic commercial. Each “episode” of this commericial told a continuing story using the toys.
Unfortunately, they did not support the line enough. The Sectaurs were not big sellers and Coleco discontinued the line before the planned second series of figures could be released. They had probably come to the decision to discontinue even before they got my letter. Short-lived though they were, though, the Sectaurs were some of my favorite action figures from that time. And they still are, even though they were too tall.
Note: I’m not the only one to have Sectaurs. See the Retroists’ Sectaurs write-up.