Ahhh, Sectaurs. How I coveted your multi-segmented, furry glory. How I gazed, with eyes turned jade green with envy, upon your shimmering armored warriors. How I dreamed of thrusting my hand deep within a spider and…wait, that doesn’t sound right…except it is!!!
Sectaurs were a toy line released by the mighty Coleco in 1985, and then quickly forgotten. The line consisted of a race of hybrid creatures, equal parts insect and man that battled for control of the planet of Symbion which can only be obtained by possessing the secrets of the Hyve fortresses which contain the source of ultimate power.
The forces of good lead by Prince Dargon of the Shining Realm waged epic battle against Empress Devora of the Dark Domain of Synax and her demonic army lead by the arachnid terror known as General Spidrax. But these wars were not waged by (sort of) men alone! Each side had psionic control of mammoth insects, named Insectoids (I think the naming well had run a little dry by that point) that the warriors could ride upon…and the best part? These things were humongous hand puppets that put you in control of the beasts actions in a way that just moving the legs of a regular toy couldn’t match.
Now, I wanted these toys so badly I could taste them (for the record they tasted of Krylon and broken dreams). I begged and pleaded, but to no avail. What makes this even worse is there were kids at school that had the whole line seemingly overnight! Well, it didn’t take much detective work to figure that one out. You see, a large Coleco plant existed in our town (someday I’ll relate the tale of just why I had such an expansive Colecovision collection…wait a minute, why wasn’t there a Sectaurs game?), and those kids parents worked there! But to quote Dowson; “They are not long, the days of wine and roses”. The Sectaurs were gone before they could ever make a large impact upon the pop culture radar (although a search on this very site will reveal that Team Retroist still carries a torch for the line).
Why did the line fade so fast? Well, they expensive for one thing. My parents made it seem like we would need to take out a second mortgage just to afford the things. Another reason is that children found the figures to be a non-exhaustible source of nightmare fuel. Yet, there’s a third reason that I knew of, if the lovable group of scamps that I attended school with were to be believed…the fur that was imported for the large puppet figures became infested with fleas, and some of the figures shipped with these hidden menaces. Oh sweet irony, the mighty insect lords, felled by their own treacherous brethren.
While I never had the figures, I did have the Marvel Comics series which ran for 8 issues of buggy hijinks and epic civil war. There was also a five episode animated series that I recall being awesome (we need to get Claymation Werewolf on that one).
Special thanks go out to our own Sean Hartter for providing the art that inspired this article!