Toy Review: Sectaurs Dargon and Stellara by the Nacelle Company

Sectaurs probably weren’t anyone’s absolute favorite toys in the ’80s, but they were certainly eye-catching. Standing about an inch taller than Masters of the Universe with an unusually gigantic playset called The Hyve and notable for the giant bug hand-puppets that figures could ride upon, they were stalwarts of the toy aisle. That they had tie-in Marvel mini-comics (by Rocket Raccoon creator Bill Mantlo!) gave them a sort of instant credibility, even though nobody really knew what they were from — unlike many ’80s toys, they didn’t get a regular cartoon series, but just a five-episode miniseries.

Unlike many ’80s toy backstories, which are standard good versus evil for control of a powerful object stuff, Sectaurs’ storyline is legit horrifying. To wit…

David Cronenberg, thy toy line is Sectaurs. What “awesome” characteristics of insects would you like to have? (Let’s not start the semantics of spiders actually being arachnids, or we’ll be here all day.)

Now under the Nacelle umbrella, Sectaurs will be part of a larger animated universe that also includes Robo-Force, Biker Mice From Mars, Power Lords, Cowboys of Moo Mesa, and the Great Garloo. If it seems weird that characters with a body-horror background would interact with the campier Biker Mice, well, take a second to think about the biology of humanoid mice on bikes. They could go really dark with it (but probably won’t).

Kids may remember the Sectaurs as being bigger than they were because their average 6.5 inch height was less common 40 years ago. Nowadays, it makes them the actual average. The Nacelle Company, the studio behind The Toys That Made Us on Netflix, has released two figures in the line so far, and unlike the previous Kickstarter-funded relaunch by Zica — which was 3-3/4 inch scaled — the Nacelle figures are about the same size as the originals. So far, they’ve made the primary hero Dargon and Stellara, who would have been the line’s first female figure if it hadn’t been cancelled first. Smaller than popular 7-inch lines but bigger than 6-inchers like Marvel Legends, they’re most in line with Mattel’s 6.5 WWE scale.

Nacelle’s Sectaurs cost $39.99 apiece, which is pricy for mass retail, but these figures aren’t being sold at such places. As made-to-order figures with entirely original sculpts, that’s in line with the $55 that Super7 charges for slightly bigger figures with more accessories.

The originals came with accessories on a sprue frame needing to be pulled apart. These have them already separated. Like most ’80s fantasy lines, Sectaurs blends medieval weaponry and futuristic “venguns” (venom-shooting guns), so Dargon has the obligatory sword, two pistols that fit in belt holsters, a machine-vengun, and a shield. Stellara has a smaller shield, dagger, and sawn-off shotgun (shot-vengun?). She can holster both weapons, but the dagger holster is a touch too big. It works well for Dargon’s sword, though, if you’re okay with trading off weapons. She is, after all, Symbion’s toughest warrior, per the card she comes packaged on.

As may be evident in the pictures, the biggest difference between the two figures is that Stellara has an iridescent finish on her armor while Dargon’s is flat matte, though his arms are a shinier finish. Both use shinier plastic for skin tones, which in well-lit picture make them look like they have lotion on.

Articulation is a bit unusual — in the case of their necks, wrists, and ankles, it seems like they use ball joints so restricted by the sculpt that they’re effectively cut joints. Hips are an unusual ball-inside-ball that requires some work to make the legs not go “pigeon-toed.” Both have ball-shoulders, disc-and-pin elbows, and double-hinged knees. Dargon has a waist that may be a severely limited ball or a cut, while Stellara has no torso joints at all. That’s a bit disappointing, considering the sculpts muscle-suit definition would make it easy to work in without being too obvious. That, and the lack of ankle rocker joints restrict some of their poses a bit, though they can do more than a lot of the Super7 Ultimates.

Yes, there are good scientific reasons why boob armor should not be a thing, but there are presumably equally good reasons why insect-human hybrids should not be a thing, too. Sectaurs exist in such a space and their sculptors like a good bit of shapely butt armor as much as Joel Schumacher.

Sectaurs sculpts were unusually detailed by ’80s standards, so while these ones may not be on a McFarlane level of detail, they fit in with the old line while not being unreasonably primitive for today. As the sort of Classics line that Ultimates have become, they’re a nice mix of on-model and modern-poseable. Articulation could improve, but for starters this isn’t bad, and they should play as well with Masters of the Universe and ThunderCats as they always did.

With Biker Mice From Mars, though? That remains to be seen. It’s a stretch, but they have Ryan Reynolds working on it, so there’s hope.

One key thing to note is that there’s no real attempt to make the hands super-realistic — instead, they are sculpted specifically to hold the weapons easily in almost LEGO-ish fashion. Collectors who like fancy displays may not dig that, but if you play with them and want to switch out accessories quickly, it is a major relief (especially for photographers)!

Check out a few more photos below: