RETRO REVIEW: The Saga of Crystar, Crystal Warrior
It was way back in 1982, while Toto was singing about Rosanna Arquette and Olivia Newton-John was coaxing you to get Physical, that Remco released one of their best remembered lines – The Saga of Crystar, Crystal Warrior. The toy line was released a little before the 11-issue Marvel comic book series of the same name. That series included a few Marvel crossovers, including Nightcrawler.
With a background story that sounds eerily familiar to L. Ron Hubbard’s creation myth, it’s not a surprise that the world of Crystallium (that’s really the name of where the story takes place) and the battle between the Order and Chaos didn’t catch on with youngsters.
I’m not sure why the line wasn’t more popular. Well…it might have something to do with going up against some new toy lines like Masters of the Universe, G.I. Joe, Return of the Jedi, etc. Plus, as you can see from the 1983 Sears Christmas Catalog, it’s not like the retailers were giving them much help. When your ad is basically space filler next to The Other World and Castle Zendo, it’s only a matter of time before you’re in the bargain bin at the local McCrory’s (I hope at least one person gets this reference).
The series of figures featured the good – the Order – and the bad – the Chaos. The leaders were a pair of twin brothers – Crystar and Moltar. Crystar, the good one, appears to be made of crystal, while Moltar, the bad brother, looks like molten lava.
The figure I picked up from eBay is named Zardeth – the wizard leader of Chaos. He’s wearing a red tunic with a golden belt and a black mask/hat that covers his missing eyeball. The figure comes with a weapon, which appears to be a flail, and a little distorting looking glass.
What I first noticed is that Zardeth features a Fu Manchu mustache in the comic – and it looks like that’s sculpted on the figure – but paint hasn’t been applied to said ‘stache. Also, it looks like someone at the factory was really lazy, because Zardeth’s eye is a single, tiny black dot. But it’s not like they were trying to skimp out, the figure has something not many 3 ¾” lines have – articulated knees.
While I haven’t been able to find any information about it, I can only imagine that a few kids were likely injured by the evil wizard, Zardeth. His index fingers resemble daggers more than actual digits…and they damn well hurt if you get stuck with one. I’m surprised that this passed even the lax toy laws that were around back in the early 80’s. Lawn darts? Sounds like fun!