Most of the toys I cover in this blog are from beloved, well-known properties like G.I. Joe, Transformers, and Marvel super heroes. However I have acquired a few odds and ends from less recognizable toy lines over the years. When I was a kid all of my major collections, like the ones mentioned above, all had their own designated storage spot. My G.I. Joes were in a clear plastic box in the closet while my Transformers were kept in a large cardboard box under the bed. When it came to the odds and ends they ended up in my generic “figure drawer”. The figure drawer was home to my one Voltron figure, my one Starrior figure, My one A-Team figure, my one Dungeons & Dragons figure, etc.
One of the oddities that resided in my figure drawer was the Palace Guard from the Blackstar line of figures. For those of you not familiar with Blackstar (which is probably most of you), it was a cartoon produced in 1981 by Filmation, the same studio that produced the Masters of the Universe cartoon. Blackstar was a lot like Masters of the Universe actually. The star of the series was John Blackstar, an astronaut who ends up stranded on a strange barbarian world rife with futuristic technology. The series ran for one season. I would’ve been three at the time. I do have some vague memories of the show but I’m sure those must be from watching repeats aired a few years later. Galoob didn’t release action figures for the series until 1983 so I assume the show was still being aired at that time.
My older brother Doug and I owned one figure each from the toy series. I don’t really recall when we got them exactly. A lot of the oddities from the figure drawer were oddities because we received them as birthday and Christmas presents and weren’t necessarily things that we “wanted”. But I do believe that Doug and I actually picked out our two Blackstar figures from a store. Doug had Neptul who was basically the Blackstar equivalent of Mer-Man. He was a yellow skinned fish guy who ruled an underwater kingdom. The figure had a cloth cape and a glow-in-the-dark scepter. The figures were slightly taller than MOTU figures but had a similar design and thus could easily be played with together. Since we only had two Blackstar figures the only times they got played with was when we included them into our MOTU play or in one of our legendary figure drawer royal rumbles.
As I mentioned earlier, the one Blackstar figure I had was the Palace Guard who was an eagle man with a spiked helmet. He was pretty grumpy looking and bared a slight resemblance to Sam the Eagle from the Muppets, what with his bushy eyebrows and all. I held onto that figure for a long time and it was a favorite of mine as a kid. Sadly when the helmet got misplaced he wasn’t nearly as cool looking and he became expendable. If memory serves, a kid from the neighborhood stole the Palace Guard from me when he was visiting our house one day. We weren’t exactly friends but I played it coy, got myself invited to his house and I stole it back. Doug probably remembers this better than I and can perhaps add some details in the comments section. He might even remember the little bastard’s name. Anyway, I did eventually get rid of the figure at a yard sale or something. Doug still has Neptul.
All of the hero figures in the Blackstar line came packaged with an unarticulated Tobbit (Tree Hobbit). All of the villains came packaged with Demons. Since both Neptul and the Palace Guard were villains Doug and I each had a little yellow demon. The demons came in a variety of colors but we both ended up with these brightly colored, almost neon, little demons. I’m not sure if the colors had any significance but I kind of always wanted to collect the different colored ones. I actually liked the Demon more than the Guard so when I sold the Guard I kept the Demon which I still have to this day. It’s a very versatile little creature which still looks good when displayed with modern He-Man figures.
The figure has no articulation and no accessories as he himself was basically an accessory. The sculpting is quite good and the red and white paints applications on the eyes is appreciated. He’s made of a soft but solid plastic so you can move his arms, legs, and tail a bit but they always fall back into position. You can see on the photo with both our Demons that there’s some blue residue in the small crevices. That’s left over from an adventure where the Demons found themselves doused in some particularly sticky play-doh. I think it may have been home made. I really like this figure and if I ever stumble across any Blackstar figures I would scoop them up. Doug has collected a few of them in recent years and I’m slightly jealous of his collection. 7 out of 10.