In this month’s ToyFare #135, which hits newsstands today, there’s an article by yours truly about the Blackstar toy line. I decided to make sure I had a Blackstar character on the menu to commemorate the occasion.
For those who aren’t familiar with Blackstar, it was a cartoon show that predated Masters of the Universe by a year or two and was produced by the same company, Filmation. The two shows have a lot of similarities: both feature a barbaric hero in a land of science and sorcery who battles a demonic overlord.
Blackstar carried the Starsword, which was one half of the “Powerstar”; the other half, the Powersword, was controlled by his foe, the Overlord. This is similar to what the early MOTU media (comics and storybooks) depicted, as He-Man and Skeletor both had half of the Power Sword–which is why the original figures came with those two half-swords that could be put together.
I don’t remember ever watching Blackstar as a kid. I don’t think many kids did–it lasted only one season, and the toys came out years after the show was cancelled, as Galoob tried to capitalize on the success of MOTU.
And yet, many in my generation seem to have either owned or known someone who owned this little pale green goblin, whose official name was “Alien Demon.” The demons were packed with every villain figure (heroes came with little hobbit clones called Trobbits). The demons appeared in just one episode of the series as monstrous minions conjured by an evil sorcerer (…I think; I watched all thirteen episodes of the show in a row a few weeks ago and the plots have all blended together in my head).
It’s interesting everyone remembers the Alien Demons so well, since they were just accessories for larger action figures with articulation, weapons and even “Laser Light” features. But I have a theory: everyone remembers them is because any kid who got more than one Blackstar toy probably had a few of these. They were ubiquitous in many a kid’s toybox. Their bright colors (they came in several, though pale green is the most common) and impish appearance also made them more memorable than their Trobbit counterparts.
And let’s face it: the Trobbits kinda sucked.