Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Monster Castle play set?

It is rumored that the Galaxy Warriors toy-line included a castle play set similar to how Masters of the Universe had Castle Grayskull and Snake Mountain. The rumored Galaxy Warriors castle was called Monster Castle and it did exist. But, was this castle actually part of the Galaxy Warriors toy-line?

Monster Castle.
Monster Castle back.
Some people claim that the Monster Castle is the Galaxy Warriors's castle, and below is a photo from a private collection with Galaxy Warriors and Galaxy Fighters climbing on the castle. I admit it is pretty cool looking and compelling, but this castle was NOT made by Sungold as part of their Galaxy Warriors toy-line.

Monster Castle plus Galaxy Warriors and Fighters, and a Dragon from Imperial.

1. How do we know the Monster Castle was not part of the Galaxy Warriors line?
The box that the castle comes in provides the evidence. For starters, nowhere on the box does it display the Galaxy Warriors logo or say Galaxy Warriors. All the figures and beasts in the GW toy-line included the Galaxy Warriors logo on their packaging. Even the later released figures on the Swords & Sorcerers cardbacks still included a small logo. Also, the top right corner of the box (see image below) shows the label of a company called ECO. It is ECO who produced the castle and not Sungold.

2. If Sungold didn't make the Monster Castle, then how does it get connected to the Galaxy Warriors?
The connection comes from a smaller image on the Monster Castle box (seen below).

This image clearly shows the Galaxy Warriors Baltard, Anubi, Dragoon and Ygg. This photo should not be taken as concrete proof that the Monster Castle was part of the Galaxy Warriors line. Look closely at the figure of Ygg in the foreground just to the right of the giant hand. He carries a weapon in his right hand that is not a Galaxy Warriors weapon. He is in fact carrying the halberd that came with the Masters of the Universe's Castle Grayskull (seen below). The designers of the Monster Castle probably had purchased a Castle Grayskull from which they could draw inspiration and comparisons, and when they went to take some marketing photos of their castle they placed the MOTU halberd in Ygg's hand, intentionally or unintentionally.

Mattel's Castle Grayskull weapon accessories.
If the Monster Castle was officially part of the Galaxy Warriors toy-line, then Ygg would be carrying a Galaxy Warriors weapon.

3. Then how do we explain the appearance of Galaxy Warriors on the castle box?
Simple. They are being used for scale and to show the fantasy play possibilities of the Monster Castle. Remember that the castle is a knock-off of Castle Grayskull, and the castle's makers wanted Masters of the Universe fans to consider it a cheaper alternative to Grayskull. But, the Monster Castle had no official toy-line of its own and no action figures to show on its castle. ECO couldn't use actual Masters of the Universe figures to sell its product or they would get sued by Mattel. Instead, they got the next best thing, MOTU knock-offs called Galaxy Warriors, made by a company unlikely to sue them or even care that their figures were being used in the marketing scheme of another toy company.

4. But why would ECO make a fantasy castle without an accompanying figure line to use it?
It was a common practice in the early 80's to do whatever you needed to in order to connect your toys, even remotely, to the Masters of the Universe. MOTU was such a hot property that small toy companies could make profits by simply making "knock-off accessories" to the MOTU line. Imperial produced a two lines that included only beasts, beasts with chariots, and weapons packs. Dragons, Knights and Daggers was the fantasy inspired line, and Robots, Lasers and Galaxies was the sci-fi inspired line. Both were pretty awesome but its interesting to note that the beasts in the line included saddles reminiscent of MOTU saddles found on official MOTU beasts and weapons that could be held by MOTU figures. After having made beasts ready for riders and weapons ready to be used, Imperial made no actual figures of their own design.

A beast just waiting for a rider.

Cool weapons looking for a hero or villain.
Check out the caption on the packaging for the Rhino Avenger (Below). "Scaled to size for play with all fantasy figures." Translation: MOTU figures can ride this rhino.

The Monster Castle essentially used the same marketing trick as this caption, but instead of saying MOTU sized figures could use it, they went ahead and showed actual MOTU sized figures using it.
    I have heard that the Monster Castle was released in Belgium and Germany, and possibly the UK as well.

The point of this post is not to diminish the Monster Castle because it was not directly part of the Galaxy Warriors toy-line. The castle is a cool item, as are the figures made by Imperial, as are Galaxy Fighters and other toy-lines similar to Galaxy Warriors. I actually advocate collectors to mix and match these separate lines together when creating a display. Its really nice that they all used the same scale because it allows us as action figure collectors to pick and choose, and create a "world" that is appealing to our own individual taste.


  1. That is interesting. Looks great and fits well with the G Warriors. But I agree that it was probably not created under there actual toy line. It would be cool to see more play sets made for them, maybe some destroyed battle landscapes.

  2. A battle landscape would be awesome. Some toy-lines, like Galaxy Fighters and even He-Man, planned on doing "battle mats" that would simulate landscapes, but those mats were usually scrapped and never produced. Some actual 3-D landscape pieces would be really cool, though.

  3. Interesting item
    Rhino Avenger Chariot with a lot of pics to save and archive :)

    1. Thanks for the link. That chariot is a great item. I really love those Imperial toys.

  4. My buddy found this with box for 5 dollar, really awesome :)

  5. I had this castle in the late 80s. My mum had bought me for 50 F ($ 12) in a discounter in France called "La Foire Fouille". Kid, I loved the creepy hand but, contrary to what one might think about the pictures, the plastic was not phosphorescent! Thank you for all the good memories and really sorry for my bad english :-)

  6. Wow !! Thanks for sharing your memories. Its great to hear about people's experiences with these toys. That's really awesome that you remember the name of the store where your castle was bought. Amazing stuff, thanks again.

  7. I recently found this on my attic. I used to play with my motu firgures on it, but couldn't find any logo on it.Very hard to find intel on this.
    You guys have any idea what's it's worth without the box but in good condition?


    1. Sorry, I have no idea what it might be worth as I have never seen one sold before on ebay or in a store. As with anything, it is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. I know that doesn't help. But I am sure there are enough rabid toy collectors looking for rare items that it would definitely sell for something. =)