Friday, April 12, 2013

Warriors becoming Fighters: The mixing of two toy-lines.

How are the the toy-lines Galaxy Warriors and Galaxy Fighters connected, and why are they connected?

[If you are not very familiar with the Galaxy Warriors, you might want to start with What are the Galaxy Warriors? before reading this very interesting post.]

The design of the logos for the two lines is really similar. It appears to be the same font and style.

Reused Characters:
The connections between Sungold's Galaxy Warriors and Sewco's Galaxy Fighters are numerous and curious. The Warriors were released first, in 1983, and the Fighters came a year later in 1984. Three figures from the Warriors line are copied, with identical sculpts, in the Fighters line: Baltard, Magnon, and Anubi. A fourth Warrior, Sahak, is basically copied but given a slightly different head to become the Fighters' Kobra. The Warriors' Baltard was also copied a second time in the Fighters line, when the topknot on his head was removed and he was given an eye patch, thus becoming Batoon.

Comparing the back of the two Galaxy Fighters blister cards (below) shows us some interesting connections between the Fighters and Warriors lines. The first image is the card back for the earliest release of Galaxy Fighters and it shows the Castle Doom set which was never produced. It also uses the Warriors' names Magnon and Anubi for two characters that were copied from the Warriors line. The second image shows a later release card back were the name Magnon has been changed to Daton, and Anubi has been changed to Walph. Also, Castle Doom has been removed. The first card back shows Baltard, while on the second one he has been replaced by Batoon, who is just a slightly altered Baltard.

Early Galaxy Fighters card back before name changes.
Later Galaxy Fighters card back after name changes.

Galaxy Fighter Daton, with black hair.

Galaxy Warrior Magnon, with blonde hair.
Warriors on Fighters Boxes?!
One beast and one vehicle were released in the Fighters line and both came in a box that was the same except for its cover artwork. This "Fighter Box" is interesting because it shows not only Fighters, but also Warriors.
    The Fighter box image (below) shows Magnon the Galaxy Warrior riding the beast Pegasaurus. The box image is interesting because Magnon is clearly holding a Galaxy Warrior shield and sword, neither of which were released in the Galaxy Fighters toy-line. We also know that this is Magnon and not his Fighters counterpart, Daton, because his hair is blonde, not black. It should also be noted that both Magnon and Baltard are wearing Galaxy Warrior harnesses instead of either of the two harnesses actually released with in the Fighters line.

Galaxy Fighter box showing two Warriors.

Detail of Warriors riding on Fighters accessories.

The artwork for the Fighters' Pegasaurus box (below) once again clearly shows the Warrior Magnon. He is even wearing his Warriors "sun-harness" and wielding the long sword from the Warriors line. Neither that sword or harness were released as part of the Fighters toy-line. They were exclusively Warriors accessories.

Box art showing the Galaxy Warrior Magnon.
Why are Warriors shown on the artwork and in images on the top of the Fighters box, when actual fighters are used on the images on the side of the box? (see images below)

Actual Fighters on the Fighters box including Daton, the Magnon "knock-off".

More Fighters on the Fighters box.
If actual Fighters were available for pictures, then why use Warriors in one of the images? And why use a Warrior in the artwork? Why use the Warriors' Magnon, when you show the Fighters' version of  Magnon, the black haired Daton, on the side of the box? Similarly, why show the Fighter release of Baltard on the side of the box, while using a Warriors version of Baltard on the top of the box?
Blister Cards:
The blister cards for the two lines have a similar overall format. Pay attention to the double stripes motif across the top of the cards.

The double stripes are basically the same color on both the Warriors and Fighters blister cards, and the artwork on the Fighters card is just a repaint of the Warriors art in a slightly different pose. It is interesting to note that the Sun Hawk (above) is an early release Fighter and later Fighters came on a card that was much different than the Warriors cards (below).

The Swords and Sorcerers Connection:
Please read this POST for a full analysis, but basically the Swords and Sorcerers blister cards were Fighter cards with a Warriors logo on them. Also, the S&S releases included both Warriors and at least one Fighter.

Final Thoughts:
 The use of Warriors on the Fighters box might indicate Sewco's desire to have their Fighters considered an extension of Sungold's Warriors, which already had roughly a years worth of exposure in the consumer marketplace. It might be as simple as Sewco trying to take over Sungold's small corner of the muscled-fighter action figure market. After all, Sungold probably couldn't complain because they stole the body design for their figures from Mattel's He-Man, which spawned the muscled-fighter market that these companies were trying to "cash-in" on.
    I also wonder if Sungold and Sewco were connected in some way. Some of the similarities between the Warriors and Fighters seems too great for Sewco to have been simply copying Sungold's figures. The body sculpts and the three head sculpts shared between the two lines are so identical that that we must assume that some molds were shared between the companies, legally or illegally. Of course, these were made in Hong Kong in the 1980s where there were no copyright laws. But Maybe they were partner companies or made some deal where they legitimately shared molds and figure designs in the hope of boosting the sales of each others products.

1 comment:

  1. Hello John, I don't know if you saw them too, but there is some time, I found on Ebay several Galaxy Fighters in blisters with alternative designs (the one with the snake-man)