Saturday, February 18, 2012

Dragons 'n Monsters

Arco figures
Toys N Things figures

What: A very cool fantasy-themed mini figure line that came out of the '80s. It consisted of eight different plastic, one-color dragons and monsters (surprise, surprise) packaged with a hollow plastic castle with a removable lid, allowing for the figures to be stored inside. There are two different versions of these: the original figures made by Arco and a later line using the same sculpts by Toys N Things. Figure colors included blue, green, orange and red, with the original line having a bright, waxy, almost translucent look to the plastic and later versions having a more matte look.

When: Originally early-mid 1980s, with versions being sold into the 1990s (I remember buying some at Toys R Us in the early-mid '90s. It's possible they were named differently)

Where: U.S. (at least), sold at toy stores, department stores, variety stores

Who: Originally produced by Arco, '90s line by Toys N Things

17 comments:

  1. Thanks for this. I have the castle with 5 of the figures. I couldn't remember what they were called. I have a dark green version of the gremlin looking thing that has butt cheeks.

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  2. THANK YOU! I had both castles as a child and have been looking for info and pictures online for years! All I have left today is one of the castles, unfortunately, but it is cool to finally know what they were!

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  3. I love these toys. I loved how there were four monsters packed into each castle / tower canister. I was always missing the Red Lizardman, but finally got one. he was, I can tell, not from the original 80's Arco line. Oh well...the hunt continues. Thanks so much for posting this with so many photos!

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    1. I just bought some toys and have an original red lizard man. Let me know if you are interested.

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    2. i am interested. how much are you asking? do you still have?

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  4. HOLY CRAP! I forgot all about these! I had the grey tower and the lizard man but the others don't look too familiar. Thanks!

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  5. Their color really makes them weirdos! Interesting color mix!

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  6. MAN, this brings back memories! The winged dragon was the BOMB!!! (To use a late 80's term--LOL)

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  7. I had the lizard man in die cast metal. It was part of an official D&D TSR swamp monster set.

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    1. Ah yeah, I have seen pics of that metal figure. Actually, some, if not all of these figures were based on lead D&D miniatures. I know the troll-like monster was based on an Umber Hulk miniature, and the Djinn also has a lead figure that looks almost exactly like it.

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  8. My brother and I had both of the Castles back in '81. We used to play with them when we'd go with our mom to the track so she could run for exercise, while we sat in the stands. I was eleven years old and my brother would've been seven years old at the time. Good stuff.

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    1. Thanks for the comment—always great to see other peoples' memories about this stuff.

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  9. Man I used to have a set of the Toys N Things version when I was a kid! Came with the purple tower. Sadly both the figurines and the tower are lost to the ages... Shame because I'm getting into D&D now and they'd have made great minis for game time.. Not to mention the tower itself would make the best dice cup ever!

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  10. this just helped me with a ebay post. thanks

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  11. Thank you! I had these but had no idea who made them. I remember getting them at K-Mart, and it seemed to me that they were manufactured by Arco. Wish I still had them.

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  12. Thanks for this! I still have mine!

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