Dragonriders of the Styx (1981)

I think at this point y’all should be familiar with the basic story of Dragonriders of the Styx, the cheapie toy line from the Hong Kong outfit Dimensions for Children. The original line were solid plastic figures in the mode of army men, but with a fantasy theme that was liberally inspired by (read: stolen from) Dungeons & Dragons. The idea, I suspect, was to capitalize on the success of D&D and the broader moment fantasy was having in pop culture (Conan, He-Man, etc). I love these dumb toys and I think pretty much all the figures can be seen somewhere in my feed, but what the hell, it’s the holidays, so I’ve re-shot most of them for ya.

But just as fascinating to me as the toys is the packaging of the playsets which, until recently, I had been mostly unable to obtain. That changed this year! Here is the original Dragonriders of the Styx (1981) box! It is honestly massive, something I didn’t really expect. Inside are a bunch of creeps, a plastic play mat (which features a hedge maze which I think is a nice touch), a plastic castle of dubious durability and a plastic volcano of similar quality (which I feel like was also used in a similar sort of set of dinosaur toys). Most important is the cover art which is just, my gosh, I don’t have words. Glorious? Sublime? Purple? I dunno, but I love it, even if the dumb box is enormous and I don’t have a good place to keep it.

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