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Donjons de Castelelon (1983)

What the heck is this? A knock-off of a knock-off? Maybe!

That cover painting is obviously the same as the Dungeons of Castlelon box from Dimensions for Children for the Dragonriders of the Styx line. But it’s produced by a New York company called ToyCo, apparently for distribution in Canada (hence the French). The inset photo depicts a wilderness playset, not a dungeon. And once you get the box open, well, the monsters sure look…different. I love them, they’re weird as hell, and clearly modeled on Dragonrider designs. Mostly. Sorta. Though no snake people, despite them being prominently, you know, on the box painting.

Weirder still, this box came out in 1983, so it strikes me as weird that they’re using the forbidden, theoretically copyright infringing artwork only a year after DFC pissed off TSR with it.

Are these legit toys? Re-packaged by some sort of re-seller? Bootlegs? I have no idea. I’ve not been able to find other ToyCo toys. The cavemen looks a little like they might be copies of Arco toys? The yellow guys and the winged dragon also look familiar, but I have no idea from where. A mystery for the ages, I guess.

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