I recently unearthed my original Skulk Sectaur, and put him on my shelf. But then I came across Pinsor, with Battle Beetle, at a vintage toy store (Eternia Dreams) and snatched him in my grubby claws. Now that I had a good guy Sectaur, I could set up a proper photoshoot. Actually this photo was specifically designed to look like a scan from an old Sears Wishbook catalog page. This is the time of year that I used to pour through those pages, dreaming up my wish list and what I hoped to find under the tree Christmas morning. Click below for additional photos.
Skulk (with Trancula) was one of my favorite toys that wasn’t Star Wars or Transformers. This was the only figure I had, and my brother had Zak and Bitaur (maybe one of us had Raptor?) anyway, now that I have two of them, on opposing forces, I can pit them against each other.
I like Pinsor’s mount Battle Beetle because its action feature is mechanical. I liked the idea of Dargon and Dragonflyer (and I may track him down in the future), but honestly as a kid, I was adverse to toys that required batteries to play. Maybe it was my parents’ attitude to continuing costs, but getting fresh batteries was a huge chore when I was young, so I naturally gravitated to toys that didn’t have batteries at all. (Except for Snake Mountain, nothing swayed my desire for that gem) Battle Beetle’s legs are created when you put your hand into the glove and you use your middle finger to activate his pinching action. Any child can master a faux walking action with the fingers for a naturally creepy look.
I love the story of Sectaur’s creation. I got to hear it first hand when I interviewed creator Tim Clarke for ToyFair magazine several years ago. Tim was one of the sculptors for Jim Henson’s Dark Crystal (and other productions such as Fraggle Rock). Each year Jim held a big Halloween party and everyone was encouraged to out do each other with elaborate costumes. Tim didn’t particularly like dressing up so he created a fly puppet, where he could work the legs like a glove. He’d have the fly buzz around and crawl on people at the party. The puppet was a big hit and someone said “Hey, put an action figure on its back and you’d have a big hit!” So he did! And Sectaurs were born.
Between these two figures, I prefer Skulk. The segmented body parts and articulation really work well with insect-inspired body types. I do love the rubber antennae on the good guys, I also loved their pupil-less eyes. It really worked well for the look. The larger format (towering over Masters of the Universe and Star Wars figures) allowed for more detail and articulation that came with 80s toy production. Tim wanted to prove that boys could have fun playing with puppets, and this was only the beginning, as Tim also created Boglins.
Trancula was one of my favorite toys ever. I loved the design and simplicity, but it just, worked. You could feel like you were bringing your own performance to playing, and your middle finger makes those wonderful jaws chomp up and down. The furry legs are much more successful at making your parents’ skin crawl. It also displays a little bit better on a shelf without your hand inside. I tried putting a poseable wooden artists’ hand model in Battle Beast but it didn’t work out as well as I wanted.

Here is a brief behind-the-scenes video of my studio set up. Not pictured is the trigger activated light box that I hold above the scene. This light box activated the remote flash that has an orange gel (seen on the right of the scene) The cobwebs are for decorating a haunted house and they work great in this insect world. I’m hoping to do a full photoshoot with a complete HYVE, the Sectaurs playset, before too long. Check out a few more pics in the gallery below.


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