Action Figure Overview: Sectaurs - Zak and Bitaur (Coleco, 1985)


Sectaurs: Zak and Bitaur (Coleco, 1985)

The seed for the idea of Sectaurs started way back in 1978 when Tim Clarke made a hand puppet Fly for a Halloween party.  People at the party loved it.  A few years later, when coming up with ideas for toys, Tim brought out the puppet again.  It was suggested that action figures could ride on the puppets and sketches were made for some characters which would eventually be developed into the 7" Sectaurs figures and their flying companions that came out in 1985.

Four Sectaurs: Night Fighting Dargon, Zak, Mantor, & Skito

I don't remember much about Sectaurs from my childhood.  I probably saw a TV commercial for them, but I don't even remember that.  I only know for certain that I had two Sectaurs.  I'm positive that one of them was Mantor and I'm 95% sure that the other one was Waspax...mainly because it really seems like I had his flying companion, Wingid.  I also distinctly remember selling both figures with all of the accessories, paperwork, and boxes at a church sale when I was a few years older.

Zak armed with his Slazor sub-machine gun, Vengun, and battle shield!

Until recently, I hadn't actively sought out Sectaurs.  However, over the years I've ended up with a few figures, so earlier this year I got more active in my collecting.  When I began researching the figures, I found many more products than I had realized had been created for this line!  In addition to the 9 figures, their companions, and their mini-comics, Coleco had also released / licensed coloring books, hardback story books, book and record (or cassette) sets, stamp books, a series of Marvel comic books, a cartoon, and more!

Sectaurs Zak and Bitaur in the original box.
Thanks to Tony Fowler for the photos of the packaged figure!

One of the nine figures released in this line was the fun-loving hero, Zak, who was the captain of the Royal Guard before losing his position for joking around too much.  He came packaged with his insectoid companion Bitaur, the war-beast with jaws of iron!  Although I never had this figure as a kid, it seems like I should have!  Zak is the cool friend of the main hero and Bitaur is one tough bug.

Sectaurs "Zak" and the mini-comic that came with the figure

All of the Sectaurs figures (and even the Hive playset) came with a mini-comic, but the mini-comic that came with Zak didn't mention him (or Bitaur) on the cover.  Altough Zak was featured a good bit in the story, the comic really wasn't about Zak specifically.  I believe it was sometimes included with other figures too, but that may have had more to do with the cover including all of the characters rather than the story inside.  Zak is the only character who didn't have a mini-comic that specifically mentioned him on the cover.

Sectaurs: A look at Zak from all sides!

Zak came with several accessories.  Like most of the Sectaurs, he wore a removable belt / strap with a holster for his pistol.  The pistol was a venom-shooting vengun!  He also came with a Skall-piercing Slazor sub-machine gun with a removable strap.  Lastly, he had a small, heavy duty battle shield made of tempered Skall.  The shield was so small that it seemed kind of pointless, but it was cool that so many accessories were included with these figures!

Zak's insectoid: Bitaur

One of the main details of all of the Sectaurs stories is that each Sectaur is telepathically bonded to an insectoid companion.  Zak's insectoid sidekick, Bitaur, was also included with each Zak figure.  On the back of the package, this war-beast is described as being a hot-tempered insectoid with deadly jaws ...and the figure fit the description! Bitaur had a button on his back which made his jaws open and snap shut.  In the mini-comics, Bitaur is portrayed as a lazy any time he's not in the midst of battle, but a formidable force once the fighting starts!

Sectaurs comic panel featuring Bitaur

Although there was a second wave of Sectaurs figures planned, designed, and even promoted to retailers, the line ended after just one wave of figures hit the shelves.  Did the line fail because of the cost or maybe the size of the figures just wasn't what kids wanted at the time?  No one really knows for sure.  Within the last few years, Zica toys has brought back some of the characters in 1/18 scale through a successful kickstarter campaign, but as of this writing, none of their insectoid companions have been made.  Hopefully, I'll complete my collection of vintage Sectaurs figures someday.  They certainly were a cool line of toys!

Do you collect Sectaurs?  Who is your favorite figure?  Who is your favorite Insectoid?  Tell me in the comments below!

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