Every Friday we’re going to hop into our toy time machine and take a look back at a classic older toy. We already review a lot of older toys on the site, but starting today, Friday will be the home of one guaranteed classic each week. This week, we’re hopping back to 1983 with the title character of his own comic and toy line… Crystar!

This is not a complete Crystar, but those are nigh on impossible to get these days without sacrificing your first born. Crystar was a little line by Remco that only lasted for a brief time. All of the figures can typically still be found, but for whatever reason, Crystar himself is harder to come by. A complete Crystar would come with a blue translucent sword, a translucent blue shield and a blue prism crystal. He also had a helmet that was red and you guessed it, translucent blue.

He’s seen here with wizard Ogeode’s axe/staff. It’s the only other weapon I have that’s blue and translucent. A lot of the weapons were interchangable in this manner because they were made of the same materials.

I absolutely loved this line. I’m a sucker for translucent figures and this one really takes the cake. There wasn’t anything else like this out in 1983 and in fact, there haven’t been many toys like this since! It seems unlikely that Crystar will ever make a proper return to the toy aisle, but the Working Class Villains crew are putting together their own fantasy line inspiried by Crystar. I can’t wait until that project is active.

As a kid, my Crystar broke pretty early on. A fall from high altitudes caused his hollow chest to burst into a million pieces. It was like he was made of glass! I also think it didn’t help that my brother and I used to put him into the freezer and make him cold. I’m not sure what that was about.

However he was one of the few characters we managed to “save”. With a hefty amount of Scotch tape and using part of his prism crystal, we rebuilt his chest and Crystar lived on to battle Moltar! Of course he had to be pretty gingerly played with in battle… But it was worth it. I don’t recall the battle that finally saw his death, but I’m certain it was epic.

Crystar remains one of my favorite figures (and toy lines) of those crazy days gone by. I think we must have lost his helmet right out of the package as I never recall him wearing it much. So aside from lacking his sword, this guy feels mostly “complete” to me. Crystar didn’t need any fancy gimmicks to get by, he just looked so cool… Plus he had articulated knees! That made him more articulated than about 75% of the figures in the early 80s!

Although the line was being clearanced out by 1984, you could still find the remains of Cyrstar figures for quite some time at K-Mart locations. Much like the heyday of K-Mart and Remco itself, Crystar is a distant memory for many. That’s why he makes a perfect first entry into Flashback Friday!

8 Responses to Flashback Friday – Crystar

  • Clutch says:

    Wow, he looks just like Iceman without his helmet on. That's some patchwork job you guys must have done after he broke apart. I was still seeing Crystar stuff by the end of the 80's. I finally bought the regular Zardeth along with his deluxe variant and the deluxe Ogeode on the larger cards, all of which were beat up when I got them in 1989. The wizards were the true peg warmers in that line, but why short pack the lead character? I don't think I ever saw Crystar or the other translucent figures on shelves even when the line was new.

  • It was a heck of a repair job. Usually if a toy broke, my Mom would trash it. Somehow Crystar made it though. We cut his prism in half and that became the main part of his chest. We were able to use a bit of the front and most of the back pieces and taped it all together. He looked odd, but the tape worked because he was still translucent.

    The wizards got no love, even though they were pretty cool. You're right though, Crystar was hard to come by even back then. Which is why we repaired him instead of replacing him. Good times.

  • Fengschwing says:

    Excellent stuff! We never had these in the UK, but I did see the comic on occasion and was very jealous of you lot in the States getting these.
    One thing I would say though, you say there wasn't anything else around like him in '83? What about the Micronauts? Small, well articulated and mostly transparent?

  • Ah good point, lol. They did have some of the same elements, at least design wise, although they lacked some of the neater sword and sorcery stuff.

  • Mario says:

    I, like most, never actually saw Crystar himself when I was young, but I loved this line nonetheless. The two Lava men often battled my D & D & Super Powers figures. Years ago, when I starting reacquiring the toys I loved, one of my first missions was finding the one hero I was never able to have (another reason, in my esteem, why Remco couldn't compete. Your main man can't be rare, FFS), & thankfully, I bought him earlier on (pre-'80's "rebirth" craze) when he could be found on the cheap. Even then though, finding a complete one was a lengthy endeavor. I still kinda can't believe the coin he goes for these days.

  • ero says:

    Love Crystar. He's one of those toys that just sticks out form my childhood. I've kind of given up on Backyard Legends ever happening, but as mentioned earlier, he does look like Iceman, and I've been eying the MU X-Men version I bought my son for Christmas as the perfect custom base for it. Of course, I can't take the one from my kid. 😉

  • Mario says:

    Yeah, unfortunately, Backyard Legends is looking more & more like a pipe dream. Still keepin' hope though…

  • If it ever gets off the ground, trust me, you'll hear about it here!

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