Some time ago Joe Amato (customizer and host of the Fans Of Power Podcast) scanned the MOTU Sticker Fun book, The Evil-Lympics. My good friends Jukka Issakainen and Øyvind Meisfjord shared the scans with me, and with Joe’s kind permission, I’m sharing them with readers of this blog.
This particular book stands out because it was illustrated by the venerable Alfredo Alcala, whose artwork in various MOTU minicomics from 1982-1984 (as well as inks on some of the full-sized MOTU comics published by DC) is beloved by many fans. You can peruse these comics at at Vaults of Grayskull and He-Man.org, as well as in the Dark Horse Minicomic collection (the Dark Horse collection only includes the MOTU minicomics).
The level of detail in these illustrations is somewhat reduced compared to Alcala’s other work. That’s not surprising given that it’s just an inexpensive sticker/coloring book rather than a real comic. But still, his unmistakable style is there, and it’s a real treat to see more Alcala goodness. Some of the monster characters he creates here are reminiscent of his work on The Obelisk and Masks of Power minicomics.
Zodac is portrayed as an Evil Warrior here, which is unsurprising considering the date (for more on the shifting alignment of the character, see my article on the topic). What is surprising is that Man-E-Faces is also portrayed as an Evil Warrior. In previous stories, Man-E-Faces would sometimes fall under Skeletor’s sway in his monster form, but generally-speaking he was almost always aligned with the Heroic Warriors. Also, as Waylon Piercy in the comments notes, Stratos and Ram Man are in there too! I’m wondering if the original idea was to include both Evil and Heroic Warriors in the games, but then the story was revised after the art was finished.
In any case, enjoy!
For some additional context, I’ve included some eBay auction photos of the original sticker pages as well as the back cover:
I don’t recall ever encountering Dragstor growing up, but the concept is familiar – a figure that “transforms” simply by flipping himself over. In 1986 Transformers ruled the toy world, but Dragstor’s “transformation” barely qualifies.
Design & Development
Dragstor was designed by Ed Watts, who also designed Dragon Walker. In the concept art below (dated December 1, 1984, from The Power and the Honor Foundation Catalog), we see the character with a section reptilian “face” when flipped over, and a number of reptilian fits on his arms and legs. There is no indication that he was an Evil Horde character at this point.
The character idea was actually invented by Derek Gable (Director of Preliminary Design) after he left Mattel, and sold back to Mattel via his startup, West Coast Innovations.
The design went through some changes and refinements. Eventually the reptile theme was dropped everywhere except for his face, which had large reptilian eyes. The fins where dropped and he was given orange boots and gloves. The exhaust pipes were toned down as well, presumably to make it easier to manufacture.
Figure & Packaging
The final figure had only the single wheel on the torso, not the wheels on the elbows and knees of the original design, although he did have smooth pads on the elbows that could drag across the floor with little friction. He came with a ripcord and a re-release of Mantenna’s crossbow.
The cardback scene on the packaging was illustrated by Errol McCarthy, while William George did the cross sell artwork. On the front, Dragstor is called a “transforming evil warrior vehicle,” which is a little confusing since generally the term “Evil Warrior” is used to refer to Skeletor’s faction, as opposed to the Evil Horde.
Characterization & Comic Appearances
In Mattel’s 1987 Style Guide, Dragstor is listed as an Evile Horde affiliated warrior with the following powers:
Power: In a burst of speed, Dragstor chases after enemies of the Evil Horde.
Character Profile: The victim of a terrible experiement in the lab of Hordak, the Evile Horde crony is how half-man, half-machine. Dragstor is a vicious mechanical speed domen. He is able to move faster than any other warrior, and he even outpaces some of their vehicles! Dragstor loves to chase down helpless victims and drag them back to Hordak.
Dragstor is also given a bio in the 1989 UK MOTU Annual, which expands on the above story. In this version, Dragstor was an Eternian sprinter named Theydon, who was captured by the Horde along with Doodon (Extendar).
Dragstor was showcased in The Warrior Machine
Interestingly, on the first page of the story, Dragstor features the reptile helmet design from the Ed Watts concept (which is also noted in The Power and the Honor Foundation Catalog), although his design follows the production feature everywhere else:
For an in-depth look at this story, check out Jukka Issakainen’s excellent video on the topic:
Dragstor also appears alongside Mosquitor in Enter … Buzz-Saw Hordak! In the story, Hordak is creating yet another minion in his laboratory. When Dragstor expresses skepticism about Mosquitor’s toughness, Mosquitor teaches Dragstor a hard lesson:
In issue 31 of the UK MOTU Magazine (1987), we get more on the backstory of Theydon and Doodon (Dragstor and Extendar). The friends are captured by the Evil Horde and transformed. However of the two, only Extendar is able to retain his own will, and he manages to escape from the Horde (images via He-Man.org).
Unlike the other 1986 Evil Horde figures Horde Trooper and Multi-Bot, Dragstor never appeared in the Filmation She-Ra cartoon, and generally speaking was a fairly sparsely used character in comics and books. He did make an appearance in William George’s 1986 Eternia poster, however:
Dragstor in Action
Øyvind Meisfjord has shared the following of video of Dragstor in action:
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