Tuesday, August 05, 2008

80's Toys Revisited - Volume 1 - Manglord and Manglor Mountain

Anyone else remember this crazy shit?

In 1983, the Ideal Toy Company revolutionized the slime-based toy playset with the introduction of Manglord and Manglor Mountain – “Made of the Strangest Stuff on Earth.”

You can say that again.

At the same time, the company traumatized a generation of youngsters by producing a toy figure whose arms, legs, and head could be torn from its body and reattached anywhere a child could imagine.

That’s right. Manglord was the first – and last – toy whose head could be attached to his crotch. Or whose leg could be attached to his ass.


Not only that, but this ultra-realistic action figure was sold with a plastic sarcophagus/holding cell filled with translucent and (presumably) non-toxic, non-teratogenic slime.

The slime kept Manglord young, or some shit like that.

Ignoring the mythology of Manglord’s origin, it was a pretty fucked up toy. My brother got it for Hanukkah one year, and we tore it limb from limb like it was going out of style.

As it turned out, it was already out of style by the time the box was opened. The toy was only on store shelves for a short time, and was generally considered a failure. Nowadays, you can only find it on sale through eBay. And apparently, only from Italy.

Still, Manglord and his Manglor mountain will haunt me until the day I die. I don’t even know if he was a hero or a villain. And I’m not even entirely sure whether Manglord was male – the figure was NOT anatomically correct, unfortunately.

If I had to guess, I’d say Manglord was born from the sulfurous lava of Mordor, or the raging fires of Hades.

I’m probably way off. I think the packaging says “Made in Thailand.”

Who needs absinthe or LSD, when you could probably smoke whatever the hell it is that Manglord's made from?

And yet many other questions remain:

First off, why create a toy like this?

What psychoses were present in the diseased mind of the toy’s original designer? Did he die of insanity? Did he receive a handsome bonus for creating this freakish plaything?

And perhaps most importantly, why did my parents buy it for my brother?

I’m still having nightmares 25 years later.

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Dennis said...

You know this was an inferior toy when you can't even look it up on wikipedia.

I don't think I never not found something I was looking for on wiki until now.

I did find something on the toy maker.

Here's the link:

Exactly when the heck did this come out? Before or after G.I. Joe?

The Mill said...

Yes, this was very obscure. But nevertheless, had a profound effect on my childhood.

This was probably before the modern GI Joe, but sometime after the invention of wooden blocks.

Anonymous said...

Great Post Mill!
I remember this toy very well as it continues to haunt my dreams.
"80's Toys Revisited" is a brilliant idea for posts and I look forward to reading more. You are a fine gentleman

The Mill said...

I'm glad to hear that someone else remembers this toy. And that the person who remembers it is a true gentleman.

It sure was a strange one.

Anonymous said...

I was 6 when I saw a commercial for this toy, and I'm 32 now. God, that thing looked so awesome. I begged my mom for one but never got one. Even though I never saw one in person, it made such an impression on me that I never forgot it. I'm still mad at my mom for not buying one! :(

The Mill said...

These are still available on eBay. See if your mom will buy you one now. 32 is not too old to play with toys.

Anonymous said...

Christ! Manglor has haunted my dreams for years. I remember seeing this at ToyRus, merchandised next to Powerlords, another random, obscure toy line.

Anonymous said...

I had this playset too but only after a short time it was thrown away by my mom who said it freaked her out. I would love to find another set to go along with my transformer collection.

Anonymous said...

I just found this new in the box.my inlaws are cleaning out the attic.my hubby was never allowed to play with it.it still has the slime in the bag.its not much but still never opened.Willing to part with it.our daughter rather have my old barbies.please email me if you want photos.we are in the Penn State area of Pa.jcapulet381@aol.com