The Legion of Darkness
"The fearsome enemy from outer space."
Shadow Warriors follow the orders of the Knight of Darkness and his plans to invade Earth. Only ZEM-21 and the S.T.A.R. (Space Travel And Reconnaissance) Team can hope to keep him at bay as the Shadow Warriors continue to sneak into staging position near Earth.
"When I first received the Knight of Darkness "doll" from my folks back in the late 70's, I was really taken by the strange and blunted "Vader-like" look of the helmet, as well as the silver and black color combination. Because I was also obsessed with Stormtroopers at the time, I thought the Knight also looked like some kind of elite version of the Empire's prime military force. Naturally, I expected to see other S.T.A.R. Team antagonists like the Knight show up at the toy store, filling out the "bad guy" ranks like Star Wars was starting to do. Each time my family traveled to The Maine Mall I was on the lookout for new S.T.A.R. Team recruits, but nothing ever materialized beyond the Knight and a few Zem 21 figures. This actually bugged me more than it ever should have, especially since legitimate Star Wars figures were starting to invade the shelves. The Knight of Darkness needed his own troopers to command!
I kept my original Knight of Darkness for many years, losing various pieces of its body as time rolled on. Eventually all that remained was the poor guy's head, battered and scraped from years of service. The Knight's noggin one day ended up on my work desk, while I had some cruddy enamel model paint opened up (80's kids know the kind). I thought back to my desire of seeing a trooper versions of the Knight and I applied some of that nasty enamel paint (a red color) to its worn out dome. Needless to say, the paint refused to dry, but for a small window I was able to sneak a glimpse of what might have been.
Fast forward to nearly 4 years ago, around the time I started to develop new S.T.A.R. Team (Project X) concepts with Toyfinity's John Kent (who now held the licenses for some of my most beloved Ideal toy lines including S.T.A.R. Team) and our long time collaborator Ralph Niese. During those extensive work sessions, we discussed how we could bring back the Knight of Darkness and give him an army of armored soldiers. The old "trooper" concept then resurfaced from my youth, and things began to fall into focus for the Knight's resurrection."
"As I produced various sketches of the Knight of Darkness and his proposed "troopers" for Project X in late 2012 and into 2013, I started to realize that the core design principles of the original vintage figure had a lot in common with our very own Space Traveler Pheyden. That sneaky domed would-be conqueror from the 70's had actually left an indelible subconscious impression on my tiny brain! It seemed that I had inadvertently discovered Pheyden's long lost cosmic grandpa through the act of drawing oddball pictures.
Strange skull-like swept angled helmet? Check. Simplified segmented chest? Check. Skinny arms and legs? Check. Asymmetrical weirdo belt? Check. That last one really jumped out at me. All that time playing with the original Knight of Darkness had definitely affected my creative choices when I was developing old Pheyden, I had just never really put it all together until I seriously analyzed the basic aesthetics of both designs next to each other.
In many ways, the concept of Toyfinity is truly best proven by the very projects that it undertakes. The Knight of Darkness/Pheyden connection may never have been made if we hadn't collectively decided to bring the original S.T.A.R. Team back from deep space. Being able to collaborate, design and develop with John and the Toyfinity team has allowed us to open up all new dimensions, even without Traveler powers.
Or weirdo asymmetrical belts."
Flashing through "Outer Space" on a mysterious trajectory. The legendary Atarikoth Comet unknowingly receives a group of unwanted visitors, determined to unlock the "Chariot's Keep."
Matching speed with the massive comet, the Edgeliner Marezioc drops off a trained squad. "Let's get down there! This is our chance." commands Evenollus. Leading a pack of well armed Marezioc Guard Protoclones, the team touched down on the comet's rocky surface with ease. Using weapons originally built for other worldly beings, the Guard began blasting into the dense rock surface. "Move swiftly." Evenollus barked at them. He would not let his commander down with this secret mission.
"Evenollus, we've breached the surface." called back one of the Guards. "Commander Viyer was right..." responded another, "...this is no simple comet..." Peering down into the hole revealed a different world than the surface might lead you to believe. Rock became ruins of a different nature. More like petrified vines hardened over time. Against the walls and floor lay the rock-like outer shell remains of something more sinister in nature from outer space. "...it is an ancient vessel!" continued the Guard as they slipped further down their newly created rabbit hole. Each squad member slowly entered the ruins and marched single file. Yet, one couldn't help but stare at the petrified remains as they went deeper into the bowels of the ancient ship.
Darkness Soldier Standard
Production Darkness Soldier - Standard edition. Red with White Accents. The dangerous followers of the KNIGHT OF DARKNESS! Based on the classic KNIGHT OF DARKNESS from Ideal Toys! Includes bonus Glyan head! 34 pieces. Released on June 24th, 2016. $14 each.
Darkness Soldier Legion
Production Darkness Soldier - Legion edition. White with Black Accents. The dangerous elite followers of the KNIGHT OF DARKNESS! Based on the classic KNIGHT OF DARKNESS from Ideal Toys! Includes bonus Glyan head! 34 pieces. Released on September 25th, 2016. $14 each.
Darkness Soldier Guardian
Production Darkness Soldier - Guardian edition. Black with Silver Accents. Elite Protectors of the Knight of Darkness! SPECIAL CROSSOVER EDITION with Onell Design. Includes the FINAL official release of the Neo Sincroid head! Neo Sincroid & Glyan heads with Red details. 34 pieces. Released on January 17th, 2018. $14 each.
Darkness Soldier Destroyer
Production Darkness Soldier - Destroyer edition. Classic Deep Blue (Zerak) with Black Accents. SPECIAL CROSSOVER EDITION with Onell Design. With the special Destroyer Alloy from a mysterious space station, the Darkness Soldiers are stronger than ever! 34 pieces. Released on May 13th, 2018. $14 each.
Darkness Soldier Solar Storm
Production Darkness Soldier - Solar Storm. Hunter Orange (Zemo) with White Accents. SPECIAL CROSSOVER EDITION with Onell Design. These comet-riding space jockeys provide support to Darkness! Includes bonus blank Nazarran™ and Glyninja™ heads! 35 pieces. Released on October 4th, 2019. $15 each.
Darkness Soldier Elite
"STAR TEAM® - DELUXE DARKNESS SOLDIER - ELITE with BERZERKROID™ ULTRA-SET! Join the Cult of HUN-DRED® in this first ever Ultra-Set! This special crossover with Onell Design, Rawshark, and Spy Monkey includes: 1 standard Glyan™, 1 Glyarmor™ set, 1 premium textured cape, 1 Darkness Soldier head and 1 Nazarran™ brain, 1 Callgrim™ weapon set, 1 ZEROID® Core Block, 1 set Robo Force® guns in clear yellow, 1 set Robo Force® guns in matching red, 1 set Weaponeers of Monkaa™ Close Combat weapons! All new ELITE CULT OF DRED tampo!
A set so premium it became our first ULTRA-SET!"
Production Darkness Soldier - Elite. Dark Red with Grey Accents. SPECIAL CROSSOVER EDITION with Onell Design, Spy Monkey Creations, and Rawshark. Released on May 8th, 2020. $40 each.
Darkness Soldier Metallic Copper Head
Loyal soldiers of the Knight of Darkness. Special metallic copper (Gendrone Union) edition. Glyos® compatible Darkness Soldier™ head to boost your armies! Special price. 1 piece. Released on January 17th, 2018. $1 each.
A series of Test Shot heads were some times added as a bonus stowaway items in Onell Design order shipments. The first two heads offered Esedeth Mobile Patrol (Wave 52) and Esedeth Mobile Patrol Elite (Wave 55) versions of the Darkness Soldier head. They are believed to be paint mask testings ahead of the corresponding Darkness Soldier releases.
EMP Sand matches the Darkness Soldier Standard's paint mask and EMP Elite Warm Gray matches the Darkness Soldier Legion's paint mask. Starting with Wave 64 a Stealth version of the Darkness Soldier began to appear with only black painted eyes and with Wave 75 a Medium Gray version popped up.