Knight of Darkness
Darkness Falls
Vital statistics
Name Knight of Darkness
Species Unknown
Origin Black Nebula

Character History

Matt Doughty


Early "Knight Trooper" concept art

"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."[1]


Knight of Darkness line art for STAR Team by Ideal Toys


Early "Knight Trooper" concept art

"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."[2]

John Kent


The original Ideal Knight of Darkness holding a Nibbler[3]


Phantom of the Paradise poster

"My own relation to the Knight of Darkness, at the time it was released? I didn't have one, didn't know about him until much later in my toy collecting days.

I think it's part of my birth year - I missed MEGO by a few years, so the classic "doll" style of figure isn't one that does much for me. I much prefer something in the 3 3/4 or smaller scale.

Now, because I saw a loose figure first, I don't associate the Knight of Darkness with Star Wars - I associate him with another classic from the 70's: PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE. Whereas Winslow Leach's alter-ego wears a chrome-looking bird-inspired mask, the Knight of Darkness clearly draws inspiration from an owl's head. Such is the nature of things - inspirations came from other sources, which were inspired by sources, which....

The great challenge has been to reinvision these characters so that the Knight is more than what he was before... and with the Darkness Soliders on the loose, the evolution of the S.T.A.R. Team begins here."[4]


Target: Earth


Art from STAR Team Knight of Darkness from Ideal Toys

"The fearsome enemy from outer space."[5]

Leader of the Shadow Warriors[6] (and eventually revealed to be a henchman of Nazgar the Tyrant[7]), the Knight of Darkness planned to invade Earth with his dark forces. Armed with a powerful Uni-Blaster, the Knight of Darkness faked a crashing of their ship to position the Matter Transmitter between their home base and this ideal striking position on a barren moon of Saturn. Only ZEM-21 and the S.T.A.R. (Space Travel And Reconnaissance) Team could hope to keep him at bay. While the Knight of Darkness was able to overpower and paralyze ZEM-21 temporarily in order to gloat about his plans, Zeroid Blue and Zeroid Red managed to sneak around the ship and distract the villains long enough to damage the Matter Transmitter. The Shadow Warriors and their leader beamed back home to plan another attack.

Returning to Nazgar the Tyrant


Comic Panel from 1977 promotional comic featuring the Knight of Darkness and his Shadow Warriors

The Knight of Darkness found himself on Diavolus where he was currently battling the local population of bat-like creatures when he was recalled to Zeton by Nazgar. The unexpected activation of Maxx Zero and subsequent defeat of Hun-Dred during their first encounter had caused a change in the Tyrant’s long-term plans. Failing to properly enslave the Zetonian population with "rust rain", Nazgar tasked the Knight with finding him the perfect prototypes off-world to create a new group of elite soldiers.
See: Origin of Enemy the Dictator


Special Crossover Edition

Production Knight of Darkness Special Crossover Edition. Black with Silver Accents and multiple new tampos. Darkness Has Finally Fallen! The greatest villain of the STAR Team® is here at last! SPECIAL CROSSOVER EDITION with Onell Design. Includes all-new fabric cape, Dark Traveler belt, special cranberry-colored Robo Force Weapons Set, and bonus alternate pieces (Dark Traveler torso, scarves, Traveler belt, Neo Sincroid & Glyan heads with Silver details) for multiple configurations! Includes the FINAL official release of the Neo Sincroid head! 45 total parts. Released on January 17th, 2018. $20 each.

Cult of Dred Edition

Production Knight of Darkness Cult of Dred Edition. Black with Silver Accents and new tampos. The Knight is back in a new deluxe edition! Special Edition crossover with Onell Design! The ultimate galactic villain! Includes all-new textured fabric cape, Dark Traveler belt, special cranberry-colored Robo Force Weapons Set x2, and bonus alternate pieces (Dark Traveler torso, scarves, Traveler belt, Glyninja head with Silver details) for multiple configurations! 45 total parts. Released on October 4th, 2019. $24 each.

New features include Cult of Dred chest tampo, new tampos on helmet sides to mimic vintage figure, and red eyes.


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