DFC Toys: Dragonriders of the Styx Fantasy Playset (1981)

Dragonriders 1981

Dragonriders 1981-2

Dragonriders-2 1981

Dragonriders-3 1981

Dragonriders-4 1981

The coolest, and maybe the earliest, D&D-inspired fantasy playset I’ve seen so far. (I don’t count Warriors of the Galaxy, which is more of a MOTU-chasing spacy-fantasy.) The set is huge, first of all: it’s almost as big as the kid laying next to it on the box cover. Second, the figures are a good, creative mix, even if the dragon mount looks kind of like a Tauntaun. Third, I dig the maze with the gold prize in the middle, the obvious place for the green dragon to crouch.

UPDATE (4/6/14): As I said here, my assumption now is that Dragonriders is the first playset to be packaged and produced in response to the popularity of D&D.

‘Dragonriders’ was likely taken from Anne McCaffrey’s popular Dragonriders of Pern trilogy, released under that name in a collected edition in 1978. The Styx is a river in Greek Mythology running into the underworld. It’s also the name of a rock band—you’ll remember them from the 1983 hit single “Mr. Roboto.” Paradise Theater, the band’s only album to hit #1 on the US charts, came out in January, 1981.

Here’s the set—pretty expensive, compared to Castle Greyskull—in the 1982 J.C. Penney catalog.

Dragonriders Catalog 1982

Read a firsthand account of someone who owned it at Two-Bit Nonsense.

DFC also released an action figure line of the same name starting in 1983. I’ll talk about that in a future post.

(Images via eBay and Wishbook/Flickr)

10 Responses to “DFC Toys: Dragonriders of the Styx Fantasy Playset (1981)”

  1. 1 hobgoblin238 October 15, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    I had it too. The only DFC thing I owned. I used to put my Jawas in it.

  2. 3 Jason October 15, 2013 at 11:45 pm

    A random music video for you. Circa 1983…

  3. 4 Ben September 1, 2016 at 5:50 am

    We got this set and it was massive. The Demon Cave was the coolest part. Epic battles and the blue knights were great. Great memories, almost played with it as often as with army men.

  4. 5 Scott Andrew Hutchins February 14, 2019 at 5:43 am

    I have the Dinosaurs and Cavemen set, but I augmented it with a bunch of other cheapo dinosaur toys because there were all these figures on the box that it didn’t actually have, like feathered pterosaurs. On the other hand, I don’t think I bought it new, though it has the box. Probably because it stored best that way. I’d take pictures, but it’s in a storage unit far from where I live.

  1. 1 DFC Toys: Demons of Castlelon Fantasy Action Playset (1982) | 2 Warps to Neptune Trackback on January 10, 2014 at 3:16 pm
  2. 2 HG Toys: Sword & Sorcery Playset (1982) and Weapon Sets (1983/1984) | 2 Warps to Neptune Trackback on February 26, 2014 at 3:11 pm
  3. 3 Miner Industries: Dragon Crest (1981) and Mysterious Castle (1982) Playsets | 2 Warps to Neptune Trackback on April 7, 2014 at 12:36 am
  4. 4 DFC Toys: Dragonriders of the Styx Action Figures (1983) | 2 Warps to Neptune Trackback on April 14, 2014 at 2:38 pm
  5. 5 Fortress of the Wizard King, Castle of the Three Headed Dragon, and Demon Mountain Fantasy Action Playsets (Helm Toy, 1983) | 2 Warps to Neptune Trackback on April 28, 2015 at 2:39 pm

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