1983 LJN Advanced Dungeons and Dragons Toys
In 1982, LJN toys beat out rival toymaker Mego for the rights to produce toys based on the popular TSR role-play game “Dungeons and Dragons” and a great underrated series of toys was born. The LJN D&D line was sort of a grown-up version of Masters of the Universe with its Elves, Wizards, and Orcs populating a somewhat dark middle earth environment. Sadly, the line didn’t; ‘t farewell, most likely due to the strong opposition to the game itself and its themes.
Despite being kicked out of my sole D&D game when I was 12 (I didn’t really “get” role playing and decided to be an ass) I really dug these toys and bought much of the first wave of figures.
Like I mentioned in the opening, D&D was a big coup for a toy company to get in 1983 and this line should have been a bigger hit.
The first wave of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons figures, the Kelek figure was later changed. There was a nice mix of cloth and plastic here and I remember being happy to see Strongheart on the Dungeons and Dragons cartoon!
A good steed is essential to all fantasy toylines..
I remember these giftsets well, I drew the line at them, to me they were toys but the figures were um… collectible figurines, yeah that’s probably how I justified it to myself.
I searched for Northlord forever as a kid, never found him, not even sure he made it to Canada.
Hook Horror was another character that I searched for, I hit every store in my town that sold toys (4) and I can safely say it never made it to retail in my area..
These miniature figures were something I grabbed every single one of, they were cheaply priced and I couldn’t paint metal miniatures to save my life. I didn’t do anything with them however…
Easily one of the most inspired-looking playsets of the 1980s..
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Northlord DID make it to Canada. I had one when I was a kid. Got it at Woolco. I don’t recall seeing the second version though., The one with the firing shield.
Before I was even really aware of Dungeons & Dragons as a cartoon or ever rolled up my first character, I happened across a Fortress of Fear at a Salvation Army Thrift Store, but couldn’t convince my mom to let me get it, as money was tight at the moment. “Five bucks is too much” tight.
That haunted me for a while. I tried to save for it myself, but it was gone by the time we next visited.
Without knowing what it actually was, I knew what I wanted it to be: a lair for Bowser Koopa as I played with my Mario figurines. Stuff like the spiked wall and lava pool made it a good fit, and with a bit of imagination, it fit in with stuff like his castle from SMB3 or the Valley of Bowser from World.