Even though Ideal Toy Company rose to new heights with the release of the Rubik’s Cube at the end of the 70s, the company had a tumultuous time in the 1980s. The company had been bought up by CBS Toys by 1982. However, it continued to produce inventive new toys. Attempting to create a new wave of excitement, Ideal introduced the toy line that promoted children to mangle and rearrange the figures: the Manglors.
Ideal Toy Company began producing the Manglor toy line in 1984. As they were owned by CBS at the time, the CBS Toys Trademark was visible on the boxes. However, the Ideal Toy Company logo was still present. These toys aimed to be unlike any other toy that had come out to date. For, Ideal Toy Company proudly advertised that they could be stretched, squashed, and torn apart. Despite the damage done to them, the company claimed the toys would return to almost like-new condition.
The magic behind the slimy, rubbery material that made the Manglors retain their shape was Sorbothane. This viscous, urethane polymer gained fame for its ability to return to its original, molded shape. While Manglors could be stretched and squashed as advertised, the issue came when players decided to rip off limbs. While it was vaguely possible to reattach limbs, there was only a small window of time when the polymer remained malleable enough to reform a connection. Even when the limbs did bond back to the toys, their bonds were weak and unstable.
Despite these issues, Ideal toy company printed an entire back story to the Manglors toys that helped promote their malleable nature:
“Manglors: The earth-word to describe the amazing creatures that arose long ago on a harsh volcanic planet circling distant Betelgeuse, the red star giant.
To survive on their inhospitable home world, Manglors developed super-elastic bodies, able to stretch their limbs to fantastic proportions to reach safety in an instant.
With their hyper-adhesive properties, Manglors could stick to the trunks of the mammoth trees of their home world. There they hid motionless, ambushing the huge creatures who stalked them.
After the fierce combat that followed, Manglors torn to pieces by the monsters used amazing powers to re-attach severed limbs.
Manglors mastered the power to reshape their bodies at will – into rocks or logs – to disguise themselves as they slept. Awakening, “Memory” allowed them to unravel once again not their normal forms.”
As Ideal centered the Manglors on the properties of Sorbothane, they made several concessions to the playability of the action figures. Each toy came in a basic, mostly single-color color scheme. There were only a few colors that these toys came in: red, yellow, green, and blue. Moreover, the toys lacked any articulation. So, their playability relied on mangling the toys, as the name suggested.
The first series of Manglors action figures came out in 1984, with only three available characters. First, there was Manglord, the leader of a man-like race of tribal hunters. He was a ferocious chieftain who mastered the art of survival against all odds. Then, there was Manglasaurus, a terrible lizard-like creature that was the mortal enemy of the warriors. Finally, there was Manglodactyl, a feared winged hunter whose name meant “terror from the sky.
Beyond these three toys, Ideal Toy Company made a single play set available as a set with Manglord. The Manglor Mountain was a volcanic fortress developed by generations of Manglors wizards and magicians. After sinking into the icy “Manglava” inside, they slowly bubble and gurgle up again to the surface in the “Iron Maiden” cage, regenerating their bodies outside the hot, fiery environment of their home planet. Manglor Mountain made it possible for Manglors to leave their home planet in search of a new world to conquer: Earth. Ideal never advertised this playset on either the back of the boxes or their advertising campaigns.
Despite buyers noticing that Ideal Toy Company did not deliver on their promise of an indestructible toy, they released a second and final series in 1985. During this time, they also introduced plastic eggs that would open up to reveal the Manglor inside.
Once again, they produced three new characters for the toy line. First, there was Mangdemon who was born of the fires at the center of the universe. Then, there was Manlizard who was believed to be an early reptile ancestor of the Manglord race. Finally, there was Manglodragon, the legendary protector of the sacred flame on the planet Centauri II.
The legacy of Manglors became mired in the controversy surrounding their claimed functionality. For instance, the Consumer Committee of the Americans for Democratic Action released an article where they rated the Manglors as the worst buys of 1984. This sentiment was repeated in publications like Penny Power magazine. While it may have been possible that Ideal hoped that prompting children to mangle their toys would lead to additional sales, they instead began to lose interest in the toys.
The Manglors made their way to a few different international markets, even though they received new names. For instance, Harbert released the toys in Italy as the Vulcalors.
For years, the Manglors license remained dormant. However, Toyfinity became its new home after it bought the license in 2013. Even though the license had a new home, fans had to wait years to see new toys. Toyfinity finally introduced new Manglor action figures in 2023, with a series of 4.25” tall toys. To date, they have produced both a standard and protolord version of Manglord, Manglosaurus, Manglor Core Humanoid, and Manglodactyl.
- Release year: -
- Search All Toys
How to use the Identification Tool to find your action figures and toy lines
Do you have any vintage toys you are trying to identify? Don’t know the name? No problem! We can help you out with this useful identification tool.
Using it is simple, you can easily search for any toy in your collection. For example, just type in “jet” in the figure name field and hit search. You’ll see all the toys that are jets. Otherwise, you can try “car” and select the color “blue” and a list of action figures with matching results.
Even if you know the name of your toy, but do not know its proper spelling, our tool will help you. For instance, you can type “Wheljck” and still find the results for various Wheeljack action figures.
We have an extensive list of toy lines from the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s in our database. So, you can seek out G.I. Joe, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Transformers, Voltron, and many more toy lines here. You can even seek out Star Wars toys in your collection, including ones from the sublines like Droids and Ewoks. Some of our other prominent lines include, but are not limited to:
- Hot Wheels Redlines
- Masters of the Universe
- Power Rangers
- Rough Riders
- Street Sharks
- Super Powers
Beyond locating the basic information for each action figure, we our tool will help you with much more. For instance, you may discover whether or not your action figure came with a sticker sheet or instructions. Our identification tool also includes detailed information on which accessories and weapons were included with the toys. We even will help you determine the release date of your toys.