Features

The Manglor Mountain Volcanic Fortress Playset
by: -RoG-

I owned a lot of monster toys when I was a kid. Between the 70s and 80s, there sure were plenty to choose from. Whether it was Mattel's "Krusher", LJN's Gremlins, Remco's Mini Monsters or something else, they all had that special twisted something that we kids simply couldn't get enough of. Of all the weird monster toys of my youth, Ideal's Manglors are perhaps the most unsung ones of all. This isn't too surprising though... not just because Ideal wasn't really the largest toy company at that point (their Robo Force robot series sadly couldn't compete with the popularity of Go-Bots and Transformers), but because the very nature of the Manglors toy line wasn't concomitant with longevity.

For those of you not familiar with Manglors, the idea behind the toys was very simple. Manglors were "Made of the strangest stuff on earth!" as the packaging would say, and it wasn't that far off. Each alien monster figure felt like it was made of a substance somewhere between the consistency of slime and rubber. Most bizarre indeed. The toyline also had no real established storyline other than a few random details about each figure on the back of the boxes. All we kids knew is that Manglors were alien monsters from a prehistoric time, but hey... it's not like the story of He-Man was that deep either. The storylines for most of the toys we loved were filled with an absurd amount of plot holes, but we didn't care... we filled in those holes with our own imaginations.

The real hook for the kids was that, once removed from their "pre-historage" eggs, these figures could be torn apart, or mangled (see what I did there?), and then put back together again as if nothing had happened. What's more, you could tear off a foot and reattach it to its face and proclaim your Manglor's name to now be "Foot-face the Mighty!" Now, while the figures were very stretchy and sticky, and could be reassembled to an extent, they were never really the same after you tore 'em apart the first time. You couldn't stretch them out nearly as much without the mangled parts popping off, and they would eventually lose their stickiness. If you ask me, Ideal had a truly great money-making idea going with this toyline: create toys that you encourage kids to destroy, then their parents will have to buy new ones sooner or later. Brilliant!

Because of the all-too-common mangling of the toys, it's become increasingly difficult to find Manglors in good shape these days. In all honesty, the only ones worth buying are those rare ones that were never opened to begin with. As you can imagine, those toys are hard to come by these days (I've been trying to complete full a set of 'em for years). Still, they were a lot of fun to play with (as long as you didn't drop 'em on a carpet), and you could combine them with other Manglors figures to create some impressive anthropomorphic abominations.

Even harder to come by is the Manglor Mountain Volcanic Fortress Playset. It was the only playset ever released for the Manglors toyline and wasn't promoted much (no commercials and not even a mention on the back of the Manglors figure boxes), so finding one even back in the day wasn't the easiest of tasks. And like any hard to find toy, that just made us kids who knew about it want it that much more. Oh, and did I mention it involved slime? Well it did and we all know that slime makes EVERY toy better. It's an undisputable fact.

Today, I have a rare treat to share with you. A brand new Manglor Mountain Volcanic Fortress Playset, complete with the original Manglord alien monster figure. We're going to take a closer look at this elusive set and see just what made it tick... er... bubble and gurgle.

Look at that artwork. LOOK AT IT! How could any kid in his or her right mind resist the urge to have a toy that looked like this? I love how they didn't even try to make it look like a real mountain on the package, they actually drew it to scale. Unlike most other playsets from that era, the artwork is pretty much an exact representation of what you'll find in the box. And speaking of what's in the box, as you can see from the description on the side, Manglor Mountain actually came with its own Iron Maiden cage to play your Manglord figure in! Most kids first learned about what an Iron Maiden was through the English heavy metal band or Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. Me? I learned about it thanks to Manglors. Fact: adding an Iron Maiden to any toy makes it 50 times cooler. That and a substance called "Mang-Lava". God, I love just saying that. Mang-Lava.

MANG-LAVA. MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANG-LAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAVAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

Ok I'm done. For now.

Mang-Lava.

I'm sure to some of you toy collectors out there, seeing this brand new Manglor Mountain playset removed from the box is like torture. "Nooooo! You're decreasing the value!!!" Well screw that. I never found this playset in stores as a kid and always wanted it... so almost 30 years later, it's time to collect on some long lost Manglors fun. I'm all for taking good care of old collectible toys, but not everything needs to remain in the package. What's the fun in that, especially if you never even got to try it out as a kid? That's no fun at all. It wouldn't be a very interesting article if I just showed you pictures of the box and left it up to your imagination about what the toy inside was like. Actually, maybe that would be interesting... but it's too late now. I guess you'll have to suffer as you witness the spectacle of this awesome toy. Mang-lava.

And here we have the two stars of the show, Manglor Mountain and Manglord himself... or... itself. As you can see there's a big gargoyle on the side of Manglor Mountain, so big in fact that it takes up nearly the entire thing. Actually, considering the size of this thing, it's not really much of a mountain as it is more like a mound. Let's be realistic here, no kid would want to buy a "mound", it just doesn't have that grandiose feel to it, so it's understandable why they would name this playset as they did. Still, Skeletor's "Snake Mountain" playset was much closer to the scale of a mountain than Manglor Mountain ever was... but did it have a gargoyle with a tongue you could depress or an Iron Maiden? Nope. That, my friends, was definitely a Manglor Mountain exclusive.

And what about Mr. Manglord himself? Even with all the other weird monster/dinosaur hybrid Manglors they released, this guy was always my favorite. Aside from being the original Manglor, he has that eternal look of discontent and disapproval on his face that's usually reserved for bitter old men. That and he always reminded me of "The Thing" from The Fantastic Four.

Mang-lava. MAAAAAAAAAANG-LAAAAAAAVAAAAAAAA! As one would expect, the big bag of lava slime is but a shell of its former self. All that remains is a small blob of what was surely once a big juicy bag full of glorious orange slime, eager to coat Manglord in all of it's Mangy goodness. MANG-LAVA. Don't worry though, I have some back-up slime that should do just fine. It may not be Mang-Lava, but I'm sure it'll do the trick. More on that in a bit. Mang-Lava.

Now, Manglors were supposed to be prehistoric creatures, so one can assume their adventures took place in prehistoric times. What I want to know is, why do they have torture devices such as the Iron Maiden as a part of the Manglors toyline? That's a wonderfully glaring anachronistic error if I've ever seen one! Not that I'm complaining. As stated earlier, Iron Maidens can make just about any playset better. Hell, I bet Mattel would sell a hell of a lot more Ken & Barbie playsets if they occasionally included an Iron Maiden with 'em. Admit it... you'd buy 'em in a heartbeat.


[click to see a larger view]

Well now, we finally get some back-story about these mysterious rubbery slime creatures. "Manglors: The earth-word to describe the amazing creatures that arose long ago on a harsh volcanic planet circling distant Betelgeuse, the red giant star." So Manglors is the "earth-word" used to describe them? I wonder what their real names are! I guess this means Manglors have their own language... Mang-Language... Mang-lang! Yes! MANG-LANG! And how about the name of that red giant star! Betelgeuse!? I wonder if Tim Burton had Manglor Mountain as a kid and was inspired by the story of Manglors so much that he eventually named one of his movies "Beetlejuice" in tribute to it. Can you imagine if Michael Keaton had emerged from a mountain of Mang-Lava in that flick? Man, I would've loved that movie even more.

Speaking of the Mang-Lava (and who doesn't enjoy speaking about MANG-LAVA?), there's an order form for a refill bag of it. For a mere 50 cents, you could order a full bag of the stuff! I would absolutely love to order 100 bags of Mang-Lava so I could bathe in it each and every evening. But sadly, it's no longer a valid offer. I'm 30 years too late, damnit! I'm still tempted to send it in, just so I can get a letter back from whoever owns that P.O. Box stating something like:

"Dear Mr. Barr. I'm sorry sir, but I have no idea what 'Mang-Lava' is or why you've sent in a mail order form for it to me. I don't have any Mang-Lava. Please don't send me orders for it ever again.

Yours truly,
Phineas McDowner.
"

It might be a waste of time and money, but I want to get a letter like that so I can frame it and hang it near my Manglor Mountain playset. Why? Because that's what dreams are made of.

As I mentioned before, there's simply not enough original Mang-Lava for us to use with Manglor Mountain, so we're gonna have to use a substitute. You can't replace Mang-Lava with your average Goop that you get from a 25 cent novelty machine in a grocery store. No, no, no! The only possible worthy replacement for Mang-Lava is Nickelodeon Slime! I got a nice big 8oz jug of the stuff (though you can buy the even more impressive, 30oz BUCKET of slime) and it should work out perfectly for our Manglor Mountain needs. Oh and for the record, Nickelodeon slime is absolutely fantastic and every household should have at least one jug of it.

So we've seen the mountain... we've seen Mr. Manglord... we've seen the Mang-Lava. Now it's time to put it all together and see just how this classic alien monster toy really worked. Below is a video of this Manglor Mountain being put to use for the very first time. You'll also find the original Manglors TV commercial at the end of it. Mangtastic!

I hope you all enjoyed this little demonstration of a long forgotten toy from the early eighties. It was nice to see Mr. Manglor emerge from his slimy mountain tomb in an Iron Maiden. I guess there's really only one thing left to say about Manglor Mountain...

MANG-LAVA.

Have any questions or comments about this piece?
Email -RoG-

 

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Reader Comments

Eating angry potatos.
Sep 26th, 2008, 04:33 AM
MANG-LAVA! Well done, and I am quite depressed I missed out on these excellent toys, being born a little too late.
Official Punching Bag
Sep 26th, 2008, 05:43 AM
Dude, you should do more toy videos. A guy called Actar does toy reviews on YouTube, but yours was unique and a rare insight into now extinct 1980s toy culture.

Your excitement over the Manglors made my heart smile, and your ingenuity in not sticking with the Mang-Slime because there wasn't enough of it makes me proud of you for thinking outside the box. More toy video articles please, they're hilarious!
taco loving zombie
Sep 26th, 2008, 10:16 AM
is mang-lava made of mango?
Retardedly Handsome
Sep 26th, 2008, 10:54 AM
"MANGLOR MOUNTAIN is a volcanic fortress developed by generations of MANGLOR wizards and magicians."

I could imagine that meeting..."kids like magic right?, Sure they do. Lets say the mountain was made by wizards, they'll eat that shit up."
Retardedly Handsome
Sep 26th, 2008, 10:58 AM
The more I read it the funnier it gets. I mean not just a group of wizards one day, we are talking generations of wizards and magicians gathered and toiled year after year to build this mountain.
hanging out
Sep 26th, 2008, 12:16 PM
I think there was a commercial for the volcanic mountain playset. As soon as I saw the box in your first image. I remembered the Manglord (and other mang-things, cuz the commerical showed you could put the other guys in it) rising out of the bloody red (as it appeared on tv) slime.
I love slime. Dad would come home from the hardware store with those little trash cans of slime with the eyeballs in them sometimes. fond memories.
What Video Games?
Sep 26th, 2008, 12:55 PM
You should've put in the mang-lave with the slime. Then it couldv'e mixed, forming MANG-SLIME.

Great article, though. The set looks like an evil gothic blender.
Last of the Time Lords
Sep 26th, 2008, 01:29 PM
I'm always surprised when I actually get to hear your voice. I tend to assume that everyone on the internet sounds a little like Mandark from Dexter's Lab.

Way to sound like you have testicles, Rog.
Pickled Patriarch
Sep 26th, 2008, 02:02 PM
CarpetGnome, that's what eBay is for. Just because you didn't grow up when those toys were all the rage, doesn't mean you can't still track them down and enjoy 'em.

JakeOfAllTrades, hehe thanks, I'll try to do more video reviews when I have the chance.

darkvare, unless mangos are made of highly volatile chemicals that can melt your soul... no, I don't think so.

Icculus, be careful what you say about the Mang-Wizards and Mang-Magicians. They may toil for years to come about how to Mang-Murder you for laughing at them. Man, you really can put "Mang-" in front of just about any word to make it better, can't you?

stonewar, was there really? I've seen a ton of old commercial collections and have never seen a commercial for that playset, nor do I remember ever seeing one for it when I was a kid. The only Manglors commercial I've seen is the one I included at the end of my video there. If you ever manage to find it it, let me know.

Angryhydralisk, if only that were true. The sad reality is that it would just be a fairly rigid clump of MANG-LAVA in a pool of Nickelodeon Slime. Sorry my friend, but the two are like oil 'n water.

Doctor_Who, thanks, but the only reason my voice only sounds like that is because I now gargle with MANG-LAVA on a daily basis.
Member
Sep 26th, 2008, 02:07 PM
First time poster, long time reader. Back in the 1980s, the Manglors got a beating on a one shot HBO special, that was something of a Consumer Reports for kids. It told the tale of one young boy who wanted a refund from Ideal after he discovered that the torn Manglors didn't actually return to their original form after being ripped apart. Instead of a refund, he got all new Manglors instead.
Jason's a Furry! Run!
Sep 26th, 2008, 02:37 PM
-RoG-, you are 100% right; there needs to be more iron maidens included in toys today (why isn't there a Lego one yet? It makes so much sense).

Also, I must give kudos to Ideal for including Betelgeuse in that origin story. After all, Ford and Zaphod are from a small planet near there, so it's an awesome place.
Forum Virgin
Sep 26th, 2008, 05:03 PM
Gotta love toys that they insist you break, only for the child to realise that the detached appendage will never again full mend back to the body. Those crafty marketing bastards!
skank pronger
Sep 26th, 2008, 06:25 PM
I had Manglor Mountain! I saw the commercial for it and immediately had to get it. My uncle bought it for me one night. As I recall, Masters of the Universe had a slime pit type of thing around the same time. For one brief period in toy history, slime was the in thing. The only Manglor figure I had was the one that came with the mountain, and as I recall the whole thing was a bit of a letdown. After using the mountain you had to wash it out immediately or the slime would dry up and get crusty.
Clap if you love Dynamo
Sep 26th, 2008, 07:37 PM
Wow, that takes me back. I haven't seen those in what, 20+ years? I couldn't even remember what they were called. Good blast from the past RoG!
Fake Shemp
Sep 26th, 2008, 08:11 PM
DO NOT IMMERSE MOUNTAIN

I love that
Forum Virgin
Sep 26th, 2008, 09:15 PM
Y'know, if they do indeed have a Mang-Lang, I wonder do they have Mang-Slang? Do the Mang-Scholars criticize the Mang-Youth for their Mang-disrepect of the Mang-Lang with their Mang-Slang? Are there Mang-Dialects in different parts of the Mang-Plantet? Are there deaf Manglors? Do they speak in Sign-Manguage? I think I need to lay down for a bit.
Scary guy
Sep 26th, 2008, 10:48 PM
MangDemon looks absolutely fucking awesome.

Oh, I can cuss on the internet, right?
Forum Virgin
Sep 27th, 2008, 02:19 AM
This is why I love I-mockery! Excellent job RoG, very funny and informative.
GET OUT
Sep 27th, 2008, 02:44 AM
Yah, Betelgeuse is technically the planet that Ford Prefect comes from in the Hitchiker's series, which makes it all the more surprising to see.
Official Punching Bag
Sep 27th, 2008, 06:37 AM
All this emphasis on Mang reminds me of Scarface for some reason. *twiddles thumbs while people remember that movie*
100% Regulator
Sep 27th, 2008, 11:12 AM
heh good review. saw these in a thrift store awhile back. Almost bought them.
Former Virgin
Sep 27th, 2008, 02:13 PM
Oh man, I could have made some amazing messes with those toys. I seem to remember Hordak had a play set that used slime as well.
pickled
Sep 27th, 2008, 07:49 PM
"Nooooo! You're decreasing the value!!!"

Seriously, thanks for letting us have this chance to regret missing out on the 80's even more. Mang-Lava.
Official Punching Bag
Sep 27th, 2008, 11:07 PM
Thanks to eBay the 80s never dies, but the owners of said 80s trend toys will eventually die. Which means their kids will be playing with this stuff and not us if we want to buy it.

Another toy that I WAS born in the right time to enjoy was Monster in my Pocket, not Pocket Monsters which came after that, which you might like to do a piece on. There were also these really cool angry insect toys which my mother hated that you could get back in the 90s.

And please one day do an article on Mighty Max toys, I remember owning at least ten sets of those, including a Zombie themed set which was in the shape of a zombified hand, and this awesome Mighty Mountain set which was my generation's Manglor Mountain of a sort, only this one stood the test of time, as my Mighty Mountain is in storage with my other old toys.
Doctor Caliente
Sep 27th, 2008, 11:53 PM
OH THE NOSTALGIA!!!

Rog... I had Maxx from RoboForce and Remco's mini-monsters playset with all the monsters as well. You forgot to add that Remco made a GI Joe knock off called Sgt. Rock (actually it was based on a comic). I had Manglor as well. I wanted the volcano set SO bad, but after I tore Manglors legs off and could never get them back on right... I kinda lost interest. Man... thanks for the walk down memory lane. (I had totally forgotten about Roboforce.)
Official Punching Bag
Sep 28th, 2008, 01:34 AM
Another toy line I liked as a kid was Action Man. This was Australia's answer to G.I. Joe. He was the size of a Ken doll but he was far manlier, at least he had the balls to grow a beard in some versions of him. Once I had him have a smackdown battle with my cousin's Ken over Barbie, with my cousin participating of course (she was a bit of a tomboy, who thought Ken was a wimp too).
Riot Control
Sep 28th, 2008, 06:05 AM
"He's pretty pissed off because he is always being put into uncomfrtable positions that even the most exerienced yoga instructors wouldn't dare..."

LOL! You made my day.
The Geminate
Sep 30th, 2008, 02:48 PM
The obvious thought - after playing with your Manglord and Manglava, wouldn't any normal kid desire to taste and perhaps eat them? So RoG, what do they taste like?!
Cell Regenerated Deadite
Oct 2nd, 2008, 05:27 PM
They just don't make toys like they use to.
Freelance Product Tester
Oct 5th, 2008, 12:28 AM
I MUST have a bucket of Nickelodeon Slime.
aint nobody
Nov 28th, 2009, 02:47 AM
since i have tons of free time due to the lack of having a job (fuck you economy/california) i got the idea to use my limited artistic skills and do a small painting of the Manglord emerging from the mang lava in his iron mangen,it'll be mangtastic

just have to do some sketches of the idea
Amicable Herculean
Nov 28th, 2009, 03:03 PM
Hey Duke, still having trouble with pigeons flying into your mouth?
aint nobody
Jun 29th, 2013, 04:00 AM
4 years later and i never did that sh-t
or get pigeons to stop flying into my mouth


anyways the rights to this line (and others from the company) have been bought, so you may very well get some true mang lava at some point

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