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.
More to explore in Part 3!