Starriors was a toyline created by Tomy in the mid-1980's. In the distant future the human race retreats into voluntary hibernation in order to weather a series of solar storms that threaten to ravage the surface of the Earth. Prior to entering stasis, Mankind constructs the Starriors: sentient robots designed to repair the Earth in preparation for Man's return. The two primary factions of Starriors were the militant Destructors, programmed to eliminate dangerous lifeforms expected to evolve in the wake of the solar flares, and the pacifistic Protectors who would actually do the work of rebuilding the world. A third class, the Guardians, would oversee the hibernating humans.
As time passed, the Destructors' leader, Slaughter Steelgrave, decides it would be better if Mankind did not return. To this end, he annihilates the Guardian class, enslaves the Protectors, and does his best to wipe out all records of Mankind's existence. Evidence of the Starrior's true creators eventually falls into Protector hands, however, and they flee into the wilderness in search of the hidden fortress where Mankind lies hidden, Slaughter Steelgrave and his forces in hot pursuit...
Although eventually released as an entirely separate line with its own original story, the Starriors figures were initially intended for the Zoids toyline and share numerous design elements with them. Despite having colorful, detailed toys and an engaging storyline told in part via a four-issue Marvel mini-series by Louise Simonson (wife of Walt), the line did not fare well and was cancelled not long after its inception.
- Always Chaotic Evil: Subverted to an impressive degree for an 80's toyline with few of the Destructors being shown as having no redeeming qualities. Even Slaughter Steelgrave can be seen as a Well-Intentioned Extremist since he genuinely fears that all the Starriors will be deactivated upon their creators' return.
- An Axe to Grind: Slice, with a blade on either end of it, no less.
- Arm Cannon: Each humanoid robot from the first wave of figures has a small secondary weapon where its left hand should be.
- Awesome, but Impractical: Most of the Wastors figures have a large implement such as a circular saw, drill, or chisel projecting from the center of their torso, right where it would be the most awkward to use for its intended function.
- Butt-Monkey: Backfire, a Destructor who is far more dangerous to his friends than his foes.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: As befits classes of robots designed for different functions, the Starriors factions adhere quite rigorously to sets of identifying colors: blue/white/silver/beige for Protectors, black/red/purple/gold for Destructors.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: In the Marvel series Dead Eye goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge, destroying everything in his path when Cricket is killed. It has almost nothing to do with the fact that he is dependent upon Cricket, who acts as his eyes, and more to do with the fact that he actually cares for the smaller robot.
- Five-Man Band
- Gentle Giant: Crank
- Good Is Not Nice: Hot Shot, the Protector leader, can be pretty intense sometimes. His lieutenant, Cut-Up, would go completely Ax-Crazy against their foes if only his programming would allow it.
- Handicapped Bad Ass: Zig-zagged with Dead Eye who is completely blind yet packs more firepower by himself than the entire Protector army. However, without his artillery coordinator, Cricket, he is essentially helpless.
- Hidden Elf Village: The Armored Battlestation, the quest for which drives much of the plot. The humans of the setting are depicted as wise, peaceful scientists who withdrew here to weather catastrophic changes to the planet's environment.
- Humanity's Wake
- Little Guy, Big Buddy: Dead Eye and Cricket.
- Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Slaughter Steelgrave. Why he is the only Starrior with both a first and last name is never explained.
- No Biological Sex: Starriors are programmed with genders. Interestingly enough, while a female Wastor (humanoid-shaped Starrior,) does appear in the Marvel series, every female character in the toyline is non-anthropomorphic, ranging from cars to robot dinosaurs.
- Palette Swap: Numerous across the two factions, with the Destructor often acting as a Psycho Ranger version of the matching Protector.
- Punny Name: The Protectors' designated Smart Guy is a bulbous armored car named Think Tank. His opposite number among the Destructors is a female-gendered vehicle named Auntie Tank.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Deadeye and Twinhorn, who are evil robot dinosaurs.
- Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Happens to Motormouth in the comics. He teams up with Slaughter and for his trouble is left abandoned on the battlefield by friend and foe alike.
- Robots Enslaving Robots: Under Slaughter Steelgrave's vision of the world, Protectors are subservient to the Destructors, and the action begins with Hotshot and a large group of Protector slaves fleeing from their Destructor masters.
- SkeleBot 9000: Slice, one of the few Destructors with no matching model on the Protector side, and it's difficult to imagine there being one.
- This Is a Drill: Crank and Gouge, being similar models, both have one as their primary weapon, albeit with Gouge's sporting Spikes of Villainy.
- Xtreme Kool Letterz: Every class of Starrior uses the letter "O" in its name where the letter "E" should be. (e.g., Trashors, Wastors, Rammors, etc.)