Neclos Fortress (ネクロスの要塞) -- also referred to as Necros Fortress and Nekurosu No Yousai -- is a line of monochromatic fantasy-themed mini figures and cards that was sold exclusively in Japan. The line included a game element, and many of its characters are the same as or reminiscent of those found in Dungeons & Dragons, including a wide range of warriors, sorcerers and mythical monsters.

The Neclos Fortress Story

About Neclos Fortress toys

The Neclos Fortress (ネクロスの要塞, Fortress of Nekurosu) line was released by Lotte, an Asian confectionary company, and consisted of over 320 monochromatic, soft plastic mini figures and cards to go along with each figure, packaged individually in small boxes with candy. The figures are not unlike those of popular mini figure lines released in the Western world in the 1980s and 1990s--most notably Matchbox's Monster in My Pocket; in fact, many of the mythological monsters found in the MIMP series are also found in the Neclos line.

Details that aren't in Japanese are difficult to come by as the line was not released outside of Japan, but it seems that Neclos Fortress was first launched in the late 1980s. Although the correct English translation for the line is probably "Necros Fortress," it is most commonly referred to as Neclos Fortress because "Neclos" is printed on cards included in the line (there is often confusion between "r" and "l" in Japanese to English translations).

Neclos Fortress wasn't simply a line of cards and toys that kids could collect, though. It also included a role-playing game element. Players would choose a figure and card representing a specific fantasy warrior (examples include Knight, Amazon, Dwarf, Barbarian and Mage), and have to defeat a variety of monsters manipulated by the evil Neclos, as well as Neclos himself, using spell and item cards.

Additionally, the figures boasted special features. The majority of them changed color when placed in warm water, certain figures were released in metallic and translucent colors, and others included removable plastic "gems."

The sheer number of figures, eye-catching features, game element and wide assortment of excellent, imaginative sculpts all make Neclos Fortress an incredibly desirable toy line. Unfortunately, its exclusivity to Japan makes it one that's not easily obtained outside of that country.

The Neclos storyline

The following summary is based on a Japanese-to-English translation from the Neclos Fortress Wikipedia page, and as a result might not be completely accurate. Please feel free to email if you would like to submit any comments or corrections.

The Neclos Fortress storyline revolves around an evil sorcerer, Neclos, attempting to conquer the world, and a group of good warriors banding together to defeat him. In the initial parts of the line the eight good warriors included a knight, a mage, an amazon, a mercenary, a dwarf, a samurai, an elf and a berserker. Later parts featured different good characters, such as a bushman, an elmage and a barbarian.

The story is set in a kingdom called Tankirie, ruled by the good brother of Neclos. Having been banished from the kingdom because of his wickedness, Neclos plotted revenge and using black magic, began to gather a legion of monsters to serve as minions in his conquest. Throughout the story, Neclos is defeated, but then resurrected in different forms (this is represented by the eight different "parts" of the toy line, each of which includes a unique Neclos figure).

Within the line, there are a number of groups of like characters that go together and add extra layers to the storyline. For example, Part Seven of the toy line includes a set of seven "Holy Angels," which presumably factor in to somehow provide assistance to the good warrior characters. On the evil side, Part Two features a set of seven evil sorcerers who seem to function as Neclos's henchmen and whose names all end with "los" (Dekalos, Doclos, Hebilos, Majolos, Mechalos, Onilos, Tacolos). In addition, Part Three includes a group of devil/demon characters, such as Lucifer and Bealzelb (Beelzebub).

The colorful storyline only adds to the appeal of Neclos Fortress toys, and its obvious that a great deal of imagination and care went into the creation of the entire line.