Just in time for Halloween… a PAINTED prototype of the never released DIRE WRAITH figure!
October 31, 2006

Waaaaay back in 1979, Parker Brothers took a chance on a new property/invention and decided to break away from just making board games and dip their toe into boys toys and action figures.  That venture was ROM: The Space Knight.

Marvel Comics also picked up the property for a 75 issue run written by Bill Mantlow (who was also writing the Micronauts comic, in addition to some other projects such as Hulk and Alpha Flight).   Mattel didn’t have much of a back story for Rom, outside of him being a cyborg, so Marvell had a pretty clean slate to work with. 
The primary villains in the Rom comic were the Dire Wraiths.  The wikipedida entry says: " The Dire Wraiths are a fictional extraterrestrial race that is part of the Marvel Comics Universe. They were the main opponents of Rom and his fellow Spaceknights, although they have also appeared in a few other Marvel comic books.

The Wraiths are an offshoot of the Skrulls from the Andromeda Galaxy.
Like the Skrulls, the Wraiths are shape-shifters, able to take the forms of other creatures. Their basic appearance, however, is entirely different. The Wraiths were originally depicted as amorphous, cloudy, vaguely humanoid-shaped beings. However, it was eventually revealed that was a transitional form used for shape-shifting. Their true solid form had obese, reddish bodies with large, pupil-less eyes, small beaks, ‘hands’ that resemble small pincers and tentacles; clawed feet, and thick tails."

There was a Dire Wraith figure sculpted for Toy Biz that has never seen release.  I believe only a small picture of white test shot has ever surfaced in the pages of Toy Fare.   This figure was sculpted by Clayburn Moore as his only work for Toy Biz.  I was to be a 6" scale figure as part of a new Silver Surfer line.   Meegan was also part of that assortment (tentatively to be called "Marvel’s Weirdest Aliens") and that figure did see release.  But the Dire Wraith was lost to time… until Marvel and Toy Biz moved offices nearly a year ago and the prototype was found.   Marvel Legends line manager Jesse Falcon passed it onto Toy Biz prototype painter Eddie Wires.   Eddie painted it up… and now here is your first look at the fully painted prototype of a lost figure….


Dire Wraith- AFI Exclusive 


Daniel Pickett
Daniel “Julius Marx” Pickett has been around toys his whole life. The first line he ever collected was Mego’s World’s Greatest Super Heroes line back in the 70s. He has been surrounded by collectables ever since. In 1999 he was confounded by a lack of information and news about some of his favorite toy lines he was collecting. Since he couldn’t find the information he decided to pursue it himself thinking other people might also be interested in the same news. He started writing a weekly column on the toy industry and action figure for a toy news site and in a years time he tripled the sites daily traffic with his updates, reviews and product features. He built relationships with every major toy manufacturer and many sculptors, painters and mold makers. He grew his hobby into a world wide expertise that the industry has embraced. In 2004 he teamed up with his toy buddy Jason “ToyOtter” Geyer and they created their own website www.ActionFigureInsider.com. Daniel has been quoted in both industry and mass media press outlets. Over the years Daniel and AFi have been sought out as experts in the field. Daniel was regularly featured on “Attack of the Show” on the G4 network as the primary contributor to their “Mint On Card” segment, and our front page has been linked to from USA Today’s “Pop Candy” Blog twice. Daniel’s content has also been featured on MSNBC.com, Wired.com, Fark.com, Boing-Boing, Gizmodo.com, Ain’t It Cool News, the Official Star Wars blog, Geekologie, G4, CNet and Toy Fare magazine, among many others. He has consulted on toy lines, books, documentaries and TV shows. But all of that really just sounds snooty and “tootin’ his own horn” – the long and short of it is that Daniel loves toys and he LOVES talking about them.
Read other articles by Daniel Pickett.





  • Drunken Master says:

    Awesome. I really hope we can get a Dire Wraith and Rom figure at some point in the very near future!

  • Predabot says:

    Uhhhh… hate to be a negative nancy, but this paint-master suffers from a pretty… DIRE flaw:

    Female Dire Wraith’s are red, not green. And the male ones are the whitish fluffy kind.

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