Sunday, March 20, 2022

Placo Toys - CELESTRA!

Celestra: Queen of the Transforming Dolls - Celestra -  Placo Toys 1986

When I first started collecting toys as an adult, I found myself combing over toy database websites and imagining what direction my fledgling hobby would take. A lot of the female-centric sites naturally focused on dolls. I knew early on that soft goods costumes and rooted hair were too much for my OCD brain, but a few properties still managed to intrigue me. One of my favorites was Celestra: Queen of the Transforming Dolls. This is quite possibly the most earnest attempt I've ever seen to merge the "boy" and "girl" aisles that were so hopelessly separated back in the 80s. This line is literally tiny dolls that "transform" into robots, cars, and spaceships. The execution isn't perfect; the faces and hairlines are a tad frightening, and they are essentially simple shellformers. But I love the effort and the unique snapshot of mid-80s toy politics. Bionic Six, She-Ra, Golden Girl, Robotech, etc were all working to blur those gender lines and it was terrific. Let's check out Celestra below!

Celestra was made by Placo Toys, who I mostly know from making rubbery PVC-like figure figures of Youngblood and Power Rangers in the 90s. You can see there were four different dolls in the Celestra lineup. Celestra turns into a robot (the only one that appealed to me), Zarla turns into a racecar, Saturnia turns into a plane, and Vulcania turns into a rocket.

Celestra's only accessory is a tiny comb.

Here are the other transforming dolls: Zarla (Racecar), Vulcania (Rocket), and Saturnia (Plane).
Pics swiped from eBay.

Aside from the hinged transforming parts, Celestra is articulated with swivel hips, swivel shoulders, and a swivel neck.

Time for some Comparison Pics!



  1. Hah. Remember these from what I always called "The Toys R Us Wall of (Clearanced) Doom".
    Sat next to CosmoMan figures and Lords of Light Emperor Dementia, Xabungle and Dunbine bootlegs, Voltron sword accessory packs lol... I always wanted this, but it was just too girly and you could tell the gimmick would be over immediately.