Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Flashback 02 - Battle Beasts

Oh how I love you Battle Beasts. Little did I know when I was a kid that these little anthropomorphized cyborg warrior animal toys were actually a part of the Transformers universe. In fact they were. I just thought the Battle Beasts were kick ass little figures that provided me with a really solid amount of play time. There's not too much to explain here. These toys simply ruled. And they hold a place in my childhood alongside the likes of G.I. Joe, He-Man, and Transformers as some my absolute most favorite toys ever. Click on the images to make them bigger :)

If you never had a Battle Beast, or just don't remember, the figures weren't very big. Only around 2 inches tall, and had only two points of articulation (at the shoulders). They still managed to have a lot of life to them though. Their design was great, vicious animals like panthers and... um penguins only suped up with sci fi armor and weapons! seriously whats not to love? On top of that, there were tons of them. In terms of small figure from back in the day, there was M.U.S.C.L.E. men, and there was Battle Beasts, and by all accounts (ok, by my account at least) these were the superior product. For my money the Black Panther was my best figure, because firstly he's a panther, and secondly, he's black. Really he was the lead in most of my Battle Beast missions.

Now that I'm looking into it, it seems that most of my figures were from the third series (or wave) of figs. Not that thats bad, I just wish I could've gotten my hands on some of the early ones like Saw Tooth Shark, or Web Slinging Spider. The ones I did have we're pretty sweet though, even though the 'official' names were all pretty lame. The gimmick with Battle Beasts was that each figure had one of those heat sensitive stickers on their chest, like how the Transformers revealed Autobot or Decepticon alignments. The Beasts stickers though, when rubbed would reveal either Fire, Water, or Wood. There was a conceit that gave itself to a rock, paper, scissors game where Water beats Fire, Fire beats Wood, and Wood beats Water (i think cause it can float or something). When you bought the figures you didn't know what alignment they would be until you got them out of the packaging and rubbed the sticker. The only problem with this randomization was that I remember having things like my penguin being a Fire creature, and my crab being Wood, when obviously that wasn't the right alignment for that animal. Also, I had a few doubles. Why would two pigs, brothers in arms, born in the same cybornetically enhanced test tube be on different teams?! it just didn't make sense. Before I'd play battle Beasts I'd generally pick team captains, and have them one by one pick their best possible teams for the coming onslaught. Species matters far more than some stupid elemental alignment. Anyhow, I tried rubbing the stickers of my newly recovered, from my parents attic, Battle Beasts, but found that most of them didn't want to work anymore. Maybe I ddn't try hard enough though...

You know, now that I'm thinking, I'm positive that this isn't all of the Battle Beasts I had. I know I had the Blitzkrieg Bat, and I'm positive I had the Wood Beatle playset, and I think the Tearin' Tiger Chariot. I wonder what happened to them.

Maybe two or three years ago I tracked down a (very poorly dubbed) version of all the Transformers: Headmasters episodes, which shouldn't be overly hard to find if you're interested, and saw the episode which introduced the Battle Beast; "Rebellion on Planet Beast". I don't really remember it being a very good episode. Not as bad as some of those awful Blurr episodes, but nothing special. Then again the entire Headmasters series was kind of junky. stupid Wheelie... Anyhow, I really like the idea that these guys are really a part of the Transformers universe, it's a solid tie in.

Here's a final pic of all my collection, at least all the figures I managed to find. I know this was a long post, but I really had fun with these toys as a kid. Even today they're pretty damn cool. If you had, or remember the Battle Beasts please feel free to leave a comment below. And stay tuned for more of these Flashbacks. Next week I think I'll just tell you a story or something easy.

For even more pictures and info you can go check out this cool online guide/gallery at Beastformer, look through the Virtual Toychest's wiki, or even read up on the toy's history on the Wikipedia.

Peace out all...


Angie said...

Do you remember Z-bots? I think my brothers had about a thousand each. My mom probably threw them away because they never put them away.

Michael said...


Chappy said...

Angie... I find it very weird that I have never even heard of the Z-bots before. I guess by the time they were coming out I was more interested in getting high and trying to meet girls. Also, while them seem cool. Don't you think maybe this is the point where Galoob jumped the shark on the Micro Machines line?

That's just my opinion in retrospect though. If I was two or three years younger I might've totally loved Z-bots. I sure did love Micro Machines for a time there.

And Mike, I posted this especially for you :) You've got the Spider beast though, so you're doing pretty well for yourself there too.