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Encyclopedia > Battle Beasts
Battle Beasts Logo

Battle Beasts is the name of a line of small 2" tall action figure toys and accessories created and largely produced by Takara and distributed by Takara in Japan (under the name "BeastFormers") and by Hasbro outside of Japan, starting in 1984. Each Beast is an anthropomorphised animal with body armor that came with a unique weapon. Several figures have their left hand replaced by a weapon of some kind. Image File history File linksMetadata BB_Logo. ... Image File history File linksMetadata BB_Logo. ... A teddy bear A toy is an object used in play. ... Takara Co. ... Hasbro (NYSE: HAS) is an American toy and game company. ... Year 1984 (MCMLXXXIV) was a leap year starting on Sunday (link displays the 1984 Gregorian calendar). ... Anthropomorphism, also referred to as personification or prosopopeia, is the attribution of human characteristics to inanimate objects, animals, forces of nature, and others. ...

Contents

History

Battle Beasts #2, by Blackthorne Publishing in 1988

Battle Beasts were created by Takara of Japan in 1984. Tomy Co., Ltd., aka K.K. Takara-Tomy, still owns the worldwide rights to the property. The heyday for the toyline came during the period in which it was licensed to Hasbro for distribution outside of Japan when Hasbro marketed the toys in America and many other parts of the world. Although in the Japanese market Takara branded the toys as a spin-off of Transformers and even named the toys "BeastFormers," their tie-in to the Transformers universe was not part of the Hasbro story or marketing. As part of the Takara strategy, many of the Battle Beasts appeared in the episode "Rebellion on Planet Beast" of the Japanese Transformers cartoon series "Headmasters." Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Blackthorne Publishing was a publisher that specialized in comic books and comic strips that existed in from about 1986-89. ... Takara Co. ... TOMY Co. ... Hasbro (NYSE: HAS) is an American toy and game company. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...

The Transformers Episode 'Rebellion on Planet Beast'
The Transformers Episode 'Rebellion on Planet Beast'

Four series were released overall. The first three contain beasts 1 - 76. Each figure has a heat sensitive rub sign on his chest and a hand-to-hand weapon. Three pull back vehicles and three transforming bases were also released. The fourth series had 36 figures and was renamed Laser Beasts, the renaming corresponded with some minor changes to the figures. The entire Laser Beast line was released in Japan, and in small numbers in America and Europe. These figures have orbs in their chest instead of rubs and each came with a gun that resembled the creature who held it. Some small chariots were also released as part of the Laser Beast line in Japan. In addition to these figures some promo figures were also made. These were made of clear plastic and were available only in special sets. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Japanese Laser Beasts poster showing all 36 figures Laser Beasts is the name of a line of small 2 tall action figure toys and were produced by Hasbro and Takara starting in 1988. ...


The figures were released in Japan in small boxes of individual figures and in larger multi-packs. In America Series 1, 2 and the 12 Laser Beasts were released on blister cards with two figures per card. Series 3 figures were only available in boxes of eight per package. The vehicles came in boxes and each came with a figure.


Series 1 - 3: Battle Beasts

Japanese Battle Beast catalog.
Japanese Battle Beast catalog.

Battle Beasts came out in the late 80's and like most toys, had a gimmick to help sales. Each Battle Beast had a heat sensitive sticker on his chest which, when rubbed would reveal the warrior's strength. The symbols would represent either fire, wood or water and could be used in a rock, paper, scissors type game—fire beat wood, which beat water, which beat fire. Later a fourth emblem was added, the Sunburst, and it would beat all other types. The Sunburst was extremely rare, only being found in Japan. Each Beast also carried his own distinctive weapon which could be identified to its Beast with the corresponding number. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (876x1236, 988 KB) Licensing This image is of the cover of a single issue of a comic book, and the copyright for it is most likely owned by either the publisher of the comic book or the artist(s) which produced... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (876x1236, 988 KB) Licensing This image is of the cover of a single issue of a comic book, and the copyright for it is most likely owned by either the publisher of the comic book or the artist(s) which produced... Rock, Paper, Scissors chart Listen to this article ( info) in media player in browser This audio file was created from an article revision dated 2006-07-13, and may not reflect subsequent edits to the article. ...


In the U.S. Battle Beasts came in a packages of two, usually (but not always) in numerical order. It was impossible to tell which figure had a rub of fire, wood, or water until the package was opened. That came in handy with marketing, as their slogan was, Fire! Wood! Or Water!... You'll never know until you own them!. Also listed on the packages starting with Series 2 was the possibility of getting the Sunburst Warrior, although there are no recorded accounts of a Sunburst Warrior from any U.S. packages. There was a total of three series adding up to 76 Battle Beasts beginning with #1, Pirate Lion and ending with #76, Ossified Orangutan.


Series 1 & 2 were released in Japan, Europe and North America while Series 3 was only released in Japan and the U.S.


Series 4: Shadow Warriors

Main article: Laser Beasts
Japanese Laser Beast catalog cover.
Japanese Laser Beast catalog cover.

The fourth and final Series released was renamed Shadow Warriors, or Laser Beasts in Japan. The heat sensitive sticker was replaced by an orb that could be seen through, depicting which clan the Beast represented. Japanese Laser Beasts poster showing all 36 figures Laser Beasts is the name of a line of small 2 tall action figure toys and were produced by Hasbro and Takara starting in 1988. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (876x1248, 808 KB) Licensing This image is of the cover of a single issue of a comic book, and the copyright for it is most likely owned by either the publisher of the comic book or the artist(s) which produced... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (876x1248, 808 KB) Licensing This image is of the cover of a single issue of a comic book, and the copyright for it is most likely owned by either the publisher of the comic book or the artist(s) which produced...

A page from the Laser Beast Catalog.

The Shadow Warriors had a new slogan on the American package that read Fire! Wood! Water!... Only the crystal shield will reveal their strength!. Shadow Warriors carried guns instead of the hand-to-hand weapons that the Battle Beasts had, and each gun resembled the creature which it belonged to. Image File history File links Picture of 1984 Anti-Sikh riots This work is copyrighted. ... Image File history File links Picture of 1984 Anti-Sikh riots This work is copyrighted. ...


The entire new series of 36 Laser Beasts and new vehicles were released mainly in Japan. North America only received 12 of the new Lasers, which were packaged as “Shadow Warriors” in two pack blister cards. Some of the lower numbered Lasers were produced in Europe and a few came with unique shields and sleds that like the guns, resembled the animal it belonged to.


Six of the 12 shields were released only in France; #89 Brown Lion, #92 Hustlebear, #95 Dragon Seahorn, #97 Seapanic, #98 Puzzlecolor and #100 Scope Cougar. While those figures were also released in Japan they did not come with the shields, making the French shields rare and extremely difficult to find for collectors.


Vehicles

A decent amount of vehicles were released throughout the line. For the Battle Beast line, three chariots and three bases were released that looked like animals, each came with one figure that was not unique to the vehicle. The chariots were able to hold up to three figures comfortably and each had its own name: Tearin' Tiger, which looked like a tiger, Big Horn which looked like a ram and Deer Stalker which looked like a deer. All the chariots had a pull-back motion that would spring the vehicle forward when it was released.


The three bases were the Blazing Eagle, Shocking Shark and Wood Beetle. Each base had a unique symbol theme that matched the "Fire, Wood, Water" concept that the line was based on. Each base could hold several figures and had a jail-cell with which to hold captured Beasts.


The Laser Beast line had several vehicles as well. Three Battle chariots which were smaller than the Battle Beast chariots could be purchased with a unique figure, and several types of Drills were released as well.


To date, there are four known types of Drills to exist, all of which are the same design but feature different colors; Gold, Maroon, Yellow and Blue. The Blue Drill is the rarest, with only three or four known to exist.


Premium Figures

There were several promotional figures released in Japan throughout the run that could be obtained in certain ways, mainly through mail-aways or by purchasing special sets.


Most of the figures weren't exactly new, as most of the premium figures were just repaints of previously existing molds. Figures that were repaints were the Stone Cobra, Clear Gator, Clear Carp and the Striped Carp. The only exception to this rule was the mail-away offer for the #101 Skull Grotess figure, which was a completely original figure.


Premium figures were available in various ways. The Clear Gator and Sunburst Lion could be obtained by purchasing a Japanese 10-pack set that contained either one figure or the other although you couldn't tell until you opened the package. The Stone Cobra, could only be obtained through the mailing in of the two halves of the "Stone Tablet". One half could be found in the Japanese Fire Phoenix playset (which was the Japanese equivalent to the American Blazing Eagle set), while the other was in the Sunburst Lion set.


The Clear and Striped Carps could be found in the Japanese "Punch Box" set, which was basically a box that had covers which you would "punch" to find a figure. The Striped Carp was much more rare than the Clear version.


The Skull Grotess figure could be purchased (along with a Gold Drill) through a mail-away offer exclusively. An order form advertising the figure could be found in almost all single figure packages sold in Japan.


Merchandise

Battle Beast poster ordering form came with Series 2 and Series 3 figures in the U.S.

Battle Beasts had lunch boxes, Halloween costumes, jump ups, and even a belt you could wear around yourself to carry your Battle Beasts! Image File history File links Battlebeast3. ... Image File history File links Battlebeast3. ... Jump-Up is a subgenre of jungle and drum and bass music that was popular with fans of drum and bass in the late 1990s. ...


To promote sales in Belgium and France, the company had a special gimmick in place where an employee dressed up as one of the beasts went to popular youth events and handed out promotional, scratch-away cards that revealed the same symbols as the beasts did. They were then requested to go to a fixed place to 'battle the minion there'. The identically clothed employee located at the fixed post had one of the three signs present and, if the sign on the card the child received beat it, they received a free battle beasts figure to begin their collection. Since these events held no local sales whatsoever, this action was unsuccesful.


Starting with the Series 2 Beasts in America, you could order a 23" x 30" poster that had drawings of all the Battle Beasts as well as their names (for the first 3 Series).

Battle Beasts #1, Published by Blackthorne in 1987

A comic series simply titled Battle Beasts was published by Blackthorne Publishing in 1987. There were only four issues published by the company before it was canceled, which is somewhat frustrating to fans since issue four ended on a cliff-hanger. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Blackthorne Publishing was a publisher that specialized in comic books and comic strips that existed in from about 1986-89. ... 1987 (MCMLXXXVII) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


All four issues were published in black and white (except for the covers) to cut down on production costs. The stories were written by John Stephenson and drawn by Andy Ice. John Stephenson (b. ...


Two annuals were published as well, although by a different company and they were only released in Europe. The stories are unrelated to the Blackthorne series.


External links

  • Battle Beasts / Laser Beasts Online Gallery/Collection Checklist/Price Guide
  • Beastformers.com/LittleRubberguys.com (Battle Beasts) Forums
  • Sylvain Heyser's Beastformers page

  Results from FactBites:
 
Viking Answer Lady Webpage - The Beasts of Battle: Wolf, Eagle, and Raven In Germanic Poetry (2635 words)
One approach is analyzing the uses of the Beasts of Battle has been to examine how the theme is related to the pagan religion of the early Germanic peoples, hypothesizing that the Beasts of Battle are meant to summon associations of the omen-laden and sinister cult of the war-god, Óðinn.
The theme of the Beasts of Battle does serve to add a descriptive element to the poetry in which it is found, evoking a whole series of images which paint the scene upon the mind's eye of the audience.
Formulas such as the Beasts of Battle theme can show a warrior to be as noble as the eagle soaring overhead, as doomed as the raven-picked corpse, or as victorious as the wolves which run upon the field of battle as the only creatures which death cannot claim.
STA: Battle Beasts (241 words)
Battle Beasts were small 1" tall figures released by Hasbro in 1986.
Following the Battle Beasts were the "Shadowbeasts" or "Laserbeasts" in Japan.
The best place to look for Battle Beasts and other items is to visit Ebay.com.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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