Thursday, October 4, 2012

Beast Saga: Raioga BS-04 & Eredoramu BS-05

I can't believe Battle Beasts were released 25 years ago!  After a very long hiatus the brand has return to the Land of the Rising Sun sporting a new upgrade - Beast Saga.  Even though these toys are the spiritual successor of Battle Beasts I find them to be just different enough that they don't have to heavily lean on the past to succeed.

In my curiosity I grabbed 3 single pack figures and today we'll look at two of them - Raioga BS-04 and Eredoramu BS-05.


Raioga is the leader of the Land Kingdom.  He was made available in two ways - part of the Land Kingdom Gloria starter kit and packaged individually.  Since I was just trying these out I opted for the single figure, but now wished I had bought the starter kit.  Right out of the pack you get the figure, two dice, weapon and shield.  There is also a very cool trading card packaged with the figure.

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The cards are no doubt used in the game aspect of the figures, but since I don't know a lick of Japanese I'll just have to take what I've already read about these online.  I know the chart on the right hand side of the card's back features the characters strengths and weaknesses...a la a Transformers' Tech Spec.  For me I'll just appreciate the awesome art on the front of the card.  Being a trading card collector as well the cards are a very nice bonus and will surely drive me to buy more of these figures.


As you can see these guys no longer sport the heat sensitive rub signs on their chests.  The rub signs have been replaced with dice launchers.  I thought I'd hate this feature, but now that I have a figure in hand it's not that bad.  Sure the large square in the chest looks odd, but I don't think it'll take long for someone to step in (Reprolabels?) and make some sort of sticker to dress it up.  The above picture shows the figure minus one of the dice inserted.  The center is just a square block of translucent plastic.


On the back of the figure is a black square.  This is the plunger if you will.  Pull it back to make the chest cavity hollow - allowing one of the dice to be inserted.  Going in I didn't know this plunger could be collapsed (i.e. pushed in). I thought that it always stuck out so imagine my surprise and pleasure when I realized that wasn't the case.  Once a dice is loaded into the chest you can push the plunger in effectively launching the dice.


The red dice has lion face printed on one side and the more traditional dice markings on the other sides.  Raioga looks good w/ the dice inserted, but then you have the plunger sticking out the back.  I plan on displaying my figures sans the dice.

The included weapons are cast from a very soft plastic.  You can see the sword came out of the package slightly warped.  While the sword is kind of generic looking I can live with it.  The thing that disappointed me was the shield.  First of all the peg on the back of the shield is not's just a straight peg so your characters look odd holding the shield.  Why the peg doesn't have a 90 degree angle is beyond me.  This peg is also very soft flexible making it hard (at least for me) to get the shield into the fist's hole.  Small complaint, but needed to be said.

Detailing on the figure is quite nice.  From the detail fur to the battle armor you can tell these were sculpted with some passion.  There are some obvious throwback details to original Battle Beasts characters as well.

Here we have White Leo (or Pirate Lion) from the original Beastformers / Battle Beasts series.  You can see the new Beast Saga figures are a bit bigger and beefier.  This is in large part to the new dice launching game aspect...but I'm OK w/ the new scale.  This larger build also allows articulation in not just the arms but the legs as well.


The get a better idea of the scale here he is with a LEGO mini figure and one of the new Arms Micron capsule Microns.


Beast Saga appears to be off to a great start with the first handful of figures released.  While I can see some people not embracing these as much as they might have the original Battle Beasts, these are fun little figures with just enough influence from it's predecessor.  Raioga may not be the best figure of the bunch, but none the less is a solid figure.

By the way.  Raioga comes with a much nicer sword and shield in the starter kit so if you can afford the kit buy it.


Eredoramu and the rest of the figures come packaged on small blister cards.  I was really surprised to see that the plastic clamshell doesn't slide on and off the card like a lot of Japanese blister card packaging.  In a way I'm kind of glad because now I don't mind destroying the packaging and just storing the backing card in my file cabinet.


The back of the packaging shows you the contents and what appears to be an example of how the game is played with the dice.


Eredoramu is huge!  This is one beefy and very cool figure.  Probably my favorite of the first wave.  Like with Raioga he comes with two dice, weapon and shield.

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All I can say is awesome.



In particular I love Eredoramu's armor.  It appears he has twin guns mounted on the front of his shoulders.  If he didn't already look tough enough now he looks even meaner.  I also like his spear weapon as it's a throwback to the Battle Beast Sledgehammer Elephant.


Speaking of Sledgehammer Elephant...

The other feature if you will of this line I wanted to point out is that the limbs are removable.  Seeing how easy they come I think it was done purposefully. 


I'm not sure if the heads pop off or not, but the limbs are just attached via a peg and hole system.  Don't worry though, the pieces pop back on very easily and I didn't notice any looseness to the limbs after doing so.


The power of combination!  Eriedoga & Rairamu

I'm so glad I decided to check these out.  As I said earlier the Beast Saga figures feel different enough from their predecessors that they can stand up on their own.  There are already numerous pre-orders available for the next wave (or two), but beyond that I don't know what Takara Tomy has planned.  From the handful of reviews I've read it seems that most people are happy w/ these figures so I hope that translates to good sales as I wouldn't mind the line sticking around for awhile.  I don't see Hasbro bringing these over to the U.S. so if you're on the fence you better act now.

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