While initial solicitations seemed to indicate the assortment of Beast Saga figures would include unique and new sculpts, this was a lie. So those of us who preordered a case got figures like Dolphin Burst, a clear redeco of a pretty solid design. Almost completely devoid of paint (save for the eyes and dice), the Dolphin Burst seems to be cast in a mix of clear blue and milky white plastics to give it an appearance that's quite unlike anything I've seen as of late. "Clear white" or "milky white" is pretty uncommon in toys, and this 2 1/3-inch tall figure is a nifty one.
Each figure has 4 points of articulation and is made of a soft, rubbery plastic. As these figures are blind-boxed it's sort of tough to figure out what you're getting. Not only is each figure sealed in a box, but opaque black plastic bags, cardboard inserts, and random, untaped chunks of cardboard await you in each box. They're really trying hard to make it possible to ID these without opening the box. Some figures have "chase" versions, including the Dolphin here. His "variant" is that 1:3 Dolphins have a bonus golden/yellowish die with 4 blank faces and 2 with a big number "6" on them.
The figure itself lacks the level of deco on the normal figure, but costs about the same... figure that one out. The accessories are largely identical, from the dolphin-logo chest die to the sword and shield. The trading card has a different design and layout, and the bonus die may vary. There's a fair amount of stuff in here, including a kid-powered dice launcher, which no doubt exists to add "value" (read: cost) to an otherwise cheap figure. Were this a mainline American toy release, I can't imagine it costing more than $3.99 as it is.
His action figure comes from a launcher which is, oddly, cast in hard plastic and removable from the rubbery clear pieces. It just pops right out, and has a unique stamp on the back of the plunger showing off the Dolphin symbol. What's also interesting is that the launcher employs light-piping, so if you've got a die in there it actually might look like it's lit up just a bit. It's not incredibly impressive, but it's nifty. The launchers rely on the pressure you provide to shoot the die, which is used in a battle game that I still only vaguely understand. I understand the "highest number wins" part but the part I don't get is the various powered dice, which have arrows and other symbols which make sense to those who can actually read Japanese I'd wager.
While I was pretty excited for the line as a whole, I found the clear figures disappointing mostly because the presells didn't really properly convey that's what I bought. I bought a case of these buggers, which has 3 each of the 8 styles offered. They're perfectly nice figures but I'm not one to collect clear things as a rule, even though the coloring does look uniquely different and unlike the kind of colors I'm used to seeing in American toy lines. I like it, but I don't need it. Compared to the painted version, it's unessential but I won't deny that it's fun to have the lot of these around to futz with.
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