Beast Saga Action Figures
Item No.: BS-08 Manufacturer:Takara-Tomy Includes:Sword, shield, 2 dice, trading card Action Feature:Dice launch out of stomach Retail:525 yen (or about $7) Availability: September 2012 Other: Early translation of name was "Darufan"
The first wave of Beast Saga can probably put Dorfan (if that is his real name) as the single-carded winner. This is the one that seemed to show up on Japanese blogs and photo sites the most in those early days, with lots of customs, tributes, and galleries focusing on what we all call the dolphin. Heck, they probably do too, as "Dorfan" is just one name I saw around and I have no idea if this is really the character name. It's pretty dopey if it is.
Now that we've had dozens of figures like these from numerous manufacturers, it seems the best way to capture a possible audience is to make a new creature. There's never been a dolphin before, so this was a good pick. Kids love dolphins, nerds can probably give you 42 good reasons why they like dolphins, and pretty much anybody who's ever been to a larger aquarium probably has all sorts of reasons to be excited about these guys. They're cute, smart, and apparently are now armed with swords and shields. During the launch window, two versions were released. An opaque, painted one was sold on individual cards and a clear blind-boxed one was up for grabs as well.
With just 4 points of articulation and the dice launcher, you know what to expect. Dolphins have little room to do sculpted detail, so the head just looks like a dolphin slapped on an ocean-themed body of some sort. There's a definite sea motif going on here, with fuins and waves mixed in with vents and panels. He's got big grey fists, which I find a little confusing as dolphins don't have fists. Why not just make the arms and fists all blue? A dolphin in some sort of cyber-suit makes... well, it doesn't make sense as such, but it requires less explaining. Why does a sea warrior need arms and a scimitar? Or a shield, for that matter? I guess it doesn't matter so much as knowing that it's cute, small, and fun. And it shoots dice out of its chest, which is a nice bonus.
Right now the sea tribe seems to have all the best stuff, with the gator and the turtle and the 3-pack and everything else. Were I a kid (in Japan) on a budget, I'd probably just stick with these guys and ignore the landlubbers and featherheads. These guys just seem to be more fun and are generally more interesting than the rest of the line, although the doggie surgeon certainly has an element of creativity unseen so far. The shield is a nice plus, but sort of worthless... I hope Takara-Tomy consisers removing these in favor of other features or lower costs. They're just kinda there without adding any real fun to the entire package. Anyway, I like this one bunches, go get it.
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