Battle Beasts Series 1
Item No.: #6 Manufacturer:Hasbro Includes:Bomb Saberer halberd, second randomly-selected figure) Action Feature:n/a Retail: approx. $3.99 Availability:ca. 1987 Other: This sample has a "Fire" color rubsign
The Battle BeastsTriple Threat Snake came from a collection I bought in either late 2011 or early 2012. He didn't have his weapon, so I had to trade around for that. It was surprisingly cheap and didn't take long to assemble, and it was fun to actually get a figure I've had on my mind for a couple of decades. Along with King Cobra, he's one of two snakes in the original line of roughly 2-inch tall figures. I swore off collecting "vintage" (read: defunct) action figure lines in the early 1990s, with a couple of lapses here and there. I made an exception for this line, and one other, solely because (at press time) nobody has yet decided to bootleg them. Knock-offs ruin toy collecting for me, I want originals, 100%-new remakes, or nothing.
With two points of articulation, Snakebomb here managed to have a rather interesting take on his arms. Most series 1 Battle Beasts figures had mittens without sculpted fingers on their hands, but Triple Threat Snake goes one step beyond by making the arms into actual snakes! Each one has sculpted eyes, and they can grip a 3mm weapon in their mouths. While the eyes remained unpainted due to what I assume were budget reasons, the arms were sculpted with fairly intricate scales as were the legs and the back of the head. The figure looks like it had a lot of work done during its creation, a strong contrast to the rest of the line which was mostly smooth. He's got an awesome smirk with visible fangs, and his glowing red eyes are similar to Transformers and other 1980s toys from Takara and Tomy. (This unique ocular detail was captured recently by Diamond Select Toys for its line which shared the same name, while Beast Saga went with more realistic peepers.) Even more interesting was that the figure has a robotic armored vest with gun nipples, painted red with matching vents on the underside of the garment. You really don't even see them unless you rotate the figure, so it's surprising to see a toymaker invest a penny or two to decorate a detail you'll probably never see.
His bladed weapon is nothing special. It's sort of like a pike or one of the weapons used by Jabba the Hutt's thugs although if you squint the large end does resemble a snake. It's cast in silver plastic, slightly flexible and a decent fit for the character.
While this entire line is rather fanciful in its interpretation of anthropomorphic creatures, I'd say Triple Threat Snake takes the most license from its inspiration given the fact it has not only legs, but three heads. And gun nipples. Because it's a 26-year-old plastic toy it's a quant nostalgia piece, although I would wager if the very same design were made today as a $90 vinyl figure, people would be soiling themselves to get one. Context is everything! It's so weird, so cool, and so 1980s. It seems from $4-$15 these days, which seems remarkably cheap for a toy this old, strange, and easily lost or damaged. Series 1 figures are quite cheap, and as such I would suggest going after some.
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