Plastic Imagination Rise of the Beasts Rhino and Scorpion Plastic Imagination, 2014
Day #1,035: October 22, 2014
Rhino and Scorpion Gold Promo Figures
Rise of the Beasts Promo Figures
Item No.: n/a Manufacturer:Plastic Imagination Includes:1 figure with moving limbs Action Feature:n/a Retail: est. $4.00 each Availability:September 2014 (promo), November 2014 (on sale) Other: Early promo release for Kickstarter backers
As of when I write this, I don't know much about the long-gestating Rhino and Scorpion. Prototypes for these and other 2 1/2-inch scale mini figures have been around since Rise of the Beasts was a Kickstarter project back in early 2012. Creator Jon Karis assured me that the line would come to fruition and I have to admit I had my doubts - but the figures are here! And they're pretty good - painted samples exist, as do flesh figures and a sort of a bone-colored sample. No on-sale date is known, but backers were given their choice of figures as a promo piece - the original plan was for a golden lion, which is not in the immediate future plans.
Each figure has 4 or 5 joints, connected by the venerable Glyos plug. You can swap parts between figures, or with other Glyos creations. I wouldn't suggest doing this, mostly because the styles and scales don't quite mesh. These heads are too small for most Glyos creations, but it's a clever and really perfect system to customize your own figures for this line.
Stylistically, each figure merges the general concept and flavor of Battle Beasts with the proportions of Masters of the Universe. These figures tower over the original beasts toys, but are a fraction of the size of a He-Man figure. The rhino hands are sized to perfectly hold original Battle Beasts weapons or other 3mm gear. (See: LEGO, Cyberverse Transformers.) The scorpion is a little too wide for them, and you can squeeze a 5mm weapon in the claw - but 4mm is probably a safer bet. No official ROTB weapons exist, but that's the norm for most Glyos toys - typically you get an unarmed figure, which is sort of true to the aesthetic of this kind of figure in today's marketplace. Missing weapons is sort of the norm for old 1980s action figures, so perhaps you will want to get some bags of LEGO from a thrift store and hope for some spears.
Each figure is preposterously muscular and sports a little square on their chest, which recalls the old rubsigns. There's no way to put a sticker in there, but I appreciate the detail. The figures were nicely sculpted, and generally feel like the 1990s American cousins of the 1980s Japanese beasts. They stand tall, and they're mean - the Scorpion has an intense grimace and numerous cybernetic enhancements on his face. Thanks to the gold plastic you have to get in pretty close to see the carapace and the replacement eyes, but that's a fine scorpion figure. I have no painted version as of yet, but I'd like to get one - single-color releases don't do much to bring out the nifty wiring and plating. Unlike the rhino, for obvious reasons, the scorpion also has a removable tail piece. Each figure is roughly the right size to fit in your existing Battle Beasts Chariots and Battle Bases.
The other figure is a rhino, with 4 joints and an angry face. It's the steroid-enhanced sibling of Rocksteady you always wanted! A tiny head and huge arms makes him look like quite the bruiser, and these figures tend to look more ferocious and less cuddly than their inspiration. He's mean, let's say he's lean, and he has a face that says "I'm going to curb stomp you." Like with his counterpart, it's a little hard to make out some of the details in gold plastic, but they're there. The feet feel a tiny bit unfinished, but you get the mitten-like hands of the classic Battle Beasts as well as some swell wrist armor. Each one looks like it could be a gun or a flame thrower, with minor shades of Boba Fett.
I am told these may be on sale shortly, and I hope that they are. Since I didn't have to pay for them I have no idea what they cost and as such, I have no concept of if they're a good deal or not. These figures are really odd ducks - Glyos fans will find them out of scale with the likes of Pheyden and Inferno and Callgrim. Battle Beasts fans will find them too large. He-Man fans will find them too small. Rise of the Beasts really must be taken entirely on its own merits, and with arm joints, a wast joint, a neck joint, and (where possible) tail joints it's a well-executed product. I expect I'll pick the painted ones up, and perhaps the obligatory (but not announced) glow in the dark releases down the road but if this ends up the endless repaint parade we're used to for Glyos, I'll probably keep it tight. I'm down for paint variants, though, especially if the per-figure price doesn't top eight bucks. Just treat them as their own thing, you'll probably have a good time using them to bully your LEGO men and steal their weapons.
If you're in to Glyos and Battle Beasts, give these a try - it's an interesting and simplified twist on the Armorvor, Kabuto Mushi, and other creations.
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