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Hasbro Battle Beasts Hardtop Tortoise Hasbro, 1987
Day #1,278: September 28, 2015
Hasbro Battle Beasts Hardtop Tortoise Action FigureHardtop Tortoise
Japanese name "Black Turtle"

Battle Beasts Series 1
Item No.:
#17
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Includes: Black Spark trident, second randomly-selected figure
Action Feature: n/a
Retail: approx. $3.99
Availability: ca. 1987
Other: This sample has a "Wood" rubsign

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Hasbro Battle Beasts Hardtop Tortoise Action FigureI chased down Hardtop Tortoise when I was a kid, if memory serves I got mine in a 2-pack with Rubberneck Giraffe. It's a neat little figure with a claw hand and a rubsign, and I saw dozens - perhaps more - of them packed on a clearance aisle with a Battle Beasts Bandolier. There was a similar toy for Star Wars, and it's just kind of bizarre. But I digress - the figure itself comes with a trident and is quite nice.

Molded in black plastic, the figure already has hurdles to overcome. Toy fans know that painting a light color of paint over a dark color of plastic can often result in an uneven look, with hints of the darker color of plastic underneath looking somewhat unsightly. Onell Design has managed to pull this off nicely, and Hasbro often does - but not always. If you see a dark blue plastic figure with white paint, you know what I mean. The green, for some reason, comes off beautifully with bright, even, I daresay creamy application of color. The orange doesn't work as well, perhaps due to the paint masks. You can see parts where the spray missed the figure, particularly where his rib cage would be.

The weapon is basically a 3mm peg, so it may be compatible with similarly sized smaller toys. Like the figure, it has a #17 on it so you can easily pair them if you don't know who has which weapon. The figure can only hold a weapon in his right hand, as the left was replaced by a cybernetic claw. He's articulated at the shoulders, and that's about it. The toy's central gimmick is a chest sticker where you can apply heat, and see an image - fire, wood, or water. The idea is that figures played out a rock/paper/scissors game, something Hasbro and other companies have tried over the years. Game integration on toys doesn't always work - unless it's a trading card game, or Skylanders/Amiibo.

The figure's sculpting is mostly quite good, with knobby armored black skin and cool layered shell bits. A giant, ugly copyright notice on the back reads "HASBRO '86 TAKARA '86 17" and it's just hideous. Series 2 and beyond put the markings on the bottom of the feet, which worked a lot better. Series 1 also lacks foot pegs. As a collectible figure line, it's really neat. They're about the same size as M.U.S.C.L.E., except painted and articulated. They weren't as fancy as the full-sized action figures of their day, but you can't deny their armored critter charm. You shouldn't have too much of a problem getting this one for $10 or less - even cheaper if you buy him as part of a collection lot. I like 'em. I don't know that they'll appeal to anyone who didn't have them as children, but as a weird Transformers offshoot I love the little buggers.

--Adam Pawlus

Additional Images

Hasbro Battle Beasts Hardtop Tortoise Action Figure Hasbro Battle Beasts Hardtop Tortoise Action Figure
Hasbro Battle Beasts Hardtop Tortoise Action Figure Hasbro Battle Beasts Hardtop Tortoise Action Figure
Hasbro Battle Beasts Hardtop Tortoise Action Figure Hasbro Battle Beasts Hardtop Tortoise Action Figure
Hasbro Battle Beasts Hardtop Tortoise Action Figure Hasbro Battle Beasts Hardtop Tortoise Action Figure
Hasbro Battle Beasts Hardtop Tortoise Action Figure

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