Beast Saga Carded Action Figures
Item No.: BS-33 Manufacturer:Takara-Tomy Includes:Sword, shield, "3" dice, trading card Action Feature:Dice launch out of stomach Retail:525 yen (or about $7) Availability: April 2013 Other: Also translated as "Pafamu" early on
I can't believe it, but Buffam has been sitting on the edge of my photo studio waiting for me to review him for over two years. I bought the entire figure line - blind boxes and all - because man, was I excited about Battle Beasts. Diamond Select's new line petered out after a wave, the Armorvor has had only one beast head added since its introduction, and Beast Saga died in about a year. It didn't get ported to the USA, and it didn't really achieve much of an impact - it's doomed to obscurity, so it's time to write about this bull.
This line of figures stands between 2 and 3-inches tall, depending on if you want to count the head, the horns, the hump, or whatever. It's a bull! He's got a bull ring in his nose and unlike the original Bodacious Bovine from Battle Beasts, goes out of his way to identify as male. The green plastic armor is nifty in that it's molded in that color - the grey fur is also molded in that color, which is unusual for most toy figures. There's a smattering of paint with lime green highlights, painted eyes, painted horns, painted hooves, and a painted nose ring as some of the more obvious details on this one. There are even little pink dots on the back of his legs - it's a pretty nice little figure. The rubbery plastic creature has a dice launcher in his belly, although it's worth noting the size of the dice is too small to use a standard 6-sided die.
The armor isn't as technology-bestuffed as his companions - it looks like armor. Spiky shoulders make him look like a prickly fellow, and the bulk of his costume is pretty plain. You're not being distracted by grooves and circuits, basically you've got a furry dude in green armor. It's neat! The arms and legs rotate a bit, but the leg articulation doesn't add much to the fun factor here. 3mm weapons fit tightly in the fists - they put up a bit of a fight. The sword and shield are reused from other releases, as this line never really went out of its way to develop new weapons for each new series. They're serviceable, but if you swapped them out for LEGO swords and spears you might be more pleased with the results.
For five bucks, this is a great figure. The era of getting it for five bucks is probably over. The line isn't valuable or rare, but fewer people are selling it and let's be honest - we toy fans place a higher value on Japanese debris. As I write this the prices on Amazon US are lower than eBay, significantly so in some cases. Shop around when buying this one if you're so inclined, because while I like it enough to recommend it to all beast toy fans I'd be lying if I said it was worth a premium. If you're paying real money - let's say over $15-$20 delivered - I'd suggest you just go for the original Battle Beasts. They're flatted than this more robust creature with its cybernetically-enhanced (I assume) legs and fake fuzzy detail, but I'd by lying if I said the Beast Saga aesthetic has grown on me since their debut.
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