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Kenner Beast Wars Transformers Spittor Kenner, 1997
Day #1,486: July 14, 2016
Kenner Beast Wars Transformers Spittor Action FigureSpittor
Frog becomes Surprise Attack Robot with Head-Butting Poison Tongue!

Beast Wars Transformers Basic
Item No.:
Asst. 80295 No. 80332
Manufacturer: Kenner
Includes: n/a
Action Feature: Transforms from frog to robot, spring-loaded tongue head
Retail: $4.99
Availability: 1997
Other: European Maximal

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Kenner Beast Wars Transformers Spittor Action FigureA great concept with plenty of life left in it, Beast Wars came and went in the wake of some pretty creative gimmick infusions. Before that, we got Spittor - everybody's favorite poison arrow frog. It's here, it's clear, get used to it. The mold was also sold in Japan, in green, as Diver. In England and parts of Europe, it was redecorated in red and gold and sold with a video cassette. What's really amazing about this toy - and indeed all of his case mates - was how Hasbro managed to make a cheap, fun toy with a cool action figure for five bucks. Star Wars figures were also $5 in this era, and were the same size as the robots in Beast Wars basics - as toys, Beast Wars was easily the best. Or beast. Action features would come and go, but they were a ton of fun while they were around.

Packaged in frog mode, the amphibian has clear blue plastic skin as well as opaque black parts. The neon orange and green paint applications positively sing under black light, plus he sports ball-jointed arms and legs as well as an opening jaw. It's a decent size, comparable to (or larger than) today's Legends in Generations. What's also cool is that the back legs - which become robot legs - can really stretch out, giving the illusion of "jumping" were you to include him in a diorama.

For better or for worse, the sculpting is amazing. Why worse? Because Hasbro cast it in clear blue, you're not going to notice all of the amazing wrinkles, warts, and yes - veins. The skin is some of the best in Beast Wars, but you might not notice it unless you get in close and squint. I haven't even gotten to this toy's claim to fame yet - if you open his mouth, there's a lever in the back. A spring-loaded part launches the figure's tongue - and the robot's head - out of his mouth, packing enough of a punch to easily knock over any figure within range. This is incredible, because it's easy to do on a table, or with one hand if you're holding it up in front of some other figure. Other recent toys - specifically Jurassic World - have similar battering mechanisms, but they don't work nearly as well.

Kenner Beast Wars Transformers Spittor Action Figure

The robot's head on the tongue can also shoot up off his neck in robot mode, which is somewhat unsettling. The frog mode features a folding-down frog head, with front legs that go back, lower legs that become robot arms, and robot legs which fold down from under the body. It's really a clever design.

Kenner Beast Wars Transformers Spittor Action FigureThe robot looks like a weird, distorted frog - it's more organic than cybernetic, but the same can be said for most of Beast Wars. His freakish head looks like a screaming variation on the title creature from Predator, while the frog paint job comes through swimmingly on this amphibious assailant. He's nicely poseable, especially when compared to his Kenner peers. The robot mode features arms with ball-jointed shoulders and elbows, bending wrists, and similar articulation on the legs. 12 points of articulation make this one of the better figures of the era, but the hands can't hold anything. It's handy that he lacks an accessory.

For a not-on-the-show nobody, Spittor has a lot of toys. In addition to the red redeco, there's a Transmetals 2 version, which also got a red repaint for Car Robots and Robots in Disguise as "Slapper." In Japan, Guushar. The red version made the cut on the Japanese cartoon (imported to the USA), but Spittor-as-Spittor wouldn't get an appearance until Transformers Animated season 3 - sadly, no toy was ever produced of him or the bulk of the other members of Team Chaar.

I'd say this figure is splendid and worthwhile, but history has been less kind to Beast Wars. Despite a fierce fan following, Hasbro releases few new toys - they're just not as popular, probably because 1990s nostalgia and the undying appeal of the original couple of years of The Transformers. Because the comics for Beast Wars didn't take off and there was never much of a revival of the post-Generation One stories, many of these toys remain cheap and unlikely to be revisited. It's unlikely Hasbro will make a new organic Spittor any time soon, and if they do there's no real reason to hold to this original design. I'd say get one if your budget allows - it's neat, there's not a lot else like it, and it's just like the endless frog toys and shirts at the endless quantity of various "Earth" and "environmental" stores in your shopping malls in the 1990s. Seriously, they were everywhere, and you probably got gift certificates there instead of somewhere that sold real toys like this.

--Adam Pawlus

Additional Images

Kenner Beast Wars Transformers Spittor Action Figure Kenner Beast Wars Transformers Spittor Action Figure
Kenner Beast Wars Transformers Spittor Action Figure Kenner Beast Wars Transformers Spittor Action Figure
Kenner Beast Wars Transformers Spittor Action Figure Kenner Beast Wars Transformers Spittor Action Figure
Kenner Beast Wars Transformers Spittor Action Figure Kenner Beast Wars Transformers Spittor Action Figure
Kenner Beast Wars Transformers Spittor Action Figure Kenner Beast Wars Transformers Spittor Action Figure
Kenner Beast Wars Transformers Spittor Action Figure Kenner Beast Wars Transformers Spittor Action Figure
Kenner Beast Wars Transformers Spittor Action Figure

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