Of all the toys I expected to see remade in 2017, Sabre Sword Tiger was not one of them. Hasbro put one out in Transformers as "Fengul," a Titan Master companion to Grotusque. It's the second Battle Beasts head companion figure we've seen so far, and this was as good of a time as any to look at its inspiration from thousands of years ago, back in the 1980s.
Molded in the creamy fur color, the red-eyed saber tooth tiger has painted teal armor and looks pretty sharp. The figure came about in the late 1980s, when toys started transitioning from earth tones or muted colors to brighter colors - this figure's armor stood out among his peers, giving us a bright armored kitty cat of death. His big teeth are painted, as are ornamental fangs on his shoulders. Most figures didn't have two colors of paint on their arms, so this fellow is something of an exception.
It's almost a hairless cat, thanks to the limited detail of the time. Stories I've heard from Hasbro workers at the time indicated the toolmasters in China and Hong Kong rubbed their hands with glee when a toy had more lines, more fur, or other markings - that meant increased tooling fees, and it could get really expensive. A couple of leg muscles and some teeth bring the figure to life, with a lot of vents in the armor. There are no whiskers, or furry bits - it's just a typical, somewhat simple 1980s toy figure with robotic red eyes and articulated arms. And, for some reason, a fencing sword - an amusing sporty weapon for a creature famous for its razor-sharp fangs.
With jointed shoulders, a weapon, and a random rubsign sticker, it's a simple toy that aged pretty well. My sample was bought in a collection via eBay a few years ago, and they're still pretty cheap - about $5 with no weapon. It's a simple figure at only a couple of inches tall, but it has an open mouth with a lot of wide-eyed personality. It was fun to see Hasbro give this figure a bit of a nod, and I'd say it's a fun addition to any Battle Beasts toy box. I think it's also the only prehistoric creature to see release in the USA for this line... so far.
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