They battle for the fun of it! Since it's super late for me, I'm just going to get right to the point. Here are some pictures of new Battle Beasts Minimates from Diamond Select Toys, including some exclusives which were handed out. The blue one came from their booth, and the gold one was distributed at a Heavy Metal party. (And maybe elsewhere, I'll update soon. The 88 Studios Minimate was also from the party swag bag.)
Update: More clearer images of the guitar from the contest prize added as well as close-ups of the figures without the display case in the way.
Diamond's Zach Oat was kind enough to share a few words with me and let us all know what's going on with the new figures. For starters, there will indeed be variants between Toys R Us and the comic market. The comic shop figures will be decorated to match the comics, while Toys R Us will get metallic or alternate deco. An example he cited was the snake figure (pictured), the green deco is for Toys R Us while the brown comic book deco should be the comic shop version. One series will go on sale in 2012 and is currently slated for December. Human figures will be exclusive to the comic market, and the first two (according to the comic book I picked up) are Tate and Bliss, a high school student and linguistic expert who bump into the beasts during their arrival on Earth.
On sale were a Vorin & Zik set with the first-ever fully-painted Vorin figure made available to the public, and the first (and so far only) Battle Beasts Minimates figure which seems to rely on existing tooling with Zik. These will be reviewed in detail in an upcoming Figure of the Day, but take note: Vorin has an alternate chest sculpt. His cape/cloak covers more of his chest armor, and to date this is the only figure to use this particular sculpt. All of the promo figures plus the yellow armor figure on display use another sculpt.
In addition to showing off some of the first figures, the SDCC variant cover of the Battle Beasts Comic Book #1 was on sale and is a fun read. A lot happens in a short space. The story opens with the same pages from the C2E2 ashcan freebie, but shifts gears to Earth where we meet at least two humans who will be significant to the plot while seeing numerous possible future figures in the back pages. 17 clear characters are viewable on the final page of the story, and it seems at least 5 of them were shown at the show. in toy form
The comic itself seems like a huge tease, both in terms of toys and narrative. We get a little bit more in the way of details for the future of the story, and we get to see possible future characters like a squid and an elephant. So far, so good-- the only thing that seems to be holding this line back is, well, the fact that it got held back a few months.