Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Pack Of Beasts

[Love the detail of classic packaging]

Carrying on from Classic Articulation's recent posts on the re-realization of Battle Beasts in 2010, it would be a shame not to go into more detail on the production and scope of this awesome line.
A good place to start would probably be in their packaging style.

Battle Beasts came packaged differently depending on whether the import line was from North American or Japan - and have been found in individual boxes, 2-packs, 6-packs, 8-Packs, 10-Packs and big gift sets. The above picture is the back-card your common North American 2-pack.

Battle Beasts came out in the late 80's and like most toys of the era, had a gimmick to help sales. Each Battle Beast had a heat sensitive sticker on his chest which, when rubbed would reveal the warrior's strength. The symbols would represent either fire, wood or water and could be used in a rock, paper, scissors type game—fire beat wood, wood beat water, water beat fire.

Later a fourth emblem was added, the Sunburst, and it would beat all other types. The Sunburst was extremely rare, found in a ten pack in Japan, or Pirate Leo was available in America as a variant, despite claims that there were others of that affiliation.

Each Beast also carried his own distinctive weapon which could be identified based on a corresponding number.

In the U.S., Battle Beasts came in a packages of two, usually (but not always) in numerical order. It was impossible to tell which figure had a rub of fire, wood, or water until the package was opened. That came in handy with marketing, as their slogan was, "Fire! Wood! Or Water!... You'll never know until you own them!". Also listed on the packages starting with Series 2 was the possibility of getting the Sunburst Warrior. There was a total of three series adding up to 76 Battle Beasts beginning with #1, Pirate Lion and ending with #76, Ossified Orangutan.

Series 1 & 2 were released in Japan, Europe and North America while Series 3 was only released in Japan and the U.S.