Remember Battle Beasts? The weird little animals in armor that fought using rock, paper, scissors rules with heat-sensitive rubsigns on their chests? Well, if you weren’t born before 1982 or so, you probably don’t… but they were pretty popular when Hasbro put them out in the 80’s. Take our word for it, youngster.
So, Diamond’s had the Battle Beast license for around a year now, with no peep from them about what they were doing. But then at this year’s Toy Fair, they gave away a free sample Battle Beast, based on their minimate body. (Which makes perfect sense scale-wise and even adds to the articulation.) This looks like an original design, although there are similarities to the original Gruesome Gator, so it’s seems unlikely they’re just going to remake all of the designs of the line. 16 Bit points out that it’s basically a recolor of the yellow “Gator Guard” figure they showed at last year’s San Diego Comic-Con, which was supposed to be included in the long-delayed Minimates Laboratory playset. It’s also worth noting that there doesn’t seem to be rubsign or even a place to put one in the sculpt.
Unfortunately, there’s been no word at all about what they’re going to with the figures, as we haven’t even heard anything about that laboratory playset for a while now. My guess is they’ll sell figures through Diamond and maybe some TRU-exclusive packs, which is what they’ve been doing with the recent Marvel Minimates releases.
Oh, and just to add some useless nerd trivia…did you know that Battle Beasts are part of the Transformers universe? Yep, in Japan, they were actually released under the Transformers label as “Beastformers” and those rubsigns were the Autobot and Decepticon symbols that we got on our Transformers. There was even an episode of the Transformers cartoon made for Japan that explained that the Autobots and Decepticons were recruiting the beasts to work for them…kinda like how the US and Soviet Union set up satellite countries all over the world. For some reason they dropped that connection when they brought them to the states. It’s lucky they did…it probably would’ve made it much harder for Diamond to get the license.