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Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Raioga Action Figure Takara-Tomy, 2102
Day #495: September 26, 2012
Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Raioga Action Figure Raioga
One of Four Raigoa Figures Thus Far

Beast Saga Action Figures
Item No.:
BS-04
Manufacturer: Takara-Tomy
Includes: Sword, claw weapon, 2 dice, trading card
Action Feature: Dice launch out of stomach
Retail: 525 yen (or about $7)
Availability: September 2012
Other: Clearly the Hero Character Here

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Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Raioga Action FigureDespite a two-year lead in the marketplace, the new Battle Beasts line due later this year or early next year seems to be facing some stiff competition which makes it tough to pick a favorite. The Armorvor has made the rounds, and now so has Beast Saga with Raioga (or more likely Lioga/Lio-ga), a lion which has no fewer than 4 unique releases planned so far. So far, there's this one, one with niftier gear in a 3-pack, one in an upcoming capsule toy collection, and a blind-boxed clear version in burning "fire" colors which is pretty dang sweet.

Unquestionably inspired by the classic Battle Beasts toy line, Takara-Tomy decided to update these figures with enhanced paint jobs, twice the articulation, and a dice launcher replacing the classic fire/wood/water stickers. You shoot the dice, you see who has the higher number, you shoot again for an effect or another number, and that person wins. There's a card game too, but as I did not play Magic: The Gathering these things are foreign to me. Kinetic toys with battle, games, or battle games are pretty big with toy companies right now even in some lines where they managed to do "collectible" and "figure" and "action" but have no rules for what seems like a "game." With Transformers Bot Shots and Beast Saga it makes a little more sense, particularly given there seem to be no vehicles or legitimate toy playsets for them to fight around in. The figure is the toy, not the accessory, and my data shows there should be 30 unique character molds before 2013 starts, and counting all the color variants and promo figures easily north of 45-50 figures this year. That's not bad for four months, the original Battle Beasts line had about 88 figures in the USA and 112 unique sculpts in a couple of years!

Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Raioga Action Figure

But this is just the preamble. How's the figure?

Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Raioga Action Figure

Don't get this single-carded Raioga. That's the one in the middle in the above photo. Consider getting a lion, but remember there are four Raioga figures and the single carded one offers nothing unique compared to the others. There's one in 3-pack BS-01 (with a hamster and deer, on the left) which has a unique sword and shield which are way, way cooler. The carded one (this one, BS-04) just has the bat's weapons. The blind-boxed clear Raioga (BS-03) also has the bat weapons, but it's a) clear and b) on fire. Since they all seem to have the same basic dice, this one is the one that's the most redundant. But being stupid and loose with my toy money, well, here we are. A capsule toy version of Raioga is on the way but color photos have yet to surface.

Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Raioga Action FigureOf the figures in the line, this may be my least favorite sculpt of the first wave despite having a toothy urinal on his crotch. Positioned as the hero, Raioga brings in some hallmarks of the old line, like a crazy green mane and bright red armor with gold highlights, while adding some new things. Like what appears to be a toothy urinal where his crotch goes. The head sculpt has what appears to be an articulated jaw, but it isn't-- only the arms and legs can move, and they're also removable and swappable with other figures. The sword is a very tight fit in his closed fist, the shield fits easily, and the eyes tend to be a little wonky with one looking up and the other not looking up. Aside from the eye, the paint seems to be pretty clean and on par with most modern toy figures. My only real complaint about the deco is that they didn't bother to mix it up and change up the armor to be blue or white or really anything else to make buying the figure worthwhile.

If you're a beast fan, you're going to buy one or more of these at an importer-- I suggest the 3-pack or another figure entirely. Raioga's neat and weird, and as what appears to be the line's hero it's one you'll no doubt get eventually. There are things I like about it, but the vintage Battle Beasts are better at gripping weapons, Diamond's line captures the original single-color eyes and largely improves on proportions, while the Armorvor is all kinds of fun and is a fantastic, solid toy to futz with. Beast Saga does an excellent job of bringing back the texture of a bygone era, but I don't believe it captures the heart of those older line the same way the Armorvor and Minimates managed to do... and it certainly lacks customization options if you're into that sort of thing.

Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Raioga Action Figure

Raioga's arms move pretty freely while the legs have limited movement, and the figure is indeed rubbery like the original Battle Beasts. The legs on most figures are not capable of swinging forward, so if you wanted Raioga to sit in your small vehicles from other toy lines it ain't gonna happen. Thanks to the figures huge feet, they have no problems standing unassisted-- which is important, because the game element requires you apply some force to the figure. A plunger in his back is made of a harder plastic piece, and the whole launcher assembly may be removed from the torso. You can cram a dice in it, and the non-spring-loaded launcher shoots the die out with about the same amount of force you shove on it. It's actually quite a bit of fun and well-designed. The niftiest thing about the launcher is how they decided to light-pipe the die. You see, the launcher is cast in clear plastic with a tiny prism-like cut, which beams light into the die and makes it glow a bit in a well-lit room. Nice! I don't fully g.shtml the game rules yet, but I'm guessing it's about as fun as the Bot Shots game I don't play and the Battle Beasts fire/wood/water thing I also never played as a kid. But with more shooting.

Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Raioga Action FigureThese are cheap figures. The main barrier to entry in collecting them today is importers, because you can look at Amazon Japan and see they're selling for as little as 373-420 yen, or about US $5ish. Were they to be issued in the USA, I would wager a $4.99 single/$8.99 double price point. I didn't get the giddy headrush of nostalgia I found with the Battle Beasts Minimates. Beast Saga figures like Raioga are beefier, chunkier, and more Galactic Heroes-like in their proportions. Raioga feels like a 1990s, or perhaps early '00s design while the Minimates do feel more modern while also retaining much of the aesthetic of the original figures. This isn't to say Raigoa is a junker. Far from it, as a new toy thing goes it's quite neat and I have to say it's been so long since I've seen a toy line aimed squarely at kids that I felt the urge to buy in bulk.

It's not a bad figure at all. After a few years of wondering what (if anything) Takara Tomy might do with the brand in response to Diamond, I expected more... or maybe less. Either way, I'm eager to see more toys for this line, but my interest in collecting all the variants has already been tempered. (I'll buy every damn sea tribe figure they make, and heaven help us if we ever get dinosaurs!) They may not be the beast Beasts, but the Beast Saga line certainly fits the bill of the most retro and action-packed of the herd so far.

--Adam Pawlus

Additional Images

Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Raioga Action Figure Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Raioga Action Figure
Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Raioga Action Figure Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Raioga Action Figure
Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Raioga Action Figure Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Raioga Action Figure
Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Raioga Action Figure Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Raioga Action Figure
Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Raioga Action Figure Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Raioga Action Figure
Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Raioga Action Figure Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Raioga Action Figure
Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Raioga Action Figure Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Raioga Action Figure
Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Raioga Action Figure Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Raioga Action Figure
Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Raioga Action Figure

See more Beast Saga figures in Figure of the Day:
Day 495: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Raioga Action Figure
Day 529: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Kingdom of Sea Death Action Figure Set
Day 534: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Dolphin Burst Action Figure
Day 540: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Kingdom of Gloria Action Figure Set
Day 544: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Aldyle Action Figure
Day 549: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Dorfan Action Figure
Day 551: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Eledram Elephant Action Figure
Day 564: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga DX Starter Set Action Figure Set
Day 568: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Tarlock Action Figure
Day 573: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Long Giraf Action Figure
Day 579: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Garrison G Action Figure
Day 580: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga GachaBooster General Hawk Knight Action Figure
Day 586: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Killer Shark Burst Action Figure
Day 585: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Beast Machines Sky Darling Vehicle
Day 593: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Rynas Action Figure
Day 595: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Seylas Action Figure
Day 601: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Bamet Burst Action Figure
Day 616: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Long Giraf Burst Action Figure
Day 622: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Bamet Action Figure
Day 626: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Killer Shark Action Figure
Day 637: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Liorga Action Figure
Day 642: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Aldyle Burst Action Figure
Day 663: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Janjan Action Figure
Day 669: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Ogre Burst Action Figure
Day 678: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Swordbill Action Figure
Day 693: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Guarl Burst Action Figure
Day 715: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Guarl Action Figure
Day 824: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Mantaray Action Figure
Day 828: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Aljaylo Action Figure
Day 839: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Ogre Action Figure
Day 846: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Dakker Action Figure
Day 856: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Moreek Action Figure
Day 873: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Wonderriver Action Figure
Day 937: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Rynas Burst Action Figure
Day 974: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Super Win Deck Impact Set Action Figure Set
Day 993: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Kannigal Burst Action Figure
Day 1,326: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Buffam Action Figure
Day 1,332: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Bunikis Action Figure
Day 1,339: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Aljaylo Burst Action Figure
Day 1,381: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Eledram Burst Action Figure
Day 1,496: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Dacker Burst Action Figure

See more Takara-Tomy figures in Figure of the Day:
Day 180: Takara-Tomy Transformers Animated Ironhide (Bulkhead) Key Chain
Day 435: Takara-Tomy Transformers Prime Gacha Arms Micron Optimus Prime Blaster
Day 476: Takara-Tomy Transformers Prime Bumblebee Sword Action Figure
Day 495: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Raioga Action Figure
Day 529: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Kingdom of Sea Death Action Figure Set
Day 534: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Dolphin Burst Action Figure
Day 540: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Kingdom of Gloria Action Figure Set
Day 544: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Aldyle Action Figure
Day 549: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Dorfan Action Figure
Day 551: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Eledram Elephant Action Figure
Day 564: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga DX Starter Set Action Figure Set
Day 568: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Tarlock Action Figure
Day 573: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Long Giraf Action Figure
Day 579: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Garrison G Action Figure
Day 580: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga GachaBooster General Hawk Knight Action Figure
Day 585: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Beast Machines Sky Darling Vehicle
Day 586: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Killer Shark Burst Action Figure
Day 593: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Rynas Action Figure
Day 595: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Seylas Action Figure
Day 597: Takara-Tomy Transformers Prime Zad Action Figure
Day 601: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Bamet Burst Action Figure
Day 616: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Long Giraf Burst Action Figure
Day 622: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Bamet Action Figure
Day 626: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Killer Shark Action Figure
Day 637: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Liorga Action Figure
Day 642: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Aldyle Burst Action Figure
Day 663: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Janjan Action Figure
Day 669: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Ogre Burst Action Figure
Day 678: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Swordbill Action Figure
Day 693: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Guarl Burst Action Figure
Day 715: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Guarl Action Figure
Day 824: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Mantaray Action Figure
Day 828: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Aljaylo Action Figure
Day 839: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Ogre Action Figure
Day 846: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Dakker Action Figure
Day 856: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Moreek Action Figure
Day 873: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Wonderriver Action Figure
Day 905: Takara-Tomy Transformers Masterpiece Edition Lambor G-2 Ver.
Day 937: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Rynas Burst Action Figure
Day 974: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Super Win Deck Impact Set Action Figure Set
Day 993: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Kannigal Burst Action Figure
Day 1,127: Takara-Tomy Transformers Sega Genesis Megatron Action Figure
Day 1,207: Takara-Tomy Transformers United Rumble & Frenzy
Day 1,224: Takara-Tomy Transformers Adventure Roadblock
Day 1,242: Takara-Tomy Transformers Go! Go
Day 1,247: Takara-Tomy Transformers Go! Sen
Day 1,259: Takara-Tomy Transformers Go! Geki
Day 1,262: Takara-Tomy Transformers Masterpiece Bumble G-2 Ver.
Day 1,273: Takara-Tomy Transformers Go! Ex
Day 1,284: Takara-Tomy Transformers Go! Shou
Day 1,310: Takara-Tomy Transformers Legends Slipstream
Day 1,327: Takara-Tomy Transformers Unite Warriors Grand Scourge
Day 1,328: Takara-Tomy Transformers Unite Warriors Nightbird Shadow
Day 1,326: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Buffam Action Figure
Day 1,328: Takara-Tomy Transformers Adventure Override
Day 1,332: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Bunikis Action Figure
Day 1,339: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Aljaylo Burst Action Figure
Day 1,357: Takara-Tomy Transformers United Stepper
Day 1,381: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Eledram Burst Action Figure
Day 1,429: Takara-Tomy Transformers Legends Armada Starscream Super Mode
Day 1,468: Takara-Tomy Transformers Unite Warriors Grand Galvatron
Day 1,471: Takara-Tomy Zoids Masterpiece Shield Liger
Day 1,496: Takara-Tomy Beast Saga Dacker Burst Action Figure
Day 1,627: Takara-Tomy Transformers Legends Convobat

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