Beast Saga Action Figures
Item No.: BS-05 Manufacturer:Takara-Tomy Includes:Lance, shield, 2 dice, trading card Action Feature:Dice launch out of stomach Retail:525 yen (or about $7) Availability: September 2012 Other: Early name translation was "Eredoramu"
Since I can't read Japanese and there aren't many fan sites yet, the Beast Saga name I see for the elephant is Eledram. So let's go with that. A distant cousin of Sledgehammer Elephant of Battle Beasts fame, this new guy has tons of sculpted personality but loses the nifty, dedicated arm weapon. Oddly, it has an upgrade lance/spear weapon similar to the old 1980s toy, which I don't think is a coincidence.
Oh, a quick tangent. People in Atlanta are making and handing out free art if you follow the right person on Twitter. Elly Font Art is making slick elephants. (No, I don't have one. I live in Arizona. We don't have free elephants, Henry from Chunklet, or Man or Astro-Man? nearby here.) Anyway.
For this one, we got massive shoulder cannons, huge tank-like treads on the shoulders for reasons I can't fathom, and swell night-vision goggles. I assume. The blue-and-orange armor looks great, and it offsets the rather bland grey skin tone. Not that anything is wrong with grey, but the ancestor for this figure was purple with bright yellow eyes... it was incredibly striking. THe new one is good, but I'll be curious to see if it's as memorable. Well, that's not true, I don't think any American kids are ever going to get these so they can wax nostalgic about them in 25 years.
With just 4 points of articulation and the dice launcher, it's a nice collectible figure. It's very bulky compared to the rest of the range, as it should be, with big fist and the largest shoulders you could hope to see. There's a decent amount of sculpted detail work between the wrinkly skin and the robust armor, so it's a safe bet this will go down as one of the better ones. There's also a clear blind-boxed version on the market, which is mostly unpainted but looks pretty neat if you like such things.
If the price is right, it's a good figure. $5+ seems like a lot, but it's not like you can get one at the store just yet. The dice launcher is a little less charming with each subsequent release, but hey, at least it's pretty colorful and the rest of the figure is good. My only real complaint is that the articulation isn't great. The legs don't really swing forward at all, but they move back pretty nicely. The legs are just adjustable enough so that you can make them stand pretty easily, but if ever there are full-size vehicles for which the figures to sit in, well, he's not going to do that. I still like him despite this, and his odd pie-like shield.
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