Beast Machines Sky Darling The Flying Micro Vehicle
Beast Saga Micro Vehicles
Item No.: BS-28 Manufacturer:Takara-Tomy Includes:Cube/vehicle, 3 micro figures Action Feature:Push-button transformation from cube to vehicle Retail:1,575 yen (or about $20) Availability: December 2012 Other: Starcom-esque, may be called "Zip Skyder"
Let me start with a little secret: I don't know what this Beast Machines Sky Darling is supposed to be called but that's what I translated it as from Amazon. I pre-ordering it not knowing what it was (because that works out so well for me), and let me tell you that it's small. It's a cube which unfolds exactly like Starcom toys, and the motors have the same satisfying sound. In cube mode, it's shorter than a Beast Saga figure at 2-inches tall. Let me reiterate: it's small.
While disappointing from the perspective of a) bang for the buck and b) a vehicle for the 40some figures I already own, it's a fascinating toy in its own right. Like an idiot I sold off my Starcom stuff in the 1990s to raise funds for Star Wars vintage toys, but I can tell you that this one is such a trip in terms of mimicking that old style. You push a little grey circle on the top, and the dang thing spins around to become a vehicle! It's a crying shame this wasn't used as a mechanism for toys for the larger figures. It's quite clever.
I know Hasbro (with Takara-Tomy) have been experimenting for new and interesting ways for toys to reveal themselves during a transformation process, but this one may take the cake. I've never seen anything else quite like it in my toy box, so even though this wasn't something I necessarily thought I wanted, I'm impressed.
After you press the button, you can fold back what seems to be controls or cannons, and on each wing is a fold-out claw to grab the bad guys (sold separately). There's even a little prison cell back there to capture the figures, just like on the original vintage Battle Beasts playsets. It's meant to be some sort of creature, but what I am not sure.
It has a red head with a toothy grin, green eyes, and a robotic texture that makes me think bird. There's no way it could be a whale, I don't think, so I guess it is what it is.
Armed with 3 micro figures, unpainted, it's basically a new line with a new scale. I'm not too crazy about that from a collector's perspective, but the entire package is quite neat. Figures include Long Giraf at a hair over an inch tall, plus rabbit and pig figures about 3/4 of an inch each. There's a little bit of detail, and these are unpainted red plastic figures roughly on par with the kind of stuff you may have bought in the early 1990s. Minus the paint, and at a higher price.
Each figure does nothing - it's a small collectible figure, each of which are a hair shorter than the people from Galoob's various licensed MicroMachines lines. There is no deco and no articulation, meaning that customizers out there will probably try to show off by somehow putting eyebrows on these things. Each figure's base is relatively free of markings, and is sized to fit in grooves inside the "Sky Darling" vehicle. There's a slot in the head of the beast, another slot in a driver's seat, plus a holding cell. You can cram figures in the wings too, as little claws can grab a figure in each. As a toy it's rather neat, its scale is really the only thing holding it back from being exciting to a discriminating toy collector in America.
In some respects it's a throwback to the Micro toy wave of the 1990s, except those tended to do more and the cube alt mode is a bit of a drag. However, these things do reek of a Starcom influence, so if you love that line and beast toys you really ought to run out and snag one of these just to futz with. It's delightfully strange but justifying the asking price is a little difficult. As of my writing this, I'm unsure if I want to get any more toys at this scale. It feels more like an American toy than a Japanese one, and the lack of deco won't impress. But when is the last time you saw a decent micro toy?
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