Beast Saga Carded Action Figures
Item No.: BS-43 Manufacturer:Takara-Tomy Includes:Sword, shield, 2 dice, trading card Action Feature:Dice launch out of stomach Retail:525 yen (or about $7) Availability: April 2013 Other: Also translated as "Wonderlippa" early on
Upon first glance Wonderriver could just as easily be a jokey custom figure as it is the real deal. After the Admiral Turtle, also known as Tarlock, it seemed that Takara-Tomy was going to allow these figures to go beyond the template of "animal in armor" set by the original Battle Beasts toys. Personally, I wish they did a lot more of this - the animal faces were fairly realistic, so giving them hats or other real-world equipment helps to add a little personality. The 1980s figures had those robotic eyes and bizarre coloring, while this wonder retriever seems content to wear a sensible set of armored scrubs. With what I assume are the T-Virus and antidote on the shoulders.
As with the rest of the line, Wonderriver is cast in a softer plastic and molded in two different colors. The arms, hips, and head are cast in brown while everything else, including the headband, is cast in a pale green. The "tubes" on his shoulders are painted details, as are his head light thing. I'm a little ashamed to admit here I never found out what you call that thing. Let me look it up. Here we go, "head mirror." OK, that makes sense. I haven't seen one of these in... possibly ever, other than on TV and in the movies.
The fuzzy fur sculpt on the head is wonderful, as are subtle jowls and glossy black eyes. Who's a good boy? You are! Yes you are! Ahem. Anyway, he's got toes on his armored boots, big fists with fingers, and a range of movement like you've come to expect. The armos swivel freely, while the legs can barely move more than a tiny bit in each direction. Ultimately I feel that the leg articulation in this line was a total waste, but I guess it's better than having misshapen legs preventing the figure from being able to stand. The fists are big enough to easily hold the weapons, which are the same ones you saw with Dorfan and Tarlock and a few others.
I'm not a dog person, but I will say this is an excellent figure. A little more paint would have been nice, and I find the doctor motif to be amusing enough to warrant keeping around on my desk for a while. The last goofy doctor figure that comes to mind was Scalpel, a Spy Troops entry to the Cobra forces from 2003. He's a ninja that can turn into a doctor. Oh what fun! Anyway, Wonderriver is one of the last new molds to come out for Beast Saga and it took me a while - almost a year! - to crack him open. He's cool. I think you're going to dig him when you get him home.
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