Imaginext Series 11 Blind-Bagged Collectible Figures
Item No.: Asst. FMW53 No. FMW54 Manufacturer:Fisher-Price Includes:Staff Action Feature:n/a Retail:$2.99 Availability: June 2018 Other: Look for #58 on upper-left of the foil packet on the back
I cannot tell you how excited when my pal Phil sent me a shot of Imaginext Series 11 Mystery Figures. This Triple Threat Snake has no name at press time, but it's clearly an update of the original 1987 Triple Threat Snake [FOTD #639]. The notion of Fisher-Price paying tribute to its ancestors or even the brands of its parent company Mattel are no big surprise and nothing particularly notable - but Battle Beasts were a Hasbro product, developed in Japan by Takara. The trademark was last in the hands of Diamond Select Toys, but the core figure seems to have been largely ignored. Takara-Tomy built on it for Beast Saga and Onell Design made a similar modern figure with its Armorvor and Neo Granthan figures, but this snake figure is a just-different-enough-to-avoid-the-lawyers change. And it's gorgeous.
The 3-inch figure is a new mold that looks like a cross between Hasbro's classic toy and Mattel's recent snake warrior in its own ancient Egypt Imaginext line - which was basically King Hiss. The new Imaginext figure has snake heads for hands with green skin, red eyes, blue armor, and red highlights. The forms are different, as are the hues, but things are basically where they always were. The snake has lighter skin and a cobra-like hood, and even sports a fake rubsign spot with a black rectangle on the chest.
Our pal has 5 points of articulation - the neck doesn't really move - with restricted shoulder movement thanks to the armor looking like an actual armor suit over the figure. It's pretty impressive - the figure also holds a staff that resembles a snake's head. An Imaginext "I" can be found on the staff and on the figure's ankle, which sets it apart from the classic figure.
The snake lacks a classic rubsign gimmick and the name, but it's clearly a modern take on Battle Beasts. As a Triple Threat Snake in Delta Chameleon colors, it's fun. I assume it's a one-off, but Fisher-Price has been peppering in tributes to Adventure People for years, from the little octopus symbol on the bell diver in series one to the Spaceman & Alien [FOTD #2,002] that's a clear tribute to their classic Alpha Star toy. I'm really in love with these nods to classic toys, especially because they seem to be getting decent distribution and cost less than lunch. I hope kids are enjoying them, as I doubt your average child doesn't need to understand that these are tributes to figures older than their parents to know that they're fun and cool. If Mattel puts out more of these Battle Beasts, I will happily chase them all down. Look for a "58" stamped on the back of the foil packet if you want to buy this character when you find it in a store.
PS - to date, I've only seen these in very few Walmarts (June 2018) and a Fry's Marketplace grocery store (September 2018.) They aren't easy to find as of yet.
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