Battle Beasts

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Battle Beasts (ビーストフォーマー Bīsutofōmā?) is a line of small 2" tall action figure toys, in the form of an anthropomorphised animals with body armor and a unique weapon. Several figures have their left hand replaced by a weapon of some kind. Battle Beasts were created and largely produced by Takara and distributed by Takara in Japan (under the name BeastFormers) and by Hasbro outside of Japan, beginning in 1987.


Battle Beasts were created by Takara of Japan in 1986 Tomy Co., Ltd., aka K.K. Takara-Tomy, still owns the worldwide rights to the property. The heyday for the toyline came during the period in which it was licensed to Hasbro for distribution outside of Japan when Hasbro marketed the toys in America and many other parts of the world. Although in the Japanese market Takara branded the toys as a spin-off of Transformers and even named the toys "BeastFormers," their tie-in to the Transformers universe was not part of the Hasbro story or marketing.

As part of the Takara strategy, many of the Battle Beasts appeared in the episode "Rebellion on Planet Beast" of the Japanese Transformers cartoon series Transformers: The Headmasters. The Battle Beasts reside on the planet Beast.

Four series were released overall. The first three contain beasts 1 - 76. Each figure has a heat sensitive rub sign on his chest and a hand-to-hand weapon. Three pull back vehicles and three transforming bases were also released. The fourth series had 36 figures and was renamed Laser Beasts, the renaming corresponded with some minor changes to the figures. The entire Laser Beast line was released in Japan, and in small numbers in America and Europe. These figures have orbs in their chest instead of rubs and each came with a gun that resembled the creature who held it. Some small chariots were also released as part of the Laser Beast line in Japan. In addition to these figures some promo figures were also made. These were made of clear plastic and were available only in special sets.

The figures were released in Japan in small boxes of individual figures and in larger multi-packs. In America Series 1, 2 and the 12 Laser Beasts were released on blister cards with two figures per card. Series 3 figures were only available in boxes of eight per package. The vehicles came in boxes and each came with a figure.


The universe history of 2011 ... In the galaxy territory of the Decepticon’s “Planet Beast”.

The intelligent race of animals called Beastformers lived in peace on Planet Beast. However, the scheming evil hand of the of Decepticon’s bent on domination of the entire universe to the peaceful Planet Beast was fast approaching.

To defeat the Lion Family that ruled the Planet Beast, Galvatron supplied Alligatron with weapons in order to overthrow the Lion family. Alligatron was given the Sharkticon’s who where the military escorts of the Destron’s to fight in the rebellion. This is how the Beastformer war began.

The Beast Star was suddenly engulfed in war. Before Alligatron the wielder of the Decepticon Power and his Decepticon Beast’s could capture the Cybertron Beasts, they were able to escape into the forest. In order to ask for help from the Transformers Cybertron Army, the Cybertron Beast’s strongest warrior Platinum Tiger had to make his way to the occupied communication room of the palace.

However, Alligatron planted a trap there called the "Holography Mirror". As soon as Platinum Tiger unwittingly set foot in the palace a sudden flash of light, trapped the strongest warrior in holography mirror.

Is Planet Beast going to remain under occupation? What about the fate of the Supreme Commander White Leo’s Cybertron Beasts? Can Platinum Tiger escape from the power of the Holography Mirror? Right now, the battle and mystery of the Beastformers is just beginning.

Series 1 - 3: Battle Beasts[edit]

Japanese Battle Beast catalog.

Battle Beasts came out in the late 80s and like most toys of the era, had a gimmick to help sales. Each Battle Beast had a heat sensitive sticker on his chest which, when rubbed would reveal the warrior's strength. The symbols would represent either fire, wood or water and could be used in a rock, paper, scissors type game—fire beat wood, wood beat water, water beat fire. Later a fourth emblem was added, the Sunburst, and it would beat all other types. The Sunburst was extremely rare, in a ten pack in Japan, or Pirate Leo was available in America as a variant, despite claims that there were others of that affiliation. Each Beast also carried his own distinctive weapon which could be identified to its Beast with the corresponding number.

In the U.S. Battle Beasts came in a packages of two, usually (but not always) in numerical order. It was impossible to tell which figure had a rub of fire, wood, or water until the package was opened. That came in handy with marketing, as their slogan was, Fire! Wood! Or Water!... You'll never know until you own them!. Also listed on the packages starting with Series 2 was the possibility of getting the Sunburst Warrior. There was a total of three series adding up to 76 Battle Beasts beginning with #1, Pirate Lion and ending with #76, Ossified Orangutan.

Series 1 & 2 were released in Japan, Europe and North America while Series 3 was only released in Japan and the U.S.

Series 4: Shadow Warriors[edit]

Japanese Laser Beast catalog cover.

The fourth and final Series released was renamed Shadow Warriors, or Laser Beasts in Japan. The heat sensitive sticker was replaced by an orb that could be seen through, depicting which clan the Beast represented.

The Shadow Warriors had a new slogan on the American package that read Fire! Wood! Water!... Only the crystal shield will reveal their strength!. Shadow Warriors carried guns instead of the hand-to-hand weapons that the Battle Beasts had, and each gun resembled the creature to which it belonged.

The entire new series of 36 Laser Beasts and new sleds were released mainly in Japan. North America only received 12 of the new Lasers, which were packaged as “Shadow Warriors” in two pack blister cards. These were mainly sold by Value City stores. No accessories, such as sleds or shields, were released, although they appeared on the packaging. Some of the lower numbered Lasers were produced in Europe and a few came with unique shields and sleds that like the guns, resembled the animal it belonged to. The sleds from Japan were available in two colors (grey and bordeaux) and both were included in the Six Shield Battler set. In France a third color, purple, appeared. This exclusive color was included in the blisters of Laserbeasts #93 to #96, the grey one was available with beasts #89 to #92, and the bordeaux was available with beasts #97 to #100. The main color of the sled is not the only difference. The color of the wheels change too. The grey sled has orange wheels, the bordeaux sled has black wheels and the purple sled has yellow wheels.

Six of the 12 shields were released only in Europe; #89 Brown Lion, #92 Hustlebear, #95 Dragon Seahorn, #97 Seapanic, #98 Puzzlecolor and #100 Scope Cougar.

List of Battle Beasts[edit]

All races are taken from the Battle Beasts/Laser Beasts Japanese Cards:

Series 1[edit]


  • White Leo - An anthropomorphic White Lion ( ライオン Rion) who is the eyepatch-wearing leader of the Autobot-aligned Battle Beasts and the King of Historam, North Snarl. His English name is Pirate Lion.
  • Goldar - An anthropomorphic Tiger (タイガー Taigaa) and the Emperor of Gun Marino, Kantonia that is a long-time friend of White Leo. His English name is Ferocious Tiger.
  • Fly Kick - An anthropomorphic White Eagle (鷲 Washi) who is the Emperor of Historam, North Snarl. His English name is Colonel Bird.
  • Elephan - An anthropomorphic Elephant (ゾウ Zou) who is the King of Stoll, Kantonia. His English name is Sledgehammer Elephant.
  • Gray Sharp - An anthropomorphic Rhinoceros (サイ Sai) who is the King of Petra, Muland. His English name is Rocky Rhino.
  • Battle Bear - An anthropomorphic Bear (ヒグマ Brown Kume) who is the Emperor of Saitan, Kantonia. His English name is Grizzly Bear.
  • Bonga - An anthropomorphic Gorilla (ゴリラ Gorira) who is the King of Halas in the Uorī Archipelago. His English name is Gargantuan Gorilla.
  • Bea Fox - An anthropomorphic Fox (キツネ Kitsune) who is the King of Ringostan, South Snarl. Her English name is Sly Fox.
  • Yellow Giraffe - An anthropomorphic Giraffe (キリン Kirin) who is the King of Gun Marino, Kantonia. His English name is Rubberneck Giraffe.
  • Rabbit Kid - An anthropomorphic Rabbit (ウサギ Usagi) who is the King of Rabbihos Island off the coast of North Snarl. His English name is Hare Razing Rabbit.
  • Bowdog - An anthropomorphic Dog (イヌ Inu) who is the King of Bowdonia, North Snarl. His English name is Danger Dog.
  • Blue Horse - An anthropomorphic Horse (馬 Uma) who is the Emperor of Rabbihos Island off the coast of North Snarl. His English name is Sir Sire Horse.
  • Giada - An anthropomorphic Weasel (イタチ Itachi) who is the King of Sunatoria, North Snarl. His English name is War Weasel.
  • Violet Horn - An anthropomorphic Bison (バイソン Baison) who is the Emperor of Bowdonia, North Snarl. His English name is Bloodthirsty Bison.
  • Bomb Sheep - An anthropomorphic Sheep (ヒツジ Hitsuji) who is the King of Sheepnia, North Snarl. His English name is Bighorn Sheep.


  • Alligatron - An anthropomorphic Albino Alligator (ワニ Wani) who is the King of Lennonia, South Snarl and the leader of the Decepticon-allied Battle Beasts. His English name is Gruesome Gator.
  • Killer Fish - An anthropomorphic Carp (鯉 Carpio) who is the Emperor of Lennonia, South Snarl. His English name is Killer Carp.
  • Snake Bomb - An anthropomorphic Snake (ヘビ Hebi) with snake heads for hands who is the Emperor of Barāki, Kantonia. His English name is Triple Threat Snake.
  • Drill Frog - An anthropomorphic Frog (カエル Kaeru) who is the King of Barāki, Kantonia. His English name is Horny Toad.
  • Devil Bat - An anthropomorphic Bat (コウモリ Koumori) who is the Emperor of Ringostan, South Snarl. His English name is Blitzkrieg Bat.
  • Black Turtle - An anthropomorphic Turtle (カメ Kame) who is the Emperor of Halas in the Uorī Archipelago. His English name is Hardtop Tortoise.
  • Bad Shark - An anthropomorphic Shark (サメ Same) who is the Emperor of Sheepnia, North Snarl. His English name is Sawtooth Shark.
  • Death Spider - An anthropomorphic Spider (クモ Kumo) who is the Emperor of Hogland, North Snarl. His English name is Webslinger Spider.
  • Crab Hit - An anthropomorphic Crab (カニ Kani) who is the Emperor of Sunatoria. His English name is Crusty Crab.

Series 2[edit]


  • Strong Hippo - An anthropomorphic Hippopotamus (カバ Kaba) who is the King of Gamborudia, Yutoranta. His English name is Humongous Hippo.
  • Wave Moose - An anthropomorphic Moose (ヘラジカ Herajika) who is the King of Ellas in the Uorī Archipelago. His English name is Major Moose.
  • Smileduck - An anthropomorphic Duck (アヒル Ahiru) who is the Emperor of Tell e-Sawwan, Muland. His English name is Run Amuck Duck.
  • Undergroun - An anthropomorphic Mole (モグラ Mogura) who is the King of Rhodes in the Uorī Archipelago. His English name is Miner Mole.
  • Yellow Camelus - An anthropomorphic Camel (ラクダ Rakuda) who is the King of Tell e-Sawwan, Muland. His English name is Hunchback Camel.


  • Iguanamonss - An anthropomorphic Iguana (イグアナ Iguana) who is the King of Onomis in the Uorī Archipelago. His English name is Icky Iguana.
  • Red Octo - An anthropomorphic Octopus (タコ Tako) who is the Emperor of Tamarahamu, Yutoranta. His English name is Octillion Octopus.
  • Scout Mouse - An anthropomorphic Mouse (ネズミ Nezumi) who is the Emperor of Gamborudia, Yutoranta. His English name is Powerhouse Mouse.
  • Cuttle Deep - An anthropomorphic Squid (イカ Ika) who is the Emperor of North Yutoranta, Yutoranta. His English name is Cutthroat Cuttlefish.
  • Knightowl - An anthropomorphic Owl (フクロウ Wakurou) who is the King of Agos in the Uorī Archipelago. His English name is Knight Owl.
  • Ultragas - An anthropomorphic Skunk (スカンク Sukanku) who is the Emperor of Rhodes in the Uorī Archipelago. His English name is Pew-Trid Skunk.

Series 3[edit]


  • Strong Panda - An anthropomorphic Panda (パンダ Panda) who is the King of East Yutoranta, Yutoranta. His English name is Panzer Panda.
  • Koala Gray - An anthropomorphic Koala (コアラ Koara) who is the King of Lapaul, South Snarl. His English name is Killer Koala.
  • Dreameater - An anthropomorphic Tapir (バク Baku) who is the Emperor of Uruk, Muland. His English name is Torrential Tapir.
  • Dog Hunter - An anthropomorphic Pointer (ポインター Pointaa) who is the King of Iriano, Yutoranta. His English name is Pixilated Pointer.
  • Būpink - An anthropomorphic Pig (ブタ Piggu) who is the King of Hilles in the Uorī Archipelago. His English name is Pillager Pig.
  • Peguinis - An anthropomorphic Penguin (ペンギン Pengin) who is the Emperor of Johnston, South Snarl. His English name is Pungnacious Penguin.


  • Eagle Killer - An anthropomorphic Hawk (鷹 Taka) who is the King of Nirmud, Muland. His English name is Harrier Hawk.
  • Crow Max - An anthropomorphic Crow (カラス Karasu) who is the Emperor of Nupal, Yutoranta. His English name is Crooked Crow.

Laser Beasts[edit]

  • Tiger Burn - An anthropomorphic Tiger (トラ Tori) who is the Emperor of the Laser Beasts.
  • Skull Grotess - An anthropomorphic Dragon (ドラゴン Doragon) who is the Assault General of the Laser Beast army and a second-in-command of Tiger Burn.
  • Blue Eagle - An anthropomorphic Eagle (鷲 Washi) who is the air strike officer of Laser Beasts.
  • Brain Mouse - An anthropomorphic Mouse (ネズミ Nezumi) who is the underground maneuver officer of the Laser Beasts.
  • Brown Lion - An anthropomorphic Lion (ライオン Raion) who is the commander of the ground assault unit of the Laser Beasts.
  • Green Rayfer - An anthropomorphic Ray (エイ Ie) who is part of the underwater maneuver portion of the Laser Beasts.
  • Killer Hound - An anthropomorpic Collie (コリー Korii) who is one of the Shield Battler-6 and answers to Strong Hurricane.
  • Rainbow Sam - An anthropomorphic Parrot (オウム Oumu) who is a Special Intelligence Officer in the Laser Beast army.
  • Sairon - An anthropomorphic Rhinoceros (サイ Sai) who is part of the land assault forces of the Laser Beast army.
  • Salmomancer - An anthropomorphic Salmon (サケ Sake) who is a marine assault soldier of the Laser Beast army.
  • Scope Cougar - An anthropomorphic Cougar (クーガー Kuugaa) who is a Special Staff Officer of the Laser Beast army where he answers to solely Tiger Burn.
  • Unarchy - An anthropomorphic mole (モグラ Mogura) who is an underground maneuver officer of the Laser Beast army.


A number of vehicles were released throughout the line. For the Battle Beast line, three chariots and three bases were released that looked like animals, each came with one figure that was not unique to the vehicle. The chariots were able to hold up to three figures comfortably and each had its own name: Tearin' Tiger, which looked like a tiger, Big Horn which looked like a ram and Deer Stalker which looked like a deer. All the chariots had a pull-back motion that would spring the vehicle forward when it was released.

The three bases were the Blazing Eagle, Shocking Shark and Wood Beetle. Each base had a unique symbol theme that matched the "Fire, Wood, Water" concept that the line was based on. Each base could hold several figures and had a jail-cell with which to hold captured Beasts.

The Laser Beast line had several vehicles as well. Three Battle chariots which were smaller than the Battle Beast chariots could be purchased with a unique figure, and several types of Drills were released as well.

To date, there are four known types of Drills to exist, all of which are the same design but feature different colors; Gold, Maroon, Yellow and Blue. The Blue Drill is the rarest, with only three or four known to exist.

Premium Figures[edit]

There were several promotional figures released in Japan throughout the run that could be obtained in certain ways, mainly through mail-aways or by purchasing special sets.

Most of the figures weren't exactly new, as most of the premium figures were just repaints of previously existing molds. Figures that were repaints were the Stone Cobra, Clear Gator, Clear Carp and the Striped Carp. The only exception to this rule was the mail-away offer for the #101 Skull Grotess figure, which was a completely original figure.

Premium figures were available in various ways. The Clear Gator and Sunburst Lion could be obtained by purchasing a Japanese 10-pack set that contained either one figure or the other although you couldn't tell until you opened the package. The Stone Cobra, could only be obtained through the mailing in of the two halves of the "Stone Tablet". One half could be found in the Japanese Fire Phoenix playset (which was the Japanese equivalent to the American Blazing Eagle set), while the other was in the Sunburst Lion set. The Stone Cobra was sent out in two different waves due to a larger demand than Takara originally expected. The first way came with no rub, the second came with a sticker that had White Leo's face on it.

The Clear and Striped Carps could be found in the Japanese "Punch Box" set, which was basically a box that had covers which you would "punch" to find a figure. The Striped Carp was much more rare than the Clear version.

The Skull Grotess figure could be purchased (along with a Gold Drill) through a mail-away offer exclusively. An order form advertising the figure could be found in almost all single figure packages sold in Japan.


Blackthorne's Battle Beasts #1.

To promote sales in Belgium and France, the company employed a gimmick where an employee dressed up as one of the characters attended youth events and handed out promotional scratch-away cards that revealed the same symbols as the beasts did. They were then requested to go to a fixed place to "battle the minion". The identically clothed employee located at the fixed post had one of the three signs present and, if the sign on the card the child received beat it, they received a free Battle Beasts figure to begin their collection.

Starting with the second series of figures in America, a 23" x 30" poster was available via mail order featuring drawings of all the Battle Beasts as well as their names.

A comic series simply titled Battle Beasts was published by Blackthorne Publishing in 1987. There were only four issues published by the company before it was canceled on a cliff-hanger. All four issues were published in black and white. The stories were written by John Stephenson and drawn by Andy Ice. They centered primarily on seven characters: Horny Toad, Knight Owl, and Gargantuan Gorilla dealing with the betrayal of Chameleon, Rocky Rhino, Blitzkrieg Bat, and Cutthroat Cuttlefish, who interrupted a ceremony with the Soulspirit causing madness and constant sign changes among their people. A sludgelike devil character was also featured. The final issue implied that Pirate Lion, piloting the Shocking Shark with first mate Webslinger Spider, was the Sunburst Warrior who would be able to set things aright. Two annuals were published as well, although by a different company and they were only released in Europe. The stories are unrelated to the Blackthorne series.


In 2011 Takara Tomy announced the Beast Saga line, a spiritual successor to the original figures. The line focuses on three factions - land, air and sea. The fire/wood/water battling mechanism was replaced by a dice launcher which enables a dice battle game between figures. The series was released in September 2012. Figures include shields in addition to weapons and are currently being released in monthly waves. Shonen Jump produces a manga based on the toy line and an anime is scheduled for 2013.

At the 2009 San Diego Comic Con, Diamond Select Toys, announced that it had acquired the Battle Beasts brand name after Hasbro allowed the trademark to lapse. They displayed a playset featuring a Minimates version of their new Battle Beasts line. The playset was to become available for sale on December 31, 2009, but was cancelled. Several repaints of the figure were sold in 2010, and at C2E2 2012 the company confirmed they would be going forward with a full line of figures. Additionally, a comic book based on the Minimates franchise was released by IDW Publishing in May 2012.

Also in 2012, a small company called Plastic Imagination! announced Rise of the Beasts, a forthcoming line of minifigures with articulated arms and necks inspired by the original 1980s toys. The project launched a successful Kickstarter campaign, but the Kickstarter was cancelled pre-funding due to factory issues. In August of 2014, factory test shots were posted as an update to the Kickstarter project and an estimated release date of full production figures was given as November or December of 2014. The first figures to be released are the Rhino and Scorpion characters that were teased during the original campaign. Changes to the original design include articulation at the neck, shoulders and waist, instead of just at the shoulders. Also the joints are using Glyos pegs.

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