Saturday, March 27, 2010
When I first saw the character art that adorned the Japanese Beastformers cards and the collectors poster (by mail away or included with the Burstsun Special set) I wondered why some of the art was so drastically different than the toys. Why was Minor Mole orange and black? He already had two other versions released, what's the deal with this drawing? Just an artist's mistake? Nope, it turns out it was in fact the original Hasbro color design for that character. And he wasn't the only one who would get changed before the toy was released. Thanks to a Toy Fair catalog I found a great 2 page spread showing the entire figure assortment of the Battle Beasts in their earliest form. Sadly, only 5 were really any different, and one of those, Cobrander was just a minor color highlight. But four were very different, and quite cool.
First up, Miner Mole, who seems to carry the most drastic change. Not only is his fur black where it is now purple, but here he has orange armor, which is nothing at all like the black and purple his toy featured. The Mole is my favorite of these proto-beasts. Next is Tanglin' Pangolin who is kind of a boring one. His armor was changed from the early black to that awful peach the toy has. And his skin was really darkened up. Maybe sporting the simplest change, we have Torrential Tapir. Instead of being white skinned, the original had him with a black skin color. Either way I think he looks cool. This version would have made a cooler villain choice. Pew-trid Skunk rounds out the the batch with a very interesting switch. His colors were reversed before production. I like the prototype much better the the final toy.