Sunday, May 2, 2010

Beastformers: Takara "Gumball Beasts"

There's been a lot of speculation about certain aspects of the Japanese Beastformers toy line from Takara. I don't know if any part of the line has had more discussion about what was produced than the vending sales products. These toys nicknamed "gumball beasts" due to their method of distribution were completely exclusive to Japan. These vending sales toys came in two styles, "Real Type" regular beast sculpts and "Deformed" style designs. The deformed type beasts were original designs to Takara, Japan and sold nowhere else. The regular sculpt vending beasts were the same molds used in Hasbro's Battle Beasts lines outside Japan. These regular beasts came in two ways, colored, or in a creamy off-white color.

There is no indication as to how many beasts were inserted into bubbles for the vending machines. Catalogs included with the toys had originally stated that 15 types of regular beast figures were produced. The issue that has plagued the Beastformers collectors has been this initial catalog. It states one thing, then says that what they show may not be correct. The dispute that is most often brought up is about the white colored Beasts. Being the much more valued toys in the vending line, it's stands to reason that people want to know for fact what was released. That first catalog doesn't do anything but confuse.

*Note: Real type vending beasts do not come with weapons.

Thankfully, Takara issued a second catalog with their white vending beasts later on. This catalog not only shows the line of beasts produced in white, but why they were produced in that color. The whole gimmick behind the white beasts is that you are supposed to color them and create your own Beastformers warrior. This wasn't a new concept in toys when Takara issued these figures. Bandai had offered monthly prizes to kids for some of their toys using the same paint-it-yourself gimmick. Takara was even using the same idea in their Transformers line right about the same time. So here we have a look at the actual official list of Takara's white vending machine Beastformers figures.

White Leo
Big Serow
Battle Bear
Yellow Giraffe
Killer Fish
Black Turtle