Time Machine Toychest: Battle Beasts



Turn your room into a jungle.

Long before Pokémon invaded the shores of American television sets in the mid-90s there were Battle Beasts, a collective army of small monsters whose powers related to the elements of nature (wood, fire or water).

Created by the same toy company responsible for Transformers* and licensed in the U.S. by Hasbro, Battle Beasts were essentially an overblown game of Rock, Paper, Scissors. Each beast had their very own heat-sensitive, holographic battle badge that revealed their elemental power. Water beats fire. Fire beats wood. Wood beats water. (How they came to the conclusion that wood beats water is beyond me, but have you ever seen an over-watered plant? It's not pretty.)

Much like Pokémon or Pogs (we'll get to those later), the proposed fun of Battle Beasts was collecting them, fighting your friends, trading and fighting again. As many of the toy properties of the late 80s there was a cartoon series, comic books, lunch boxes, tshirts, Halloween costumes, and so on. I don't recall reading the comics or seeing the cartoon, but I do remember being pretty infatuated with the toys themselves (in particular my brother and I battled with Dragoon Raccoon and Powerhouse Mouse respectively). Besides... what elementary school boy doesn't like asking a girl he likes if they want to see his fire-powered pocket monster?

*According to Wikipedia, Battle Beasts even made an appearance in a Japanese Transformers cartoon episode entitled Rebellion on Planet Beast.





5 comments:

  1. I was never a huge fan of these. Wasn't there another set of figures that had a holographic belly? I think they were medieval or something.

  1. Strange Kid said...:

    There was a series released by Tonka in 1987 that I can recall named Super Naturals. They had a hologram face and chest and had names like Lionheart and Snakebite. They were pretty frickin' wicked looking too!

    http://www.retrojunk.com/details_articles/5509/

  1. I collected these when I was a kid. They were pretty cool. The only problem I had with them was that after a while the holographic sticker would just fall of after being rubbed so much. I might be mistaken but I believe later they created a Beast that could beat all the elements. That one had a Sun burst sticker or was called sunburst, or something like that.

    Nobody cold use him though because that would be cheating, LOL.

  1. Strange Kid said...:

    That sounds vaguely familiar. I also remember a "Lazer Series" or something that came out later as well, but it was towards the end of the line.

  1. Andrew Green said...:

    Man, I remember those things....
    The coolest ones were the squid and the rat.

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