TRIPLE THREAT SNAKE
So let’s talk a little bit more about Battle Beasts. In the last post I mentioned how these toys were different than a lot of other toy lines released in the 80s in that there was no cartoon or comic book to generate interest or to build a backstory. These figures were a clean slate and their names, histories and allegiances were left to your imagination. They were not without a gimmick though. Toy companies were trying out all kinds of goofy gimmicks in the 80s; Holograms, Slime, Color changing plastics, even lasers that interacted with your T.V. The Battle Beasts’ gimmick was a to use the heat activated rub signs made popular by the Transformers to create a contemporary rock, paper, scissors play pattern. Each figure had a small rub emblem on their chest that was solid black until you activated the hidden symbol with the heat from your thumb. One of three symbols would be revealed: Fire, Water or Wood. Each character was available with each of the different symbols so you could have the same figure three times each with a different symbol. The idea was that you and a friend would grab a figure at random and then reveal their symbols to see who wins the battle. Fire burns Wood, Wood floats on Water and Water extinguishes Fire. A neat idea I guess but not really much fun. Besides I was the only kid that collected these things so I would’ve had nobody to battle with. I disregarded the whole emblem angle when I played with my Beasts and just had them duke it out the old fashioned way.
As I mentioned before I decided whether each toy was good or evil and I named them myself. To me this character was Battle-Snake, an evil lieutenant of Battle-Ram the evil Beasts cunning leader. The Battle Beasts designers never shied away from using animals that don’t make sense in a line like this. They had fish, bugs, and birds just running around with the other animals and scale was obviously never taken into consideration. They made the effort to give the snake guy here other snakes for arms so that I guess you could suppose that he’s actually comprised of 3 different snakes sharing one suit of armor but that doesn’t explain away the clearly toed feet. Glaring anatomy issues aside I really like this figure. The snake arms look cool and his armor is well designed. The colors work well, the bright green reminds me of the little grass snakes I used to chase after. Once I successfully caught one of those guys on the way to school and I kept him my cargo pants pocket until recess when I set him free in the schoolyard. Nifty little guy. 7 out 10.