Yesterday some new display cases arrived in the mail. These are custom cases built by a guy in Ontario whom I discovered on ebay. I have purchased cases from him twice before to display my Marvel Universe figures and they look great. I’ve wanted to display my Battle Beast collection for years but haven’t been able to come up with a good uncluttered way of doing so. They’re quite short in stature and look odd on most bookshelves. Well the same guy that makes the cases for Marvel/G.I. Joe sized figures also makes customized cases for displaying die cast cars, Zippo lighters, lipsticks, Lego men and other things. When I was ordering more cases for my Marvel figures this past June it occurred to me that the cases designed to display Lego men would probably work great for Battle Beasts as well. I ordered 3 Lego sized cases which would be enough to display my current collection as well as provide me with some wiggle room for the upcoming Beast Saga figures. I think the cases look stellar now that they’ve finally arrived and they fit the Beasts perfectly. I’ve taken some updated pictures of my man cave to show you how they look, check out my facebook page to view those(there’s a link on the side of this page). If anyone is interested in purchasing these type of cases just let me know and I’ll pass along the guys website address to you. I’m reluctant to just slap it on my site to promote the guy because despite the fact that he makes great display cases he’s a bit of a clown. He sucks at responding to emails, his shipping times are long and he doesn’t honor his promises. He is very frustrating to deal with. Having said that, all 3 orders I’ve placed with him have arrived in great condition and all bulls**t aside I’m quite happy with the product he provides.
I’m so pleased now that the first thing anyone who enters my man cave will see is my Battle Beast collection. Finally these great figures have a chance to be seen and appreciated instead of being relegated to a box in the closet. When placing the figures in the cases last night I wasn’t sure how to go about it. Should I display them in their numerical order, by my own good guy/bad guy classifications, by species, my color, by fire/wood/water power…not an easy decision. I started out having a good guy shelf, then a bad guy shelf, good guy shelf, bad guy shelf but many of the figures that I’ve bought in the years since I actually played with these things have never had their allegiances determined so it got a little sloppy near the end with figures just shoved in the cases at random. I’ll probably tweak the display over the next few days as I decide on who’s good and who’s bad.
When determining good guys and bad guys I don’t always go the obvious route like making Spiders and Snakes bad guys and Bunnies and Eagles good guys (though I usually do). Sometimes I like to shake it up and cast against type. I think that was the case with Cutthroat Cuttlefish, who I called Battle Squid. I don’t know about you but I think this dude looks pretty scary and evil, a good candidate for a bad guy to be sure but that was not the case in my Battle Beast world. Battle Squid was a good guy when I played with him but he was no boy scout like Battle Fox, Battle Squid had an edge to him. I often established rivalries between beasts on opposing teams, mostly just with my favorites. Squid was one of my favorites and his rivalry was with Battle Octopus. I imagined that they had a shared past, they disliked each other before the “Battle” had begun and their old feud grew deeper when it came time to choose sides in the war and they ended up choosing rival factions. Battle Squid was the kind of guy who would put his personal grudge with Octopus ahead of the needs of the team and would go awol if his goals didn’t align with his teammates. He was cold and calculating, deeply intelligent and ruthless.
When I discovered that the beasts actually had names a few years ago (there were no names on the packaging) I was disappointed with most of them. Most are pretty cheesy. Cutthroat Cuttlefish, which I would likely shorten to just Cuthroat, isn’t too bad a name really. My disappointment with this name comes from the fact that I had the animal wrong. I don’t care what his name is though, he looks like a squid to me. I know they have lots of similarities in the animal kingdom anyway but the white body and pointy head just scream “squid” to me. The fact that I thought he was a squid was partly why I liked him so much as they are one of my favorite animals. That ties back to my love of monsters. Images of Giant Squid from storybooks and movies always thrilled me.
The figure itself is another great example as to why I love this toy line so much. The sculptors were able to cram so much detail into such small figures that it really is impressive. Each figure is so unique, especially the odder looking characters like the ones from the sea. It’s not like this guy’s tentacled arms could be re-used on a sheep or a monkey, they were unique to him. All of his arms have been accounted for with a few being sculpted around his shoulders, while others form his legs and his double arms. Some Battle Beasts have hands that are built in weapons and in this guy’s case one of his tentacles has a missile like weapon on the end. There are sculpted suckers on the edges of his feet which is a nice touch. The big round yellow eyes is what really adds to his creep factor. I think that if he had a sculpted beak he would look more dangerous but I kind of like how he’s got that weird tube like nose/mouth instead which makes him appear almost alien. The gray armor makes for a nice contrast to his white skin and has just enough small paint highlights to avoid being bland. I’m curious to see what a squid or cuttlefish figure from the upcoming Beast Saga line may look like but it’ll be tough to beat this guy. 9 out of 10.