Time for another Beast Saga review! I have named this figure “Saga Shark”. Saga Shark was included in the Kingdom of Sea 3 pack that came out in the first wave of figures. He came with a piranha and another creepy looking toothy fish that I have yet to identify. The shark seems to be a key character in the Japanese world of Beast Saga as he is heavily featured in the animated commercial and on the package artwork. The intent of the toy makers is that users divide their beast armies into 3 groups: land, water and sea. I believe the shark is intended to be the leader of the water powered Beasts. I however don’t subscribe to this 3-party set-up and prefer to stick with the more traditional good guy vs bad guy arrangement. I have already appointed Saga Lion as my leader of the Good Guys and I shall appoint Saga Shark as my leader of the Bad Guys.
Now let’s give him an origin story… After many years of war, the Battle Beasts (the original 1980s toys) have reached an uneasy time of peace. The war is over but the beasts who fought on opposite sides tend to avoid each other by living in neighboring cities. The city that hosts the former bad guys is a slum; filled with thieves and degenerates. The other city, filled with former good guys is flourishing. This has gone on for a decade or so. Saga Shark was a young street punk growing up in the bad city, let’s call it Rammstein because it sounds cool, they’re a good band and because Battle Ram was the designated leader of my evil Battle Beasts when I was a kid. Shark began his rise to the top as the leader of a small street gang. He felt that those in the neighboring city (that I’ll call Rhinopolis, since Battle Rhino was my good guy leader) should not be privy to a quality of life better than that of the residents of Rammstein. Through propaganda and lies Saga Shark is able to rally the young beasts of Rammstein to his cause: Overthrow Rhinopolis.
Shark’s cries for revolution are heard even by Battle Ram, ruler of Rammstein, who then summons the young upstart to his palace. The battle hardened Ram warns Shark that another war will do nothing to improve the quality of life in Rammstein. He instead encourages Shark to attempt to improve the city through political means. Ram sees the promise of leadership in the shark and tells him so. He instructs Shark to cease his foolish uprising and to run for office instead; to take over his seat as the ruler of Rammstein. But Shark is young and brash and doesn’t want advice from the Ram who he sees as a has-been. He uses their meeting as a rallying point to claim that Ram has gotten soft and that the beasts of Rammstein must rise up and take the bounties of Rhinopolis by force. Many of the beasts of Rammstein have been biding their time, waiting for a leader to rise up and oppose the treaty signed by Ram and the time has come. War begins anew…
Sorry to turn this blog into a fan fiction on you but if I don’t create a little bit of back story for these figures I don’t have much else to say. I just make these up as I type them and sometimes I get carried away. Although for me at least, adding a little history and personality to an action figure that would otherwise be a clean slate makes me appreciate it more. Rather than this toy being just some nameless fish dressed up as Iron Man, he is now a cocky hot-headed revolutionary named Saga Shark on a mission of conquest. Instantly cooler.
Although this figure didn’t need a lot of help from me to be cool. Because let’s face it, a shark dressed as Iron Man is already totally rad and really doesn’t need a ton of back story. I think Saga Shark is a fantastically sculpted figure that puts the old Battle Beast shark to shame. I loved Battle Shark when I was a kid and I still do but there’s really no comparison between the two. First off, Saga Shark actually looks like a shark. Battle Shark might look like some actual species of shark but I’m not sure which one it would be with his baby blue skin and big round face. Saga Shark is instantly recognizable as one of the nasty sharks that would bite you in two if he had the chance. I’m not sure if he’s a great white or a mako but either way he’s deadly. Battle Shark is almost cute by comparison. This is a great example of how the use of paint apps really help to bring these new figures alive. If Saga Shark was cast in the same solid blur of Battle Shark, teeth and all, much of the beauty of this figure would be lost. The two-toned paint scheme of gray back with white under belly really bring this figure to life. And as scary as the old shark figure’s red eyes were, you can’t compete with those cold black eyes of Saga Shark…”Like a doll’s eyes”. His blur armor is great with some shark specific fin designs worked in. I’m not sure what the deal is with the crossbones yamaka but whatever, it adds some more color to his head. He comes with a trident, a shield, a trading card and a couple of dice which is standard for the line. All of the figures have a symbol unique to their species on the back of their plunger and I especially like Saga Shark’s “JAWS” homage. 9 out of 10.