Well it’s been a busy day here at Mike’s Collection. Those of you who have been reading lately know that I’ve been striving to achieve 365 toy reviews in my first year of writing this blog. This post here is my 364th. That means I need only post 1 more review tomorrow to achieve my goal. There were periods where I slacked off this year so I’ve had to pump out more reviews than usual lately to try and get back up to speed. This is the third toy review I’ve posted today. Now I originally thought that in order to achieve my goal I would take the easy route and just post a bunch of quicky reviews of crappy toys that I had nothing to say about. But then I had an idea. I’m a sucker for lists and I especially love year end lists. I’m always excited to read SPIN magazines or Entertainment Weekly’s year end lists. I post my own top ten lists every year on my personal facebook account. I’ve done my top ten CDs and movies each year and I even posted my 10 ten favorite comics one year. Well it occurred to me the other day that it might be fun to post my “Top Ten favorite toys of 2012” list on this site before years end. I started compiling a list of toys released in 2012 and started picking out potential top teners. I figured any toy who’s a contender for my top ten should have received a thorough review on the site. Most of the contenders chosen had previously been reviewed but there were a couple toys that I purchased this year that I really liked but hadn’t got around to reviewing yet. So all day today I’ve been reviewing great toys released this year that might potentially make my top ten list. First there was Spikor, then Atrocitus and now I present to you…Saga Turtle.
As you probably already know in the span of a few short months I’ve become a huge Beast Saga fanboy. I love these figures. Takara’s Battle Beasts were one of my absolute favorite toy lines of the 80s and I’ve been hoping for a revival of the brand for 25 years now. Well 2012 was the year of the Battle Beast. Not only did IDW publish a brand new Battle Beast comic book but Diamond Select Toys was slated to release a series of figures of the characters from the book. The figures actually got delayed and won’t see release until 2013 but the intent was there at least. A pair of DST Battle Beasts figures were released at the San Diego Comic Con this year anyway. And yet those Battle Beasts aren’t the ones that I’m excited about. I’m not even sure if I’ll pick them up. The way I see it the big Battle Beast news this year was the release of these Beast Saga figures by Takara, the company responsible for the original Beasts. The name may have changed and the gimmick has changed from heat activated rub emblems to launching dice but the spirit of those 80s Battle Beasts lives on in the Beast Saga figures. I’ve bought every figure that has come out thus far and they’re fantastic.
Now picking favorites for my year end list will not be an easy task. I could make a top ten list of Beast Saga figures alone but my year-end list will encompass all brands so most likely only one or two Saga figures will make the final cut. Contenders so far are Saga Finch, Saga Shark and Saga Deer. There’s a bunch of others that I really like but have yet to review. Of all those unreviewed figures if there’s any that might make the list it would be Saga Turtle.
I don’t need to tell you why this guy is awesome, just look at him. It is not easy to be adorable and totally badass at the same time. His face is very life-like. The texture of the skin, the shape of the eyes and beak, and the paint job all contribute to the realism. And then there’s his armor. This guy goes a totally different route than any of the other beasts; he’s got an old school military vibe about him. He looks to me to be a very high ranking military turtle at that. I would guess that he’s supposed to be an Admiral or a General or something. The armor is sculpted to look like a dress uniform complete with a buttoned collar, shoulder tassels, medals and that ropey thing on his crotch. I apologize to those of you who may actually know what all these trimmings are called and maybe the rank is obvious but most of my military knowledge comes from G.I. Joe cartoons. I love the design of his gauntlets and boots. The anchors sculpted on the gauntlets and his hat are a very nice touch. His shell works well the armor design. The color choices are perfect with the bright green and yellow with the red highlights.
This is another one of those Saga figures that seems to have zero ties to the corresponding Battle Beast figure. Battle Turtle was black and orange with a claw hand and his shell was built into his armor. In my Beast Saga universe I have a hard time imagining any relation between the two characters. Even though I’ve already appointed Saga Lion as the leader of my good guys I would imagine this guy probably outranks him. The thing is the Beasts are not a sanctioned army, more of a militia made up of folks rising up to fight against evil. So maybe Turtle here isn’t actually a member of Lion’s team but rather the leader of Rhinopolis’ official army. Turtle is a man who follows orders and has been caught up in red tape, unable to stop Saga Shark’s uprising. Turtle does all he can to assist Lion while still operating within the law.
Whatever background you decide to come up with, this is a must-have addition to your Beast Saga collection. 9 out of 10.