Hey guys, I decided to add a new feature to my blog to make it easier for you to find a particular figure that you may want to read about. There are now tabs along the top of the screen directly under the banner with the names of various toy lines. As of writing this I’ve created tabs for Battle Beasts, Beast Saga, and Masters of the Universe Classics. I intend to create more so keep your eyes peeled for them. Under each tab is a checklist of that particular toy line. As I review toys I will link the names from the checklist to my reviews. I’ve chosen to do this as even I get frustrated navigating my site when trying to determine whether I’ve already reviewed a particular figure or not.
Also, I find myself visiting checklist sites on a regular basis for reference. I find them very useful. I thought it would be nice if I could provide that service to someone else for a change. On the lists I’ve created so far I’ve listed the complete line, including figures that I don’t have in my collection. I figured that would be the most helpful way to display things for people actually looking for reference information. I actually do have the complete lines of Battle Beasts and Beast Saga and I’ve got about 75% of the MOTU Classics line so those lists will eventually be full of linked reviews. When I start making my G.I. Joe lists though that’s going to be a whole other story. I am far from having a complete Joe collection. Should I list all of the figures anyway or only ones I own? Your thoughts on the matter are appreciated.
Anyway, onto the review at hand. I’ve decided to review Pirate Lion from the Battle Beasts line as a direct result of my newly created checklist page. I was ashamed to see just how few Battle Beasts I’ve reviewed on this site. I decided to begin filling in that list and I figured that the beginning of the list was a good place to start.
Pirate Lion was released in the very first wave of Battle Beasts. He was featured prominently on the back of the package and I think he was probably featured in the commercials. For those reasons he always struck me as being one of the “main” beasts. Beside he’s a lion, the king of the jungle, so how could he not be one of the line’s core characters? Had I received Pirate Lion in my Easter basket way back when, I most certainly would have made him my good guy leader. As fate would have it though the first 4 Battle Beast figures that I ever received on that Easter morning in 1987 were Rocky Rhino, Sly Fox, Blitzkrieg Bat and Bighorn Sheep. I designated the Rhino the leader of my good guys and the Ram the leader of my bad guys. Roles they have maintained (in my mind if nowhere else) ever since. I actually didn’t get Pirate Lion until quite some time later. My good and bad armies were already quite large, with relationships and rivalries well established when I eventually scored a second hand Pirate Lion. I cannot recall the specifics of him finding his way into my collection so late in the game but I assume I found him at a flea market or something.
Most new beasts were integrated into my collection as newly recruited rookies. That just didn’t seem right for this Lion who appeared hardened by battle already, what with the eye patch and all. I came up with a story line where Pirate Lion (whom I called Battle Lion at the time) was once the leader of the good guys. A strong, powerful and respected leader. He lead his army across the land on a crusade only to never be seen again, his entire battalion was lost. A mystery for the ages. In his absence, Battle Rhino had to step up to take his place as leader. Rhino quickly became a successful and respected leader in his own right. One day Battle Lion found his way home, battle weary, scarred and weak after being left for dead in the distant mountains. He was the only survivor of the lost battalion. Rhino offered to step down at that point so that Lion could resume his role as leader but Lion saw how the men revered Battle Rhino and so he declined. He instead became Rhino’s General.
Had I known back then that the character’s name was Pirate Lion I probably would’ve come up with a different backstory for him, made him the leader of a group of bandits, separate from both the good and bad factions. Despite the eye patch I never associated this guy with being a pirate. I saw the eyepatch more akin to the patch worn by Nick Fury. Lion just always seemed like a heroic badass to me. He’s got white fur and a golden mane and his face is calm, cool and collected. Then of course there’s his weapon. All beasts came with a weapon of some sort, whether it be an axe, a spear or a laser gun but this guy has an epic sword that wouldn’t look out of place in the hands of He-Man, Lion-o or Voltron. I think he’s a pretty cool figure and you would to if I had better photography skills. I really had a hard time capturing the sculpted detail of his white face. I had to steal the close up shot from another site. 7 out of 10.