SAGA RABBIT (BUNIKIS)
Before I get into reviewing this figure I would first like to take this opportunity to panic. Regular readers know how much I love these Beast Saga figures. They’re a fantastic homage to one of my top 5 favorite childhood toy lines, Battle Beasts. After 20 plus years of dormancy it seemed as though 2012/2013 was to bring about the return of Battle Beasts in a big way. Diamond Select had been holding the Battle Beast toy license for years but they were finally poised to do something with it. They announced a new BB toy line in 2012 which was to be supported by a new comic book published by IDW. And then seemingly out of nowhere Takara, the original license holder, announced they’d be releasing their own new series of BB inspired toys called Beast Saga. I was pumped.
So then the comic came out which turned out to be only a 4 issue mini-series. It was decent and I was really hoping it would turn into an ongoing series but I guess sales didn’t warrant such a move. My local shop had the issues in their free comic book spinner rack just a couple of months after the initial release. The Diamond Select toy line that the comic was supposed to be supporting got delayed and is just now tricking out to stores with little fanfare. I can’t say that I’m to enthralled with the DST figures so I’m actually fine with them fading from the market.
Takara’s Beast Saga toy line is a totally different story. They came out strong in late summer and haven’t stopped since. New figures have been released every month since the initial launch and they are awesome. My Beast Saga collection now numbers 39 figures which isn’t too shabby for a toy line that’s only half a year old. Now here’s where my panic kicks in. It’s been months since we got any Beast Saga news. Most of the figures that have been released to date were all unveiled months ago. Pretty much since the launch I’ve known what figures to expect in the mail over the next 6 months. Well March is the final month of those scheduled releases.
I have no idea what to expect in April, if anything. The annual retailer showcase, Toy Fair, came and went in February without a single mention of Beast Saga. There’s been no updates on the BS website but the damn thing is in Japanese anyway so I wouldn’t be able to read any news even if there was any. This line showed so much promise. Months ago there were images shown of upcoming manga comics and even an animated Japanese cartoon. Now I have no idea if any of that’s still happening. Maybe I’m overreacting, perhaps the comics and cartoons will be rolling out soon. Maybe BigBadToyStore will have a new assortment of figures available for pre-order for the second half of the year any day now. One can hope. This line is way too cool to disappear with most American kids never even hearing about it.
This here is one of my most recent Beast Saga acquisitions. He was part of what is being called wave 4. I’ve seen him called Bunikis on other sites but I’ll stick with calling him Saga Rabbit until I get official word on his proper name. Saga Rabbit had big shoes to fill because the 80s Battle Beast rabbit was a favorite of mine. He was painted bluish green for some strange reason but he had a really nice sculpt. I don’t like this new version quite as much but when it comes to filling shoes, this guy delivers in that department, because he’s got big ass feet. I love action figures with big feet. It means they’ve got a nice solid base and likely won’t topple over at the drop of a hat. The most unique thing about this figure is actually his feet, and it’s not their size that makes them stand out. Saga Rabbit is equipped with roller blades. I’m not sure why a rabbit would have roller blades but I guess it makes about as much sense as a rabbit having a sword. I would imagine that Rabbit would be one of the faster animals in the beast army anyway, but these roller blades help to drive that point home. I imagine this guy to be super-fast, not Flash fast, but similar to Blur from Transformers. I could see him being a fast thinker and a fast talker. Those 4 little wheels on his feet have opened him up to all kinds of personality traits I may not have thought of otherwise. Maybe he loves extreme sports and drinks red bull like it’s going out of style.
Other than the unique foot gear there’s nothing overly exciting about this figure. The armor is kinda dull. It’s got bunny ears on the shoulders and an armored bunny tail on the butt but those enhancements are barely noticeable. The figure’s colors are okay but don’t come close to matching the cool weirdness of his blue ancestor. Like a lot of these BS figures, the head sculpt is very realistic. Some people might find this hyper realistic approach rather strange but I like it.
Saga Rabbit came with the standard Beast Saga accessories, sword, shield, dice and trading card. He features the standard arm and leg articulation. If not for the roller blades this figure would be near the bottom of the Beast Saga echelon for me but the blades add some flair and bump him up to middle of the pack. 7 out of 10.