SAGA MANTA RAY
Hey guys, I’ve got another Beast Saga review for you today. I got this guy in my last shipment of BS figures a short while ago. In that post I complained about the lack of news regarding new figures. Just to keep you up to date, BigBadToyStore has finally put new Beast Saga figures up for pre-order on their site. There are no pictures of the new figures however so I’m going to hold off on ordering them until I know exactly what I’m buying. I know some collectors were miffed the last time they ordered the blind packed BS figures sight unseen because they were expecting unique characters but all they ended up with were clear versions of previously released figures. I picked up 6 of the blind packs but I’m very glad I didn’t pre-order dozens of them. Hopefully these new pre-orders are for a fresh wave of brand new figures.
The figure I’m looking at today I’ve named Saga Ray because as I’ve explained before, I’m not sure what their actual names are (I can’t read Japanese). As you can probably tell Saga Ray is a manta ray. I was pretty stoked to add him to my collection as there was no manta rays, sting rays or any other rays in the 80s Battle Beast line. It’s fun to get brand new characters that aren’t forced to live-up to what came before which is the case with many of the more familiar looking beasts. Technically there was a ray figure named Grin Reeper released in the fourth and final wave of Battle Beasts which were known as Laser Beasts. Those figures featured glass orbs in their chests as opposed to the rub emblems seen on the previous 3 waves. Only 12 of the Laser Beasts were ever released in north America though. The other 24 Laser Beasts, Grin Reeper being one of them, were only released in Japan and are extremely rare. They show up on ebay every now and again for hundreds of dollars and I will likely never own any of them. So, to me anyway, an armored manta ray is a new concept and a first for my collection.
The figure is quite nice. The dark blue armor is broken up just enough by the three areas with red highlights. The armor itself isn’t to exciting and lacks any of the fun gags that some of the other BS figures have but it’s not bad and honestly I prefer the armor when it isn’t overly kitschy. His weapons, a sword and shield are pretty dull but adequate as well.
The interesting part about this figure is the head. I failed to capture it in my pictures but on the underside, which is painted a yellowish color, he has sculpted nostrils, gills and a mouth which seems to be smiling. The smile immediately makes me think of the school teacher manta ray from Finding Nemo. I’m impressed that they put that much detail into what is basically his chin. The top of the head has lots of nice detail as well with sculpted spots, fins, a tail, and what I guess are blow holes. I really like how his “wings” are sculpted upwards as though he’s in mid-stroke. The head also has a bunch of cool armored details around his eyes and down his spine. The eyes themselves feature dual paint apps which is appreciated.
The odd thing about this figure is that he basically looks like a manta ray plopped on top of an armored body. With other non-legged animals like previously released snakes and fish the sculptors always tried to make it seem as though the creature had sprouted limbs and evolved into a bipedal creature. I don’t get that impression with this figure. If that’s what the sculptors were going for, his wings should have been on his arms and his tail should have been on his bum, but instead his head is a fully formed manta ray. I don’t think it looks bad, it’s just odd. Overall a pretty great figure. 8 out of 10.