SAGA FROG (Guarl)
You might be thinking, “Didn’t I just read a frog action figure review on this blog the other day?” and yes, you did. I recently reviewed Horny Toad from the 80s toy line Battle Beasts. When I took ol’ Horny out of my Battle Beast display case in order to snap some pictures for the review I also grabbed the 2013 Beast Saga frog figure that you see here so that I could take some comparison shots. I took some solo shots of the Beast Saga frog while he was out since I knew I’d be needing them eventually for his own review. I had initially planned on waiting a while before reviewing him because I didn’t want to bore people with multiple frog reviews.
However in the past week or so I’ve received multiple comments on my Beast Saga reviews from a new reader to the blog, “Mechagodz”. I’ve been quite happy to respond to his queries and strike up small Beast Saga related conversations as I sometimes feel that I’m alone in my love for this property. He’s been educating me on a few things since he has actually watched some of the anime episodes. I got curious and tracked down what I believe was the first episode and I watched it last night.
Now had I reviewed this frog figure a day earlier, before I had any outside influences I would have told you about the original back story that I had conceived for him. Saga Frog is a prince in the Lake Kingdom, heir to the royal throne. He’s lived a sheltered life because his parents have kept him housed in their underwater castle for his own safety. Saga Frog wanted more. He wanted to go on daring adventures, like the ones he read about in Horny Toad’s memoirs. However it was peace time and daring adventures were few and far between. When the Beast Wars started up again with Saga Shark‘s rise, the Froggy prince went against his parent’s wishes and took up arms, following Saga Lion into battle on the side of good. He keeps his royal heritage a secret from his teammates as he doesn’t want to be perceived as “soft”. He fights extra valiantly every day to prove his worth as a soldier to his brothers-in-arms and to himself.
That’s what I would have said. But after seeing the cartoon last night it’s a little tougher to associate my fabricated backstory to this figure. In the premiere episode Raioga (Saga Lion) is shrouded in a cloak, hiding amongst the common beast peasants in the village. He is actually the King or at least someone of importance. He pigs out in the market, helps an old warthog pull his wagon up a hill, and then gets his boot shined by a young clown fish. During the shoe shining a gang of these frogs show up and start harassing the disguised King. The frogs are all identical looking but different voice actors provide a variety of characterizations. Raioga kicks their asses and demands to see their leader. They take him to a pub where Saga Croc and his squad of frog henchmen are making themselves at home and tormenting the pub owner. Raioga reveals his true identity and kicks some more ass. It was odd seeing the guy I’ve come to know as Saga Frog portrayed as one of many evil henchmen. It’s actually quite similar to the characterization of Horny Toad from the Transformers episode he appeared in. The cartoon was fun to watch but I’m reluctant to watch more because I kind of enjoy creating personalities for these figures myself.
Whether you see him as a good guy or a bad guy this is a fantastic figure. The sculpt is one of the best in the line. It’s well detailed with fun little nods to the species such as the frog feet shoulder pads, but it’s not cheesy or over the top. I love the paint aps on this figure as well. The almost neon green looks great against the dull gray and the orange highlights add just the right amount of color. The gold used on the eyes and helmet elevate the figure even further. I think the gold emblem on his head reminded me of a crown which is why I gave him ties to royalty in “my universe”. I have gotten a few duds from the Beast Saga collection but this figure reminds me why I was so excited about this line in the first place. 10 out of 10.