I have a complete set of North American released Battle Beasts figures. That’s three complete waves of heat-activated rub emblem beasts and one partial wave of orb-chested laser beasts. It’s one of my favorite 1980s toy lines. There’s just something about wild animals in armor swinging swords around that does it for me. I love most of the 91 different BB figures I have; however, there are definitely a few weak links in the chain. Miner Mole is one of them.
Battle Beasts didn’t have names on their packages and they didn’t have a cartoon so I had no idea what any of the character’s names were growing up. That is why I adopted the simple naming pattern of calling them all “Battle-whatever animal they happened to be”. That worked out fine most of the time: Battle Rhino, Battle Fox, etc. But there were a couple of odd figures where I wasn’t sure what the heck kind of animal it was supposed to be. For example, I always thought my polar bear was an aardvark. This purple figure’s species wasn’t immediately obvious to me. I think I’ll place the blame on my old friend, Jay Pelley, for leading me to think that this guy was a dolphin. Throughout my childhood this mole figure was known as Battle Dolphin. fail.
There’s no mistaking a lion or an elephant, even if they are standing on their hind legs and wearing pants. Most Battle Beasts were colored realistically which made the critters even more recognizable. But every now and again they’d give you a blue rabbit or horse. But a rabbit is clearly a rabbit, even if it’s blue. This guy wasn’t so easily identifiable (no distinguishing features) and the fact that he was purple didn’t help.
Maybe it’s obvious to you that he’s a mole. But that’s easy to say now that I’ve already told you. Besides, I had already falsely identified War Weasel as a mole so I thought that slot was taken. This guy’s little mole snout could have just as easily been a dolphin’s bottle nose. You’d think the subterranean looking goggles might’ve tipped me off as well but it made sense to me that a dolphin would need goggles too walk around on land; keep his eyes moist or whatever.
Lastly you may be thinking that the inclusion of arms and legs might’ve been a clue that he wasn’t a dolphin. But my shark, piranha, and snake figures all had arms and legs so that didn’t help to rule any species out of the running.
Miner Mole’s animal androgyny lead to him being one of my least favorite Battle Beast figures. He may have a unique look but it’s not exactly a cool or tough one. I always saw him as a techie guy, which made sense considering how smart dolphins are. Moles, I dunno, they’re probably dumb.
Side note: I once caught a mole along side the road when I was delivering newspapers when I was around 12. I scooped him up in my canvas bag and brought him home with me. I made a habitat in one of our large plastic garbage bins then I went inside and read up on Moles in our family set of encyclopedias (those are like Wikipedia on paper kids). I remember it said that moles often succumb in captivity. I didn’t know what that meant so I asked my dad. He told me it basically meant “give up”. That didn’t sound good so I went outside to free my mole from his new bio-dome home but within the hour or so that I had left him out there the poor little bugger “succumbed”. The guilt still weighs heavy on me. Regardless, I can’t score this figure any higher than a 5 out of 10.