I loved cartoons and comics based on my favorite toys when I was a kid. However, one of the coolest things about Takara’s Battle Beasts toyline was that there was no cartoon or mainstream comic book to flesh out the characters’ personalities. Each new toy was a completely clean slate; they didn’t even have names (that I was aware of). This gave me the freedom to name them whatever I wanted, decide if they were good or bad, and assign them whatever personality I chose. I’d like to think I gave each character their own distinct personality but truth be told there are only so many character archetypes available. Many of the figures I acquired became infantry soldiers without much depth or backstory. It was the first few figures I got that were truly fleshed out into complete characters.
In my Easter basket in the spring of (I believe) 1987 I got my first 4 Battle Beast figures. My little brother Brian got 2 as well. I got the rhinoceros, the fox, the bat, and the sheep. Brian got the buffalo and the bear. He wasn’t nearly as enamored with Battle Beasts as I was so he later gave me his 2 figures.
Each set of 2 figures came on a blister card with the same image on the top. The image featured a herd of marching beasts. Most of them were colored solid gray but leading the pack, in full color, was the rhino and the sheep. I’m not sure if those two characters were intended to be leaders or if they were chosen at random to be the focal point of the packaging but either way that image solidified in my mind that those two were in charge.
I made the rhino the leader of my good guy team. The fox was his good natured but very capable warrior. The bear was his stern second-in-command general. On the opposite side of things I made the sheep the leader of my bad guys, the bat was his spy, and the buffalo was his gruff second-in-command general.
Battle Ram was a fierce and powerful leader. If I had to make a comparison I guess you could say I modelled him after Megatron. He was mean and ruthless and very intelligent. His campaign was not for his own glory but for a purpose. Ram felt justified in his actions and he truly believed that the best thing for the beasts of his planet was for him to rule over them. Battle Ram was never the type to sit back in a throne while his henchmen did his dirty work like Cobra Commander or Skeletor might have done. Battle Ram was always leading the charge onto the battlefield and so his soldiers respected him. The fact that the only chariot I owned as a kid was the “Big Horn Chariot” only enhanced Ram’s larger than life persona. I’ll bet Alexander the Great and Napoleon wish they could have rode into battle on a chariot bearing their likeness the way Battle Ram did.
There was a moment in every battle where Battle Ram and Battle Rhino would find themselves face to face. They’d charge at one another which resulted in a sonic boom type effect that would blow down everyone in the vicinity except them. Neither could take down the other. They were completely equal in strength, which would lead me to believe that Battle Ram is actually more powerful proportionately when you take into account that he’s only a sheep and he’s going toe-to-toe with a rhinoceros.
There were a couple of interesting design choices made on this figure which separates it from your average warrior sheep toy. Firstly, he’s blue. I don’t think there’s any actual blue sheep out there in the world so it detracts from his realism ever so slightly. However, I always imaged the Battle Beasts lived on a planet similar to Earth inhabited by anthropomorphic animals; not Earth itself. So maybe on Beast World blue sheep and purple elephants are the norm. For that reason the color choice never bothered me. I actually think the light blue skin/fur looks pretty cool against the dark gray armor.
The other notable design element is the metallic muzzle. A couple other beasts have similar masks such as the mole and the skunk but it made more sense for those animals. The mole may need assistance to breath underground and the skunk may need a mask to protect him from his own toxic funk, but what does a ram need a mask for? If you look closely at the muzzle you’ll see it features a scowl lined with pointy teeth. I suppose it could be a scary decorative piece but I always imaged that Battle Ram had an actual metallic jaw like Trap Jaw from He-Man. Perhaps his actual jaw was ripped off in a battle early on in the war. Interestingly, the card above features a maskless Ram.
I absolutely love this figure.
I love the big thick feet, the simple design of the armor, the horns on the shoulder pads, the brutal looking weapon, and the menacing stare. This is 2 inches of blue plastic perfection. 10 out of 10.