BILLSWORD (SAGA SWORDFISH)
Beast Saga was a short-lived toyline produced by the Japanese toy company Takara that launched in the fall of 2012 and sputtered out in the first quarter of 2013. During that brief period Takara managed to release 4 waves of standard 2” figures, clear variants of those figures, a few larger deluxe figures, and a number of smaller micro figures. There was even a manga and an anime released in Japan to support the toys. It was a good amount of product for such a short period of time but I was still very sad to see the brand come to such an abrupt end.
I have previously reviewed all of the wave 1 figures except for this one; the swordfish who I believe is named Billsword. I didn’t put off reviewing this figure because it was bad but I didn’t necessarily save the best for last either. My personal wave 1 favorite is the finch but this swordfish ranks pretty highly as well.
This figure has a lot of character; at least in the face. The sail on his head looks like a mohawk and he’s wearing some funky red goggles, the combination of which make me see him as some sort of cyber-punk. I immediately associated him with Be-Bop from ninja turtles. The sword nose provides him with a close combat weapon akin to a chain or a baseball bat, items you might expect a hooligan punk to wield. I imagine this character to be a scrappy, dirty street fighter. I see him blaring punk music from speakers integrated into his armor while he’s out causing trouble. Perhaps he was a member of a roving swordfish street gang before being recruited into Saga Shark’s army. If I still played with my toys I think I would assign Billsail a Johnny Rotten like personality.
Where this figure loses some points is in the body. The sculpt is decent but relatively plain. I don’t like it when the sculptors overdo it with kitsch, as they sometimes do in this line, but I think they could have added a bit more aquatic flair to Bill’s outfit. There’s actually more detail in the sculpt than there appears to be at first glance because a number of the details aren’t painted which is a shame. He has knee pads, pouches on the tops of his legs, and arm bands that are all devoid of paint. I’m glad that Takara at least splurged for some green and gold highlights on the armor as it adds some needed color diversity to this mostly white and blue figure.
For accessories Billsword comes with a sword, a shield, a game card and some dice which can be launched from his chest with the pullback plunger on his back. The card features some nice artwork but I never bothered to figure out the game aspect of these toys that makes use of the cards and dice so its pretty useless to me. This is a neat little figure so if you were a fan of Beast Saga, or even Battle Beasts in the 80s, you should check this guy out. The Battle Beast line had a sword fish of its own but it was radically different than this one so Billsword is a fairly unique looking character even when the two toylines are displayed together as mine are. 9 out of 10.