For their fourth and final wave of Battle Beast figures Takara did away with the Transformer-esque heat-activated rub emblem found on the first 3 waves and replaced it with a round magnifying lens. The idea was that you would hold the figure up to a light source in order to see the character’s secret team affiliation: Wood, Water, or Fire. My Rainbow Sam happens to be a Fire soldier but he was available with all 3 symbols. Perhaps one day I’ll become such an obsessive collector that I’ll need to track down one of each for all of the Battle Beast figures. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.
I’ve mentioned many times before how much I loved Battle Beasts when I was a kid. I think its the most under appreciated toy line of the 80s. The characters were a clean slate and you could use them however you wanted without being a slave to a predetermined TV show or comic book play structure. The 2 inch figures generally came in 2-packs and I always assigned one as a good guy and one as a bad guy. Rainbow Sam was the good guy in the case of his 2-pack which meant his pack mate Tiger Burn had to be a bad guy. The choice seemed obvious to me. How could you make this lovable little red bird a bad guy? Then again Disney did it in Aladdin so I suppose it wouldn’t have been too far a stretch.
Because I didn’t know the characters names when I was a kid I named this figure Battle Parrot. In my Battle Beast universe he was a no-nonsense tough guy who often double talked and squawked between sentences. His speech pattern was modelled after Polly, Shipwreck’s parrot from the G.I. Joe cartoon.
Both the sculpt and paint job are really nice on this figure. His armour is relatively simple with a subtle wing motif on the shoulders and really cool boots with spikes on the back. I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of a kick from this guy. There are absolutely no paint apps on the armour. It’s a solid shade of beige. Normally this would be disappointing but the figure is so colorful otherwise that apps on the armour might have made it to busy.
The feathers are a bright shade or red, his beak is orange, his eyes are yellow, and he has white circles around his eyes. Apparently there are variants out there without the white circles. Something else I’ll need to track down if I ever go fully Battle Beast insane. The wings have a nice rounded design and they’re proportioned well. They go from red to yellow to blue which really makes this figure stand out on a shelf when displayed with other figures.
My only gripe would be that the wings hinder his arm articulation a bit which isn’t good since his arms are the only part of him that move. Luckily the plastic is soft enough that you can push the wings back out of the way if you want him to outstretch his arms.
Where the first 3 waves of Battle Beasts all had bladed weapons the Laser Beasts (or Shadow Warriors) of wave 4 all had guns. The guns were all very creatively designed to resemble their carrier. Sam’s gun looks like a parrot’s head and yet still looks likes a pretty cool gun too.
A cool little figure. 9 out of 10.