SAGA PIGEON/ BUNDOT
It’s been a while since I reviewed a Beast Saga figure so let’s take a look at one, shall we? Here’s a quick refresher: In the 80s, Japanese toy company Takara produced a line of small animal warrior action figures called Battle Beasts. They were nowhere near as popular as other 80s properties like G.I. Joe and Transformers but I loved them just the same. The short-lived line fizzled out after 3.5 waves of figures. It vanished for over 20 years until , in 2012, Takara revived the line as Beast Saga. The name may have changed and the BS figures were bigger and more detailed but there was no mistaking Beast Saga’s origins. Both lines consisted of warrior animals wearing armor and brandishing weapons, and both were marketed more so as a game than a line of action figures. Many of the BS figure designs were clearly inspired by their old BB counterparts but there were a few wholly original characters in the mix as well; such as Bundot the pigeon.
The Battle Beasts line had a number of birds but it didn’t have a pigeon. Bundot here, or Saga Pigeon as I prefer to call him, was included in a 3-pack along with two other birds, an eagle and a falcon. You see, Battle Beasts were divided into teams by their chest emblems (wood, fire, or water) but Beast Saga critters were grouped by their preferred habitat: land, sea, or air. When I was a kid I didn’t pay any mind to the supposed emblem loyalties. I had two teams of Battle Beasts, good guys and bad guys, and I played with them just as I would any other toy line. If Beast Saga figures had come out when I was a kid I wonder whether I would’ve done the same or stuck to the land, sea, and air theme. Having multiple warring factions can be fun.
I like every single one of the Beast Saga figures so it’s a real shame that the line got cancelled so quickly. I never really expected it to catch on in North America but I hoped that Japanese interest would keep it afloat for a few more waves. I wouldn’t say that Bundot is one of my favorites but I still like him a lot. The fact that he’s a species of warrior animal I didn’t have as a kid makes him feel fresh and new but it also prevents any nostalgic connection; I can’t pretend he’s the son of any of my beloved Battle Beast figures as I do with characters like Saga Lion and Saga Deer.
If I’d had Beast Saga figures when I was a kid I think I would have relegated this character to a comic relief role. It’s good to have some light hearted characters and I just cannot imagine Saga Pigeon as a name-taking ass-kicker. I see pigeons every day and nothing about them says tough. I feed them on my lunch breaks and even when I throw food directly at them they almost always lose out to the smarter, faster birds and they just end up waddling around in circles cooing like clueless assholes. I wouldn’t make Bundot an idiot but I can see him being a little clumsy and oblivious.
The sculpting on this figure is top-notch. The armour, the feet, and the wings are all loaded with detail. The face sculpt really captures the blank stare of a pigeon. The paint job is also quite nice. The aqua blue armor with gold accents looks good against his gray feathers. It’s a shame that more of the sculpted details didn’t get painted.
One interesting thing about Bundot is that he’s the only Beast Saga figure to come with a gun. All of the other figures came with bladed weapons. I’m curious as to the reasoning for that. Besides the gun he also came with a shield, a gaming card, and a couple of dice for his chest launcher.
This is a silly but great little toy. 7 out of 10.