Back in the day I watched the first half of “Beast Wars” after school on its first ever run. That was more than enough as I went “Meh…don’t care” and never paid attention to it again.
In stores I saw the toys with my old mate and literally laughed out loud at how goofy and stupid they were.
But here I am, appreciating the fuck out of these Kingdom Beast Wars Transformers toys. I said “no” to buying these, for about 6-8 months. But after seeing many video reviews decided to give them a go and was so impressed with them, that I think they are genuinely a better line than the G1 Siege line bots, and possibly the best Generations line they have done in years.
Seeing these new toys has me also appreciating more of what went into the original toys and designs. The show itself had fantastic animation and character designs, I just found the writing / story un-engaging.
Fast Forward a couple decades and I’m finally getting around to watching Beast Wars properly – mostly as it’s part of my “watch every Transformers show in existence” marathon over the last couple of years. I’m about 95% of the way there, having watched the majority of American and Japanese TF shows, with Rescue Bots and Beast Wars really my only things left to watch.
I’m up to Season Two of Beast Wars today as I put up this post, and while I still find the story kind of bland, I’m looking forward to getting through it and having a proper understanding and knowledge of the full story.
The Kingdom Beast Wars toys I am so impressed with in hand. Like Siege, they are very much old school inspired updates with added articulation and most are improved somewhat in both their robot and animal modes. It’s hard to pick a stand out when they all look so damn good, but I guess I would pick Dinobot for being TRULY impressive and beautiful in hand.
Fans have their preference in deco and design. Some prefer toy inspired designs and colors, while others prefer animation models. I prefer animation models most of the time. As often old toys have various gaps and bits that are improved or covered up in animated models.
The Kingdom toys do a nice job of having mostly animated inspired aesthetic, while having some nods to the toys in features, gimmicks and transformation. Optimus Primal for example has his shoulder guns, and his pop up wrist blasters that fit snugly back into his arm. So snugly in fact that I had no idea they were even there at first.
I never owed any of the original Beast Wars toyline, but did see at least the first three waves in stores on first release. The only toy I owned years later was this Transmetal Rhinox I picked up on ebay a few years ago. I like his style and colors, it’s a weird design choice, but I think it is cool, and he has the same proportions and size as G1 Slag (in alt mode) which also appeals to me.
In addition to the first season story arc Maximals, I’ve picked up Air-Razor, who is a lovely lovely figure in both modes.
From the Predacons I have (incorrectly transformed) Scorponok and Wazzzzzzzpinator, both very nice figures. I’ve just finished Beast Wars Season 1 for the first time ever this week and found the end of the story arc and start of Season Two much stronger, the show really gains pace and finds its rhythm in Season Two with a good balance of serious drama, action and light comedy.
So far the Predacon releases in the Kingdom/Generations line have been minimal, from the first season we still don’t have the fire ant Inferno or the spider Tarantulas, but we did get Black Arachnia, that toy I have out back as it’s fairly spindly and don’t want to risk a breakage loose in a tub so she is still in her box.
If they complete the Beast Wars Season One Predacons I will give them their own photos and article, but right now there just is no point. I’m fine with a slow trickel out of Beast Wars characters as it means I can pick up the ones I want without breaking the bank.
But I do think it’s a bit shit that Hasbro are so risk averse they are not putting out an entire Beast Wars toyline, instead choosing to bizarrely force combos of the original 80’s cartoon cast and 90’s Beast Wars cast into comics, cartoons and even two pack combos of toys.
It’s a total dis-service to fans to not put out a full line for a year of just Beast Wars toys, they still have MP, Cyberverse, Bee Movie toys, Studio Series (Bay movie) and Studio Series 86 – in addition to Generations (Siege/Kingdom/Whatever into 2022/2023). That is five to six branded toy lines and they can’t even do ONE dedicated Beast line for a year?
It’s bullshit, but totally in keeping with Hasbro’s playbook in recent years, look at the terrible slow trickle and mis-management of the G.I. Joe Classified line. They are so risk averse that we get halfway lines to make sure those damn profits are in the billions, and not a penny less. As a company, Hasbro just have no balls whatsoever in 2021.