When IDW Publishing and Diamond Select’s Art Asylum revealed that they were resurrecting the Battle Beasts line I could scarcely contain my excitement. Forgoing both the original anemic Transformers tie-in story and the chest-mounted rub signs of the classic series, these are new Beasts for a new generation. And they are exquisite.
The Bobby Curnow-penned comic book series is really picking up steam with the fighting manimals now on Earth and the true might of the Dread Weapons revealed, but sadly the Minimates-style toy series won’t be available until year’s end. Unless, of course, you were lucky enough to pick up any of the limited release runs available during the recent convention season.
Diamond Select Toys was kind enough to hook me up with an exclusive SDCC 2012 2-pack, which I quickly unboxed for you, dear readers. Featuring central character Vorin the ram and sinister dragonfly Zik, these beautifully detailed figures are part of a limited edition of only 3,000 pieces, but don’t let that deter you from releasing them from their cardboard tomb either.
Though he possesses a slight variation on the traditional Minimate shape, Zik boasts more than 15 points of articulation – everything from his waist and limbs to his wings and stinger are hinged and movable. His prominent, cap-like skull ridge doesn’t exactly scream “dragonfly,” but the multiple arms and wing segments give him a definite insectile look. His color scheme is rather handsome, with the red and burgundy contrasting nicely against the translucent green of his wings, but the design doesn’t hold a candle to that of Vorin.
Smartly detailed grey and gold armor adds some nice bulk to the figure, and a red half-cape really sets it off. Though not exactly intricate, the molded fur and horns on his head make for a great focal point and truly manage to capture the battle-hardened stoicism of the character. Add to this a removable shield and sword (complete with back-mounted scabbard), and you’ve got one of the coolest Minimates to date.
Those who missed these figures at San Diego Comic Con can pick this set up for under ten bucks, which is more than a fair price for Minimate aficionados. And though many will likely bellyache over the lack of elemental alignment long associated with the original property, these new figures, like the accompanying comic book, represent a nice new spin on an old name.
Review materials provided by: Diamond Select Toys