"Cool Toys" Magazine "Beast Wars II" Article Translations (Part 3)
Cool Toys Magazine "Beast Wars II" Article Translations (Part Three)
This is the final set of translations from the "Cool Toys" article focusing on figures from "Beast Wars II" and then figures that were not released in Japan. Thanks again to Fumihiko Akiyama for writing the original article and Doug Dlin for the translation!
This new Cybertron leader turns into a white lion. In beast mode, deploys four missile launchers and golden mane opens up and spins around. Also, operating a switch opens the mouth and reveals fangs. In robot mode, tonfa-type claws for close-quarters combat and missile launchers pop out of the arms, and a panel opens on the left of the chest. ¥2980
The gallant form of Lionconvoy with launchers deployed.
This new Destron leader's a triple-change transformation gimmick—dragon mode, drill tank mode, and robot mode—is worth a look. In robot mode, claws fold out from the back. Also, the freely jointed dragon head and shoulder armor turn into a drill with no detaching/reattaching parts, and the switch-operated spinning gimmick is a must-see. ¥2980
The sharply angled design of the drill tank mode is good!
The Cybertrons' lieutenant commander turns into a mandrill. In beast mode, operating a lever opens the mouth, from which a cannon extends and fires a missile. Also transforms into a mobile artillery mode. ¥2280
A relative of the Destron leader Galvatron, he is known as the Duke of Destruction. Changes into an M1 Abrams-type heavy tank, the large size of which has an appeal. Fires a missile from the main turret. ¥2980
Storm trooper that turns into a buffalo. Pull on the tail, and the robot head pops out, delivering a head butt and automatically firing a missile at the same time. The appeal of the design is its sense of buffalo-esque mass.
C-7 STARSCREAM & BB
A two-bot set containing Aerial Commander Starscream, who turns into a small jet fighter, and Aerial Bombardier BB, who triple-changes into a stealth fighter and a tank. They can also combine in vehicle mode. ¥2500
You can enjoy a variety of transformations and combinations.
This royal guard commander turns into a dump truck. As a member of the Autorollers, has the gimmick of auto-transforming when you roll the vehicle mode forward. Equipped with a missile launcher and a lever-operated opening and closing claw. ¥1500
This ground royal guard commander turn into a bucket loader and has the same auto-transformation gimmick as Autostinger. Equipped with a missile launcher in the left hand and a lever-operated spinning circular saw blade in the right. ¥1500
This aerial royal guard turns into an F-18 Hornet. Has an auto-transform gimmick even more advanced than Autostinger and Autocrusher's. Equipped with three-barrel, lever-operated, rapid-fire missile launchers in both arms. ¥1500
This royal guard assault trooper converts into an armored vehicle. Has the same auto-transform gimmick as Autojetter. Equipped with a portable-type missile gun and a disk launcher capable of rapid fire in vehicle mode. ¥1500
C-14 TASMANIA KID
Changes into a Tasmanian devil. In beast mode, upper and lower jaws open wide to bare fangs, and you can launch the main body with a spring to make him leap upon enemies. ¥750
This underwater spy transforms into a squid. In beast mode, the switch-operated beak opens, and you can pose him freely. Also equipped with a hidden boomerang-type weapon in his back. ¥750
This Destron aerial officer becomes a Eurofighter. Has a one-touch transformation gimmick, and the gun disassembles to store in the legs. Eyes also shine by lighting the back of the head. ¥750
This Destron aerial officer turns into a cutting-edge F-22 fighter jet. Shares the one-touch transformation and light-piped eyes gimmicks with Dirge, and also has the gimmick in which the gun disassembles and stores in the legs. ¥750
Special Sets first showed up in the Beast Wars Second series. In the Beast Wars series, characters who shared the same C- and D-number were sold as sets , but these special sets come with only one character that was never sold separately. However, to make up for it, the included bases are loaded with gimmicks, so they're important, necessary items for enjoying the world of Beast Wars.
X-2 DIVER & NIAGARA BASE
This set contains the guardian corps member Diver, who transforms into a frog, and a secret pillbox. By operating a switch, Diver's mouth opens and the tongue pops out. The secret pillbox is also camouflaged by a waterfall, equipped with a motorized flow of actual water. It also comes with a missile launcher and a plant that clamps down on enemies. Because it's equipped with a gimmick that uses water, the included play mat is a waterproof sheet. ¥4500
In late '97, when you bought Beast Wars items at some stores, you could take part in a drawing to receive campaign items that weren't offered for general sale.
This Destron demolitions soldier changes into a frilled lizard. Aside from the head with its attached frill, the molding is almost identical to Megalligator's, the same gimmicks apply, and it also has the spring-activated, one-touch transformation. Unfortunately, it can't use the frilled lizard's unique two-legged running style that drew such attention when it was promoted in a commercial long ago.
Import Mail-Order Items
At the end of 1997, a number of Beast Wars items that weren't being sold domestically at the time were imported by Takara and sold in some shops straight in their overseas packaging. Even today, these items were never included in the lineup officially sold in Japan. They're noted for including products with the same gimmicks but drastically different design forms, as well as products that didn't resemble any other items, making enthusiasts water at the mouth. We'd like to expect them to be worked into the line by developments in future series.
This Cybertron guard duty worker becomes a German Shepherd. As it's a redeco/remold of Howlinger, the gimmicks are almost entirely the same, though there are numerous places where the molding differs.
This Destron undercover assault soldier changes into a fiddler crab. An item suitable for the domestic Basic size class, it includes a gimmick in which spikes pop out of its larger pincer.
Items Unsold in Japan
While the popularity of the Beast Wars series keeps it short in stock, the fact is that a large number of items are released for sale in the U.S. prior to sale in Japan. Almost all the products are sold in Japan looking just as they do in the U.S. or else repainted, but there exist products among the line that will not be released in Japan. It seems that among these are things rarely even seen in Japan, such as Kenner's Microverse series. If you ever have the opportunity to go abroad, be sure to check the toy shops.
This Cybertron infantry fighter changes into a wild boar. Has the one-touch transformation gimmick built in. Also, in robot mode, the main turns into a double-barreled gun.
This Cybertron attack specialist turns into a white dinosaur, and its molding and gimmicks are essentially the same as Dinobot's. It has the same name as a character appearing in the first Transformers series who turned into a dinosaur.
This Destron aerial attack soldier converts into a purple pterosaur. Its molding and gimmicks are pretty much the same as Terrorsaurer's. Of course, it has the same foreign-version name as a character appearing in the original Transformers series.
This Cybertron undersea base turns into a killer whale. The product was sold as part of Kenner's Microverse series, a counterpart product to Galoob's Micromachine Playsets, in which you play with mini-figures.
This Destron mobile base changes into a spider. A Microverse product, of course. Both bases are quite fun, each coming with two mini-figures and a small vehicle, and having a surprising amount of transforming parts.
BotCon is an annually held convention in the U.S. where Transformers fans gather. As you may be aware, exclusive Transformers items are sold at each BotCon. These are official products that have received Hasbro/Kenner's official approval. Fans' expectations are building over what exclusive items will debut at this June's BotCon.
An exclusive product for BotCon '96, this Destron member turns into a black bat. The product is a repaint of Conbat, and there are versions with "BotCon '96 Exclusive" inscribed on its back.
PACKRAT & FRACTYL
These exclusive products were sold at BotCon in '97 as a comic 2-pack, which came with a Beast Wars original comic book. The toys are recolors of Rattle and Terrorsaurer.
Vicariously Experience the World Through Beast Wars Videos and Music!
We would be remiss in discussing Beast Wars if we didn't mention the TV series. Laserdiscs and video cassettes containing the series are currently on sale. Cassettes holding two episodes each are available for ¥2900. There are 13 episodes in all. (The final one is planned for release in June.) As for laserdisc boxes, now on sale is the "Maximal Box", an LD box set consists of three discs holding up through episode 12. The LD box version is recorded in two languages, contains the English-version opening and TV commercials, and comes with a detailed manual about the overseas version, which is delightful. The Japanese dub of the CG series has become more child-oriented and rather heavy on the gag elements, and several of the story settings are altered, so the English version is closer in atmosphere to the original Transformers series. For those who've been enthusiasts since the old days, it may be a good idea to try watching the English-language version.
Also available are Beast Wars CDs containing the show's theme songs. Among these, the opening theme to the BW Second series sung by Cyber Nation Network, which is led by talented sound producer Akihiko Hirama, is a danceable pop number and a fitting finishing touch for adorning the beginning of the new Beast Wars series.
The LD box is available from Pioneer LDC. ¥20,000
One of the videos containing two episodes each. Available from Pioneer LDC.
The ending theme to the Second series, "Where Dreams Are", now on sale from Nippon Columbia. ¥1155
The opening theme "Get My Future", now available from Nippon Columbia. ¥1155
The Beast Wave Hits the Cyber World Too!
You can enjoy Beast Wars in the world of video games, too. That happens through the 3D action/shooter game for the Playstation, available from Takara. The player can select from among 10 Cybertron and Destron characters to control, as well as choose among multiple situations, such as cityscapes or canyons, for the stages. Another major point is that the player controls the character's transformation. Crush the enemy with that beast feeling!
Transformers: Beast Wars, now on sale. ¥5800
Beasts Expand into the Happy Meal World!!
In the U.S., where Beast Wars is even more popular than it is in Japan, McDonald's is even using Beast Wars for promotion as bonus items in their Happy Meal children's sets (known as "Happy Sets") in Japan. One of the big points is that the lineup includes animals and characters who aren't part of the normal products. Five types were sold for '97: a manta ray, a black panther, a rhino, a stag beetle, and a lion head. Three items have debuted for the second wave since this year started. Unfortunately, these items, will not be carried by McDonald's in Japan.
The transformation gimmick is simplified so even preschoolers can play with them.
Beast Wars-Related Goods Continue Multiplying
A variety of products besides toys are available for sale as Beast Wars-related items. For instance, Harvest has released products such as mini slot machines, puzzle cubes, dart games, and toy cameras, and one can acquire these at toy stores, supermarkets, and convenience stores nationwide. In addition, Central Hobby is marketing Beast Wars Second-themed jigsaw puzzles, the second wave of which is planned for sale in July. A variety of other goods are also being sold by companies like Yujin and Amada, and new product lines are being prepared one after another.
500-piece jigsaw puzzle. ¥3000
Beast Wars mini slot machine.
Attention-Getting Beast Trading Cards
Beast Wars is running hot even in the trading card world that's so popular among enthusiasts. First up, there's trading cards of the CG series on sale from Takara. A major point is that each and every pack contains a special, metallic-finish card. Available from Irifune is a series of phone card-size cards aimed at younger children for ¥20 each. If your card is a winner, you get to draw another one.
Irifune's collection cards.
The Beast Wars trading cards available from Takara. 69 types in all, available in packs of 10 for ¥300.
Beast Wars Food Premium Toys You Can Play with Deliciously
Kabaya is selling a variety of Beast Wars food premiums (candy that comes with toys); both snap-together, transformable model kits and fully painted figures are showing up. These have been sold since the Transformers series began in 1985, so one could say this too is a series with history to it. For Beast Wars, the first series of the food premiums went on sale and gained favorable notice, and more and more new products are planned for release in conjunction with the start of the Second series.
Beast Wars Deluxe Gum Part 2 goes on sale in July. ¥700
Beast Wars Second Chocolates go on sale in July. ¥700
Beast Wars Ramune W go on sale in June. ¥250
Beast Wars Gum Part 2, now on sale. ¥200
Kids Maximize Too! Beast Wars-Related Goods You See Overseas
Popularity of Beast Wars is high overseas as well, and a variety of ancillary merchandise is being sold, from children's apparel to daypacks. These products will not be offered domestically.
Daypack utilizing screen-capped CG from the TV show.
Children's-size T-shirt decorated with cel-style art.
The coolness of beasts is unchanged by cel-style art.