True to call, the Transformers franchise has had a number of completely different varieties and variations, with one of the well-known takes on the robots in disguise being Beast Wars. This period changed trendy autos with animal alternate modes, introducing a complete era of bestial bots. This wasn’t the franchise’s first foray into such disguises, nonetheless, with the primary line of beast “Transformers” being largely forgotten.
The U.S. toyline Battle Beasts was a failed ’80s franchise, however its launch in Japan firmly related it to the Japan-exclusive Transformers anime. This may see it achieve a bit extra traction within the land of the rising solar, and ultimately, an anime/manga reboot could be developed. This is the ignored story behind Beastformers and the Transformers’ unique Beast Period.
Rise of the Beastformers
The Beastformers’ toys had been developed by Takara in 1986, and the corporate nonetheless owns the rights to the property. Takara, now Takara-Tomy, dealt with and nonetheless handles Transformers in Japan, with Hasbro being the corporate’s equal in America. Takara had Hasbro localize the franchise outdoors of Japan, although there was one notable distinction. Whereas the very title Beastformers (additionally spelled BeastFormers) made it clear that the road was not directly related to Transformers, Hasbro as a substitute localized the property as Battle Beasts, which had no such ties to the robots in disguise. This was doubtless because of Transformers then being within the first of its waning years in America.
Japan, alternatively, would nonetheless have a number of years price of unique Transformers anime and manga till the “mecha” anime franchise would start to lose steam, and these served because the media face of the Beastformers. An episode of the anime Transformers: The Headmasters prominently featured the Beastformers whereas additionally additional explaining to audiences their story and connection to the Cybertronian battle.
The world of the Beastformers was referred to as Planet Beast, which was stuffed with anthropomorphic animals. Finally, the Decepticons invaded, with Galvatron giving weapons and know-how to the evil Alligatron, a humanoid alligator. A faction of heroic Beastformers are likewise given weapons by the Autobots, with their chief White Leo operating a bunch of largely mammalian “Autobot” Beastformers in opposition to Alligatron’s reptilian “Decepticon” Beastformers.
Although that they had the title Beastformer, the characters and their toyline of figures couldn’t remodel — although they did retain the Transformers’ faction sigils. The toys additionally had a “rock, paper, scissors” motif representing hearth, wooden or water, with these strengths and weaknesses used for a role-playing facet. The figures additionally got here with melee and long-range weapons, with the well-armed menagerie being far deadlier than any mere Calico Critters.
Battle Beasts and the Beast Saga
The American equal, Battle Beasts, would not make a lot of a splash so far as ’80s media franchises went, and regardless of the connection to Takara’s premiere franchise, Beastformers did not fare that a lot better. This may see the mental property languish in obscurity, with neither facet of the pond acknowledging the armored animals for fairly some time.
Takara-Tomy would lastly break this pattern within the early 2010s, introducing the multimedia franchise Beast Saga. This smooth reboot of the Beastformers idea would take the type of a five-volume manga from Saikyo Soar, a sport on the Nintendo 3DS and an anime that had over 50 episodes (although a number of of those had been unaired). This short-lived model of the franchise would not have any connection to Transformers, nonetheless. There would even be an American Battle Beasts comedian e-book from IDW, although this did not final lengthy, both.
Regardless of how obscure it is remained, the Beastformers franchise was in some ways prophetic of the varieties that the Transformers line would take. The Beastformers themselves closely resembled the natural armored Pretender shells that Transformers wore within the 12 months or so after the Beastformers had been launched. The concept of Transformers having an natural outer shell to disguise themselves would change into much more distinguished by the point of Beast Wars, the place animal robots waged battle on an alien world. A Japanese entry within the Beast Period even launched Lio Convoy/Leo Prime, who reworked right into a white lion. Thus, whereas it by no means had a lot success itself, the Beastformers line was instrumental to the entry that may save Transformers within the ’90s.