Battle Beasts

The Battle Beasts (Originally = ビーストフォーマー, Bīsutofōmā) is a toy line that was released by the Japanese company TAKARA and HASBRO in 1987. These action figures gained popularity during the late 1980’s and were distinguished by their design of anthropomorphic animals with armor and the inclusion of a “rock, paper, scissors” game among the figures.

Each figure depicts an animal warrior, with a thermochromic sticker on the chest that when heated reveals a random “fire”, “water” or “wood” symbol. This detail was used as a game element, as players could rub the sticker to reveal the elemental affiliation of their figure and thus fight against their opponent’s.

Battle Beast game

Different toy companies different approaches:

Originally, the company TAKARA launched this line of mini-figures in Japan as a sub-brand of Transformers, even produced an episode of the anime of Transformers where the transformers traveled to the planet of the Battle Beast.

On the other hand, the toymaker HASBRO was in charge of distributing these figures throughout the rest of the world, changing the type of packaging, decoupling the franchise from the Transformers and changing the franchise name in some countries, as we can see in the following table:

EnglishBattle Beasts
Japaneseビーストフォーマー (Bīsutofōmā), Beast Formers
SpanishBestias de Combate

The story:

The Blackthorne publishing house launched a line of comic books of the Battle Beasts in 1987. The story is about how on the planet of the Battle Beast there are fights among the beasts for their elemental powers, and a group of beasts is looking for the chosen one with the power of “Sunburst” (sunburn), an element that wins over all others, this warrior would be the one chosen to bring stability to the planet and end the war. Unfortunately, in the fourth issue the comics were cancelled and the story never came to an end.

Since the second wave of figures, the power of “Sunburst” was advertised on the packaging, there were supposed to be figures that could include this new element that beats everything. To date, only it has been seen the figures of Pirate Lion with this element.


The toy line also included weapons and accessories for the figures, allowing children to customize their battles. In addition, vehicles and playsets were launched to expand play options.

Although the Battle Beasts were successful during their time, the line was discontinued in the 1990s. However, it has gained cult status among collectors and fans of retro toys.

In subsequent years, there has been a revival of Battle Beasts with new collections to satisfy the nostalgia of those who grew up with these action figures. There have also been a few cross-overs in the comics of the Transformers.

Complete list of Battle Beasts figures:

Battle Beasts figures
  • Battle Beasts
  • Takara / Hasbro – (1987-1989)