#1: PIRATE LION
Japanese Name: White Leo
Lions mastering cavalry. Now I've seen everything.
There are only two varieties of lion known today, and they're pretty much the same- the Asiatic variety only lives in the Gir forest of India, while the African Lion is by far the most common. Lions are known as the "Kings of the Jungle"... rven though they live on grasslands and savannah. And generally just lay around all day. Seriously, these guys are BORING to watch when you see them in zoos. Their hunts are spectacular though, as the females stalk the weakest members of HUGE herds, split off into groups, then run one down (often with a series of other, hidden Lionesses taking up the chase). And they stand as the premier carnivore of Africa, with only the Nile Crocodile coming close. They eat the young of any other predators they see (they don't even EAT dead Hyenas), and nobody else messes with them, unless it's in mass numbers. They're also prone to bogarting the kills of anyone else, so they're kind of the dicks of the Animal Kingdom.
-Females are much smaller and weaker than males, despite their role as the hunters of the Pride. The key is their smaller size and lack of manes aid them in stealth, allowing them to capture prey more easily, and they're faster as well.
-The males of Lion society don't do much work (a common hack animal trainer will joke, "The men do nothing, and the women do all the work- just like real life, huh?"), yet have a very important job- they're expected to see off any intruding males, which will save the females' cubs from a gruesome death (an invader will kill all the rival's cubs to ensure the females reach estrus sooner, much like other harem-based mammals), as well as fight off dangerous Hyenas and other creatures that threaten the Pride. The women are hunters; the men are defenders. Despite their laziness, a male Lion is over 200 lbs. heavier than the female, and size matters in the animal kingdom a whole hell of a lot.
-Males without a harem of females are loners, or gather together with their brothers, all exiled from their father's pride once they hit a certain age. Their size, slowness and manes make them far less efficient hunters, but with only one mouth to feed, and the power to take almost anything they can catch, they tend to do alright. Still, it's a hard life being a male lion- two or three years tops of being a King, getting all the ladies you can take, and the entirety of your life before and after are spent alone, before or past your prime.
-There's a great story in We Bought a Zoo (the book; never seen the movie) where the guy is talking about the male lion they had. The dude's working on a tree just outside the enclosure (a few feet from the fence), then turns around and the big male is practically RIGHT BEHIND HIM, edged up against the fence. He's amazed that this 500-lb. animal literally managed to sneak up within a few feet of him without alerting the guy to his presence. Then he sees from the lion's body movement that he's about to "charge". Now, he's seen the lion charge workers before- and no matter what's between them (usually a big, impenetrable fence), the workers ALWAYS lurch backwards and fall on their ass. EVERY TIME. So the guy is like "nah, I know what's coming- I won't fall backwards". So sure enough, the lion charges, and he's like "OH SH**!" and immediately lands on his ass! Stuff just completely overtook him and it was fight or flight time! And he KNEW... KNEW FOR A FACT... that there was no way this lion was actually going to get him. These things are INTIMIDATING. The size, mane and roar cut an impressive figure.
Toy Description: Pirate Lion is of course the defining character of the Battle Beasts line- the guy with the "#1" on him, and the leader of the good guys in the fiction. He appears prominently on most of the packaging, and got the ultra-rare "Sunburst" rubsign in limited release. Thankfully, many things separate this character from the herd, preventing him from looking a bit too boring & typical for an "early release" figure, or the "Generic Guy" of the line. A big thing is the eyepatch- a very little feature, but just definitive enough to make him stand out. His mane breaks up the "three-color" trend in many early Beasts, and adds some more interesting variance in his appearance, since it's a much lighter orange than his Secondary Color. The great contrast between his white skin and blue armor is eye-catching as well. The figure is also relatively broad and typically-built, avoiding being too imbalanced or skinny. Even his silhouette stands out a bit, thanks to his spiked shoulder pads and armor that's a combination of blocky and rounded.
His big, semi-traditional looking sword is the most well-known weapon in the line- they sold it as a scaled-up children's toy by itself! I even saw the exact same toy in a Zellers toy store about 12-15 years ago! The trademark info is on the backs of his boots, but I can't see any letters anywhere.
Colors: Four- his skin is bright white, and his mane is a light orange. His armor is blue, and his Secondary Color is a very dark orange.
Armor: A detailed, but simple, classic two-piece. His Chest Symbol is central, with two large orange "vents" beside it- some light detail work (lines; some triangles in relief) surround that, in addition to two raised bits on his shoulders. The back of his armor is quite rounded (instead of the boxy look of most guys), with only a few rectangular shapes drawn in. His codpiece is only a little more detailed, with a lot of little rectangles and lines drawn in- a very large trapezoidal shape in dark orange is right on the crotch.
-Pirate Lion's shoulder pads are very distinct, and give him a strong silhouette- they're very rounded (and separated from the chest armor- you can see white skin betwen them!), ending in pylon-shaped spikes with circles on top of them. His wristguards have some more linear details, in addition to a blunted "claw" that overhangs the hand by a bit. His boots are quite blocky, but with very large, plain kneepads.
Weapon: A very simple, large sword. A bit traditional in appearance (unusual for this line, really), but with many angular features, such as a spiked guard & pommel- the hilt points upwards, with two smaller spikes facing diagonally downwards. The edge of the sword actually angles out a bit weird, as it looks normal on one side, while the other "juts out" a bit. The whole thing ends with a tiny ballpoint shape at the tip of the blade.
Hands & Feet: Three-fingered hands, and four-toed feet with nails.
Easily-Broken Bits: None. The light mane and the thin eyepatch usually get a lot of weathering.
Had it as a Kid: Yep- THREE of them, in fact! My original two got a ton of weathering and lost their arms, but my third ended up pristine as hell, and is one of my best-looking figures even to this day! I named this guy the leader of the "Bad Guys", and classified the other two Lions as his subordinates/advisors- the headcanon went that they were both former leaders, but he'd defeated them in combat, and now they were loyal to him.
Variants: None. Unless you count the "Sunburst Lion" with the different rubsign. This is extremely rare, but dishonest people started popping up with "Sunbursts" on eBay, since the Lion itself is one of the most common figures there is.
Overall Score: 9.5/10 (one of the best overall figures, and a true classic in the line)