Here's my thought on the series overall.
Very, very pleasantly surprised to see the Giraffe in series 2. We saw control art for him back at C2E2 last year, and while giraffes are not my favorite animal, he was one of my favorite beasts shown. He had such a great feel and charm to him that I really liked. The armor has a little bit more of a classic Battle beast feel to me compared to the other minimate Battle Beasts.
I am loving that Cobra. Really nice, clean design that builds quite nicely off of the rattlesnake we got in series 1. The sculpting on the face has a great, evil cobra look to it. And that chest plate armor has a fantastic, serpent/organic styling to it. I am happy to see that he made it into the series. I can't wait to get one of these guys in to lead my squad of rattlesnakes.
The cow, oh man the cow. I think he looks great. Much better than I was expecting out of a Cow action figure. The color scheme and paint job on him are really nicely done. He doesn't have a weapon pictured in this article, but I really hope that he still has the pitchfork weapon that we saw in the control art. There's just that bit of charm and whimsy that was always present in the original battle beasts, and I like how the cow and the giraffe have started to capture a bit of that charm. My only little complaint, as someone already mentioned, I wish the strap/buckle on the chest piece was a sculpted piece instead of an entirely printed piece. I could be wrong, but I thought I remember from the control art that it was originally going to be just a standard minimate body with a tampo, not even a bulked up chest piece. But maybe I am wrong. But the bulked up chest piece is better than just the standard torso. Also, I will be getting two of these. One to sculpt on a bell around his neck. He won't seem complete without it.
The bear is really nicely done. I like the resemblance you were able to get to his comic book appearance. The figure has some nice girth to him that matches a larger animal. He seems like he will be a nice, heavy figure for that size.
The hammerhead shark is great. He's thicker than I was imagining, but now getting clearer pictures of him, I think it works well. The face has tons of personality sculpted in. The mouth on him is perhaps a little bit goofy, but there is a lot about the original battle beasts that had a litle bit of a goofy element to it.
The Anubis figure is looking really nice, although for my tastes, I will have to have a second copy of him to armor up fully to fit my personal tastes.
The bat is a nice figure. The bat is a nice re-release of a great figure from series 1. And I really like the new black and grey color scheme on him.
The robin is the only figure in this series that I am not completely sold on. I get the references to Robin from Batman, however I am not sure if it translates well to a battle beast minimate. I am certainly excited to see splashes of color on the figure, but the green claws and feet feel a bit odd, and the chest armor feels a bit too smooth and basic compared to all the incredible detail found in the other battle beast armors. Personally, I would rather have seen the Cheetah stay, and the robin get cut. For me, that would have made this series 2 near perfection.
That brings up the two figures that are now missing that we saw at SDCC last year. I am really sad to see that the Cheetah was removed from this series. Granted the only pictures I saw of the figure were control art and blurry pics from SDCC, but from what I could see of him, he had a really great design to him. The other figure we lost was the human. I forget what his name was, but he was Bliss's boss that wields the dread weapons. Honestly, I am really glad they removed him. I could understand why Bliss and Tate were made for the LCS series 1, but moving forward, I really think that the line needs to be animal warriors through and through. Any humans would detract from the appeal of the line in my opinion.
I think DST has done a really nice job utilizing previous pieces from series 1 and combining it with new sculpted pieces to come up with a great variety of characters here. I can spot of lot of pieces from gruntos, vorin, merk, the snake, etc... But at the same time, they all tie in very nicely with the new pieces, that you really have to look for them to notice them. I completely understand why pieces have to be resued. It happens all the time in toylines, even the big toylines like Transformers and GI Joe. However, I feel like they were utilized in clever ways. Vorin's legs work well for the cows legs. Gruntos' legs and hands belnds nicely with the new bear torso to create the bear figure. The only figure that was completely recycled was the bat, but he was pretty hard to find. I never saw him in the couple TRUs around me. I ended up having to order him online off of ebay I believe.
I liked series 1 quite a bit, but I am liking this series much more. I think they may have over-reached a touch with their designs in series 1. The spider and scorpion look neat at times, but they were over ambitious for a small figure and started to veer away from the anthropomorphic feel of battle beasts. But this series is starting to strike a nice balance between the simplicity of a minimate form, and the nice sculpting of the animal warrior pieces. I think that this series is much more cohesive and successful in creating a line of animal warrior minimates.
If there is one critique that I would have for the series, it's that I feel like the color schemes of the Battle Beast armors are relying too much of metallics/golds and neutral colors. I think a line like this, with so much sculpted detail, needs to pop when displayed in package to catch potential customers. Bring in more colors. Blues, reds, yellows, greens, purples, all have great potential for armor colors. Right away, visually, the cow is the most successful figure in this series, and a major part of that is the nice, baby blue armor his has. When you look at that blue armor contrasting against the golds/browns/greys, he just really stands out and leaps forward at you. That's probably the reason why he was positioned front and center for the promo shot. I would love to see more color schemes with great color contrast to really help these figures stand out.
Overall, I am liking these more than series 1. It's a more consistant batch of figures. I am especially excited by the Giraffe, Cow, Cobra and Bear.