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Spanish Bootleg Bestias de Combate (MARBEL SL, Alicante, 1989)


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#1 Beastformers

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 04:00 AM

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As promised here we go on these little Spanish Bootleg fellows of which recently, 6 years after yaggi482 seemed to have found the first one known within the BB community (Spanish Bootleg Bull), a little batch has been revealed in Spain. 

 

Thanks to BattleChick41 the first pics have been shown already and the first discussions and thoughts have been shared in her topic as well (Battle Beasts from Spain). So far it looks like the ones acquired by the two of us are the only ones that have hit the light of day so its pretty uncommon to see they all seem to have made it into our community but it also shows how well informed and how inventive and tenacious some of us can be searching for Battle Beasts all over the world. I already told BattleChick41 she´d done a great find and here´s the story I´m finally able to share. 

 

The first time I spotted these figures was a couple of weeks ago via a local Spanish website that I check one in a while, via that platform I managed to get in touch with the seller and I managed to take down the first set of 5 figures. At that moment my purchase was a complete gamble as I didn´t really know what they were since I´d never heard about Spanish Bootlegs and at that point the seller wasn´t willing to tell me more about them (yet). But based on the pics I was willing to take the gamble especially since somehow they looked familiar. 

 

Soon after I remembered a Keychain bootleg that showed up on the board last year.

 

This Keychain was shared by french_kiki (original Keychain post) and it was found in France.

 

It wouldn´t have been to strange if there would be a direct connection between those that showed up in Spain and this French keychain but looking into the quality a bit more the moment I got them in hand it was pretty sure there was not direct link between them. First of all this keychain has fixed arms and the used mold seemed to be a little rougher than the one used for these Spanish fellows. 

 

Back to the story because the moment after I purchased and paid the seller for these first 5 different Beasts a similar set showed up on Ebay. I directly contacted the seller thinking I bumped into a scam not expecting more of these to show up but it soon became clear he had some more. After I told him I was willing to bid on the ones he had listed on Ebay as well he seemed to unfreeze a little bit and slowly started sharing some info about them. But this happened after those Ebay auctions had ended and I still wasn´t willing to take all the risk in the world taking them down so I had relatively low bids in resulting in the fact I only won 3 out of 5 beasts he had listed, expecting the others to be taken down by a Spanish collector. In the end this other buyer was BattleChick41 and since he had more beasts he made here a second chance offer on the 3 I won resulting in the fact she also got a ´complete´ set of the 5 different figures (Blue Deer, Red Lion, Red Deer, Pink Gorilla, Red Gator). So where this conclusion was made just after BattleChick41 shared her pics down here last week I already had quite some communication going with the seller about these as I knew he was the only one able to tell me more about these so if I´d ever had the chance to find out more about them it would´ve been now. Luckily I kept my perseverance at that point because it now is clear we might indeed not be able to know more about them than what I got to hear simply because of the fact they seem to be pretty uncommon in Spain as well.

 

After I paid the seller for the first 5 I bought he was willing to share the name of the factory who produced these back in the days (probably in the late 80´s (1989)) it was a company named Marbel SL located in Alicante (in the East of Spain). Personally I didn´t knew about this company and since I was unable to find anything about it via internet either I decided to contact some of my connections back in Spain if they knew about these figures or this company. The only thing I got back about the figures where direct offers on them because none knew about these but they were all pretty interested in getting them so this wasn´t the best way to go getting more info about them but luckily some of them were also able to tell me that the company Marbel SL has indeed existed back in the days and it was known for illegally producing bootleg figures. Back in the days the Alicante region of Spain turns out to have been the Mecca of the (illegal) toy industry and it was the birthplace of a lot of Spanish bootleg lines. But at first the Marbel SL company remained Batman and none was able to tell me more about them. At that moment I also got back to the buyer to ask about the origin where he´d found them in order to see if there was a way in from that point knowing that was probably my only sort of direct connection. In the meantime one of my connections got back telling me he had found out that Marbel SL had produced tons of unlicensed knock-offs during the 80´s from MLP, MotU and others but he didn´t find anything about these bootlegs. Not much later the seller came back to me mentioning the owner of Marbel SL was also responsible for the release of bootlegs from lines like Inspector Gadget, Snorkel, The Tiny ones, Visitors, the Diminutes, Smurfs, Lucky Luke and other lines mainly known from TV series back then. So its pretty obvious this company wasn´t really focusing on just one line when it came to producing bootlegs but it contained many lines from that era. 

 

Its not really clear what happened to the company because there´s no sign or traces left which might´ve something to do with the unlicensed way these figures were produced. There´s also the rumor which I´ve been unable to get verified that the owner of Marbel SL was prosecuted in 1989 for producing unlicensed figures. If this is indeed the case, which might be a possibility because of the fact that a lot of these companies were located in the Alicante area and more of these were revealed during that period, the actual period in which these BDC Bootlegs were produced and or distributed might´ve been very limited. And this could be the reason why these are not well known in the biggest part of Spain either. 

 

The seller came from Malaga so they´ve at least been spread/distributed over the South-East of Spain and its assumable that this distribution was only very locally because my connections in the bigger larger cities and from other parts of Spain never seen or knew about these bootlegs either. 

 

After I received the first figures from the seller I asked him to look out for more info and maybe other beasts if he´d ever be able to find them. He got back to me telling me he had actually found these in a store selling vintage toys and he´d contacted the owner which was actually the person who he got all the information about the Marbel SL company from and he was able to get a few more.

 

Turns out this other batch were the only ones remaining and it also included mainly duplicates of the 5 already known BUT there was another Gorilla figure in it as well, a yellow one! It already was clear that there probably are more than these 5 knowing the one from Yaggi showed up as well but I didn´t knew that by the moment I got the picture of the yellow gorilla. So there are probably more made back in the days (all 28?) but there´s also some variety among a couple of them knowing the Gorilla as well as the Deer both come in two different colors.

 

 

So far the story I was able to trace, I still have a few questions out in the hope to get some info on the packaging of these figs but to be honest I don´t think there´s much more we´ll find due to the possible very local and temporary release of these in Spain and the mystery around the Marbel SL company and what happened to it.

 

 

Now let´s take a better look at the quality of the figures, as mentioned I thought at first there were only 5 of them but right know there are 7 different ones known because apart from the 5 mentioned previously there´s a yellow gorilla as well as the red buffalo to be added.

 

Attached File  IMG_20140708_183745.jpg   102.25K   21 downloadsAttached File  IMG_20140708_183918.jpg   95.75K   22 downloadsAttached File  IMG_20140708_183942.jpg   107.38K   25 downloads

 

The fact that makes them for sure BDC bootlegs and not BB bootlegs is the fact that they´ve been molded from BDC based figures because if you look at the back of some of them you´re still able to see the small number of the figure which is also present on the actual BDC figures and its from a different size and sometimes position than the normal BB. Its not very strange to see different weapons with these figures either since this is in line with the release of the BDC as well since these came with randomly inserted weapons too. 

 

If we look at the way how the original BDC were packed with 2 on a card its not to strange we see the Lion, Deer, Buffalo and Gator show up since these were actually known to be packaged together as can be seen HERE. Based on this there´s a chance there might at least be a Boar out there somewhere as well since that one was packaged with the Gorilla......

 

Here are some detailed pics of the figures; 

 

Red Lion:

Attached File  IMG_20140708_184611.jpg   90.12K   25 downloadsAttached File  IMG_20140708_184630.jpg   63.96K   17 downloadsAttached File  IMG_20140708_184646.jpg   80.64K   11 downloadsAttached File  IMG_20140708_184708.jpg   82.49K   18 downloads

 

Blue Deer:

Attached File  IMG_20140708_184753.jpg   77.01K   20 downloadsAttached File  IMG_20140708_184814.jpg   68.82K   17 downloadsAttached File  IMG_20140708_184727.jpg   70.7K   10 downloadsAttached File  IMG_20140708_184833.jpg   66.64K   15 downloads

 

Red Deer:

Attached File  IMG_20140708_184348.jpg   80.41K   16 downloadsAttached File  IMG_20140708_184420.jpg   66.88K   15 downloadsAttached File  IMG_20140708_184442.jpg   80.99K   14 downloads

 

Pink Gorilla:

Attached File  IMG_20140708_184508.jpg   63.72K   19 downloadsAttached File  IMG_20140708_184528.jpg   61.4K   15 downloadsAttached File  IMG_20140708_184550.jpg   74.52K   16 downloads

 

Yellow Gorilla:

Attached File  IMG_20140708_184221.jpg   68.81K   21 downloadsAttached File  IMG_20140708_184305.jpg   64.61K   17 downloadsAttached File  IMG_20140708_184324.jpg   72.45K   10 downloadsAttached File  IMG_20140708_184240.jpg   62.49K   18 downloads

 

Red Gator:

Attached File  IMG_20140708_184851.jpg   77.49K   26 downloadsAttached File  IMG_20140708_184929.jpg   67.14K   19 downloadsAttached File  IMG_20140708_184909.jpg   91.19K   11 downloadsAttached File  IMG_20140708_184947.jpg   77.7K   13 downloads

 

 

With this closer look at the figures there are a few things that jump into the eye directly. First of all obviously are their colors, no idea why they´re the way they´re but Red is a pretty favorite color in Spain so its not very strange to see most of them turn up in Red. The paint applied to the figures seems to be very quickly done but its pretty accurate for it being bootlegs especially knowing that the paint apps on the original BDC were already quite messy compared to the highly controlled original BB.

 

Here and there some of the sculpts have been redesigned a little because we can clearly notice some extra thorns and spines on some of the figures which didn´t belong there initially. The detailed shot of the Lion head also shows an interesting sculpt idea since its head/hair seems to have been remodeled a little bit as its been provided with some sort of mohawk or something. Another thing you can miss is the fact that the Gator suddenly got ears (!) it looks like this might´ve been a left over from the casting process and its been an overlooked detail while cleaning the figures since all these gators still have these two pieces attached to them, it gives the figures a completely different look. 

 

These bootleg have movable arms based on the same principle as the original BB with the PEG-hole but its not that well executed since they´re not really popping in and out as tight as the original BB lines but this also has the advantage of the fact that the arms rather come out instead of breaking.

 

Attached File  IMG_20140709_135025.JPG   107.86K   12 downloadsAttached File  IMG_20140709_135007.JPG   104.24K   9 downloads

 

When it comes to the material used they´re made from rubber and quite flexible. In one of the topics I referred to above these were already named as the Spanish Gumballs and when it comes to their flexibility that´s certain the case. The black weapons are made of a completely different material as they´re much more sturdy than the figures and I´d say its a hard plastic used or a very sturdy rubber. By the way also the weapons are showing the original numbers.

 

Some of the figures are able to stand on their own while some of them seem to have a hard time balancing as their feet are not that flat so this is a minor disadvantage. 

 

So far the story about these Spanish Bootlegs. I think I´ve discussed most of the issues and things I bumped into but please join in on the conversation to see if we can figure out more about these. 

 

Based on the story and info so far and knowing the first one showed up 6 years ago with a complete silence in the meantime I wouldn´t be surprised to see there´ll be a long period of silence around these bootlegs again after the storm around this batch has disappeared. Well at least we´ve added/documented another piece of BB bootlegs history now. 


Edited by Beastformers, 09 July 2014 - 04:02 AM.

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#2 thenerdieststore

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 06:32 AM

Like it. Nice read! Can't wait to get my hands on these.


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#3 Strontium Dog

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Posted 09 July 2014 - 10:24 AM

Back in the days the Alicante region of Spain turns out to have been the Mecca of the (illegal) toy industry and it was the birthplace of a lot of Spanish bootleg lines.


I was there just last week, and can report that they're still pretty fond of their knock-offs.

Love these figures and hope to find some one day :)
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#4 BattleChick41

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Posted 11 July 2014 - 02:51 PM

Really neat story , and love the yellow gorilla.  Still waiting on two of the figures but i did receive three of them ill take some pics but my figures are not as well put to together as the ones shown here 


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#5 yaggi482

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 08:20 PM

Good stuff! I wasn't sure if anymore would ever turn up besides the one I found, so it's pretty neat to see these.
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#6 Beastformers

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Posted 15 July 2014 - 03:49 PM

Noticed I left one topic under-exposed here that was discussed in Yaggi´s topic about the Bull he had found 6 years ago concerning the size of these figures.

 

To confirm that these beasts are also smaller in size, just like the Bull, I took some side by side pics;

 

Attached File  IMG_20140716_010705.jpg   96.56K   20 downloadsAttached File  IMG_20140716_010736.jpg   99.98K   33 downloadsAttached File  IMG_20140716_010756.jpg   101.72K   33 downloads

 

* Pics are taken with flash and not under daylight conditions as they´re meant to show the size difference so please don´t focus on possible odd colors as these´ll probably be a result of the flash *

 

As shown not only the figures are smaller but also the weapons seem to be a bit smaller. I suppose this is all a caused by and the result of the way these figures were produced and the material used for them. Maybe they´ve shrunk somehow during this process!?  

 

 

 


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#7 thenerdieststore

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 05:03 PM

I am looking at mine and I just noticed that the Red Lion and Pink Gorilla both have gator arms. Is it that way for the rest besides the deer drill?


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#8 Beastformers

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 07:20 AM

I am looking at mine and I just noticed that the Red Lion and Pink Gorilla both have gator arms. Is it that way for the rest besides the deer drill?

 

Nope, the Blue Deer as well as the Yellow Gorilla have their own/other arms.

Not sure why so many of the other figs have the Gator arms but its the way it is and think its a bootleg thingy as well because its much easier/quicker to produce them that way. So all of the Red figures have Red Gator arms while for the Pink Gorilla they luckily did do some extra effort in casting the Arms in Pink as well.

 

Let´s say these kind of mistakes are the charm of the bootlegs  ;)


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#9 thenerdieststore

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 11:24 AM

hahaha yeah it looks hilarious. I love how flat the arms feel. Plus the size difference is odd too. I can't wait to get the rest of them in!


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#10 Beastformers

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 02:35 PM

hahaha yeah it looks hilarious. I love how flat the arms feel. Plus the size difference is odd too. I can't wait to get the rest of them in!

 

True whereas the figures seem to be a little smaller than the originals, as shown on the comparison pics above, the arms seem to be the same size as the normal arms so maybe the placed the fresh body casts in a hotter oven or under a bigger heather in order to try them faster causing them to shrink a little!?

 

The flatness is a point of interest as well since this is present among some of the GBB (Greek Battle Beasts) Gators as well and this only goes for the Gators so somehow an incorrect mold has been spread over Europe it looks like because arms like these would´ve for sure not passed the strict rules of Takara back in their Chinese factories.

 

But the more this line spread into Europe it looks like the quality checks became less even for the original figures so its not to weird to see issues like these especially among bootlegs of course.   


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#11 thenerdieststore

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 11:51 AM

True whereas the figures seem to be a little smaller than the originals, as shown on the comparison pics above, the arms seem to be the same size as the normal arms so maybe the placed the fresh body casts in a hotter oven or under a bigger heather in order to try them faster causing them to shrink a little!?

 

The flatness is a point of interest as well since this is present among some of the GBB (Greek Battle Beasts) Gators as well and this only goes for the Gators so somehow an incorrect mold has been spread over Europe it looks like because arms like these would´ve for sure not passed the strict rules of Takara back in their Chinese factories.

 

But the more this line spread into Europe it looks like the quality checks became less even for the original figures so its not to weird to see issues like these especially among bootlegs of course.   

 

Yeah. I thought something similar. I think it is greatly amusing personally. Hopefully there is more to this series that we have not seen!


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#12 bachamn

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 07:41 AM

well I got mine in a little over a week ago. I'm curious because it looks like the red ones posted above (gator, gorilla, lion) in the thread have left and right arms? Mine each came with two left arms. I thought this was just the way they were, but after checking the pics here again, that's pretty annoying. I contacted the seller about it but I doubt it'll be resolved, ah well.

 

Honestly though, I like the yellow gorilla I bought mainly because of the color scheme, but I could take or leave the rest of them. Luckily he's the only one t hat will stand on his own anyway :p


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#13 thenerdieststore

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 02:34 PM

well I got mine in a little over a week ago. I'm curious because it looks like the red ones posted above (gator, gorilla, lion) in the thread have left and right arms? Mine each came with two left arms. I thought this was just the way they were, but after checking the pics here again, that's pretty annoying. I contacted the seller about it but I doubt it'll be resolved, ah well.

 

Honestly though, I like the yellow gorilla I bought mainly because of the color scheme, but I could take or leave the rest of them. Luckily he's the only one t hat will stand on his own anyway :p

 

Don't feel bad. I got two with two right arms. Luckily they are smooshed enough to at pass for the look. I didn't even bother trying to get a replacement lol I believe it was a common problem with these


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#14 Beastformers

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Posted 21 August 2014 - 02:50 PM

I had a couple with mixed up arms as well so maybe we can trade some later on in order to get the correct ones in position ;)

Looks like the original seller wasn´t really looking into the completeness of them so he probably didn´t even realize there were right and left arms as long as they were red.....


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#15 Beastformers

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Posted 10 October 2014 - 02:32 AM

Though it was within this topic someone mentioned about having a smaller Lion arm for the Yellow Gorilla but looks like that reply is gone or it was somewhere else were I´d seen this.

 

Anyways here´s the Yellow Gorilla with Lion arms I got;

 

Attached File  IMG_20141010_122548.jpg   64.99K   10 downloads

 

Looks like he´s in some sort of an action pose ready to jump :)

 

Does/Did anyone find more of these figs recently because it looks like the gates were these came from have closed again since there´s not much news anymore. It might take another 6 years before we´ll find more/others.....

 

Update

THIS was the topic I was looking for in relation to this wrong Yellow arm issue


Edited by Beastformers, 10 October 2014 - 02:35 AM.

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#16 Beastformers

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Posted 30 January 2015 - 08:00 AM

Thanks to yaggi482 who was willing to work out a trade, the Pink BDC Bootleg Buffalo is now finally reunited!

 

16401179481_04be4fff3e_o.jpg


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For more info about the Beastformers Archaeology (-BA-) Project please click HERE

In case you might not be able to contact The White Rabbit via LRG for whatever reason use the contact options on the Beastformers Blog


#17 108KickBack

108KickBack

    Beast-Former Gatherer

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Posted 30 January 2015 - 09:04 AM

There is more?Decent!


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#18 yaggi482

yaggi482

    Serious Collector

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Posted 04 February 2015 - 05:04 PM

Looks good!  Was tough to turn him loose.


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#19 Flashbax

Flashbax

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Posted 05 February 2015 - 05:50 AM

amazingly well written, glad this board still keeps such good records of what's going on; who found what etc.


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"Holding onto anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it t someone else; you are the one who gets burned." Buddha

 

197 Battle Beasts, 73 weapons, 13 Laser Beasts, 5 lasers, 2 bases, 2 sleds (repo), 47 cards

 

I'm looking for Battle Beasts, Laser Beasts and weapons!

 


#20 thenerdieststore

thenerdieststore

    Mimp total =

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Posted 10 April 2015 - 07:53 AM

I wonder if these finally dried up and if there will ever be more buffalos in the wild :( having an almost complete set sucks lol


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"THOSE WHO LAY THEIR EYES ON A GUNDAM, SHALL NOT LIVE TO TELL ABOUT IT. Those was the orders I was given."

 

 
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#21 Venom

Venom

    LaserBeast Collector

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Posted 12 April 2015 - 06:43 PM

Really amazing figures.


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Do not be afraid. If they try to harm you, I will stand in front of them.

#22 Beastformers

Beastformers

    The White Rabbit @BEASTFORMERS

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    BB-LB-GBB-BDC-BS
    Protecting, Defending & Preserving the original vintage line by TAKARA/HASBRO
    (1986-1988)

Posted 13 April 2015 - 09:49 AM

I wonder if these finally dried up and if there will ever be more buffalos in the wild :( having an almost complete set sucks lol

 

As you could see above the Buffalo was never directly linked to the other figs since the batch which seemed to be fully available never held a Buffalo and the connection to that figure was made later on. They obviously belong to the same bootleg line but I would not wait for another Buffalo to show up to be honest since it was probably already a lucky shot one aired years ago and until these more recent ones showed up it was an unidentified bootleg. When it comes to the others there are still a few of these around amongst collectors out here but it will be a matter of time before these are harder to find again since finds like these often wont last long..... Even with the Buffalo I doubt if the set will ever be complete for any of us because based on the arms and colors I think there should have been some more figs around back in the days.


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BEASTFORMERS ビーストフォーマー                               

Collector & Founder of the Beastformers Blog

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For more info about the Beastformers Archaeology (-BA-) Project please click HERE

In case you might not be able to contact The White Rabbit via LRG for whatever reason use the contact options on the Beastformers Blog


#23 retroactive80z

retroactive80z

    Toy Addict

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    BATTLE BEASTS ROCK AND SO DO YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted 13 April 2015 - 12:46 PM

Wow great read!

Love the photo of the collection together they look bad ass!
Thanks for the info these guys are relatively new to me.
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