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Starting a Battle Beasts book!


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#1 Flashbax

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Posted 23 April 2020 - 04:42 PM

Hey all! Hope everyone is staying sane and safe during these times. I have officially started my notes for an upcoming Battle Beasts book! This will be a rather big endeavor for me as I want to be as inclusive, accurate, and in depth as I can. So I thought I'd make a thread here as I slowly work on this; I may need corrections, updated info etc.

The largest hurdle will come to taking pictures for this as I do not have a complete collection, nor do I have the 10-12K minimum it'd take to get the basics I'm missing (mostly laser beasts, sets, rarities). When the time comes I thought it'd be fun to have help from this community as it's the community that cemented my love of this toyline ages ago. 

The book won't be so much of a price guide, but a deep dive. Let me know what things you'd love to see! The hardest part for me will be trying to nail down as many things as I can to include: toys/bases/playsets/novelty/KOs/continued lines/foreign stuff/etc! 

This will be an insane project for me, but it's something I've been aiming to do for a while. 


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#2 108KickBack

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Posted 24 April 2020 - 03:23 AM

Lrg needs it in my opinion things are getting to quiet here recently...

Cant wait too see what you come with and im sure folks will help you with photos if you dont have the item!
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#3 WhiteLeo

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Posted 24 April 2020 - 07:32 AM

Trust me the Beastformer Anthology group is working on something right now. Let's put it this way it will help your book immensely. We have been quite for awhile but soon very soon we will have a big announcement. I have been working hard translating stuff during this whole stay at home thing. It has given me lots of time to work on things.


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#4 Flashbax

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Posted 25 April 2020 - 06:20 AM

Trust me the Beastformer Anthology group is working on something right now. Let's put it this way it will help your book immensely. We have been quite for awhile but soon very soon we will have a big announcement. I have been working hard translating stuff during this whole stay at home thing. It has given me lots of time to work on things.

Not familiar with the Anthology, is it a webpage or forum?


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#5 WhiteLeo

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Posted 25 April 2020 - 12:18 PM

Not familiar with the Anthology, is it a webpage or forum?

 

So, there are a group of us old time members, like myself who belong to the Beastformer Anthology group here on the boards. We are the guys trying to make sure all the history of the BB and LB's are preserved and try to find new things that have not been discovered before. I actually belong to a lot of groups, Legends, Old Guard and Anthology Group. 

 

http://www.littlerub...howtopic=204039


Edited by WhiteLeo, 25 April 2020 - 12:25 PM.

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#6 Beastformers

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Posted 30 April 2020 - 03:25 PM

@WhiteLeo you should know it´s the Beastformers Archaeology group ;)

 

 

But yes we´re working pretty hard again to dissolve the next puzzle piece of Battle Beasts History behind the scenes.

This team was started for that reason and alongside the Beastformers Blog where gradually a Battle Beasts digital archive is being built with articles based on facts and proper research you can imagine that this is not something that´s happened over night and it´s cost us a lot of blood sweet and tears over many years. All for a good cause obviously by making it freely available to the BB Community in order to ensure the line is preserved in the correct way.

 

Forgive me for the next part as I might be a bit harsh but I hope you realize it´s indeed an insane project...

 

And to start with the beginning; your book idea is definitely cool but where are you getting all the information from or will it only become a picture gallery?

 

The idea for a big Battle Beasts book or encyclopedia with fully up to date checklists is something that´s been on my mind for years already and I know it´d be possible to create it at any given time like the smaller ¨Lee´s Toy Guide¨ series on the Battle Beasts done in the past. A good attempt which, at that time, was pretty cool and even today is still helpful in certain ways BUT a lot of information has become outdated and a lot of details in it are not longer valid or even false. This is something you risk once you launch a document/book without proper research and imho a book like that claiming to represent the BB line and thus having an important task in preserving it correctly as well has to be based on three pillars; Consistency, Quality and Completeness. Without any of these it´d not make a whole lot of sense I´d say.

 

Consistency as in pictures made by one or a very limited group of people to avoid having checklists look like patchwork with pictures of various qualities and other issues. You might get most of the pictures you´re after soon but they´d have to show everything properly and be consistent so it looks like a whole. Personally I strive, for the articles on the Blog, to have the set of figures for that specific subject completed and ideally in hand myself in order to be able to take pictures that are consistent and the checklist will show pictures of the various items under exactly the same conditions. This is also a bit of a Quality thing.

 

But Quality imho is more the quality of the textual parts and the knowledge of the details on each Beast (mold markings, etc.) to avoid having yet another checklist around that shows figures in it that shouldn´t even be on the same page as they´re considered variants while they´re made in a completely different factory for example. Let alone the text that´d be made up out of incorrect translations, stories that are assumed to be true based on rumors... I can continue for a while but there´s so much more in this line that´s still being discovered and undiscovered that a book like that made today would never be able to express the quality it should. Unless you might´ve been doing research yourself for the past decades like we´ve been doing because puzzle piece by puzzle piece we are getting closer but we also realize we are FAR from done and even today new information and items might show up which might change things around causing the whole story to be incomplete.... again.

 

And that´s where the completeness part comes in because when is a Battle Beasts book complete? Are you ¨just¨ going to document the Battle Beasts, Laser Beasts and related items or are you covering the whole line including other releases/versions and also bootlegs etc.? Even only documenting the 76 BB in the correct way is already a challenge today knowing the mix up of Beasts from all over the world. Like one of the recent discoveries about the two types of LB guns that´ve always been around 95% if not more of the LB checklists around have never been aware of details like that. And those are details that are relatively ¨easy¨ to tell. Completeness is probably the biggest hiccup because with the amount of unknown information and details we might never be able to decipher simply because they´ve been erased, destroyed or forgotten a book like that will always have its flaws.

 

I might be a too passionate perfectionist collector resulting in the fact the book idea I have in mind will probably never become reality but luckily there´ll always be the Beastformers Blog for the parts that are finished so we can inform the BB Community about those pieces of history for it to be preserved. It is a FREE source for the BB Community to use personally in order to explore the line and enjoy their passion like we do but that doesn´t mean that all the information shared there is also allowed to be used in for instance a book about Battle Beasts because it´s based upon proper research done by various collectors over a longer period of time out of passion for the line and in order to preserve it correctly. And often when ideas like a book come up in the end it´ll always come down to the $

 

So before you even start with it I´d suggest you to think about what you really want to do and which part of the BB line you´d like to cover keeping in mind the three pillars mentioned. Because based on that and how much value (if at all) you address to those pillars your ¨insane project¨ might become a whole lot tougher because again where are you getting the information from when it comes down to that?

 

Sorry for this sermon maybe shooting down your plan before it´s even getting started but you know it comes from a passionate hearth that´s the main goal to preserve the history of the line in the correct way with the full awareness that it´s at this point an impossible task to do well from that point of view. IF we´d have been close to the finish line and had all the information and insights in all the various production lines being able to picture everything correctly in a consistent way for it to be complete I´d have supported this idea straight away but that´s not the case...

 

 

I know you´ve been doing some proper investments in your personal collection lately and I can definitely feel/see the urge that might´ve been fired up because of that making you feel want to document everything correctly but believe me you are not alone who wants that and there´s a reason it´s not been done... It´s up to you though but I hope this might´ve given you some valuable insights.

 

With the full awareness that I risk being considered a whiner (again) in order to step up (again, as I´ve done in many ways in the past) for the preservation of the Beasts I will continue to click post because I think it´s a reply that holds valuable insights in regards to this subject, a BB book which I believe the BB Community deserves and which will also be preserving the line in a representative and correct way...

 

Enjoy the Beasts!

 

UPDATE: p.s maybe my idea for a BB Book is way to big and unrealistic but it´s something I feel the line as well as the passionate community would deserve.


Edited by Beastformers, 30 April 2020 - 03:41 PM.

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#7 Flashbax

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Posted 01 May 2020 - 03:54 PM

 

The idea for a big Battle Beasts book or encyclopedia with fully up to date checklists is something that´s been on my mind for years already and I know it´d be possible to create it at any given time like the smaller ¨Lee´s Toy Guide¨ series on the Battle Beasts done in the past. A good attempt which, at that time, was pretty cool and even today is still helpful in certain ways BUT a lot of information has become outdated and a lot of details in it are not longer valid or even false. This is something you risk once you launch a document/book without proper research and imho a book like that claiming to represent the BB line and thus having an important task in preserving it correctly as well has to be based on three pillars; Consistency, Quality and Completeness. Without any of these it´d not make a whole lot of sense I´d say.

 

My book will be mix of detailed info with research (the internet is vast, the info is out there, and personal research as well). I remember when the Lees pages went out, the author worked with several here on the board and I remember seeing proofs of the writing before it went out. Obviously information needs to be exact as possible, and sometime the best part is to omit something and or clarify when in doubt. An example would be: Blowhard's Pufferfish's weapon is described on his bio as the Little Pokey but now we believe this to be an error and should read "Little Poker"; however no one is certain at this time. Obviously an off the top my head approach and not to say this is how a presentation would go down. 

 

 

Consistency as in pictures made by one or a very limited group of people to avoid having checklists look like patchwork with pictures of various qualities and other issues. You might get most of the pictures you´re after soon but they´d have to show everything properly and be consistent so it looks like a whole. Personally I strive, for the articles on the Blog, to have the set of figures for that specific subject completed and ideally in hand myself in order to be able to take pictures that are consistent and the checklist will show pictures of the various items under exactly the same conditions. This is also a bit of a Quality thing.

 

Consistency will not be the worst issue as I have access to a professional team that works with magazines. I myself am currently in the first phases of starting a small publication so I have access to a lot of options many people may not have. This includes a professional photographer and editing team. I have full access to this team and therefor have discounted rates through my own company. Any photos we will have will be weighed over and presented at the highest quality we can provide.

The issue is obtaining all the items. Now I could approach the "Bellomo" school of thought and wait till i have everything 100% complete w/paperwork and whatnot, but if I do that, this book will never happen. Instead I will be depending on my own resources as well as reaching out to those in the community. My plan, when we get to this stage, is to borrow pieces for the book and credit those who have helped contribute their pieces for pictures in the book. This may not happen, and may kill the project at that phase. However to stop myself short before I begin a journey is folly. 

All pictures in my book would be taken by the same photographer and touched up by the same team. between them they have multiple books, films, commercials, and magazines under their belt. Quality is key for sure.

 

 

But Quality imho is more the quality of the textual parts and the knowledge of the details on each Beast (mold markings, etc.) to avoid having yet another checklist around that shows figures in it that shouldn´t even be on the same page as they´re considered variants while they´re made in a completely different factory for example. Let alone the text that´d be made up out of incorrect translations, stories that are assumed to be true based on rumors... I can continue for a while but there´s so much more in this line that´s still being discovered and undiscovered that a book like that made today would never be able to express the quality it should. Unless you might´ve been doing research yourself for the past decades like we´ve been doing because puzzle piece by puzzle piece we are getting closer but we also realize we are FAR from done and even today new information and items might show up which might change things around causing the whole story to be incomplete.... again.

 

This is the VERY first thing I'm working on in my notes, I need to figure out what pieces are and are not laid into the pages. Well know variations will be included, but there will be many I will omit due to lack of evidence. Instead these might be tossed in as a page of "what you should be aware of..." Think along the lines of "Not every piece missing pain on an eye or an arm or a toe may be some rare variant. Instead, these may be a case of simple paint loss from time." hard to tell how I'd present it this early in the stages of planning. Thankfully I have many friends both large and small that have published work and I can swap notes and edits with them from time to time. If it can not be verified 100% I will not be putting it in this book.

 

 

And that´s where the completeness part comes in because when is a Battle Beasts book complete? Are you ¨just¨ going to document the Battle Beasts, Laser Beasts and related items or are you covering the whole line including other releases/versions and also bootlegs etc.? Even only documenting the 76 BB in the correct way is already a challenge today knowing the mix up of Beasts from all over the world. Like one of the recent discoveries about the two types of LB guns that´ve always been around 95% if not more of the LB checklists around have never been aware of details like that. And those are details that are relatively ¨easy¨ to tell. Completeness is probably the biggest hiccup because with the amount of unknown information and details we might never be able to decipher simply because they´ve been erased, destroyed or forgotten a book like that will always have its flaws.

 

The overall goal currently is to present the first 3 series, the laser beasts, extras etc. The further out we go, the tougher it will be to document. I plan on detailing aspects from many angles. At the end of the day, no book ever written is 100% complete, there is always some piece of missing text, picture, and so on. All I can do on my end is try and create as accurate of a representation as I can. 

 

 

I might be a too passionate perfectionist collector resulting in the fact the book idea I have in mind will probably never become reality but luckily there´ll always be the Beastformers Blog for the parts that are finished so we can inform the BB Community about those pieces of history for it to be preserved. It is a FREE source for the BB Community to use personally in order to explore the line and enjoy their passion like we do but that doesn´t mean that all the information shared there is also allowed to be used in for instance a book about Battle Beasts because it´s based upon proper research done by various collectors over a longer period of time out of passion for the line and in order to preserve it correctly. And often when ideas like a book come up in the end it´ll always come down to the $

 

No lifting the information that you guys have put out there and calling it good is not allowed by law; though you have put it out there for free, there is still a loose copyright to your writings. When I write about a Battle Beast and I translate his card, we will more or less have the same info, does that mean I stole from you? No. However, let's say there is a direct thing only in your research, then it's something that is your and must be presented in a unique and new manner. It's a slope of annoying for any writer on any subject. When I wrote an article for my magazine about the HasLab Unicron, I present information that mirrored many other articles, there was only so much you can present. Though my writing or research may mirror something already presented time and again over the last 30 years, some of that info is unique and may not be shared without proper notation and citing. TLDR: I'm not planning on lifting your research and showing it as my own. 

 

 

So before you even start with it I´d suggest you to think about what you really want to do and which part of the BB line you´d like to cover keeping in mind the three pillars mentioned. Because based on that and how much value (if at all) you address to those pillars your ¨insane project¨ might become a whole lot tougher because again where are you getting the information from when it comes down to that?

 

Highly aware of the task this entails. I have around 1000 hours invested into just the first issue of my magazine, 5 years into an autobiography that has been a pain in my ass. I'm in the earliest stages, figuring out how to tackle certain aspects all the while focusing on presentation and how each section will be handled. 

 

 

Sorry for this sermon maybe shooting down your plan before it´s even getting started but you know it comes from a passionate hearth that´s the main goal to preserve the history of the line in the correct way with the full awareness that it´s at this point an impossible task to do well from that point of view. IF we´d have been close to the finish line and had all the information and insights in all the various production lines being able to picture everything correctly in a consistent way for it to be complete I´d have supported this idea straight away but that´s not the case...

 

I hear you and understand where you are coming from. This isn't a project to get rich; it'll be published through my company and may not even turn a profit. Why do we climb the mountain, because it is there. I'm not making a price guide; I hate the aspect of adding prices to something that always evolves and fluctuates. Instead this is a labor of love for me. 

 

 

I know you´ve been doing some proper investments in your personal collection lately and I can definitely feel/see the urge that might´ve been fired up because of that making you feel want to document everything correctly but believe me you are not alone who wants that and there´s a reason it´s not been done... It´s up to you though but I hope this might´ve given you some valuable insights.

 

Cont. on the above; yes, I have made a few purchases, but it's because I've been in a situation for several years where I was unable and now my feet are slowly finding ground again. Battle Beasts for me is a larger passion than my Transformers (I've had over 30K pieces come and go through my life, only now restarting with a small collection of 1,500 or so). I may not have all the rare pieces, nor the best, but that should not stop my love of writing. This line deserves a book and the bigger writers will never do one due to cost/return. I'm in a unique spot where I can write this, not hinder my work, have access to everything needed for a publisher, and still keep costs to a reasonable area. 

 

With the full awareness that I risk being considered a whiner (again) in order to step up (again, as I´ve done in many ways in the past) for the preservation of the Beasts I will continue to click post because I think it´s a reply that holds valuable insights in regards to this subject, a BB book which I believe the BB Community deserves and which will also be preserving the line in a representative and correct way...

 

Enjoy the Beasts!

 

UPDATE: p.s maybe my idea for a BB Book is way to big and unrealistic but it´s something I feel the line as well as the passionate community would deserve.

 


Again, I hear you loud and clear and can only say that I do not plan on tarnishing up this line. It means a lot to me and is involved in some of the greatest and happiest moments in my childhood. We will see where things are in about a year :)


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#8 Beastformers

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Posted 02 May 2020 - 05:24 AM

I´m glad to see you value the points made and it didn´t completely come over as a complete attack against you idea ;)

Of course things do change a bit knowing you seem to have some valuable connections and inside information in regards to the actual production and quality of it having access to a professional photographer and a team. Those are perfect conditions for what you plan to do so from that point I totally agree with your passion to go for it.

 

Point is, like you mentioned yourself, a lot of the items you need have to be borrowed... And that´s something else than just having fellow collectors send you some pictures of the items in order to be able to collect reference images of everything you need. With that option, which was my concern, you´d obviously give in on quality and consistency. This though having a maybe even studio setting and a team for the pictures probably does cover the quality and consistency in the best way BUT it´s doubtful whether it´s realistic to think you´d be able to borrow all the items needed. Luckily with a large group of collectors out in the US you probably avoid the whole current situation with the US being locked for shipments from certain countries and huge delays on international shipments. I´m not aware of the situation within the US but from what I know that seems to be ok. But these things are pretty serious concerns to keep in mind IF you´d even find a collector willing to send you their rare items for a photo in your book. Ideally you´d have to find one of the biggest collectors and hope they´d be willing to cooperate so you can reduce the number of items being send from various collectors each risking loss/damage during shipping. I know you are passionate about this line yourself so have you asked yourself whether you´d send your holy grail or best pieces out to someone with an idea similar to yours? Would you risk your valuable items for that? 

 

Personally I´d never even consider sending one of my personal collection pieces out regardless whether it´s rare or not just for having a photo taken for a book. Simply because I´m fully aware that with every package that contains a Beast that goes out a piece of history is left in the hands of the shipping companies... Don´t get me wrong I get your idea and I´m sure once it´s in your hands having the same passion it´s safe but there are others involved as well. Things can go wrong in the mail, the photographer or other people who handle them have a different feel to them than we have so all of those are possible threats that can result in damage to the item.

 

So you´ll probably have a hard time convincing fellow collectors to send items your way and as mentioned above what´d you do if you´re asked to do that? 

 

In order to convince people to even think about it you might want to share some actual produced magazines/publications in order to show the quality you´re after, because visuals might help. Still though it´s quite something you´re asking...

 

 

That ¨issue,¨ which is quite a big deal that can make or break the whole idea like you mentioned yourself, aside I get that the internet is a vast source of info even for a relatively small toy line like BB and you´ll have no hard time gathering info about this line especially if you´ve done your own research. Problem is, as you might´ve experienced yourself, not all the information that´s spread is legit, correct and up to date meaning it´s also very easy to add incorrect information based on those sources and that´d be the last thing you´d want in a book like that.

 

The point I tried to make in regards to the info and research we´ve brought up over the years which is indeed freely available is not only about the fact that I´m aware that for collectors that information is highly valuable mainly because it´s been shared after some thorough research based on facts. Which is probably one of the reasons it´s appreciated so much throughout the BB Community. That´s good to see because it´s informative and it preserves the history of the Beasts in the correct way so it´s a win win for all of us. It´s not that I don´t want you to use the information because I know it could probably help you out a whole lot but the problem is that we´ve a reputation to keep up and that means I´m not very eager to get credited in whatever way in a book that might hold mistakes or imperfections that could bounce back to us in a negative way. With every project we join in on the pros and cons really have to be weight in order not to damage a reputation that´s been built over the years based on high quality standards and proper research that are forthcoming out of a passion for this line. That´s what the BB Community has become used to and that´s what we´ll continue to strive for. You´d probably/maybe say than hop on board and join in on the book to make it as good as we can as a group effort and that´s something I´d totally understand BUT again than we return to the fact that at this moment in time there are just to many things unclear and incomplete to publish a book like that. It´d be a shame to put so many effort in a book realizing there are a lot of blanks or uncertainties because something huge and big and with the quality you strive for can and should only be done once and even if 100% is not realistic it´s to be at least 90 or 95%.

 

As you might have seen there are still new discoveries and changes made to the history of the Battle Beast line and like White Leo mentioned a lot of that is currently coming from a research we´re doing into the old translations of old documentation. An update or change like we´ve announced now with Renaming the Laser Beasts is a pretty huge topic within the BB Community but those are also changes that´d echo on into for instance your book. It´d be a shame if those new insights would be missed making your book outdated before it´s even printed. 

 

I realize from the whole publishing point of view you have a unique spot and opportunity at this moment in time indeed but it´s questionable if it´s the right time from many other points of view...


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#9 Flashbax

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Posted 02 May 2020 - 07:28 AM

there are tons of options for obtaining pictures and I'll be looking into all aspects; i might just have to find a collector and fly out with my photographer to get the project done. Again, a hurdle I'll cross at that point in time. 

At the end of the day I plan on writing the book. There may be issues from fan to fan but that is the nature of the beast; I can't please everyone at the end of the day. All I can do is do my best, create a good product. I'll keep working on and posting updates here and there when they come. 


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#10 Beastformers

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Posted 05 May 2020 - 04:23 AM

there are tons of options for obtaining pictures and I'll be looking into all aspects; i might just have to find a collector and fly out with my photographer to get the project done. Again, a hurdle I'll cross at that point in time. 

At the end of the day I plan on writing the book. There may be issues from fan to fan but that is the nature of the beast; I can't please everyone at the end of the day. All I can do is do my best, create a good product. I'll keep working on and posting updates here and there when they come. 

 

Go for it!!

 

Despite everything mentioned above, of course, we will be available and there for you in order to assist you in case you have questions or concerns about something which you think we could be helpful with. As long as it´s info we are certain about and it´s a valuable asset to your book. There´ll probably also be subjects which we haven´t fully covered yet so I hope you´ll understand that in those situations we won´t be able to help you or make clear that the info we have is incomplete (with all risks involved). Due to our own ongoing research projects we won´t be able to switch between subjects in order to have your question solved since that´d disturb our ongoing progress. But where we can we will be there to help if needed so feel free to reach out.

 

Good luck with all the hurdles and even if it´ll get tough don´t forget to...

 

Enjoy the Beasts!


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#11 Flashbax

Flashbax

    Serious Collector

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  • Interests:Transformers & Transforming Robots; Godzilla, Battle Beasts, Dino-Riders, D&D

Posted 15 May 2020 - 04:57 PM

Book updates:

Note taking for the VERY basic stuff is coming along fine; just gathering names, etc.

Names will be presented as such:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Pirate Lion / name in Kana "White Leo" 
Weapon name in Kana "White Beemer"
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

I'll be using direct translations that are found on the trading cards and checked against other sources (like pamphlets/online/ect) when possible. 

This will be the case for all Battle Beasts; in some cases they will not have an official English name since those later LBs were Japan only. These to will have direct translations and not interpreted ones. Any beasts with issues in the names will have a note made either at the beginning of the chapter or on their page (maybe both?). This is the cleanest way to go about this I feel. 

After notes are taken I'll have to break down the actual chapters I want to put into the book. This will allow me to figure out what products need to be covered. Beast Saga will most likely be skipped or glossed over at the end of the book as it's a spiritual successor than a direct continuation of the line.

QUESTION:
Do we have the exact game rules presented by the trading cards? 


Edited by Flashbax, 15 May 2020 - 04:58 PM.

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Just a dude that loves collecting

 







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