Friday, September 25, 2015

What the hell is up with the Beetleborgs Metallix toyline?

The Beetleborgs Metallix toyline is weird. Not in that the toys were weird, but in terms of cancelled releases. This is a toyline that was selling well, tied to a TV show that got good ratings, but yet had several toys of stuff that appeared on the show that were marketed but just never got released.

First up are the Metallix Lancer and the Metallix Grappler. These were Gold and Silver's individual weapons, and were part of the B-Fighter Kabuto toyline. (Of course, the girl got left out)

Second was the Astral Bonder, a retool of the Data Bonder. In B-Fighter Kabuto, this was the changer used by the New B-Fighters. Like the Japanese release, it would have come with three cards. (The Japanese release came with four stickers, one for each New B-Fighter, but only three cards. SOmeone would get left out, and it would probably be the girl)

A third cancelled item was the Astral Arsenal, three weapons that could combine with the Data Laser. One of them, the Astral Datadex, contained six elemental Input Cards. Stand-alone versions of five of these cards were included with other items in the line: Chromium Gold BV (Flash), Titanium Silver BV (Storm), Platinum Purple BV (Flame), Deluxe Transforming RoboBorg (Earth), and Deluxe Transforming Boron (Thunder). Water seems to have been left out.

Also, despite the B-Fighter Kabuto having the toy, Bandai America never marketed a Beetle Battle Station. Unlike the prior Beetle Battle Base, this you would have interacted with the full-size BDs, rather than using smaller, simpler toys.

And that's just what didn't come out. The Beetleborgs Metallix line included toys that were made for the B-Fighter Kabuto line that never saw a release in Japan.

The 6" metallic "Action Fighter Series" was the main action figures for the B-Fighter Kabuto line, much like the "X Change" toys for Kamen Rider today. There were seven released (B-Fighter Kabuto, B-Fighter Kuwaga, B-Fighter Tento, B-Fighter Yenma, B-Fighter Gengi, B-Fighter Rin, and B-Crusher Descorpion), and all of them came out in the Beetleborgs Metallix line. Action Fighter toys of B-Fighter Agetha and B-Crusher Mukadelinger were developed, but never saw release in Japan. They were, however, included in the Beetleborgs Metallix line as Ladyborg and Centipix.

A third cancelled toy was Evil Shell God Kuwaga Titan, a retool of Great Shell God Kabuterios. Like the two Action Fighter Series toys, Kuwaga Titan was released in the Beetleborgs Metallix line as Deluxe Transforming Boron.

There are also things from B-Fighter Kabuto that were clearly meant to have toys, but never came out anywhere.

Two were what would have been the 10th and 11th entries in the Action Fighter Series: B-Crusher Killmantis and B-Crusher Beezack. Bandai America even included their Insect Metals with the Astral Saber; the other six were included with the Astralborg and Mantron figures.

The third was the Geist Axe. Extremely toyetic, but never got a release in Japan, or as the Astral Ax for Beetleborgs.

Since the B-Fighter Kabuto line was a flop, it isn't a surprise that lots of stuff got cancelled. But Beetleborgs? Beetleborgs sold well. VERY well. Well enough that when the series ended (because Kabutack wouldn't fit ans Saban decided to make Mystic Knights instead of a third Beetleborgs season with no Japanese footage to draw from), Bandai kept making Beetleborgs toys for six more months under the name "Beetleborgs Force". And this wasn't just a rebranding of prior toys. This had original designs, retools of prior action feature toys, and retools of the 12" electronic Janperson figure thrown in for good measure. It even had some bikes.

This would have been the perfect place for those three toys to be released if Bandai Japan had anything in progress. But nothing. That toyline is just weird.