By Tim Frayser
Battle Beasts were a line of 2-inch-tall action figures produced by Hasbro in the 1980's. They were a nifty collection of 76 anthropormorphic warriors, each one based on a different animal, each one with a distinctive weapon. Every Battle Beast carried a heat-sensitive sticker that displayed symbols for fire, wood or water, intended to be used like a rock-paper-scissors method of determining the superior of 2 Beasts.    

As unique as Battle Beasts were, they never really caught on in popularity, and production was finally halted. It may be argued that the lack of a good enough story line confused kids, who were never really sure what to do with the little characters. There was a Battle Beast comic book that ran for 4 issues, but it too failed to capture the imagination. (Too much emphasis was placed on turning the fire/wood/water symbols into something mystical.)  

-- Battle Beasts listing on Wikipedia --
Unlike G.I. Joe or Pokemon, which had cartoon shows and video games, there was never a substantial foundation for the world of the Battle Beasts.  There was no backstory, no history, no underlying theme-- only the idea that they were Beasts that battled against each other.  

Who were the Beasts? Where did they come from? Why were their weapons all different-- and why were some of the weapons so strange? Did the individual suits of armor have any significance? Did they have any other names? Was each Battle Beast unique, or a representative? --Were there families of sword-fighting Lions and Bears and Armadillos out there somewhere? Hasbo never addressed these issues, and left up in the air, could only have frustrated the toy-buying public. This page seeks to provide answers to those questions. 


The creatures known to the world as the Battle Beasts were the creation of the evil mad scientist Dr. Ignatz Silverman. Dr. Silverman used genetic engineering to create the intelligent, little creatures in his laboratory. Using the DNA stored in the research labs of a veterinary hospital, he created his creatures and raised them within his secure Canadian compound (Something like "The Island of Dr. Moreau."). The Beasts grew to an average height of about 3 1/2  feet, more or less. (In the Star Wars universe, they would be about the size of Jawas or Ewoks.) Despite their size, they are very strong, very fast, and learn new skills quickly. They learned to speak by imitating celebrity voices on the television. They learned to read and write, and quickly christened themselves with their own "Beast Names."

Dr. Silverman planned to mass-produce the Beasts as slave laborers, until he was approached by the ruthless show-business producer Bruno McMillan. McMillan proposed pitting the Beasts against each other in combat and charging to show the matches on cable television. People paid money to watch the Battle Beasts fight each other on pay-per-view television, and both Silverman and McMillan quickly became wealthy.

The televised fights became more and more popular, so a regular syndicated TV series was created on McMillan's syndicated TV network, MAC-TV. A television studio was constructed within Dr. Silverman's compound, with three sets for combats: a fake mountain, a castle set and a basic arena. In addition, holding cells and an infirmary were constructed, all surrounded by an increased security force. To make the televised fights more interesting, weapons and armor with special abilities were designed for the Beasts. Each Beast's armor is designed to augment his own strength and abilities. The elemental symbols each Beast carried on its armor were randomly-generated "tie-brakers" in case a match ran too long.

The Beasts developed individual skills and personalities, and sometimes they did not feel like fighting. In order to keep them in the proper mood, Silverman kept the Beasts drugged with a substance called A-77, which inhibited intelligence and kept the creatures angry and violent. Fans were led to believe the battling creatures on their televisions were computer-generated images, never knowing the fighting and injuries were real. The scheduled battles became more and more violent, with a greater degree of trauma. To care for the Beasts, veterinarian Dr. Virginia Keen was brought in to treat their injuries and to get them prepared for their next fights.

But then, everything went wrong. During a particularly intense fight, Pirate Lion was seriously injured by some poison from Pew-trid Skunk. In order to cure him, Dr. Keen kept the Beast in isolation to flush the poisions out of his system. However, the process also flushed the A-77 out of his system. When the Beast awoke, Dr. Keen was amazed that the Beast could talk and think for himself. Pirate Lion, who called himself Percival, explained the plight of the Beasts to Dr. Keen. She became angered when she learned the intelligent Beasts were being held against their will and kept drugged in order to fight. Dr. Keen protested to Silverman, and threatened to expose him. Silverman told McMillan, who sent his private security force to "dispose" of Dr. Keen. By that time, however, Keen had released several more Beasts from the influence of the A-77, and when the gangsters attacked the Beasts defended their human friend. With help from Dr. Keen, a small group of Battle Beasts escaped. These included #32 Hummungus Hippo, #1 Pirate Lion, #36 Octillian Octopus, and #11 Grizzly Bear.

Enraged by the escapes, Dr. Silverman sent a group of the most savage Battle Beasts out after the escapees. They were led by Tank Johnson and his group of professional mercenaries, the Huns (hired by McMillan). Their mission: to find and return the escaped beasts...dead or alive. Now, sought by the authorities and their creators, feared by the general public, and stalked by their fellow creatures, the Battle Beasts must fight for their freedom in a hostile world!

Series 1: 
Beasts 1 to 28
Series 2: 
Beasts 29 to 52
Series 3: 
Beasts 53 to 76
--The Battle Beast TV commercial, from YouTube--
The Battle Beasts appeared on one episode of the "Transformers" animated cartoon. 
Pictures on following pages collected from various Internet sources, including Ebay, the late Battle Beast Headquarters, Men in Black, &  The Battle Beast Center, the Super Toy Archive, as well as original photos.
My complete collection of Battle Beasts
More than one Beast in collection: numbers 1, 9, 11, 22, 24, 29, 33, 35, 39, 40, 44, 46, 52, 65, 76. 
More than one weapon in collection: 3, 11, 22, 24, 26, 29, 32, 36, 38, 39, 42, 52, 55, 65. 
Weapons without Beasts:  64. 
Beasts without weapons: 2, 4, 8, 9, 12, 13, 25, 45, 49, 58, 60, 62, 63, 68. 
Battle Beasts copyright 1986 Hasbro. Original storyline copyright 2001 by Tim Frayser. Questions? Comments? Contact me at .
Page updated October, 2008.