The Super Deformed Battle Beasts, like the regular Battle Beasts, were produced in Japan in the 1980’s by the Japanese toy company Takara. Battle Beasts got their start as characters in the popular Japanese Transformer cartoons and soon spawned a spin-off toy line of their own consisting of three series.

Takara had just released the third series of Battle Beasts (Beast Formers in Japan) and was gearing to release a new, but similar, line to be known as Laser Beasts (Shadow Warriors in Japan). However, the Battle Beast line was not quite finished as in 1987, prior to the release of the Laser Beasts, Japan saw the release of the Super Deformed Battle Beasts!

From the three series of Battle Beasts, which consisted of seventy six characters, twenty were chosen to be recreated as miniaturized Battle Beasts: 1-16 from Series I, 17-18 from Series II, and 19-20 from Series III.

Each Super Deformed Battle Beast stands at roughly 1.5 inches high and was available in Red, Green and Blue. They came with a heat sensitive rub the same size as on the standard Battle Beasts. The Fire, Wood and Water rub signs were the same as on the Series I Battle Beasts as opposed to the colored ones from Series II and III. On the back of each figure can be seen its number (more on that later) and the letters "TKR" which stand for Takara.

Note: There has been some speculation among collectors that Battle Beast Super Deformed sculpts were produced in two different sizes. We here at that Super Deformed Archive remain skeptical as we have yet to see any evidence that this is the case.

Initially the figures were released by Takara in Gumball vending machines in the years 1987-88 and also in boxes with candy in the years 1988-90.

The figures were also released in 1988 by the popular Japanese candy company, Meiji, that really pushed the boat out with their packaging. The gorgeous gold-colored boxes were available in various designs featuring lots of beautiful new artwork and folding out to reveal instructions for games one could play with their Super Deformed figures!

Left to Right: Takara capsule (image courtesy Online Price Guide), Takara box, and Meiji box.

The rub sign game, as described on the inside of a Meiji box, works in the same way as the regular Battle Beast rub sign game: Wood beats Water, Water beats Fire, and Fire beats Wood.

Ever wondered why some of your Super Deformed Beasts have a varnish like coating on the bottom? Well, again, there were directions on the inside of Meiji boxes recommending that glue be put on the bottom of your SD Beast and then slid into the others - Super Deformed bowling!

Every Meiji box came with a detachable cardboard stand in Red, Green, or Blue that could be used for displaying figures.

The back of the different colored stands feature unique images, including colored versions of all twenty SD Beasts and colored versions of all twenty of the Super Deformed weapons (pictured below). They were shown in color to encourage collectors to paint their figures and weapons accordingly.

Each of the twenty SD Beasts was given a new, almost random, number that differed from their regular Battle Beast counterpart with the exception of Pirate Lion who retained his status as number one, as well as Gator and Fox at numbers 15 and 16 respectively.

The number of each SD Beast is shown on their back in a cavity at the base of the figure.

As you can see above, the SD Beasts came with their miniature weapons attached to their left-hand side; and although the weapon came attached and was the same color as the SD Beast, the number on the SD Beast and the number on the attached weapon do not match. Furthermore, if one were to un-attach the weapon, they would find that it won't even fit into the hand of the SD Beast it was attached to! As it turns out, each SD Beast came with a different Beast's weapon!

Why was this? Was it an error made by Takara? Was it to serve as a way to give the figures more color when you swapped the weapons? No.

It was actually a marketing ploy by Takara, as explained on the Meiji box:

"Look for Miracle Victory Power (MVP) Weapons!

The weapon with the matching number of a Super Deformed Beast is that figure’s MVP weapon! When a Super Deformed Beast gets its MVP weapon, it becomes more powerful. You will want to look for those!"

Want to beat your friends? Better get all the matching weapons...

Interactive Super Deformed Beast and Weapon chart coming soon!

Finally, Meiji not only gave us new artwork, games, display stands, charts, and packaging, but they also produced a set of amazing gold game cards to collect! Similar to the standard Battle Beast cards they feature a life-like image of a Battle Beast on the front, however, on the back is something new -- an outline drawing of the same Battle Beast character, but Super Deformed and with the weapon!

The cards follow the same numbering convention as the Super Deformed figures, starting with Pirate Lion at number one all the way through to Zealot Zebra at twenty… but they don't stop there!

Several Meiji Gold cards have been found with numbers higher than 20 and featuring Battle Beast characters in their Super Deformed form. The highest numbered Meiji Gold card known to exist at the moment is #37 Kickback Kangaroo (see below). Thus, we can deduce that there are at least seventeen (17) Meiji Gold cards showing new images of different Super Deformed Beasts and their weapons. Why do these cards exist if the characters shown on them were never actually produced? While we can't know for sure, we might assume that Takara originally planned to produce more than 20 SD Beasts, but for some unfortunate, unknown reason, they never did.

A Meiji gold card featuring an unfortunately never-made SD Beast, Kickback Kangaroo; front and a portion of the card back.

These gold cards from Meiji came in the box with the candy and figures and also in smaller packs of green and white candy without any figure.

Sadly only twenty Super Deformed Beasts were released but at least we have images of what could have been....

Well, that's all for now. Hopefully this information has been helpful in increasing your knowledge of Battle Beasts and especially Battle Beasts Super Deformed! Be sure to look around the rest of the Super Deformed Archive for more pictures of the figures, weapons, various packagings, and the Meiji Gold cards!

Special thanks to White Leo for all the translation work!

~ Matthew