I may have mentioned this, but I’m a huge repaint fan.
There’s just something about seeing an already familiar toy design rehashed in a bold new colour scheme that really gets the motor running. There’s often no better way to fully appreciate a particular mould than to admire it with a different look.
Having recently showcased examples from the Unicron Trilogy, CHUG, Beast Machines, RID 2001, Animated, Binaltech, Masterpiece and even Generation 1, we’re back at it again for a fourth round of Beast Wars! Simply put, here are five gorgeous repaints for your consideration!
#5: Beast Wars II Tonbot (1998)
Though the initial releases in Takara’s Beast Wars line primarily stuck to the same script as the Hasbro/ Kenner variations (save for a smattering of exclusives and some minor changes in colour here or there), things most definitely went off-book for 1998’s Beast Wars II (and continued apace from that point). Although many of the moulds remained the same as their Western counterparts, the palettes and paint jobs were majorly overhauled, producing a series of toys that typically looked entirely different to what had come before. Tonbot here is excellent evidence of that, as the vibrant burnt-red, grey, green and orange looks nothing like Kenner’s 1997 Jetstorm release (despite it featuring muted tones of those same colours!), producing an arguably more eye-catching result in the bargain. It still takes me a moment to consider this creepy-looking Predator-style robot mode as a friendly figure (as Tonbot is one of the Maximal-aligned Insectrons in this case), but it’s striking either way.
#4: Robots in Disguise Slapper (2001)
We can only talk about stunning Beast Wars repaints for so long before we acknowledge 2001’s Robots in Disguise (or its 2000 forebear, Takara’s Car Robots), especially as there is no shortage of beautifully overhauled examples found in those ranks. The line raids the tail-end Transmetal 2 design library to significant effect, producing wonderfully distinct delights like Slapper here, which is in such contrast to the mould’s 1999 outing that it ends up feeling like an entirely new toy somehow. The cool blue and slimy green of the Beast Wars version has been replaced with a seething hot red and some appropriately palette-clashing highlights, all of which works amazingly well considering the range of hues that poison dart frogs exhibit in nature. Of course, The mould remains admirable in its hideousness, but like all the best repaints, this update stands firmly apart from the original.
#3: Botcon Dirge & Buzzclaw (2005)
Two for the price of one now, although I’m sure you knew it wouldn’t be too long before I’d sneak another Botcon exclusive onto the list, eh? In this case, we fast forward to the comparatively modern delights of 2005, where the vastly underrated 1998 Fuzor design was given a double do-over and a pair of blazing new colour schemes for the con’s ‘Descent into Evil’ boxset. The original Buzzclaw was a true delight with a largely eye-searing yellow, orange and bright green palette, which looked incredible in beast mode but left some finer details on areas such as the robot face a little indistinct in the process. That’s largely corrected here as the two-tone yellow and purple motif found on both these examples helps to bring out those moulded idiosyncrasies a little better, whilst the colours themselves never fail to draw your attention. What a pair.
#2: Universe Depth Charge (2004)
The classic 1998 Transmetal Depth Charge toy is undoubtedly one of my favourite things that Transformers has ever produced. Beyond its many inherent merits, it hit at exactly the right time for me, landing like some enormous showstopper during a period that still registers as a high in the franchise’s history today. Even if I can objectively look at it and see some of the obvious faults (he’s as deep as he is wide, for starters!), none of that even comes close to removing the lustre this design holds in my eyes, especially as it remains a truly unique proposition all these decades later. That it only ever received one repaint over the years is almost criminal, but at least we can be thankful for what we got! In truth, I recall seeing this overhaul for the first time and thinking it looked like something that would never appeal to me, as though it couldn’t hope to match the majesty of the original. Yet time has been kind to so many of these quirky mid-2000s recolours and made what once seemed unusual and even a little unfortunate now look weirdly attractive, despite still being so inherently bizarre. Of particular note are the airbrushed wings, which is *chef’s kiss* level of presentation and just one of the many elements that help elevate this oft-overlooked repaint into ultra-desirable territory.
#1: Botcon Japan Double Punch (1998)
Yep, we’re at it again with another Botcon exclusive! To be fair, it’s impossible to not highlight this Japanese release at some point down the line, as honestly, I think it’s my favourite of the various recolours of the mould from over the years, and perhaps for obvious reason. Debuting alongside the ludicrously-named Barbearian (who we’ve already featured on a previous list), Double Punch adopts the name of an Action Master Elite from 1991 yet serves as a loose homage to the pre-release colours of the Beast Wars Scorponok toy in 1996, where Kenner initially intended it to be bright translucent orange and blue. Whilst Barbearian stuck to that design’s original unused palette quite closely, the brain trust behind it all mixed things up for Double Punch as they evidently felt red would be more traditional to how scorpions are represented in Japanese culture. It’s not hard to believe they made the right choice as, frankly, it’s a bloody marvel to behold!
So that’s our list! What are some of your favourite Beast Wars repaints?