Laser Beasts are 2″ (5 cm) tall anthropomorphic animal action figures that come with a laser gun and an orb (plastic light-admitting piece) on their chest and have arm articulation only.
These figures were released by the Japanese toy company Takara under the name レーザービースト (Laser Beasts) and were distributed by the American toy company Hasbro outside Japan under the name Shadow Warriors.
The line was designed in 1987 and the figures were available from 1988 towards the late 1980’s and were spread out in three parts of 12 within 1 series (Series 4 of the Battle Beasts).
All the 36 figures within this line were only released in Japan while other countries like the US, Canada, France and probably the UK had a limited release which included only the first twelve figures or (some) of the middle twelve or both.
Although this line was the direct follow up of the Battle Beasts line it has never been that popular outside Japan which explains the limited availability of this line in other countries, and due to this the Laser Beasts and in particular the final 12 figures have become rare and hard to find pieces within the world of Battle Beasts collecting.
More info about this line and further details can be found bellow after the provided link that will directly guide you to the digital catalogue of the Laser Beasts.
This Series 4 of Battle Beasts was designed by the Japanese toy company Takara and became known under the name レーザービースト (Laser Beasts) or under the name Shadow Warriors which was the planned name to be given to them by the American toy company responsible for their distribution outside Japan, Hasbro. While in Japan the name ビーストフォーマー (beastformers) was still attached to them also Hasbro never really changed their name from Battle Beasts into Shadow Warriors as can be seen on the packaging from that time where only the name Shadow Warriors could be found under the large Battle Beasts name. Their different name was the result of a design change which made the figures look a little different in relation to the previous 3 series of Battle Beasts. And were all the Battle Beasts were based on existing animals amongst the Laser Beasts also some Dinosaur characters could be found.
The Laser Beasts were not equipped with the rub-sign anymore but they had another element called the orb. A light-admitting cylindrical piece of plastic on which the symbol (water, wood, fire) became visible when it was held in front of a light source. Thanks to this more sustainable solution most of the Laser Beasts or Shadow Warriors found today are still showing their original symbol whereas some of the Battle Beasts have lost their sticker and are living with a bare chest. Due to that the Laser Beasts can be seen as the updated version of the old Battle Beasts.
When it comes to the paper-rock-scissors type of game that was present at the Battle Beasts there were no changes outside the change to the orb which was now showing the symbol Wood, Water of Fire instead of the rub sign. Each figure has an orb in its chest which can hold one out of three symbols to battle your opponents figure. Unlike the Battle Beasts where from Series 2 and on a Sunburst symbol could be found this idea never made it to the Laser Beasts so everybody had a fair chance to win the battle.
Thanks to the replacement of the rub sign, who happens to fall of or refuses to work after all those years, for the orb this game will be connected to the Laser Beasts forever!
Instead of having a pointed or sword weapon like the Battle Beast the Laser Beasts had their own resembled laser guns. Because were those Battle Beasts weapons had in some cases a less visible or indirect link to the figure it belonged too the laser guns hold a perfectly visible reference to the figure when looked at it from the side. Like the Battle Beasts weapons and in order to keep the correct weapons with the correct figures, although there can be no doubt about this with the Laser Beasts, figure and gun were marked with the same number.
In total 36 Laser Beasts have been released, but only within Japan. The figures became available in three waves and to describe the release and their rareness it is best to cut the 36 figures in 3 parts knowing the lower 12 (#77 – #88), the middle 12 (#89 – #100) and the so called 12 high end figures (#101 – #112). The lower 12 were the most widespread of this line because outside Japan they were available in North America and a few European countries. France was the only other country in the world to welcome the middle 12 figures. Remains only the last 12 figures which can be seen as the Japanese exclusives knowing they were only available in their land of origin, Japan. It is clear that even though Hasbro planned a much wider distribution for the Shadow Warriors worldwide it never happened. This is the reason why these figures are much less known or not even known at all in some countries where the Battle Beasts were released.