It´s been a few years since The White Rabbit came with the idea to transform a specific Battle Beasts into a Gizmo Mogwai figure, as a gift for a friend. But as often with Beastformers Projects it takes some time in order to try and make this idea a success in reality as well. With the Beastformers ideals in mind first some original Battle Beasts figures in poor condition had to be found, in order not to waste any original figures that could still be enjoyed by fellow collectors, and when that´s done the right artist to work with had to be selected.
That wasn´t very hard either but for various reasons there´s not been much progress in 1 to 1,5 years…
Until 2019 when the pace picked up again and the idea finally became reality.
A little teaser was already posted via @Beastformers on Instagram earlier but looks like for most, apart from a few, it went unnoticed;
But the teasing is over here are the details of the;
Beastformers MOGWAI Project:
Project idea: Creating a Battle Beasts Gremlin
Start: Probably 2017 or earlier…
End*: December 2019
ARTISTS INVOLVED (Commission based);
Sculpting and painting: Eric Koppen
Package Design: The White Rabbit
Number of Beasts: 3 (2x Gizmo / 1x Mohawk)
Conclusion: A successful creation of the very first (?) Beastformers Mogwai but the actual success will mainly depend upon the reaction of my friend, a huge Gremlins collector, because that´ll be the real test… To be continued.
* Depending on the success and the reactions from the Battle Beasts and Gremlins fans the artist and The White Rabbit might unite forces once again in 2020 in order to produce a limited release of the Beastformers Mogwai. It ain´t guaranteed because for that the production process has to be changed as well because it´s not doable to have them hand-sculpted in larger numbers one by one. But to see if there is any interest there will be a Poll placed at the end of this page where you can leave your votes, and of course you could leave a comment as well. With enough interest and positive reactions who knows…
Origin of the Idea
The idea actually rose a couple of years ago out of the thought that it´d be cool to create a ¨Battle Beasts meets Gremlins¨ Beast for a friend who´s a huge Gremlins collector. And since one specific Battle Beast held quite a few criteria that be a perfect base for this it shouldn´t to hard. Because how cool would it be to create a morph out of two great examples of 80´s nostalgia? It´d be a perfect gift and, having two of them made, a nice addition to the Beastformers Collection as well.
The ¨Base Beast¨ to start from for this project was the Series 3 Tarsier Tyrant because it already had some of the features you´d expect from a Gremlin making it a bit easier for the artist to work with. But as the animation of the right side show there´s quite a bit of add on sculpting that had to be done in order to create Gizmo. Ears had to grow, the fur on the paws and the face itself required some serious sculpting as well because all the main features that´d make a break this project were obviously all depending on the looks of the head. It took a few times back and forth in order to find the right balance and even once the sculpting was done and it all looked very well balanced the whole paint job took quite some time as well in order to actually create the ¨Gizmo look¨ with the division of the white and brown parts in the face. All in all, eventually, it turned out quite nice.
As with most of the Beastformers Projects it´s been composed out of a constantly ongoing debate between The White Rabbit and the artist, teamwork to ensure a solid final result. And to get there a lot of so called ¨in progress¨ shots were shared by the artist during the creation of the Beastformers Mogwai in order to discuss the various steps. Thanks to that there are also some exclusive shots to share, showing the transformation from Tarsier Tyrant to the Beastformers Mogwai;
One of the things that´s gone back and forth a couple of times were the ears because in order to create the correct head the balance between the size of the ears and the head itself had to be correct. So the original ears from the base figure had to be extended quite a bit. Let´s not forget the Battle Beasts figures are not really big in size, around 5cm (2 inch), meaning all of the sculpting is done on an impressive scale. When the heads were completed the artist came with the idea of adding the fur to the paws/hands which is a great little addition that makes a huge difference on the total feel/look of the Beastformers Mogwai.
After the add on sculpting phase was finished it´s time to start looking at the color scheme for the figures. Of course the colors for the body were set knowing they had to become Gizmo and Mohawk but what armor color and style would go well with it?
This was quite a bit of a struggle because literally any color could be picked but which one works well enough to create a well balanced figure as a whole creating enough contrast for both, figure and armor, without one taking the upper hand. For Gizmo a golden/yellowish tone was chosen in order to make the Brown and White pattern of the figure itself pop. The Greenish tones on the armor show a bit of the aging and is a reference to the green coming from the original Gizmo Box in which Gizmo was found in. All in all the armor color chosen for Gizmo seems to work well. Apart from that getting the White pattern of Gizmo correctly on the face took a few attempts as well in order to really get the Gizmo feel.
For Mohawk there was a little attempt to give it a similar armor color as Gizmo but as can be seen above that didn´t really work. Also by giving it another armor color it´d make it a bit more distinct from Gizmo strengthening the idea of really creating two different styles of Mogwai with Gizmo being the cute and good one while Mowhawk obviously represents the evil and bad one. Either way the same rules have to be followed 😉
Let´s have a look at the finished Beastformers Mogwais;
MOHAWK & GIZMO
With the result being even better than expected after receiving the figures in hand and with the initial idea of it being a gift in mind it´d not do enough justice to the creation to simply pack it up in a bubble wrap and some gift paper. And thinking about a suitable idea to pack them The White Rabbit thought why not create a unique box packaging inspired by the original Japanese single boxes. And so it happened…
Beastformers Mogwai Box Design
On the right is the final result of the box shown alongside the original Japanese single box which has been used for reference and inspiration. But apart from the box size it clearly needed another sauce over it in order to create that Gremlins feel. And this is where the reference to the Gizmo box returned again because to many fans that´s an iconic piece of the first movie. This box in which Gizmo was kept by the old Chinese man was the base for the Beastformers Mogwai box design. You can clearly see the pattern that´s returning on the side of the box.
Apart from that the box obviously is full of warnings because a Mogwai might look cure but it comes with a huge responsibility because this is the very first Beast that can grown into an army all by itself when the instructions are not obeyed! This warning element was added to the box design as well to give it the idea/feel as if a very dangerous creature is contained inside this box (which obviously is the case).
Than the other thing that had to be reconsidered was the see through front which in case of a locked up dangerous creature wouldn´t make much sense to leave completely transparent so this is were the, boglins package idea, of the bars came from giving that little extra touch.
A minor set back with the box occurred during the final phase of composing the box because since it was printed on a thicker more high quality paper to give the box its strength it caused that the folds needed to compose the box created a tear in the print itself. This caused that the corners, folded areas, show white and although you could consider this an aging effect as well that´s not really planned…
Let´s have a look at some details of the box design including the various Warning signs that are all over the box and even on the inner flaps of the box an extra warning is written. The reason why the text in is English and Japanese is because of the fact the original idea for the Beastformers came from Takara Japan and it´s a link that´s to be respected hoping it´ll also be appreciate by fellow collectors in Japan.
Which figure will you find inside…?
IF there will be a limited run of these it might be cool to pack the Mogwai inside their box as a blind bag concept so you won´t really know which Mogwai you will get as the back of the packaging shows. Gizmo is obviously the main character but if you´re lucky you could also pull a Mohawk or who knows what else. But these are ideas for a possible future project. You can have a vote in this so if you think it´d be cool please leave your vote below and who knows there might be more of these around in 2020!
Thank for your interest, hope it´s been a fun read and you enjoyed seeing the creation of the Beastformers Mogwai. Please respect the originality of this idea as explained here: Customs
Whether the Project can really be considered a success depends on the reaction of my friend the big Gremlins collectors so once that´s shared a final conclusion will be added to this page.
A huge and special thanks obviously goes to the talented artist who brought this idea to live in such a great way. Thanks a lot Eric!
The Beastformers Team