This time the story is not as much about a rumor because amongst the Battle Beasts collectors all over the world the story that will be shared here is almost generally known and accepted but as with all of the stories shared within this area there are still a lot of question marks floating around it…
Japan is known as the origin country of the Battle Beasts and there is no country in the world that had so many of various Beasts released BUT did you know that from the total of 112 existing Beasts (76 Battle Beasts + 36 Laser Beasts) only 110 were actually available in Japan!?
Yes, this might sound weird and that was also my first reaction to this but there is two Battle Beasts that somehow have never been available in the land of the rising sun; #38 Powerhouse Mouse and #47 Hunchback Camel.
The first time this story was shared and noted amongst collectors was early 2000 when in the Transformers Generations book (トランスフォーマー ジェネレーション) that was released in 2001, and only in Japanese, a checklist of Beastformers was shown with names and prices. In that checklist there were prices (the old prices from back in the days) mentioned of all Beasts except for the Mouse and Camel as prices of these two were not known.
Various years later and based upon more insight information from collectors in Japan this story was discussed amongst the LRG forum but apart from the confirmation of this story there have not been any serious reasons given for the absence of both Beasts within Japan. Both figures do have a Japanese name; #38 スカウトマウス (Scout Mouse) & #47 イエローキャメラス (Yellow Camel), both do show up in various advertisement photos of the Beasts in Japan, both are present in the Beastformers Book and on the Poster that were available in Japan but both were never sold there…. Strange because the Beasts were designed, the molds were there and even the artwork that´s normally used for the Beast cards was there, based upon the designs for them on in the book and on the poster.
Was there a mistake made on a distribution level because these figures were sold and available in the US and Europe, was there an error in the packaging due to the absence of Cards for both of these figures or where both of these kept out of the market for completely different reasons!?
As always there is nothing to be found about this reason via the official companies, TAKARA and HASBRO, themselves so there is a big chance that the real reason for the absence of these two Battle Beasts in Japan will never be revealed.
But in order to shine a little more light on this issue there is always the route of speculation which for this story, unlike the other info on the Beastformers Blog, is allowed because the facts that are on the table are not helping us much further here.
Their absence was first noticed because of the fact none had ever seen a Mouse or Camel in a Japanese single box. There were rumors of a Mouse that was found in a single box but since it was included in a box together with another Beast and there was no card for the Mouse included but only the card of the Beast it came with it is highly unlikely that this could have been a sealed box. Especially knowing it does not make a lot of sense to fit two Beast into one single box because of the space. But with this story there were of course new speculations of the Mouse, and maybe the Camel, being prize items or lucky draw figs which somehow suddenly might have been included as an extra figure within a single box. This is not a very plausible option though because if that would have been the case it would have for sure been noted by Japanese collectors.
It was not uncommon for the Beasts in Japan that they were not all available via the single boxes because there are quite a few more figures that were never sold in this type of packaging within Japan simply because those were only available via specific box sets like some of the Laser Beasts that for instance could only be obtained via the Chariot packaging (Battle Buzzsaw (Dino Gator), Battle Savannah (Slag King), Battle Eagle (Skybat)) or via the VS set (Salmomanther (Skull Grotess and King Buster were also available as lucky draw prize items via the Punchbox in combination with the Drills)). With this info of absent Beasts within single packaging showing up in box sets in combination with chariots, drills or other vehicles it is not unlikely to consider the option of a never released vehicle/playset box for the release of Series 2 in which the Mouse and Camel were supposed to be sold….?
This last assumption in combination with a factory,packaging or distribution error might feel the most plausible based on what we know about everything that was out there in Japan for both figures so unless there was some kind of regulation that forced TAKARA to skip these figures there is not much else that makes for skipping the Mouse and Camel from the Japanese market.
TAKARA, although known for its great design for toys and the strict control concerning their toy lines, did make a few strange moves when it comes to the distribution of the Battle Beasts line that might explain a bit more about a possible mistake or error for these two missing figures. It is known that at some point (release of Series 2 in single box?!) the single boxes Beasts started showing up with the incorrect weapons included. Was this a factory/packaging error or was this done on purpose in order to support trading weapons with friends who might have had the weapon for your Beast and vice versa? This sounds like a logic reason but no word has been spoken about this in any of the original advertisement or within the pamphlets included in those single boxes. Was it a simple but most likely effective unannounced marketing move or an error that resulted in the wrong weapons being included in the boxes? And IF an error like that could occur would it be plausible for a similar error to occur amongst the Beasts as well causing a complete absence of the Mouse and Camel….?
It is important to mention that the weapons of both figures WERE AVAILABLE in Japan!
They did show up in the weapon packs that were found added to the single boxes that could be won via the Beastformers Punchbox.
As you can see there is no real consensus about the real reason why Powerhouse Mouse and Hunchback Camel were never available in Japan, we might know someday but it is more likely that the absence of these two Series 2 Battle Beasts figures for the Japanese market will always remain a fact surrounded by mysteries.