My friend, Chris, had me start this blog, after I started posting some related posts from the world of toys on Facebook, back in 2011. Well the relationships were drawn together by myself, but I am sure that just as things in the Cosmos are somehow tied together, the same is true in the World of Toys. Whether or not the original toymakers saw these connections at the time is uncertain, and probably will never be known. Here I have collected the first day of these posts, I think I did this for about a week before Chris told me he liked what he was reading and seeing and that I should start a blog. So The Amazing Toyland is that blog. I will try and collect the subsequent days posts before too long. I have credited the appropriate sources for each topic.
One of the few toy-lines I liked as a kid that wasn't tied to a movie or animation property was Battle Beasts. They had thermal rub-signs similar to Transformers, except instead of the Autobot/Decepticon allegiance, they showed a Fire, Wood, or Water emblem. These emblems were used in a paper-rock-scissors fashion, with Fire beating Wood, Wood beating Water, and Water beating Fire. They were very cool.
Check out a review at: http://www.collecttoys.net/1980s-Toys/battle-beasts.php
Displayed at San Diego Comic Con 2010 were new, larger, more dynamic Battle Beasts. They are supposedly slated for 2011 release at $14.99 each. I dig the designs, and can only hope they get animation support. I think they seem a bit costly, but I haven't seen them in person, so they might be justified at that price.
Check out the gallery at: http://geekinbox.fr/2010/07/22/sdcc-2010-les-dragonautes-font-peau-neuve/dragonautes-battle-beasts-sdcc-2010-cool-toy-review-photos-2/
Less than 10 years after the original Battle Beasts line came Beast Wars Transformers. Battle Beasts serves as the "missing link" between Generation One Transformers and Beast Wars. In Japan Battle Beasts were called BeastFormers, and were directly tied into Transformers, while in the US no direct connection was made between the Transformers and the Battle Beasts.
Check out the entry on the first Megatron Optimus Primal two-pack from Beast Wars at Transformers World 2005: http://www.tfw2005.com/resources/beast-wars-predacons-144/megatron-alligator-527/
Pirate Lion was the #1 figure in the Battle Beasts series 1. He had an awesome sword and an eye patch. The names of the Battle Beasts were not on the packages back when. Instead they were determined later. I didn't have any problem playing with these figures even with a lack of names.
Head over to the Toy Archive to get a glimpse of Pirate Lion: http://www.toyarchive.com/BattleBeasts/Figures/1PirateLionIcon1a.jpg
In the Japanese follow-up to Beast Wars, referred to as Beast Wars Neo, Optimus Prime takes on the form of a white lion, called Leo Convoy. This is most likely a nod to the Battle Beast Pirate Lion. Convoy was the name of the original Optimus Prime in Japan.
Another entry at TFW2005.com: http://www.tfw2005.com/transformers-images/toys/Beast+Wars+II-Beast+Wars+Neo/Lioconvoy+-+Beast+Wars+II/