Listings found on the Walmart app by Jtprime17 point to Walmart’s next stop in the reissue and retro Transformers offerings: Beast Wars! So far, four listings have been found, all prefixed as TRA GEN BW VINTAGE. These include Megatron, Optimus Primal, Cheetor, and Rattrap. Optimus Primal and Megatron show prices of $49.97 and $49.67, respectively, while Cheetor comes in at $22.97, and Rattrap has no pricing information available.
There have been rumors recently of reissued Beast Wars toys, though it’s not completely clear what toys specifically might be coming back. Transmetals were mentioned with the rumors, but it seems like that may not be the entirety of it. At a Deluxe-ish price point, Cheetor could be any of the three Beast Wars Cheetor molds. Rattrap not having a price is a bit curious, but if we presume right now that it’s the same price point, that would point to Transmetals being in use. Transmetals would also minimize competition with Kingdom toys, if that would be a concern for any of the involved parties.
But the leaders give a little pause. The Mega size class Transmetal leader toys seem like a major stretch to be released at $50 each, even accounting for everything being more expensive than it was 25 years ago. The original Ultra-class Beast wars leaders meanwhile are a much better fit both in the size they fill in a box, comparable to current Leader-class toys, and they fit inflation adjusted pricing plus a bit of reissue premium more closely. In this case it could be a mixed offering of different styles of Beast Wars toys to capture more of the line as a whole – or just to suit what molds are actually available.
It might even be possible for Rattrap to point to an assortment of Basics, as there are enough characters within the first season of the show to make a solid assortment. Assuming mold availability. At one point it was stated that the molds for the Basic Rattrap and Terrorsaur were lost, though Terrorsaur’s mold did manage to turn back up as a Walmart exclusive alongside one of the movie lines. The status of the original Airazor mold is likewise unclear, but if these had been recovered, it’s another possibility for the meaning of the listing. Just be prepared to see a Beast Wars Basic that originally sold for $4.99 to be probably $15.
Obviously we have very little to go on right now, but one thing we can presume pretty safely is that these Beast Wars toys will probably be what follows after the second wave of retro Headmasters has run its course, so probably somewhere around the summer. And since we have at least two pricepoints represented, but showing only four characters so far, there’s likely at least two more from this first batch that haven’t yet been discovered. And if one or more additional waves follow, this could turn out to be an interesting offering.
Now, as to the pricing, seeing a Beast Wars Deluxe at over $20 might be a little hard to accept, as might be Ultras at $50 each. But Takara’s Encore line gave us a preview of this in the last couple of years, with their reissues of Beast Wars Neo Big Convoy at over double its original price, the God Fire Convoy set with a similar bump up, and Returns Convoy (Air Attack Optimus Primal) at a huge markup. And that one we have something of a domestic comparison for, since that same mold was used in Platinum about five years ago and started out priced over $100 – after originally retailing just $40 in 2002. Regardless of whatever premium might be assigned to these because of the special status of the rerelease labels, the trend is clear that “modern” engineering toys from that time period cost a lot more now to manufacture and sell, regardless of whether it’s Takara or Hasbro running the project.
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