Beetleborg Mania, Vehicle Style

Written by Myles on Wednesday, May 25, 2011.

(a.k.a. Juukou Beetle Fighter / Beetle Fighter Kabuto)


Big Bad Beetleborgs (later renamed Beetleborgs Metallix) is an American television series produced by Saban Entertainment.  It aired for two seasons in the US between September 1996 and March 1998. Reruns later aired between 1998 and 1999.  The series adapted combat footage from the Japanese Metal Hero tokusatsu-series Juukou B-Fighter (first season) and B-Fighter Kabuto (second season).  Most things from the show (the heroes, vehicles, etc.) are all based on various beetles, a common focus in Japanese culture.  

Naturally, as with most TV shows, a massive toy line was made to correspond to the show.  Even big-named fast-food chains ran tie-ins with merchandise from the show.  Most of these toys are unimpressive (IMO).  However, some of the vehicle toys are pretty amazing and cool.  As with most toys, the Japanese releases seem to be of a better quality than the US releases.  For example, the Japanese toys include much more chrome than some of the US ones.  

Central among the toys is a massive battery-operated rhinoceros beetle transport vehicle, known in the US as Gargantis.  The size of this vehicle is apparent when placed beside the Popy Daitetsujin 17 Shigcon Tank (see below).  The Gargantis pictured is the Japanese release of the toy.

BB_1_s BB_2_s

All six legs move independently when the power is turned on.  Its a slow, chugging monstrosity, but its a really wild feature to see it crawl unstoppably along.  The top front section can be removed to turn into a vehicle in of itself, which can accomodate a small pilot figure.  The yellow wings on the abdomen flip open to support several other smaller vehicles (the ones pictured are all US releases).  

BB_3_s BB_4_s

The three main vehicles in the show are red, blue, and green (as seen above).  The red vhicle is a flying ship, and the jet propellors can swivel.  The front hatch lifts to reveal a small removable pilot, and the back hatch lifts to reveal the mechanics of the ship.  The blue and green vehicles also feature front and rear hatches, with individual pilots.  The rear hatches are used for storage of accessories (see below).  These ships also have other features and moving parts and can work with the accessories.  

BB_5_s BB_14_s 

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There is also another set of three vehicles.  These feature a purple flying vehicle which can carry two land-based vehicles under its wings.  While these don't hold pilots (except in your imagination), they do include more features than the above-three vehicles.  The gold vehicle can sort of fold up (tilting forward and lowering its front horn) and spread its wings.  The silver vehicle can sit up on its rear legs.

BB_6_s BB_8_s BB_9_s

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All in all, this is an interesting and fun series of toys.  Numerous other toys were made from this show, including the heroes themselves and some transformable beetle robots.  Seek them out and learn more.



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About the Author



Myles a.k.a. Kingboy D calls the paradise of South Florida home.  This closet case collector relishes online gaming as well as a zinc fix away from the children.  Myles is a tour-de-force of once lost archives and a collector of all toys pre-loved.