We had a little mix up on the old FigureFan hard drive this morning and I lost the entire feature on Grune, so I was forced to do a quick re-edit on Deluxe Mumm-Ra, remove all the references to this feature, and kick that one out the door to stay on schedule yesterday. So let’s try this again. Today we’re looking at that dirty Thundercat traitor Grune the Warrior in the Deluxe class 4-inch figure assortment.
As with Mumm-Ra, Grune comes in the somewhat more elaborate half-cylinder mounted on a card with his accessories spread around him. Its decent looking packaging, but like I said yesterday, I think all the writing on the insert makes it look really busy and congested. The tri-lingual card may be in part to blame, but I just think the Basic carded figures look simpler and more attractive. Mumm-Ra also filled out his card a lot better, whereas Grune relies on his passel of accessories arranged around him to tempt would be toyhunters to pick him off the peg for $15.
One of the things I love about this Thundercats line is the way Ban Dai made the figures different sizes, rather than just one uniform body type. Like Mumm-Ra, Grune is a big, beefy and powerful looking figure that really fits his animated counterpart perfectly. The sculpt is a little more simpler than some of the other figures, but I think that’s more to suit the character design than to skimp out on details. Grune’s massive head has a lot of personality, right down to his single mammoth fang. He’s also got huge arms that would make the X-Men’s Juggernaut proud. The armor plates that hang down from his waist are flexible so as not to inhibit his leg articulation, but his bushy black mane of hair renders his neck articulation all but useless.
Grune features a pretty drab paint scheme, especially compared to the colorful Thundercats. His armor is an ugly pea soup green, which is unfortunate, as I think the animated version is more of a coppery color. Otherwise, the paintwork on the figure is very clean and well executed. I’m particularly impressed with the Plundarr emblem on his chest, which is far better than the one painted on Mumm-Ra.
While Mumm-Ra’s ThunderLynx gimmick was on the figure itself, Grune’s is located on his massive battle maul. Pass the weapon across the magnet in his back and it splits open to form three segments. Ok, it isn’t the most exciting gimmick, but it does nicely replicate the way the weapon powered up on the show, and that’s pretty cool. Besides the battle maul, Grune comes with a bow, an arrow, and a quiver, and they’re all pretty much crap. Each one is cast in the same gold plastic and really remind me of the monochromatic accessories that Playmates used to package with their Next Generation figures back in the 90s. I may actually try to paint these some day, because I think it would improve them immeasureably and the bow does actually have holes so you can string it if you have some thread handy.
Grune is certainly a nice figure, but I don’t know that he’s $15 Deluxe assortment kind of nice. Granted, the battle maul is bigger than a lot of the Basic figures and does have a ThunderLynx gimmick built in, but when you consider that Ban Dai is selling a the ThunderRacers with a figure for the same price, Grune comes up a little short in the value department. Nonetheless, he’s a pretty important character in the series, so I’m certainly glad to have a figure of him for my collection.
And that wraps up my first batch of Thundercats toy reviews. I have to say, Ban Dai did a really nice job with this line, despite a few missteps along the way. I had really high expectations and on the whole I haven’t really been disappointed. I should have a 4-inch Cheetara in a couple of days, so be sure to look for that. I’ll eventually be getting to the larger scale figures, both classic and new series, as well as some of the roleplay items.