Thundercats: 4-inch Panthro by Ban Dai

It took me a little longer than I thought, but I’ve finally completed my collection of the 4-inch Basic Thundercats figures. Now I can finally stop recriminating myself for cancelling my case pre-order just to get some of the figures a week earlier. Sure I paid more than I should have for Cheetara, but Panthro here was pretty easy to get at retail and now I’m all set. It seems only fitting that the last one to complete my collection should be Panthro, since he just turned up in the series recently.

There’s that Basic Thundercats card that I love so much and it still looks great. Panthro’s character art isn’t the best, but it’s ok. He’s a big guy, the biggest figure in this Basic assortment, and he certainly fills out the bubble very nicely.
Out of the package, Panthro looks great. The sculpt really matches his animated counterpart pretty well. His bulk seems fine, although I’ll concede he maybe should have been a bit taller. There’s plenty of cool detail work on him, including the studs on his suspenders and wrist armor, and a nasty looking scar on his chest. His face scar is present too, although Ban Dai opted not to discolor his wounded eye like it is in the cartoon. Even his sculpted mutton chops look great.
Once again, I love the coloring on these figures, particularly the glossy finish that really goes well with the animated designs. The paintwork on Panthro’s face is outstanding, particularly the sharpness of the eyes and the Thundercats emblem on his belt is crisp and gorgeous. As with all the figures in this line, the pins and hinges in Panthro’s joints aren’t painted. I know this continues to irk some collectors, but for whatever reason, it really doesn’t bother me at all.
Panthro comes with two accessories, or more accurately two versions of the same accessory: His nunchuks. You get one set with the chain stretched out and another with the nunchuks folded together, which can peg into a hole on the back of his waist. The open nunchuk is sculpted in one piece and is pretty bendy in the middle to let him hold it in both hands for various action poses. Unfortunately, the weapon is left completely gray, which is really disappointing considering it should be red and blue. The monochrome accessories were bad enough with the Grune figure, but in this case the colors of Panthro’s nunchuks are pretty iconic, so leaving it unpainted is unforgiveable. I do believe I’ll be taking some paint to these myself to remedy the oversight.

When it comes to articulation, Panthro thankfully follows the trend set by Lion-O and Tygra, rather than Cheetara or the Kittens. His head rotates side to side; He has ball joints in his shoulders and hips; There are hinges in his elbows, knees, and ankles; And he has swivels in his wrists. I certainly have no complaints here.
Oh, and to answer the burning question that has been in my mind since I got Panthro. Will a big guy like this fit in the cockpit of his trusty Thundertank? Oh yes. In fact, it looks like Ban Dai engineered the control panel specifically so it could fit Panthro’s huge, meaty paws. He fits and the canopy closes just fine.
With the last of the 4-inch Basics in my collection, I have to say once again that I think Ban Dai did a great job with these figures and Panthro is just another example of that. He looks great and features fun articulation. Sure there are little things that I would have improved upon, most notably painting his nunchuks and the joints, but then I remind myself that these 4-inchers are designed for kids to play with and not for middle aged kids to display on their shelf. Nonetheless, I think they serve both purposes pretty well. I’ll be back to look at more Thundercats soon, once I start snagging some of the larger size figures.

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