Thundercats: 6-inch Series: Tygra by Ban Dai

Looking back at the Thundercats re-launch makes me a sad kitty. I thought the new series was excellent, although I drifted away from it because of the gaps in the release of new episodes. I loved the toys, and I know I was largely a minority on that point, but I thought the 6-inch figures were great, even if they did have unpainted joints, and I thought the 4-inch figures were loads of fun. I did everything I could to support the line at retail, but it seemed like it was doomed to slip away from the very beginning. Of course, the problem with a re-launch is when it fizzles out, like Thundercats did, it’ll likely be a while before anyone else touches it. And considering how long it took for Thundercats to get its second chance at bat, it may be a very long time indeed.

Well, we’re revisiting this dead line today because I finally picked up the last of the 6-inch releases. [I just realized I never did look at the 6-inch Mumm-Ra either, but we’ll come back to him some other week. –FF] As is often the case when a line dies, the last releases are hard to find, and for a while Tygra was going for insane monies on the secondary market. I finally found him for a fairly reasonable price on Amazon, so let’s check out the last of the Thundercats team in this scale.

Once again we see that if you are a mint-on-card collector, you don’t want to buy from Amazon because they don’t give a shit when their packing your toys. This time, the figure was jammed into a box that was too small, so the card flap was bent all the way over. I know, I don’t really care, I tear these things open most of the time, so if I’m getting free second day shipping, I’m willing to deal with a mangled package in most cases. As with the other 6-inch figures, Tygra comes in a huge bubble on a fitted card. I always thought this was attractive and serviceable packaging, although I was never fond of the tri-lingual stuff. The bubble uses a personalized insert with Tygra’s character art and a sticker that boasts 18-points of articulation. The back of the card shows a photo of the figure along with some of the other figures that are available.

I was not a big fan of the character Tygra in the new series, but after only a few moments in my hand, I was sure that his is one of my favorite figures in the 6-inch line. For starters, the head sculpt is excellent. It doesn’t have any of the soft sculpt problems that Lion-O or Cheetara has. Tygra’s face is very well defined and the paintwork is outstanding.  The body and armor are also very well sculpted. There are parts of the armor that look like they could be detached, even though they’re actually sculpted as part of the figure. The armor is all cast in a nice deep matte green plastic, while the painted tiger stripes on Tygra’s exposed fur skin are expertly applied. I would have liked a bit more gloss on the Thundercats emblem, but at least it looks nice and crisp. The silver belt is a separate piece and detachable, but it is fitted so well to the figure that it looks and feels like it’s a part of him. The silver belt includes a functional holster and some sculpted canisters running across the front.

The joints are still unpainted. It seems less unsightly with Tygra because of his armor, but this was never a big sticking point with me. The exposed screws on the back are rather conspicuous, but again, it doesn’t do anything to ruin the figure for me.

As the package suggests, Tygra has 18 points of articulation. You get a ball jointed neck. The arms have ball joints and swivels in the shoulders, double hinged elbows, and ball joints in the wrists. The legs ball jointed at the hips, double hinged in the knees, and hinged at the ankles. He is also ball jointed at the waist, and it feels like he’s got another joint going on under that chest armor. Hmm… I count 20 points, but more is better so I’m not complaining.

Tygra comes with two accessories. You get his whip and the laser pistol he took off one of the mutants. The whip is just a long piece of bendy blue rubbery plastic with two tails at the end. It certainly serves its purpose and you can work it into different cool poses, as it has just the right amount of flexibility. The gun is a cast in silver plastic, nicely sculptd and fits great in the figure’s right hand so that the trigger finger can go through the trigger guard.

Tygra turned up on Amazon for $24.99 and I jumped at him. Yeah, that’s about $8-10 more than he would have been at retail, but I’m not going to gripe about it. He’s a really cool figure and definitely one of the best, if not the best, figures in this short lived modern 6-inch line. It really makes me sad to know that we won’t be getting the Thunderkittens in this scale, nor Jaga or Grune or any of the mutants. I think Bandai did an alright job with these figures (much better than I originally anticipated) and quite frankly I think collectors were just too hard on them. As mentioned earlier, I still have the 6-inch scale Mumm-Ra sitting around here somewhere, so at some point in the next couple of weeks, I’ll be revisiting this line just one more time to check him out.

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