Ban Dai’s attempt to rekindle the magic of Thundecats may have fizzled out, but thankfully we still have Mezco working to complete the team in epic statue/figure form. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I didn’t pick up Panthro until after Cheetara was confirmed. I adore these statues and while Lion-O and Mumm-Ra could hold their own alone on my shelf, I didn’t want to have Panthro be the odd man out if Mezco decided that enough was enough. Of course, by not supporting the line and buying Panthro on release it would have served me right if Mezco abandoned the line because not enough people bought Panthro. But I have since remedied that by pre-ordering Cheetara and I’ll gladly do the same for every new statue Mezco reveals for this line now that it’s hit critical mass. Anyway, he arrived on my stoop a couple of days back, so let’s see if he’s cool enough to hang with the others.
An epic figure requires epic packaging, and that’s certainly what we have here. Panthro comes in a big, heavy window box with the same overall color and feel as Lion-O’s box. One side panel has the gorgeous Thundercats logo running down the side and the other panel has a shot of all the cats in action. It’s a different piece of artwork than what was used for Lion-O’s as it has Panthro wrapping around to the front. The box is totally collector friendly; you just need to clip Panthro’s tie wraps to get him out. You will, however, want to take better care than I did removing his baggied nun-chucks, because the tape will tear the illustration on the back of the tray. I’ve always been a fan of the classic Thundercats artwork and these boxes are fabulous tributes to that colorful animated style. It’s bright, colorful and gorgeous and I will likely keep these boxes for as long as I own the figures.
While the package says “action figure,” you may want to take that term with a grain of salt. The whole statue-vs-figure debate rears its ugly head again! Yes, he has some articulation, which we’ll get to in a bit, but enough of this guy is static for me to question the term action figure, so I’m fine just going with figure. It’s semantics, I know. As for his size… Well, Mezco calls these things Mega-Scale for a reason. They are big. They’re not as big as NECA’s 1/4 scale figures, but you’re still getting an impressively large piece that clocks in at around 14-inches tall.
As with Mezco’s other Mega-Scale figures, Panthro is rotocast, so the sculpt leans a little to the soft side, but even so, I have no complaints about it. Granted, the bulk of the sculpt here is found in Panthro’s muscle definition. The spikes on his harness are stout and durable and he sports his trademark split-toe ninja style boots. He comes out of the box with one hand sculpted to hold his chucks and the other with his palm held out, but we’ll come back to that in a few ticks. Panthro gets by without a whole lot of detailed paintwork, as his color pallet is mostly just purple and lighter purple. Mezco went light on the paint wash, which I think is a good thing as it’s just enough to bring out the details in his muscles. The paint on the sculpted Thundercats emblem is quite good, but I’m thinking that maybe some high gloss finish would have made it pop more. The biggest opportunity for improvement on my figure is the bit of bleeding around the base of his harness spikes, but even that isn’t so bad.
Mezco captured Panthro’s portrait quite well. He’s definitely in kick-ass mode, with just a bit of a scowl, but they didn’t overdo it with the ferocity in his expression, so if I choose to pose him with his chucks at rest, the expression will work well enough for me. The paint on the eyes is super crisp, but mine has a little bit of odd paint marks around his lips and the tip of his nose. I’m not sure if this is just a wash that’s gone wrong, but eventually I will try to clean it up a bit with a magic eraser.
Ok, here comes articulation. Panthro has ten points, as follows: A ball jointed neck, ball jointed shoulders, swivel cuts in the wrists, swivel cuts at the top of his boots, and swivel cuts in his ankles. He also has a swivel in his waist. The four swivels in his legs are mainly to tweak him so he can stand depending on what you do with his arms and waist. With the neck, shoulder, and wrist joints, you can certainly get a few different display options, but the biggest choice in displaying him actually comes from one of his extra pieces.
None of the official photos I saw of this guy showed him holding his chucks in both hands. I was hoping and hoping that he would come with a swappable left hand, and I was very happy to see that he does. Heck, it even says so right on the box. While I like the idea of holding his chucks in one hand, the fact that they use a real chain between them means that one is always just going to be dangling, unless you want to get creative and maybe run one of the twisty ties through the chain to give it a dynamic swinging look. Nope, my Panthro will always be displayed grabbing his chucks in both hand and ready to smack down some mutants, and I’m really glad Mezco gave us the option.
I always dug Panthro in the original cartoon, because he wasn’t a stereotypical character. He was both a big burly fighter, but he had the smarts to invent and work on all of the Thundercats tech. He’s exactly the kind of cat-of-all-trades that you want in your corner if you find yourself marooned on a hostile planet. Mezco’s figure certainly does the character justice. He isn’t as packed with extras like Lion-O, nor does he have any flashy mixed media like Mumm-Ra, but Panthro comes with everything he needs. And most importantly, he looks great standing next to Lion-O and once we get a few more cats, this is going to be one seriously epic display. At $35, this guy is a whole lot of figure at a ridiculously reasonable price point.
And now… the long wait until Summer for Cheetara to be released.