It’s been almost five years since Mezco embarked on bringing out the beloved Classic Thundercats in a giant 14-inch Mega-Scale figure format. There were times along the way that it felt like the team might never see completion. And while it seems unlikely that we’ll ever see a Wily Kit and Wily Kat, we finally have a core team of cats with the release of Tygra! I’ve made no bones about being a huge fan of this line. At a time when Ban Dai couldn’t decide what to do with the Classics line, these releases came as a bright ray of shining hope in the unfortunately short-lived Thundercats revival of 2011. Needless to say, I’m pretty damn excited to finally have this figure in hand.
The boxes have been fairly consistent throughout the five year stretch. Tygra comes in a very colorful window box with the glorious Thundercats logo emblazoned across the front and side panel. You get some damned beautiful character art of Tygra on the front and the rest of the cats on the other side panel. There are some minor changes for each of the different cats’ boxes, and Mumm-Ra came in a black box because he’s so damn evil, but these are collector friendly and look mighty nice when all lined up on the shelf. Provided you have a shelf big enough to contain them all. With a little patience required to untwist some twist-ties, Tygra comes out of the box and all set to go!
And looking damned good! The sculpt walks the fine line between being sparse enough to maintain the animated style, while offering enough detail to make for an interesting and appealing figure. The bulk of the sculpting here is in Tygra’s impressive muscle tone. His cat feet are fully realized, and all of the details that make up the costume are part of the sculpt as well as the deco, including the Thundercat emblem on his chest. While these are billed as “action figures” it should be noted that articulation is fairly limited and Tygra is sculpted in an action-ready stance. The bulk of useful articulation is in the head and arms. There are ball joints in the neck and shoulders, a swivel in the middle of the left arm and another at the right wrist. The legs swivel at the hips and again at the tops of the boots, but these are mainly there to help shift the balance and achieve a good footing. In the end, I found I could get some good variations out of him, but like the other figures in the line, it’s best to temper expectations on posing.
The paint here is solid, but does show some rough patches under close scrutiny. The tiger stripes look particularly nice and the muted shades of blue and green that make up his costume all look right on point and are fairly clean. Some of the lines could be crisper and the paint more even, especially around the border of his left sleeve. Nonetheless, Tygra is still an attractive looking figure and I’m only going to expect so much from the quality of paintwork on a piece this big with a price this reasonable.
The portrait is where this figure really shines. I think the sculpt does a wonderful job capturing the character’s likeness and I really like how the rather fierce expression matches the action-orientated stance of the figure. These are definitely cats that are prepared to do battle with some mutants. The teeth and the eyes are just amazing.
Tygra comes with his bolo whip, which fits comfortably in his right hand and has a wire running throughout so that it can be put in a variety of positions depending on the look you’re going for. It’s here where I really have my only gripes with the figure. I feel like a collapsed bolo would have been a nice extra. I also wish the whip itself was a little longer so that I could get it snake around him a few times while holding his hand over his head. Of course, then I remember the price point here, and I feel bad about asking for more.
I brought up price a few times throughout this Feature and that’s because Mezco has been able to keep this line at a $35 price point (give or take a little, depending on where you buy it). And while I may nitpick an imprecise paint line here and point out some missed opportunities with the accessories, the truth is that I think what we’re getting here is an amazing deal. While jumbo figures have become something of a trend nowadays, the sculpt, paint, and overall quality on these cats is leaps and bounds better than what I’m seeing in the slightly larger 18-inch Star Wars figures on the shelves. Indeed, these feel a bit more like collectibles and not like mass produced toys. In the end, I’m truly grateful that Mezco saw this line through to at least give us the four major cats and Mumm-Ra. These make for an absolutely epic display. I’m still considering buying the second release of Lion-O just so that I can get Snarf. And hey, if they do decide to get us a Thunderkitten two-pack, I’d be totally down with that.