Thundercats: 6-inch Series: Lion-O by Ban Dai

As some of you may know the Walmarts in my town are pretty sucky for toy hunting. Unless you’re looking for Star Wars, Transformers or toys from whatever the Marvel or DC movie of the week is, they really don’t carry anything else worthwhile in the Boys Action aisles. In fact, in the last couple of years the Boys Action aisles have gone from three down to two and now it’s one and a half as one of them shares with Nerf and all three of the ones in the city where I live are the same way. So imagine my surprise today when I actually found Thundercats on the pegs. There were no 4-inch cats, but two flexed pegs of the 6-inchers, along with the newly released Cheetara. I happily grabbed up Lion-O, Panthro and Cheetara. Sadly no Tygra or Mumm-Ra. Today, we’ll kick it off with Lion-O.

The packaging is pretty utilitarian in design, but it certainly gets the job done. Y ou get a huge bubble with just a bit of the cardback peeking up on the top with the neo Thundercats logo. Lion is carded in a fairly neutral stance, but holding the extended Sword of Omens and with his accesories around him. There’s a nice printed insert with some pretty cool character art and some stickers in tri-lingual nonsense. The back panel shows the figure as well as some of the other Thundercats toys available. These aren’t collector friendly packages like Ban Dai’s 8-inch Classics Thundercats, but that’s ok, I don’t mind shredding a package to get at my toys.
Once I got this guy out of the package in in my hands, I knew that I loved him. That’s not to say he doesn’t have some issues, so let me get those out of the way first. The face sculpt is very soft, especially when compared to Panthro. It might have something to do with the flesh colored plastic BD used, I’m not sure. It still looks good, it still looks exactly like Lion-O from the modern cartoon, but at first, I kept thinking I wished it was crisper and more defined. The rest of the sculpt is really good, albeit simplified to keep that animated style of the character design.
Secondly, yeah those unpainted pegs in the joints. The only one that really bothers me are the ones on his flesh colored wrists, and one of those isn’t even a problem since I have him wearing the Claw Shield while on display, but they are a bit of an eyesore, especially since the rest of the figure’s paintwork is really first rate. I love the contrast between the glossy blue on the armor and the matte finish on the silver shoulder pauldron. The paintwork on the face is clean and the Eye of Thunderra on his belt is crisp and beautiful. Ok, the straps on the back of his leg armor aren’t painted, but I didn’t even really notice that at first.
Lion-O sports 18-points of articulation, making him a difficult figure to put down. Like my 8-inch Classics Lion-O, he’s just so darn fun to play around with. You get a ball jointed neck; Arms with ball joints in the shoulders, double-hinged elbows, hinged wrists, and swivels in the biceps and forearms; His legs feature ball joints in the hips, swivels in the thighs, double-hinged knees, hinged ankles, and his ankles even have rocker joints to keep his feet flat when assuming a wide stance. Lion-O also has a ball jointed waist, and while it looks like he has a ball joint in the chest, mine doesn’t seem to want to move at all. The level of poseability here approaches what I come to expect in a higher end import, not a 6-inch American mass market release figure. My only concern here is that the joints feel like they may loosen up pretty quick. Especially when I can’t stop playing with him.
Lion-O comes with all the necessary accessories. You get two versions of The Sword of Omens, both extended and dorment. You get two versions of the Claw Shield, one with the claws out, and one with them retracted. The swords are fantastically done, and I’m particularly impressed that the extended sword, while obviously soft for safety purposes is perfectly straight and not prone to warping. The Eye of Thunderra is maticulously painted on the hilt of the extended version and closed on the dorment version. Both Claw Shields can be used to sheathe the dorment sword and can be worn by popping off Lion-O’s left hand and popping the Claw on in its place. He also has a plastic strap hanging off his belt so he can wear it as a sheathe. I couldn’t ask for anything more in the accessories department.
It’s unfortunate that popular opinion seems to characterize this figure by two of its faults, a soft face sculpt and unpainted peg joints, because everything else about him is amazing. I am absolutely thrilled to finally own this figure and he definitely ranks up there as one of my favorite recent purchases, and I’ve been buying a hell of a lot of toys lately. I suppose you could argue that that BD is sort of marketing these 6-inchers at the collectors grade end of the spectrum, and he certainly doesn’t appoach the glory of the 8-inch Classics Lion-O, but he is still a fantastic toy that still looks just fine displayed on the shelf. I’ll also note that it’s cool how the awkwardly large Snarf that came with the Thundertank is actually perfectly scaled for these 6-inch figures. He retails for anywhere between $15-17, which I honestly think is a decent price point for all that you get. And now, I’m going to go play with him some more!

Thundercats: Classic Tygra 8-inch Collector Figure by Ban Dai

So, yesterday I did a lot of unabashed gushing over Ban Dai’s Classic Lion-O figure. Lest you were afraid that my Thundercats love and nostalgia was motivating me into giving this Classic 8-inch figures a free pass, I’ll tell you right now that Tygra does not quite live up to the standards set by Lion-O. Let’s check him out.

You get the same packaging seen with Lion-O. Once again, I like the collector friendly nature of it, but the deco is a little bland. Ban Dai pretty much gives you a huge window with a clear shot of the figure, and that ain’t a bad thing. The back shows off the figure and accessories as well as some other figures in Ban Dai’s collection.
Everything I said about Lion-O’s glorious toyishness certainly holds true for Tygra. He’s got that same great plastic glossy look and feel. The sculpt features a ton of little detail work in Tygra’s head, but other than his muscules, there’s not a lot of original sculpt on Tygra’s body. I’m also not at all crazy about the way Ban Dai sculpted his lower legs. The calfs are pronounced and it makes his leg structure look strange. I’m not sure if this was intentional or not, but doesn’t quite look right. Apart from that, Tygra features a piece of armor over his left shoulder, some sculpting to his boots, and his clawed feet are exposed.
Tygra’s paintwork is mostly great, except for one glaring problem on mine. His left eye is applied a little too high. In passing, it looks a little pecuiliar, but on close inspection you can really see what happened. I haven’t decided yet whether or not it warrants me picking up a second Tygra. Other than the eye flub, the paintwork on his head is pretty impressive. The orange and black stripes are pretty striking, especially against the blues of his outfit. As with Lion, his Thundercats emblem is very sharp and crisp.
Tygra has almost the same articulation as Lion-O. He’s actually missing one point, despite the package still claiming 18 points. Let’s recap: The head is ball jointed, but the neck is also hinged where it meets the shoulder to give him more of an up and down motion to his head. The arms feature ball joints in the shoulders, hinged elbows, swivels in the biceps, and ball jointed wrists. His legs are ball jointed at the hips, feature swivels in the thighs and just above the boots, feature double hinged knees, and hinged ankles. Tygra also has a ball joint in his waist. What’s he missing? The second ab joint. He’s still a damn poseable figure though.
Tygra comes with two versions of his bolo whip. One is the collapsed version, the other is the whip fully extended. The extended one comes in two halves in the package. It’s nice and flexible and really lends itself well to a bunch of different action poses. Tygra also comes with an extra right hand to better grip the whip at the handle. Just like with Lion-O, I’m not sure why anyone would want the prone hand, but I try not to complain about extra accessories.
Tygra’s a perfectly fine figure with great articulation. On his own, he looks great, but compared to Lion-O he looks like he’s a little lacking. Part of it might be the simpler character design, but it just feels like Ban Dai might have put in a little less effort with this one when compared to Lion-O. At the $17.99 to $20 retail, I still think he’s a great deal. He’s a super fun toy to play with and I still wholly recommend him. And that’s the first wave of the Thundercats Classic figures. Here’s hoping Ban Dai hurries the next wave along quickly. It may take me a little bit, but the next time I revisit the Thundercats toys, we’ll be looking at the 6-inch figuers based off of the new series.

Thundercats: Classic Lion-O 8-inch Collector Figure by Ban Dai

It was a long struggle to finally get this figure. I had it pre-ordered, had to cancel the pre-order because I bought way too much other stuff that month. Re pre-ordered it at another site. Canceled that pre-order because the figures turned up at another site first. Had to pass on them at TRU because my order already shipped and now I finally have him. So, don’t take it lightly when I say that after finally getting this figure in hand, he was worth every spot of bother and frustration along the way. I’d like to think its rare that I completely lose my shit and gush like crazy over a figure, but put on your hip boots, folks, because it’s about to get deep in here. Lion-O is freaking awesome.

At first glance, I liked the packaging, but didn’t love it. I think I was just expecting something a bit more vintage looking. Instead you get something like a small window box with an extended card on the back to make it peg friendly. The familiar Thundercats logo is on the top and there’s very little about the package that blocks your view of the figure inside. Ban Dai obviously wanted to let these toys speak for themselves. And I think it was a good call. The back panel shows off the figure and some of the other Thundercats toys, both new and classic, and the package still features that annoying tri-lingual writing. Ultimately, the packaging won me over because with a quick snip of some tape on the bottom flap, it proves to be totally collector friendly, and I can keep my figures and their extra accessories displayed in the package when I’m not fiddling about with them. Cool!
Once out of the package, Lion-O is glorious. Let me try to do my best here, because words are failing me. If you’re expecting a collector grade figure, you will likely be disappointed. There’s stuff here that the snooty collector type will want to scoff at. Lion-O feels like a toy, and I’m not meaning that as a slight, in fact, quite the contrary. He has that great shiny plastic look and feel that makes the nostalgia just pour out of him. It’s like Ban Dai somehow managed to preserve the essence of the vintage toy aspect of the old LJN Lion-O figure and yet completely update it with super articulation and better proportions. Usually when I get a new figure that I love, I can’t wait to display him on the shelf. With Lion-O here, it’s like I want to take him around the house and fight battles with him. He’s just that much fun.
The head sculpt might as well be perfect, because I can’t find anything to even nit pick about it. It captures the character beautifully and still features that great windblown sculpt to his hair that the vintage toy had. The rest of his iconic outfit is wonderfully reproduced here and the sculpting on his muscles balances just the right amount of detail between realism and cartoon. I’m particularly thrilled with the way the Claw Shield came out. It has a great metallic gold sheen with the bright red crystals in the knuckles, and includes a slot to sheath the smaller Sword of Omens. Lion-O even has a removable strap hanging off his hip that can be used to secure the Claw Shield when he’s not wearing it.
Lion-O’s paintwork is solid, and here’s a great example of less being more. Thankfully, Ban Dai didn’t do something silly like use an ugly wash on his muscles or anything like that. [Oh wait, they did and then charged double for it in San Diego! -FF] The paintwork on his face is immaculate as is the Thundercats logo on his belt. I’m also happy to report that the discs and pins in his shoulder joints are cast in flesh colored plastic, so you don’t get the unsightly black joints that we see in the new series figures. On the downside, the pins in his ankles are also cast in flesh colored plastic. But that’s one of those reasons I pointed out that he’s more toy than collectible.
Ok, let’s talk articulation, because the package boasts 18 points. The head is ball jointed, but the neck is also hinged where it meets the shoulder to give him more of an up and down motion to his head. The arms feature ball joints in the shoulders, hinged elbows, swivels in the biceps, and ball jointed wrists. His legs are ball jointed at the hips, feature swivels in the thighs and just above the boots, feature double hinged knees, and hinged ankles. Lion-O also has a ball joint in his waist and another ab joint just below his chest. There’s few poses you can’t get this guy into!
Accessories include a long Sword of Omens, a short Sword of Omens, and the Claw Shield. Ok, here’s where you made out better if you picked up the SDCC version. Not that there’s anything wrong with this figure’s accessories, but I can’t deny that the vac-metalized swords of the SDCC Exclusive look so much better. Still, the sculpting on the swords is quite nice and they aren’t as rubbery as I was afraid they were going to be. You also get an extra pair of hands. The left one replaces the Claw Shield and the right one is designed to better grip the Sword of Omens. Why you would want the less grippy right hand is beyond me. But hey… free hand!
Lion-O runs anywhere from between $17.99 and $20. Considering he probably has about the same collector appeal as Mattel’s MOTU Classics figures, I think this is a great price. It’s probably even more so, since you can theoretically buy him at a retail store, rather than have to go online and pay an extra ten bucks to have him shipped. It’s certainly worth saying that right now Lion-O here is one of my favorite figures in my entire, not so humble, collection. Having this toy in hand, I’m actually shamed to think that I was disappointed when Ban Dai got the license to do Classic Thundercats figures. Clearly they knew what they were doing all along. Next time we’ll check out Tygra, but let me say here and now that if Ban Dai doesn’t at the very least release all the Thundercats in this format, I’m going to go apeshit. But the thought that we might also get the Mutants and Mumm-Ra has got me really excited. Oh yeah, we also now know that Ban Dai has the rights to the Silverhawks license and have even established a bit of a tie-in with the new cartoon series. 8-inch Classic Silverhawk figures? Probably not, but just saying, is all.

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.

Thundercats: Deluxe 4-inch Grune the Warrior by Ban Dai

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.

Thundercats: Deluxe 4-inch Mumm-Ra by Ban Dai

I’ve already taken a look at the shriveled up mummy version of Mumm-Ra in the Basic Assortment of Thundercats figures. Now it’s time to check out his buffed out mega-demon form from the Deluxe line. We haven’t actually seen Mumm-Ra’s powered up form in the new cartoon yet, so this figure is really the first taste of what the character is going to look like. I think that’s pretty cool.

The Deluxe packaging is bigger and beefier than the standard Basic Assortment cards with the figures mounted in a half cylinder. I think this packaging is a little too congested and lacks the charm of the Basic carded figures, but it’s still nice looking and was definitely needed for these larger figures and accessories. What makes the figure a Deluxe? Apparently this assortment includes ThunderLynx gimmicks with the figure, whereas the Basic figures require you to have a vehicle or playset in order to exploit their magnetic gimmicks. Mumm-Ra here carries his extra goodies on the figure himself in the guise of his massive ThunderLynx wings. The wings are mounted so that they appear to be attached and spread, but when you open the package you’ll find that you actually need to assemble the wings onto the figure.
Mumm-Ra is definitely a great looking figure and quite reminiscent of the old school version of the character. Like Grune and Panthro, he’s pretty big compared to the rest of the 4-inch assortment. His head is pretty tiny, and it seems to want to look down all the time, but the sculpt is no less impressive. Strangely enough, Mumm-Ra’s two gold bicep bands are separate pieces and have a tendency to pop off, so you might want to dab a little gorilla glue on those babies before you lose them.
Mumm-Ra’s paint job is fairly simple compared to the other figures in the line. He’s mostly grey with the remnants of his bandages painted white and once again, the pins and hinges in his joints are left unpainted. I still can’t really get worked up about that omission, at least not in figures in this small scale. I am, however, definitely disappointed by how poorly his Plundarr emblem is painted on his chest. It’s neatly done, but looks very oversimplified when compared to the one on Grune’s chest, or the Thundercats emblems on the Cats.
Mumm-Ra’s ThunderLynx gimmick is his huge set of wings on his back. You can fold them in around him and when you pass his gauntlet over his Lynx magnet they spring open as you rotate it toward each wing. The wings look really good on the figure when viewed from the front, but rather boxy and artificial from the back. As for the gimmick, it’s works well and makes for a nice attack move, but I would have been perfectly happy to get a Mumm-Ra figure without it, especially if the wings were removable altogether.
You get two accessories in Mumm-Ra’s package. He has his scimitar and his gauntlet. The scimitar is the powered up version of the blade that came with the Basic Assortment Mumm-Ra and the gauntlet is the attack version of the Basic Mumm-Ra’s shield. I like the gauntlet a lot as the claws are deployed and it makes for a pretty cool weapon. The scimitar looks nice and I like the silvery finish better than what we got with Lion-O’s Sword of Omens, but the plastic is very bendy and it’s hard to keep the scimitar from not looking warped.
All in all, I think Mumm-Ra is a solid figure, but there are definitely areas for improvement. I usually hate gimmicks on figures, so I was kind of surprised to find that I didn’t hate Mumm-Ra’s gimmick, even if I would have preferred it be left out. I do think that Mumm-Ra fits this $15 Deluxe price point a lot better than Grune, which we’ll see tomorrow, but that’s probably because his wings make him a more substantial figure and he doesn’t have a bunch of throw-away accessories like Grune did. In the end, Mumm-Ra might not be a homerun, but he’s still a great looking figure and let’s face it, he’s a “must-have” addition to any Thundercats collection.

Thundercats: ThunderRacer Vehicles with Lion-O and Tygra by Ban Dai

No doubt, the coolest thing about the 4-inch line of Thundercats figures is the potential for vehicles, and so far Ban Dai has been delivering. I’ve already looked at the Thundertank and now it’s time to check out two of the Deluxe scale vehicles: The ThunderRacers. Besides offering up some great vehicle action for your figures, these kitty bikes are also designed to combine with the Thundertank to make it a more formidable fighting machine. Let’s check them out…

The Racers are each packaged and sold separately, one with Lion-O and one with Tygra. I’ve decided to look at them together, since they are basically the same toy, only each one comes with a different figure and weapon pod. The packaging is pretty large and hefty for a toy in this price class. You get a HUGE bubble on a cardback that is flush with the bubble making the packaging look like a straight up box. The figure and vehicle are displayed really well and the back panel of the card has photos showing the gimmicks and other toys in the line. All in all, I think this is some great presentation. But the best thing about the packaging? Nothing is tied down. Just tear it open and everything pops out really easy.

The vehicles themselves are basically Thundercat Lightcycles. They have a wheel in front and back and a big canopy that lifts open to allow access to the cockpit where the figure sits. There’s no real detail inside the cockpit, apart from a pair of control sticks that the figures can grab. There seems to be spot intended for a sticker where the controls would be, but it doesn’t come with any stickers. The seat is sculpted with the socket to plug the figures’ ThunderLynx into and the vehicles will work with the regular carded versions of Lion-O and Tygra too. I’m pretty sure Cheetara would fit as well. The sculpt is solid, and I like the blue speckled paint used for the cat heads, but some extra paint apps or stickers for the outside would have helped a lot. Admittedly, there isn’t a whole lot of substance to the Racers themselves, but they do look great and are fun to play around with.

Each Racer comes with one weapon pod, which can be plugged into either side of the vehicle and works in conjunction with the figures’ ThunderLynx. Lion-O’s comes with a drill that shoots like a missile and Tygra’s has an LED that lights up like its firing a laser. The weapons are activated by pressing a fire button near the canopy, but will only work if a figure is plugged into the ThunderLynx port. The weapons themselves are not all that special, but I do like the customization ability, where you can even plug both weapons into a single bike.

The Lion-O and Tygra figures are a little perplexing to me. I expected them to be simple space holders much like the unarticulated figures Spin Master put in with their Tron vehicles. As it turns out, these are actually great looking figures and loads of fun. On the downside, they aren’t as detailed or as articulated as the single carded versions of these characters, nor do they come with any accessories. They’re also just a smidge smaller than the carded figures, but still passable in the same scale. Even if you get these versions first, you’re still going to want to pick up the regular releases at which point these figures become rather redundant. Each pack-in figure has the same body sculpt and basic outfit, but the arms and legs have unique paintwork. The head sculpts are every bit as good as the regular carded releases in terms of sculpt and paintwork. Articulation consists of seven points: The heads rotate, the arms rotate at the shoulders, the legs rotate at the hips and have hinged elbows. So, the articulation is not bad, but nowhere near as good as the regular versions.

The ThunderRacers plug into the Thundertank in the same way as the little drone bikes that came with it. They add a lot of bulk to the tank and triple its occupancy. I absolutely love the look of this combined mode, although the Thundertanks paws can’t go down all the way with the Racers attached, so be prepared to fold out the claws and put them in attack mode. Also, the combined mode is pretty unstable because of the added weight on the sides. It holds together great if you leave the tank on a flat surface, but if you go to pick it up, you have to be pretty careful in order to keep it form falling apart. The ThunderRacers work with the same launching gimmick as the drone bikes too.

The ThunderRacers retail for fifteen bucks each, which on its own seems like a decent price, but the sense of value really skyrockets when compared to the Deluxe 4-inch figures at the same price point. The vehicles and figures are plenty of fun on their own, but I think the real draw here for most collectors will be to be able to complete the buffed out Thundertank. Again, I really like the figures, and I suppose its good to have extra figures to display in the tank, but as I said earlier, they’re really redundant and I may wind up just giving them to my Nephew.