DC Comics Multiverse (Doomsday Wave): Dark Knight Returns Batman and Robin by Mattel

So, if you haven’t guessed by now, I’ve been using Mattel’s ho-hum Multiverse line as filler for DC Fridays as I await some better stuff to come in. I should have something next week for sure. In the meantime, I’ve picked up a couple waves of these figures for stupid cheap and I’ve been trudging through the Doomsday Wave. Today I’m doubling up with a look at both Batman and Robin from Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns. I was actually looking forward to these figures and hoping they would be the breakouts of the wave. Turns out those were lofty and unfulfilled hopes. Let’s have a look…

The figures come in window boxes and are collector friendly. They’re not ugly, they’re not great, they just are. Sometimes I’m sad about tossing packaging, but in this case, I don’t really care. There’s some nice character art on the side panels, and you get a little blurb about each character too. Let’s start with Batman…

So, my first thought here is that the figure looks drab and unfinished and I proscribe that to the lack of paint. I suppose you could argue that they’re going for a comic look here and the art in this particular book sure isn’t cheery. In fairness, they did attempt to add a little color diversity here and there. You get the dark gray of the armor pieces, with the lighter gray and blue of the underlying suit peeking out. Then you get the blue of the cape and cowl, and the bright yellow of the utility belt. And yet still, there’s something about the coloring on this figure that looks cheap.

The sculpt itself is passable. I like that the chest armor is soft plastic wrapped around the buck. It adds to the bulk of the figure and also gives it a unique matte finish to contrast with the rest of the plastic. There are some little cinches and rumples sculpted in too. You get some panel lines in the armor rings, some nice ribbing and texturing on the fists, including reinforced plates on the knuckles, and best of all, you get those crazy spikes on the soles of his boots. Again, I think a lot of the reason this figure falls flat for me is the lack of paint. I’ll also point out that mine came out of the package with the right shoulder cape attachment warped so it looks like it’s pulled up.

The head sculpt isn’t terrible. It fits the style of the art. There’s some nice depth between the face and the cowl. But the paint on my figure is all chipped around the upper lip, exposing the gray plastic under it like some kind of unfortunate case of necro-herpes. For a figure with an MSRP of about $20, that level of quality control just isn’t here.

Articulation here is quite limited. That’s been a gripe of mine for the first two figures in this wave and it looks like that isn’t going to change. Once again, the problem isn’t with the points, but with the range of motion in those points. The elbows in particular have are laughably limited. In the case of this figure, I’m maybe willing to be a bit more forgiving, because he is wearing bulky armor, but it still means that this figure isn’t much fun to play with. Also, there’s a waist swivel in there, but mine is locked tight with the torso slightly turned to the right.

Batman comes with his EMP gun and it’s a pretty sorry excuse for an accessory. Maybe this would have been OK for a 3 3/4-inch scale weapon, but come on, Mattel. This is just embarrassing. I’ve had enough of this guy… let’s move on to Robin.

 

We’re still focused on TDKR here, so this is of course, Carrie Kelly. I like the scaling here, especially when you display her next to Batman, because she’s appropriately tiny. From the neck down, the sculpt isn’t half bad. Mattel actually did a decent job with the classic Robin outfit. It’s not overly encumbered with detail, but it definitely gets the job done and adheres to the art style reasonably well. I even like the coloring here. The bright red, yellow, and green really make this figure pop splendidly. Well, look at that, I had some nice things to say!

For a while I was a little torn on the head sculpt. At certain angles it doesn’t look too bad, but in the end I have to come down against it. The glasses look way too large and blocky and having them just painted over green doesn’t work for me. At this point, I realize it’s asking way too much to have clear green plastic and sculpted eyes behind them (although even Funko’s Pop! Vinyl managed to do it), but it doesn’t change the fact that what we got here looks kind of awkward. And speaking of awkward, the bottom part of the face and lips does not look like anything like a child to me.

Like Batman, the articulation here sucks. Again, on paper this figure should have all it needs to work, but none of those points offer any real range of motion, except the shoulders. The hips are confined by the tunic, the elbows can barely make 90-degrees, and the ankle hinges are all but useless. I pick these figures up, fiddle with them for a few moments, get frustrated, and put them back down again.

Robin comes with her slingshot accessory, which is a good thought, but executed pretty hamhandedly. The rubber band looks like a chewed stretched piece of caramel. She can hold the slingshot in her right hand or it can get tucked into the loop on her belt, where it looks like an oversized albatross.

Goddammit, Mattel! After one disappointment (Supergirl) and one meh (Superman Doomed), I’ve was hoping to finally hit a couple of Multiverse figures that I actually liked and instead I got these. They look and feel cheap, they have horrible articulation, and Mattel should be ashamed of themselves for asking $20 a pop for these. Keep in mind, I paid eight bucks for each of these and I’m still not satisfied. These are giant leaps backwards from the days of DC Universe Classics, a line that Mattel killed many years back so that they could, what… work on developing this garbage? OK, I still have two more figures in this wave to review before I can put together Doomsday, but I feel like I’m really bumming out DC Fridays with this crap, so next week I’m going determined to cleanse the pallet with something decent.

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DC Comics Multiverse (Doomsday Wave): Superman Doomed by Mattel

It’s been pretty slow for me on the DC collecting front, so I’ve decided to continue running through a complete wave of Mattel’s Multiverse line while I’m waiting for some new statues to roll in. This is also helpful, since I just wrapped up another extra long work week and all I want to do is curl up in bed with a bottle of Jameson for at least 12 hours. Last time on DC Friday, I looked at DCTV’s Supergirl and was less than impressed. This time I’m checking out Superman from the 2014 story arc, Superman: Doomed. Will this figure be any good? Or will it be doomed to… ah f’ck it. Never mind the easy puns. let’s just check him out…

The packaging is the same we saw last time for Supergirl. It’s collector friendly, it gives you a good look at the figure inside, and my favorite thing about it is the character art and little bio blurb on the side panel. If I were saving these packages, I could line them all up on the shelf and no exactly who is who. As the package indicates, this is Superman infected by the virus he inhaled from Doomsday’s defeated body. I found it to be a pretty average story, although it was elevated by the fact that most of New 52’s Superman book before it was not my cup of tea. Look, I actually enjoyed several books from the New 52, but I thought Supes’ book was pretty lame. Doomed, on the other hand, well at least it presented something interesting.

So, at first glance, I like what I see. It’s a slightly beefier Superman in his New 52 outfit with some decent red and blue coloring. Some of the costume, like the boots and the belt are sculpted on, while the S-Shield is merely a tampo. This is one of the first times I can remember a New 52 Superman figure violating the New 52 art direction guide that the emblem should always be 3D and never just painted on. Seriously, that shit is printed in at least one of the comics! I’m pretty sure it was Justice League. At this point, however, I guess nobody cares anymore. Hey, at least the S-Shield is very printed very sharply, and the colors are bright and snappy. The figure does have a little bit of a cheap feel to it. It’s not junky per-say, but it feels more like those Total Heroes figures than it does a DC Universe Classics or Unlimited or All-Stars or whatever Mattel was last calling their DC collectors’ line. So far so good, pretty solid.

Of course from the waist upward, the figure takes on a more unique visage and exhibits some of those Doomsday characteristics from the virus. You get bumpy spikes in the arms and torso and those gray grasping monster hands. And that brings us to the head, which is pretty well done. I’m sure I’ve gone on record as saying that I’m not a huge fan of Doomsday’s design, but it looks pretty cool here when presented as a Kryptonian-Doomsday hybrid. Supes is sporting a wide grin with a mouthful of nasty teeth, more or those horn-bumps on his chin and jaw, and some wicked red demon eyes. Not too shabby. He’s still got his regular hair, more or less, but he also has little tufted ears. I like what they did here a lot.

Unfortunately, this figure’s articulation lets it down, and like Supergirl, it isn’t necessarily because the points aren’t there, rather there isn’t just a great range of motion to any of them. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders and elbows, and swivels in the wrists and biceps. Those hinges in the elbows can’t do much and the lack of hinges in the wrists is disappointing. The legs have rotating hinges in the hips and swivels up there too, but again, there just isn’t a lot you can do with them. There are hinges in the knees and ankles and that’s all well and good, but again there’s very little range of motion in the knee hinges, and there are no ankle rockers. At least his torso fares well with a waist swivel and a decent ab crunch. Lastly, the neck is ball jointed. On paper, most of this sounds passable, but in hand, the figure just isn’t a lot of fun to pose.

I do like how he scales with Mattel’s earlier lines. Here he is alongside Mattel’s DC Universe “All Stars” New 52 Superman from 2012. He’s a little bit bigger, but then he is supposed to be, so I’d say it’s a pretty good match. You can also see that the Doomed version is missing the panel lines of the costume. That’s something I didn’t even notice until I put them side by side, and now I’m bummed out by it.

Overall, I like this figure better than the DCTV Supergirl, but I really need to qualify that. Supergirl had some great sculpting and paint in the costume, but fell short on everything else. Doomed Superman is a lot less ambitious. It aims lower and as a result doesn’t fail quite so badly. It’s also a comic based figure, which requires less in the way of realism, particularly in the portrait, and that was the Achilles Heel of that Supergirl figure. So, no… don’t take this as a ringing endorsement. This Superman is not a great figure, but I don’t think he’s terrible either.  If I ever get my DC Universe Classics collection set up on display again, I’ll have no qualms about putting him in there. Of course, keep in mind, that I picked up the figures in this wave for around $8 a pop, so I’m going to be a lot more forgiving when it comes to value. Plus, I’m one limb closer to building my Doomsday figure!

DC Comics Multiverse (Doomsday Wave): Supergirl by Mattel

It’s hard to believe it, but this is my first DC Multiverse figure. I’ve been largely avoiding this line because I haven’t heard great things about it and I’m still, YES STILL!!! bitter about Mattel killing off DC Universe Classics only to seemingly re-brand it over and over again in slightly different scales and styles. But, a friend of mine was looking to unload a wave of these for stupid cheap and so I took them off his hands, mainly for the figure I’m looking at today and maybe to satiate my mild curiosity.

The packaging is pretty cool, especially when comparing it to the likes of Hasbro’s Marvel Legends. You get a collector friendly window box that shows the figure off nicely and some character art and a little bio on the side panel. The character selection for this wave is all over the place, but the “Collect & Connect” Doomsday figure is motivating enough to get them all. This version of Supergirl is from the TV Series. It’s a show I started watching as a guilty pleasure, but it’s grown on me a lot. It’s upbeat and good-natured, and I like to think of watching it as passive resistance against the asshole impostor that’s walking around in Superman’s costume in the DC movies.

This is clearly a tale of two figures. From the neck down she looks pretty damn great. I really dig the design of her costume in the series and Mattel did a nice job recreating it here. The S-shield is actually part of the sculpt, as is all the piping on the torso and arms. The belt is sculpted, the pleating on the skirt looks natural, and the boots have little wrinkles here and there. The cape falls pretty naturally and it doesn’t even throw off the balance of the figure too badly. The paint is also exceptional for an off-the-peg Mattel figure. The blue they used for her top is deep and goes really well with the somewhat subdued red of the skirt, cape, and boots. The gold paint they used for the belt and the trim on the S-Shield is quite striking and both it and the red piping on the suit are applied with care and precision. This is surprisingly great stuff! And then you get to the head sculpt.

Woof! What happened here? I mean, I’m not expecting great things, but how the hell was this even approved? Melissa Benoist is an aggressively cute young lady and this is… WHAT IS THIS?  It’s hard to tell what lets this portrait down more, the sculpt or the paint, but in the end it doesn’t matter. It looks like Supergirl got stung by an army of Kryptonite bees and her face is in the process of swelling up and she’s trying to smile it off and act like nothing happened. YOU DON’T SHRUG OFF A BEE ATTACK, MS. DANVERS!!! Also, those printed eyes are just laughable. I will admit, that this head does not photograph well. It does look a little better in hand. At the right angle with the light shining just right, I can kind of see a little of Ms. Benoist in there, but not enough of to save it. What a shame.

Following hot on the heels of that facial disappointment comes the articulation. Now, what’s here sounds decent on paper. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders and elbows, with swivels in the wrists. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, have swivels in the thighs, and hinges in both the knees and hips. The torso swivels at the waist, has an ab crunch in the chest, and a ball joint in the neck. There are some obvious bummers here, like no swivels or lateral rockers in the ankles and no hinges in the wrists, but there are a few more problems worth mentioning.

The range of motions in the elbows sucks, mainly because of the way they’re sculpted. She can’t even do a proper hands-on-hips heroic stance. She can barely get right angles out of those guns. Also, the ab crunch hinge is designed so that she can only bend backwards. That’s helpful when trying to put her into a flying pose, but forward movement would have been nice as well. Besides, the sculpted hair keeps her from looking up anyway, so she still can’t really do a very good flying pose.

I was particularly interested in the scaling on these figures, and surprised to find that they scale pretty well with the old DCUC line. On the other hand, they scale surprisingly poorly against Mattel’s more recent Movie Masters line. On the plus side, Mattel seems to be producing all the DCTV figures in this line, so at least those will all display well together.

With some potentially bright spots, this figure still ends up disappointing. I’m pleased to say that it isn’t the kind of junk that I was expecting it to be, but between the limited articulation and the disaster of a face, it’s not hitting the mark. I think Mattel is getting around $20 a pop for these, which feels like a lot. If I break down what I paid for this wave, she’d be more like $8, so I’m not complaining. I’d still like to pick up DC Collectibles’ version of DCTV’s Supergirl and see how it compares. In the meantime, I’ll probably be revisiting the rest of this wave on future DC Fridays when I have nothing better to look at.

Masters of the Universe Classics: Clamp Champ by Mattel

Yes, folks, I still have Masters Classics figures sitting around and waiting to be opened. I’m actually rationing these out as a way to get my MOTUC fix until Super7 can get their thing up and running. Today, I’m opening up Clamp Champ! Poor Clamp Champ missed out on being in both the Filmation series and the 200x reboot. His figure was released too late in the vintage line to make an appearance in the former, and the later series was cancelled before he could swoop in and take over for the doomed Man-At-Arms. On the flip-side, as far as I know he’s the only character of color to get a vintage toy release, and as such he’s certainly worthy our respect and attention.

After all this time, there’s not much more that can be said about this iconic packaging. Clamp Champ is an older release, so he does have a bio on the back of the card. His tag line on the bubble insert proclaims him the “Heroic Master of Capture!” I think they missed the opportunity to call him “Heroic Champ of the Clamp!” Give me a minute to rip open this package and we’ll see what he’s all about.

Clampy gets by with a buck that’s a straight up re-use of He-Man’s body only with a fresh coat of paint. Apart from the dark skin tone, his furry diaper and boot fringe have been recolored red, his boots are black, and his belt and bracers are silver. Nonetheless, he still manages to look rather distinctive thanks to his cool chest armor, which packs a lot of sculpted detail and a two-tone blue and silver deco. I’m a big fan of the whole techno-meets-fantasy vibe that I get off of this figure and I’ve got to say, Matty did a beautiful job recreating that armor.

The back of the armor also sports a black backpack. What is it? Maybe a power generator for his weapon? I don’t know. I think it would have been a good idea to put a hole there so he could wear his accessory on his back, but Matty decided to remain true to the vintage figure and I can respect that.

I dig the head sculpt on this guy a lot. Even though Champ didn’t appear in the Filmation cartoon, I think this head fits that style pretty well. But where does this guy get his name from?

From this big-ass clamp! I should note that Clampy feels like a bit of a cheat, because most of Eternia’s heroes and villains get their names from some kind of horrific defect or mutation. As such, you would expect Clamp Champ to have this thing grafted onto his arm, or just have a giant mutated claw. Nope, it’s just something he carries around with him and refers to as “The Techno Clamp”® The bio exclaims that Clamp Champ “surprises his enemies with his clamping action,” but that would have to be a pretty good trick, because how could they not see this giant clamp coming their way? Even Skeletor’s minions aren’t that clueless!

And to be fair, this big accessory is really more of a claw than a clamp, but Claw Champ isn’t quite as catchy. The original toy had a lever-control gimmick, and while this new version has a faux-lever sculpted on it, you have to pull out the claws manually. It’s still capable of grabbing enemies and I really like the little detailed paint apps that Matty did on its instrumentation.

Now this piece looks more like a clamp, but I have no idea what practical purpose it can serve, as he just holds it. Obviously, he can make a living with these ridiculous tools, otherwise he’d be unemployed and they’d call him Clamp Tramp. They’d probably also call him that if he slept around a lot.

In the end, I find myself in the odd position of not really digging Clamp Champ’s weapon all that much, but liking the figure quite a bit. The armor and the deco really works for me, but the clamp itself just reminds me of the goofy over-sized accessories that Hasbro is packing with Star Wars figures these days. It’s not terribly practical, but I suppose I’ll let him keep it. Otherwise it’ll be too hard to explain to people why he’s called Clamp Champ.

Masters of the Universe Classics: Horde Wraith by Mattel

So, two things: First, there’s obviously no Transformers Thursday this week. Next week is looking good, though. Second, I’m crazy pressed for time today, so my apologies if today feels a little abbreviated. Today, I’m going back to the waning days of Matty Collector, with what I’m pretty sure was the last MOTUC figure they released: The Horde Wraith! With so many delays toward the end, I just got a big box of figures all at once, so it’s hard for me to tell what order they were intended. Granted, I still have plenty of older figures and other goodies from Masters Classics to open, but after sitting around since last year, I thought it was time to open this guy up. So let’s do it!

I’m fairly well versed on my Horde lore, but I actually have no memory of this fellow at all. My sources tell me he’s from the 200x reboot and I think it’s long past time I pulled out my DVD’s and gave that series a re-watch, because so much of it has slipped my mind. Here’s one time when I really miss the bios that used to be on the backs of the cards, but his tag-line on the front, “Sorcerer for The Evil Horde,” is all I need (I’d like to believe it says that on his business cards). Besides, do I really need an official backstory to enjoy a figure like this? No, sir. I do not.

Especially when the figure looks like this guy! The Horde Wraith could easily be Shadow Weaver’s more evil-er granddaddy. He’s a foreboding, cloaked slab of wickedness that floats around thanks to a translucent stand provided in the package. His gray robes don’t sport a lot of sculpted detail, and that gives him something of an animated feel. They do, however have some really nice ragged edges on the bottom and on the sleeves. He also has some arm bands with sculpted sickle-like patterns, cool wrist bracers with diamonds, and blue claw-like hands, which makes me think that Horde Wraith may be an evil Trollan on steroids. Dammit, that should have been the tag-line on the package, “Evil Trollan on Steroids.” Damn, my lack of customizing skills!

The true star of this outfit is the black cape and shoulder piece. The front features a sash that drops down with a sculpted Horde emblem at the top. The shoulders themselves are textured and the whole ensemble has a red border. The lapse in QC that has touched some of these final figures rears its ugly head with a few tiny paint flubs, but nothing too bad. On the back, a tattered cape cascades down, almost to the end of his robes.

The portrait, for lack of a better term, is just a hood with a dark, featureless face buried in it and two yellow eyes peering out. Here the paint work is pretty spot on, right down to the subtle red outline around those eyes. The hood is sculpted as part of the head.

The articulation here is more limited than usual, only because Horde Wraith does not have any legs. Everything else is close to what we normally get in our MOTUC figures. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulder and elbows, and swivels in the wrists and biceps. There’s a swivel in the waist and an ab crunch hinge in the chest. The neck is ball jointed. The stand works really well to support him, but it gave me a hell of a time getting it in there. I had to use so much force, I was afraid I would snap it. I don’t believe that I will risk pulling it out again.

In addition to the stand, Horde Wraith comes with a staff with what looks like a Horde crossbow stuck on the end. I’m not sure whether its intended to be functional or not, but maybe he can shoot some kind of magic missiles from that baby. The staff is a very nice sculpt, but it’s very thin and prone to warping. Also, he has a hell of a time holding it properly. It looks like the cut-outs in the small axe blade are meant to loop his fingers through. That helps a bit, but it doesn’t take much to knock it out of his hands.

The Horde Wraith is a great design and I think he’s an excellent way to end the MOTUC line. I don’t know if a lot of collectors were jonesing after this dude, but if so I’m hoping he lived up to their expectations. As for me? I absolutely love this figure, even though I know nothing about the character. Hell, I don’t even know if he is a single character or if The Horde has a whole army of these spooky spell-slingers. I do know that he’s exactly the sort of thing that I would have doodled on my Trapper Keeper back in school, while dreaming up AD&D campaigns during math class, and that he’s very welcome in my Evil Horde display.

ThunderCats Classics: Panthro by Mattel

Well folks, I’ve put this off long enough. It’s time to open my very last figure in Matty’s ill-fated ThunderCats series. I was saving this review for after Toy Fair because I was really hoping that Super7 would have some good news for us, but obviously that wasn’t the case. I didn’t hear anybody ask them about the license, and they sure weren’t volunteering any information. I’m going to be an eternal optimist and take that as a sign of hope. If negotiations were still underway, they may have been limited in what they could discuss, whereas if all bets were off, I’m hoping they just would have come out and told us that, rather than keep us hanging in a state of misplaced hope. Anyway, let’s look at Panthro…

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As always, the figure comes in an illustrated black mailer box. Inside that is this fantastic window box, which shows the figure off beautifully. There’s a trap door on the bottom so you can easily pull out the tray. The back panel has colorful character art and a bio. This package is a little less collector friendly than the others, because one of Panthro’s accessories is behind a bubble on the tray backing, but with a little patience and a blade, you can still get it off without hurting anything. I’m holding onto these packages for now, but who knows if Super7 will keep this package design if they ever do secure the rights.

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Out of the package, we can quickly see that Panthro sucks and is yet another example of why I’m glad this line died. Well, that’s what I want to say, but I can’t, because in all honesty he’s excellent and quite possibly the best figure in this little collection. Granted, from the neck down there’s not a lot of original sculpted detail, but what’s here is totally faithful to the character design. Plus, they did make the effort to put in little touches like the ring just above his left elbow, the cuff on his right wrist, and the ties on the back of his lower leggings. I also love the proportions on this figure, the buck is just perfect.

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Panthro’s harness tabs together at the back and looks great on him. One of the spikes behind the left shoulder is a little bent from being in the package, but it’s nothing that I’m going to get worked up about. There’s some nice texturing on the belt and the Eye of Thunderra is crisp. The rest of the coloring here is also spot on! If I had to gripe about something it would be that the plastic looks a little rough in some areas. There’s some mold flashing here and there and some visible seams.

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I’ve got absolutely no quibbles with the head sculpt. While I could argue that the portraits on some of these figures have been just a smidge off here and there, Panthro’s hits the mark perfectly. From his broad nose and pointy ears, this is the Panthro I grew up with and really admired. He was strong, an agile fighter, and a wiz with technology and mechanics. A veritable Cat of all Trades.

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Panthro comes with a bevy of accessories, the least interesting of which is an extra right hand with a tighter grip, which seems unnecessary, but why argue over an extra accessory, eh? His nun-chucks are fantastic and connect with a real chain. They feature the adorable little cat claws sculpted into the ends and he can hold them really well.

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He also comes with a pair of nun-chucks that recreates a spinning effect. You plug the blue spinney effect part into the extra red chuk and it looks pretty good. I’m tempted to say I’d rather have had a pair that he could clip on the back of his belt, but this is still pretty damn neat. And we’re not done yet, because he comes with two more little goodies.

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The Key of Thunderra! It was an artifact so important that they named an episode after it. It was a thoughtful item to include with Panthro, since he was the one that found it in that episode. No, it doesn’t do much, but he can hold it in his hand and say, “Look what I found! Let’s use it to get Lion-O out of that damn book!”

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Panthro also comes with the Thundrometer, which he used to locate Thundrillium, the fuel for his precious Thundertank. I like this accessory a lot and he looks great holding it.

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Panthro is about as perfect a figure as I can imagine. He looks great, he has all the right accessories, and he is loads of fun to play with. And of course, he represents the final installment in this line unless it gets a stay of execution from Super7. I really like what they’re doing with the new Masters of the Universe Classics figures, but I’m not a big fan of their “you can pre-order every figure in the wave or none at all” business model. On the other hand, I’m jonesing for more ThunderCats so badly, that I’d probably be perfectly fine with that strategy should the licensing ever work out. In fact, there’s really no characters that I can think of that I wouldn’t happily buy in figure form. In the meantime, I guess I’ll just have to be content with these my complete set of 2011 ThunderCats from Bandai.

DC Universe Signature Series: Superboy by Mattel

It’s been over three years since a DC Signature Series figure last appeared here on FFZ. This line was Matty’s noble attempt to keep DC Universe Classics going as a subscription line after it was pulled from the toy aisles for reasons that still don’t make any sense to me, but that’s an issue that I’ve tackled here before and I won’t go into it again now. Anyway, the subscription didn’t get enough support to go forward in 2014, but Matty still released a handful of figures that were already far along in production. One of those was Connor Kent and he was offered up as part of Matty’s going out of business sale at the end of last year.

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While the figures were designed to fit right in with DC Universe Classics, the presentation got a complete overhaul. And, boy, the packaging for this line was great. You get a collector friendly window box with character art on the side panel so you can identify the figure if you have the boxes all lined up on the shelf. The back panel features another piece of character art and a blurb about the character.

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Superboy features a nice balance between simple buck and unique sculpting. The upper body is just a muscled buck with the black, short sleeved T-shirt painted on and the red S-Shield stamped in the middle. It looks great, and the size really fits the younger, albeit still buffed out, character.

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From the waist down, we get sculpted jeans with a simple belt. There are plenty of rumples in the jeans, and I dig how the actual seams on the upper legs are lined up to match the sculpted seams of the jeans on the lower legs. The jeans end in cuffs, left outside of his black boots. Again, there’s nothing outrageous about the sculpt here, but everything works so well. It’s just a great, simple, and clean looking figure.

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The portrait is notably more mature than the last Superboy we got in the DC Universe Classics series. It’s also a bit more stylized than I’m used to seeing in this line. With all that having been said, I still like it and I think it works well. The head sculpts in this line were usually solid efforts, and Connor here is no different.

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The articulation here reaches back to the DCUC line and really scratches that nostalgic itch. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, swivels in the biceps and wrists, and hinges in the elbows. The legs have that funky DCUC style hips, the knees and ankles are hinged, and there are swivels in the thighs. There’s a swivel in the waist, an ab crunch hinge in the torso and a ball joint on the neck.

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Connor was one of those figures that fell under my radar. I remember being disappointed at not getting him when the 2014 subscription failed, but somehow I missed him when Matty initially put him up for sale. Lucky for me they had some stock left over at the end, and I was able to drop him into my cart along with the short list of MOTUC figures that I still needed, making my Signature Collection now complete. The only problem with getting a figure like this one is that now I want to hit Ebay and hunt down the elusive DCUC figures that I’m still missing.

Masters of the Universe Classics: Tuskador by Mattel

It’s 2017 and the self-proclaimed King of Collectors is dead. Or, wait… Matty wasn’t the King, the collectors were King. But Matty wore a crown. Who was the freaking King again? I’m so confused, but I suppose in the end it was all bullshit. Matty is no more, but I still have a HUGE pile of figures (and even some vehicles) from them waiting to be featured, so you’ll still be getting a lot of Masters Classics content coming your way here this year. Today, I decided to open Tuskador, because…

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Well, just look at this beast! I had no idea who this was when his name turned up on my billing email and even then I was clueless. But when I felt the heft of his mailer box and gazed upon him in the package for the first time, I knew that it was love at first sight! The packaging may look standard, but trust me it’s much bigger than what we get for the usual MOTUC figures. Turns out Tuskador is one of the Galactic Protectors from the New Adventures series, and that’s cool because I’ve been really enjoying what Masters Classics has been doing with these goofy space bastards.  And speaking of New Adventures, did I mention that I had to buy a new Flogg because my old Flogg’s crotch spontaneously exploded when he was sitting in a tote in the closet? That’s craziness! But enough about Flogg’s crotch… let’s open this guy up and check him out!

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OH. MY. GAWD. As we saw in the packaged shot, the figure comes with the tusks off and you have two different pairs to choose from. I started with the big’uns and HOLY CRAP LOOK AT THESE GODDAMN THINGS! They are both awesome and ridiculous at the same time, which pretty much describes half the Masters Classics line. Let’s call it Awediculous. And yes, I realize that the placement of them basically makes them nipple-tusks. I’m starting with this big pair because, to be honest, I can’t even get a closer look at the figure with these mammoth (That’s right, have a pachyderm pun, free of charge!) tusks in the way. There’s no bio on the package, but a little research tells me that Tuskador is a trader and sort of a supply officer for the Galactic Protectors. How the hell is he going to walk through some marketplace or fly a spaceship with these things coming off of him? It only makes sense that he can switch them out. Anyway, I’m just calling these his battle tusks. It’s sort of like his Sunday best, only in this case he puts them on before a fight so he can gore Evil Space Mutants with them. They’re glorious, but I’m going to swap them out now so we can get on with looking at the figure.

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That’s better. The tusks simply peg right into the sockets on his armor, and both feature a beautiful pearlescent finish. They swap out really easily and they can rotate where they attach so you can tweak them a bit. These smaller tusks are still suitably large, but at least the figure is more manageable with them on. And what a great looking figure he is! He’s built using some parts from the Ram Man buck, most notably the arms and upper torso, but he actually stands notably taller than Rammy. The torso and legs are cast in two different shades of blue plastic, and feature lots of great sculpted detail, including panel lines, and some amazing treads on his boots. He also features a pair of metallic gold knee pads. There are also some very subtle touches of metallic blue paint on his pants and boots.

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Of course, the real draw here is the gold armor that makes up the top third of the figure. The gold paint is beautiful and once again, the attention to detail here is just great. You get these powerful looking shoulders, panel lines, sculpted rivets on the plating, hoses, and this big circular contraption on the back, which I’m going to assume is some kind of cooling unit to keep him from dying under all that apparatus. It’s a lot of technology just to get a guy to wear some tusks, but in the crazy sci-fi-fantasy world of New Adventures, it all makes perfect sense. Despite being a bulkier figure, Tuskador features all the articulation we’ve come to expect from the regular size figures.

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Buried deep under all those armor plates and support systems is a little open area showing Tuskador’s head. The mouth is obscured by additional hoses and a mouthpiece that’s sculpted to look a bit like a mechanical elephant’s trunk. It looks like there’s an amazing face sculpt under there, and thankfully, the helmet is removable to allow us a better look!

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Yup, that is one great portrait, especially for a figure that keeps the head covered up most of the time. The facial features are sharp and packed with personality. I particularly love the detail in his blue arming cap. It reminds me of a WWII tanker’s helmet.

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As if having a huge pair of tusks strapped to his chest isn’t enough, Tuskador comes with a rifle that he can wear on his belt. The sculpt is pretty cool, as it looks like a cross between a laser rifle, sub-machine gun and blunderbuss. Unfortunately, it’s all sculpted in an off white plastic and doesn’t feature any additional paint apps. In this case, I’m willing to give it a pass, because they sure put a hell of a lot of extra work into this figure.

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It’s fitting that Tuskador is the last new figure I will receive from Matty, because this figure happens to represent everything I have loved about this line. It’s a character I didn’t know or care about until I got the figure in hand, at which point I don’t know how my collection ever existed without him. He’s crazy, he’s ridiculous, he’s beautiful, and he’s gloriously fun, and as I said earlier, that pretty much sums up this entire line. And there’s no point for me to serve up a sappy farewell to MOTUC here, because I still have one more new figure to look at, and after that I can turn my attention backwards to some of the older figures that I picked up late in the game and still need to be featured on FFZ.

ThunderCats Classics: Pumyra by Mattel

Cheetara is dead! She was killed alongside Tygra when the two ‘Cats stole a Sky Cutter to escape Mutant custody and it was shot down causing them to burn to death in the wreckage. You could smell the burning cat hair all the way to the Berbil Village. The humanity! But after a long period of mourning, Pymyra stepped up to take Cheetara’s place. This is the sort of sick and twisted canon I have to come up with in my head to justify why certain characters are missing from my ThunderCats team, because Matty screwed us all over. So let’s check out Pumyra, also known as NOT-EFFING-CHEETARA!

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The packaging comes in a black mailer box with some minimalist artwork, serving as only a teaser of what lies within. I’ve said my piece about this packaging, but it stands repeating. It’s gorgeous, it’s collector friendly, it feels premium, and it sickens me that I won’t have dozens of these lined up on my shelf. In fact my only gripe here is that the character art on the back is pretty bad. Pumyra looks less like a ThunderCat and more like something Buffy would poke with a wooden stake.

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Fortunately, the figure fares somewhat better than the box art. Overall, she’s a pretty solid recreation of her counterpart on the Classic cartoon. Her outfit consists of that same slinky brown dress with the sides cut out. It’s funny how I distinctly remember that seeming really risque for a kid’s cartoon back then, meanwhile Cheetara’s cat-boobs were practically busting out all the time. The dress is sculpted directly onto the buck, instead of layered onto it. This feels a little cheaper than what Mattel often did with the female MOTUC characters, but in the end it looks fine. They did a particularly nice job with the ThunderCat emblem on her chest. She also has a sculpted pouch on the right side of her skirt and a belt that can be removed by un-tabbing it where the tails hang down. Also, I’m pretty sure the belt is supposed to also be her weapon, buy I’ll come back to that. The ensemble is rounded out by a pair of boots and a ribbed shoulder pad… ribbed for her pleasure… and protection… of her shoulder.

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The portrait here is where my admiration for this figure begins to waver. There’s something about it, and it’s hard to put my finger on exactly what that is. I think it’s the shape of her face. It’s possibly too elongated and the contours are exaggerated. I’m not sure, but something feels off. I do, however, like the way they painted her eyes. It’s very distinctive and the paintwork is pretty clean. Also distinctive is Pumyra’s coif, which is pretty well sculpted, albeit with the white paint application being rather heavy handed. I’m not prepared to write this portrait off as a total miss, but to me it’s just not nearly as good as the Lion-O or Jackalman.

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The articulation here doesn’t hold any surprises. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. The legs are ball jointed at the hips with swivels set right up at the hip joint. The knees are hinged, and the ankles feature both hinges and rockers. She has a swivel in the waist and her neck is ball jointed. As usual, the skirt impedes the range of motion in the hips.

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For accessories, Pumyra comes with her projectile-tossing whipcord, which again… I think it’s supposed to be her belt. In any event, I’m going with that and removing the belt when I display her with the whipcord readied. This is a pretty cool weapon with some sculpted and painted projectiles in loaded up and ready to launch.

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She also comes with a throwing star, which is a pretty basic piece and not terribly remarkable. To handle these weapons, Pumyra comes with a total of four hands, one pair of which is designed to hold the weapons in either hand. She also has a right fist and a left hand with her fingers reaching out.

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And then you get this thing. It’s like a big amulet on a stand or a wand of some kind. Seriously, what is it? I have no idea. I have a feeling it’s there to mock me for not knowing my Season 2 ThunderCats stories better. And yet, I know many of the First Season stories by heart. Go figure…

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Pumyra is the first figure in this line that I feel isn’t a home run. She’s not fantastic, she’s not terrible, she’s a solid OK. And I swear to Jaga that I’m not just saying that because she isn’t Cheetara. Not to be a devil’s advocate, but it made sense from a business standpoint for Matty to not give up all the core ‘Cats in the first sub, but once the whole thing collapsed after just the one year, it backfired on us fans when we have Pumyra and not Cheetara in our collections. Do I sound bitter? Good, because I still am.