Thundercats: Mega-Scale Tygra by Mezco

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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Thundercats: Mega-Scale Cheetara by Mezco

Ah, God bless you folks at Mezco. When the attempted Thundercats revolution crumbled around Ban Dai and broke my heart, you guys were the only ones left carrying the torch. I have no desire to live in a world without Thundercats in one form or another, so you’re the only ones nursing the flickering candlewick of faith that I hold for this miserable lump of rock we call Earth anymore. Oh yeah, also… you guys are a bunch of jerks. Snarf packed into the SDCC Exclusive version of Cheetara? Really guys? Really?? See, here’s the first problem with that… That version of Cheetara has the crazy light up eyes that I don’t want. So even if I choose to hunt that one down, and let’s be honest, getting the SDCC Thundercats stuff after the conventions hasn’t exactly been difficult, I don’t want that Cheetara. Surely you can see the pickle you placed me in. There’s a second problem with Snarf not being in with this regular retail release, but I’ll get back to that at the end. Let’s get on with the feature…

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I’m super thrilled to be holding this box, because I love Thundercats, and I love this line of statue-figure-whatevers. Every release has had me a little worried that it would go no further, but now we have Cheetara and surely Tygra can’t be far behind, right Mezco? RIGHT??? Anyway, Cheetara comes in the same style box as the past releases and it is drop dead gorgeous. The window shows off the figure beautifully and the colorful artwork on the side panel is so gloriously exquisite that it makes me want to weep. I mean just look at that shot of Cheetara. Hey, waitaminute. That’s the Cheetara I grew up with. I mean, sure I had a crush on the Cheetara from the cartoon because she was hawt, but look at that super sexed up cat-vixen up there on that box art. Heeeeelo kitty! Ok, where was I? Cheetara comes on a plastic tray with some twisty ties to contend with. Happily, her staff is on the tray too, so you don’t have to tear it off the back of the illustrated cardboard piece like I had to do with Panthro’s nunchuks. Nope, this box is totally collector friendly and even though I have my Thundercats all on display right now, I’m saving every one of the boxes just because I can’t bring myself to destroy such beauty.

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And speaking of beauty… out of the box Cheetara is every bit the simple animated beauty that I had a crush on as a kid. Yup, I said it up there and I just said it again. It was a simpler time when words like bestiality meant nothing to me and there was nothing wrong with getting naughty feelings about a sexy cat lady. Did she have skin or fur? No wait, don’t answer that. I don’t even want to think about it. Suffice it to say the sculpt here is indeed simple in keeping with the animated look, and yet it captures the character perfectly. You get her orange leotard that shows off her shapely cat bosoms and bitchin’ cat hinder and the iconic Thundercats emblem is both sculpted and painted onto her outfit.

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Of course, the real selling point of this piece for me is the portrait. Mezco really nailed the likeness. The face sculpt is spot-on and the hair looks perfect. The paint used for her face markings, eyes and lips is all pretty crisp and she even has those sexy spots on her hair, neck and shoulders. Meeeeow! I can practically hear the sultry and husky voice of Lynne Lipton coming right out of her.

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Of course, if you’ve been following my little batch of Mega-Scale Thundercat reviews than you already know that none of these figures have been super-posable, but you do get enough points of articulation that I’m willing to call them figures rather than just statues. Cheetara sports ball joints in the neck, shoulders, and hips. She’s also got swivels in her forearms, wrists, and at the tops of her boots. Yes, she’s missing the torso articulation that Lion-O and Panthro had, but there was really no place to put it on her without defacing the sculpt, so I think it was a good decision. Besides neither of the other figures had her hip articulation, so what we’re getting isn’t really less just different.

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Cheetara comes with her Bo Staff, which is fair enough, but that’s it and let’s be honest here, it’s just an orange stick and it feels a little like she got short-changed. Lion-O came with two versions of his beautifully sculpted sword and a swappable claw shield, Panthro came with his nunchuks with the real chain and a swappable left hand, and Mumm-Ra came with all that cool softgoods. It feels like Cheetara could have used an extra hand to let her hold the staff horizontally above her head. Or maybe a collapsed version of the staff. What I’m getting at here is that it seems like tossing Snarf into the box would have made her on par with the other releases, rather than something special and so I take issue with the fact that they went and packed Snarf in as an Exclusive bonus.

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I don’t want to sound like a complainer. I’m so very grateful that Mezco is carrying the torch for the Thundercats and giving us this great line. And at $35 a pop, these are priced very reasonably, so if bitching about what’s not in Cheetara’s box (giggity) makes me sound otherwise, please know it isn’t the case.  Snarf notwithstanding, I absolutely adore this figure. Sure, the wow factor of the size of these figures has waned a bit as they’re displayed in a case next to my quarter-scale Avengers, but they’re still great figures and I’m thrilled to see the team come together a little more with each new release. I’m still counting on getting a Tygra next year, and if that finishes off the line (which I suspect it will) I’ll still be happy. On the other hand, if Mezco wants to keep going, I promise to buy every one of these that they see fit to release. I’m serious, Mezco. Release a f’cking Berbil and you’ll see. I’ll buy it.

Thundercats: Mega-Scale Panthro by Mezco

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Thundercats: Mega-Scale Mumm-Ra by Mezco

Holy, hell… looky here. Something new to look at. I came home from work today to find a massive box sitting on my stoop and knew right away that it had to be Mezco’s new Mega-Scale Thundercats figure. Its just a bit ironic that when Mezco introduced its Mega-Scale Lion-O last year, I saw it as an oddity. Afterall, Ban Dai had just secured the license to do Thundercats toys and I naturally assumed that most of my Thundercats goodness would be coming from them. Now, here we are, Ban Dai has all but abandoned the line. Our Classics Thundercats are incomplete, and I’m now counting on Mezco to deliver a full set of classic kitties in this Mega-Scale line. If you haven’t checked out my feature on Mezco’s Lion-O figure, feel free to do so. I was blown away by that release, and so I expected great things from Mumm-Ra. Let’s see how he turned out.

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The package is HUGE and gorgeous. It doesn’t stand out quite as much as the bright red box used for Lion-O, but it is appropriately black to reflect the evil that is Mumm-Ra. You’ll also note the addition of the word “Classic” so as not to confuse these with the 2011 versions based on the new series. One side panel has the Thundercats logo running down it and the other shows off some of the Mutants. Oh, Mezco, I can only hope you keep doing these and deliver on the Mutants as well! The back panel shows off a photo of the figure and the front has a window to show the figure itself. Mint in Sealed Box collectors may be disappointed to learn that you really cannot get the full effect of this figure unless you take him out, because some assembly is required. To be specific, he’s packaged with his feet off, because when they’re on he’d be too big to fit in the same size box as Lion-O. His cape is stored behind the tray and must be attached to the figure, and he comes with three rolls of bandages taped to the back of the tray. More on that later. Suffice it to say, the in-package presentation here is fantastic and he can be returned to the box for safe keeping, which is a good thing, because as much as I love him, I really don’t have the room right now to keep him on display.
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So, as mentioned, once this big guy is out of the box you need to do a little set up work. Mumm-Ra’s feet are attached just like Lion-O’s removable hand/claw shield is, and you can easily pop them off to get him back in the box. The placement of the bandages are completely up to you. I wrapped one around each arm, and than use the center around his chest and waist. They’re very stringy to make them look ragged, but you can always snip them to give them a cleaner look.
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The sculpt here is pretty fantastic. He has the same great musculature as the Lion-O figure, gnarled claws and feet, and lots of detail on his fur spats. The head, however, produces the real awe factor. Mumm-Ra used to scare the shit out of me when I was a kid, and this figure’s head sculpt captures exactly why. He’s gloriously hideous, with piercing red eyes, and a toothy mouth open in a combination scream and creepy smile. Even now as I write this I keep glancing off to the side at him and wish he would quit staring at me. Look at those damn eyes. They’re painted with glossy red and they literally look like they’re full of blood. The helmet is perfect, right down to the curved snakes and the flared nasal guard. I also absolutely love that Mezco went with actual cloth streamers for the back of the helmet. You can drape some of them over the front of his shoulders for a really great look. His skirt is sculpted as part of the figure. The metallic gold paint is really nice too.
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Ah, but we’re not done yet. The soft goods cape is sewn onto the tray, and takes a bit of care and a pair of clippers to get it off. It then attaches to the peg on the back of Mumm-Ra’s neck and on the spikes on each of his arm cuffs. I had to enlarge the center hole a little bit with a pair of scissors, but once on it stays on pretty well and can easily be taken off to return him to the box.
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And articulation leads us back to the whole Action Figure Vs Statue debate. From the waist down, Mumm-Ra only has two points of articulation, and those are the swivels from where his feet attach. And in all practicality, these aren’t very useful because he’s designed to stand with his feet positioned in a very specific way. From the waist up, he does a little better. He swivels at the waist, and he has ball joints in his neck and his shoulders. His wrists also have swivel cuts. You can get some slight variations of poses out of him, but he’s clearly designed to stand with arms straight out to best show off his cape and bandages and scare the living shit out of you if you forget he’s standing in the corner and turn on the light. Yeah, that might have actually happened.
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Besides being an absolutely fantastic figure, Mumm-Ra impresses even more by the price point. I thought Mega-Scale Lion-O was a steal at $35 and I expected Mezco to raise the price on Mumm-Ra, now that they had hooked collectors with Lion-O. You know how dealers always give the first taste for free. Nevertheless, I picked up Mumm-Ra for the same ridiculously cheap $35. The sculpt is every bit as impressive as their first figure and the decision to deliver a mixed-media figure was nothing less than brilliant. The fabric cape, streamers, and bandages really pushes this figure completely over the top. I’ve already pre-ordered my Panthro, and I sincerely home Mezco keeps going with this line, and at the very least delivers a Tygra and Cheetara. All I know is, I’ll keep buying every one they decide to put out.

Thundercats: Mega-Scale Lion-O by Mezco

In case you haven’t heard, Thundercats are loose! Or at least they will be very shortly. The new cartoon is set to premier this month and from what I’ve seen I think it stands to be something special. With the new cartoon comes a lot of new toys, from both the now “Classic” and the new series with Ban Dai holding the license. Hopefully you’ll be seeing a lot of new Thundercats toys featured hear on FFZ throughout the month of August. So what’s up with today’s figure coming from Mezco? I honestly have no idea, especially since Ban Dai will be releasing a Classic Lion-O within about a month after this figure. I’m no expert in the legalities of licencing, so I can only guess that Mezco’s license allows them to produce the figure so long as its larger than a certain scale and doesn’t interfere with Ban Dai’s market share. On the other hand, despite multiple points of articulation, this piece is more a statue than a figure, but than I’m getting ahead of myself.

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The packaging is unbelievably gorgeous. Sure, its just a standard, albeit HUGE window-style box, but the artwork and logo are ripped right from the animated series and rendered in jaw dropping vibrant colors. Honestly, I don’t know if its the beauty of the colors or the fact that its so nice to see the Thundercats logo on a toy package again, but I just about flipped out when I took the package out of the mailing box. The figure comes attached to the tray with twist-ties and the accessories are mounted to the cardboard backer. A little patience can get everything out without damaging the package and everything can be returned for a nice in-box display, which is exactly how I would plan on keeping mine most of the time. The only downside to that is the Sword of Omens can only barely be seen over Lion’s shoulder, so I may have to just put the box into storage and display the figure loose.

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They don’t call him Mega-Scale for nothing! Lion-O is as big as you may have heard. He tops out at about 14-inches. Raise the Sword of Omens above his head and you’re looking more like 20-inches. For a proper sense of scale you can skip to the end where I have him beside Ban Dai’s 4-inch Lion-O. He’ll certainly dominate any display shelf you can manage to fit him into. The sculpt is admittedly a little soft in some parts, but that’s not to say it isn’t a really beautiful looking figure. There’s a wee bit of bleeding to be found here and there on the figure’s body, but you have to really be looking to find it. I really dig the way the muscles are sculpted to suggest that there might be some kind of short fur on his skin. I always wondered about that.

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The head sculpt really captures the animated Lion-O and the paint apps on his eyes are razor sharp. He has a bit of a determined expression perhaps hinting at a slight smirk. I was a little afraid of how Lion-O’s majestic hair would look in sculpted form (it’s one of the few things I don’t like about the look of Ban Dai’s figure), but I think the end result is quite excellent. Let’s face it, it’s not always easy to capture a 2D cartoon character in a 3D sculpt, but Mezco did a really fine job on this guy.

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So how about them accessories? For starters you get The Sword of Omens in it’s collapsed form with the hibernating Eye. This is a gorgeous accessory with a brilliant silver paint job and some really intricate sculpting. One of the nice things about doing a figure in this scale is you have a lot more room for detail in the accessories. Of course, you also have to invest the time and care in taking advantage of that fact. It’s something that Mezco certainly did here. What’s more, the entire piece is cast in very nice ridged plastic. Take that, child safety laws!

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Of course next up is the Sword of Omens when it’s fully… aroused? Is that the right word? Everything I said about the smaller version applies to this piece ten fold. Hell, as great as the figure is, I’d be happy to own this sword all by itself. The paintwork on the Eye of Thundera is superb. It’s a stunning piece and again cast in very firm plastic so there’s no worries about the blade warping. Just make sure the kiddies don’t stick it in each other’s eyes.

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Finally you get the Claw Shield, which is actually a replacement hand. You just do an easy pop-and-swap. Even the jewels on the knuckles look as though they could fire out the grapples like on the cartoon. In fact, my only complaint about this figure is that there’s no way to attach the claw shield to his hip and store the smaller Sword of Omens in it. I know, I’m asking for a lot based on how they designed it, but I feel like it’s worth pointing out.

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So what about articulation? Oh boy, here comes the whole Action Figure Vs Statue debate that I love to hate so much. Mezco’s original press release stated this figure would have seven points of articulation, whereas the actual product wound up with eight. You get a ball jointed head, ball jointed shoulders, swivels in the wrists and a ball jointed waist that swivels and allows for some slight forward and backward leaning. You also get swivels in the calves, but these are only good for balancing out the figure/statue’s stance. In truth, it’s only from the waist up where we get any useful points of articulation, but you can get some nice different poses out of him, depending on which accessories you display him with. Unfortunately, no matter how hard I try, I can’t get him to look through the cross guard to achieve the Eye of Thundera’s sight beyond sight.

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When this figure was first revealed with the MSRP of $35, a lot of people, myself included, thought it too good to be true. Now that I have him in my hands, I’m still pretty amazed by the reasonable nature of the price. Mine cost $46 shipped and I think he’s a heck of a lot nicer than that pricier Lion-O”staction” that other company was putting out. If you want a true action figure, you’re still better off waiting for Ban Dai’s Classic Lion-O in the 8-inch scale, but if you want to really profess your love for Lion-O and maybe have an accent table in the corner that needs something to put on it you cannot go wrong with this great looking figure. For the record, Mezco is also releasing an SDCC exclusive version of this figure at the Con this year. It will have a different head sculpt with light up eyes, and I believe a voice chip. Naturally it’ll cost a lot more, but it’s worth looking out for if you want something even more special.