ThunderCats Ultimates: Captain Hammerhand by Super7

It’s been about two months since I last visited with Super7’s Ultimate ThunderCats, and that’s just unacceptable. I’ve still got a bunch of figures from this line to check out, and the pre-orders for the newest wave has got me motivated to get caught up. So, let’s get this going with a look at Super7’s first foray into the fearsome Berserkers… It’s Captain Hammerhand!

Once again, this line’s packaging never fails to impress. Super7 has been sticking with the same glossy black sleeve over window box, which just oozes class. The sleeve features Mumm-Ra’s symbol, which Super7 has been using for all the baddies that have allied themselves with The Ever-Living Evil Lord. The spacious window gives you a look at the figure and all the goodies inside, and you get some nice character art and a little blurb about Hammerhand on the back. And may I say that this is one of the best character blurbs of all time, as it contains the phrase, “in search of delicious unicorns!” One of the many cool things about the ThunderCats was all the crazy villains that were introduced and often returned. The Berserkers were among my favorites!

Super7 has been adopting the animated style for their Ultimates line, and that’s certainly the case here with Hammerhand. I’m happy to have the cartoon-style, but props have to be given to how absolutely freaking creepy the old LJN figure was. He had a crack-addled rage face and unsettling proportions, but this version is the one I know best. It’s also worth noting that this is based on his later appearance, as he looked very different in his debut episode. Here, Hammerhand sports some bright yellow trousers with a booted right foot and a giant mechanical left foot. His wide belt features a skull and bones motif with some red to give an extra splash of color. He shows off his mighty six-pack of abs, and I don’t blame him because he is positively chiseled up in there. Looks like that unicorn meat is not a fatty food. His chest is encased in black armor, his left arm is mostly bare, with a bicep cuff and a black gauntlet, while his right hand is dominated by his titular hammer hand. This is just such a colorful, fun design and Super7 did a wonderful job realizing that in plastic form.

You get two heads to choose from, the first of which is just plain bad tempered. Hammerhand’s bushy beard and mustache spills out of his face and looks to be angry at the world. A flash of teeth and bottom lip are nestled in the middle of this mad face coif, and his noggin is capped with a yellow helmet and mis-matched horns. A nasal guard bisects his face, with a large patch covering his right eye and a single red peeper gazing out to the left.

The other option trades bad tempered for downright pissed off. His mouth is agape with rage and showing more teeth. I think this may be the head I display on him the most!

The hammer hand is suitably large and imposing, and like the heads, you get two versions of it to choose from. One has articulated fingers, while the other is just folded into a solid hammer. The difference is a little subtle, but the non-articulated hand does close up tighter than the other one is capable of. You also get a selection of left hands, including a fist, open hand, weapon holding hand, and another accessory holding hand.

For the weapon holding hand, Hammerhand comes with his trusty blunderbuss. I absolutely love this weapon design. There’s something about antique looking weapons with futuristic elements on them that just does it for me. The sculpted tape wrapped around the barrel is a nice touch too.

Hammerhand also comes with a couple of coin purses… or BOOTY, if you prefer! They’re nothing special, but a fun addition to round out the accessories.

I was thrilled to see Hammerhand introduced to the line so soon, and I sincerely hope we don’t have to wait too long to get some more Berserkers. For the time being, Hammerhand has been hanging out with his fellow Captain, Cracker, which I think look surprisingly good together, despite not being from the same faction. I’ve had tons of fun fiddling about with Hammerhand on my desk for weeks after he came out, and he’s definitely one of my favorite baddies released in this line so far!

ThunderCats Ultimates: Cheetara by Super7

It’s been a long road… getting from there to here. Oh wait. Wrong franchise. Still, the sentiment holds up. After two abandoned lines from Ban Dai and one abandoned line from Mattel, Super7 picked up the mantel, and has finally given us a complete team of original ThunderCats… well, provided you have the Mattel ThunderKittens… oh, and we’re still minus one Snarf. And just to add to the unbearable torture of waiting, Cheetara was even delayed in favor of some revisions. Well, she arrived a little while ago, and I finally had the time to sit down and spend some time with her!

There’s nothing left for me to say about the packaging, other than the fact that it looks great and has a very premium flavor to it. It’s rare that I ever keep boxes for figures in this scale, but I’ve been keeping all of these. That’s high praise, considering I can’t imagine ever not having these figures on display somewhere. I’ve been very anxious to get Cheetara for a lot of reasons. Her little segment from the ThunderCats intro alone may have sparked the jolt to my nether regions that kickstarted puberty for me. Sure, the intro is a universally gorgeous piece of animation, but I found Cheetara to be particularly arousing. And I’m not into furries. Honest! Well, before I make any more awkward confessions, let’s get Cheetara out of the box and have a look!

MEOW! Super7 has been doing a superb job bringing the animated versions of the ThunderCats to figure form, but they started out borrowing from Mattel’s molds, so it’s nice to see that with Tygra and now Cheetara, they are continuing the trend on their own. Granted, Cheetara’s character design isn’t overly complex, consisting of an orange leotard, gold rimmed boots, left arm bracer, and bangles on her right wrist, but it’s nonetheless beautifully translated here. They also did a wonderful job on her tush! The colors are also spot on for the animated look, and yes, if you’re looking for the LJN toy colors, I think that variant is up for pre-order now. I really dig how sharp the spots turned out on her right shoulder, as well as her ThunderCat emblem.

You get not one, not two, but three heads, which is pretty above and beyond if you ask me. I was a little worried with what we were going to get since I was never really thrilled with Pumyra’s head sculpt. But turns out I had nothing to fear, as the standard head is an excellent portrait. The yellow and black spotted coif is sculpted separately to offer a clean hair line around the scalp, and the little licks of hair here and there give it a naturally untamed look. Her facial markings, as well as the eyes and mouth are pretty sharp and all very evocative of the cartoon kitty.

The second head is pretty much the same, only with glow-in-the-dark eyes. It’s a cool bonus and the glowing eyes look pretty nice, but this head isn’t going to get much use by me.

The final head is for those action poses, with her hair blowing back, as she exercises her super speed ability. This wasn’t something I expected when I was imagining what Super7 would do with the figure, but now I couldn’t imagine the figure without it.

As for articulation, we know by now that these figures aren’t exactly super-articulated, but what they have is pretty serviceable and I’ve got few complaints. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and elbows, and the wrists are on hinged pegs. There are rotating hinges up in the hips, and they are designed to be concealed pretty well unless you’re looking up and in between the legs. You also get rotating hinges in the knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. There’s a ball joint under the chest and another in the neck. My only nitpick here is that I would have liked to see swivels at the tops of the boots.

In addition to the three portraits, Cheetara comes with four sets of hands! You get fists, grapple hands, accessory holding hands, and running (or karate chop!) hands.

Naturally, Cheetara comes with her trusty bo staff, or actually two versions of it. The first is in its retracted form, and this can be fitted into her arm bracer for easy storage. The second is the fully extended version, which she can wield in either, or both, of her accessory holding hands. Yup, it’s a pretty simple accessory, but the gold paint looks nice and she looks damn great holding it.

There’s also a flame effect part, which can be fitted onto the end. It looks fantastic, but it’s very heavy and it’s pretty hard to get a good pose with it where it isn’t bending the bo staff under the weight of its bulk.

You get a few more accessories, which are pretty much all fun little Easter Eggs from various episodes of the cartoon. First off is The Mirror of Truth. This ThunderCats artifact reveals the truth to whomever gazes into its reflection. It also kind of makes me want the team to be released as ThunderKittens.

Next up is the Magical Flute, and like the Mirror, this is another one of Thundera’s lost treasures. This artifact allows the player to control animals. I don’t dig this one as much as the Mirror, as it’s hard to get Cheetara to hold it like she’s actually playing it. But it’s still a cool bonus piece.

Finally, you get two versions of the ThunderCats communicator: One closed and one open. They both have strings. Honestly, I could take or leave these pieces. They aren’t particularly iconic to me, and they’ll probably spend most of their time back in the box.

It feels so great to finally have the core team of ThunderCats to proudly display on my shelf! And holy crap, do these cats look great together. I’ll concede that I was more than a little nervous when Cheetara was first delayed, as I had high expectations out of this figure. Well, now that she’s here, I’m very happy with what we got! Super7 took the time to do some much needed tweaks, and the final product turned out great! And now, with the core team complete, next time I revisit this line I’ll be checking out The Evil Mumm-Ra!!!

ReAction Star Trek: The Next Generation (Wave Two) by Super7

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost exactly one year since I checked out Super7’s first wave of Star Trek TNG ReAction figures. Well, minus Guinan, because I decided to wait to see if she turns up on clearance. The second wave has now hit and I’m back to check out this new assortment, but again minus one figure, because these are damn expensive and I’m trying to at least be a little selective. There are five figures here to look at, which more or less round out the main cast, so let’s get started!

This wave consists of Riker, Troi, LaForge, Dr. Crusher, and Q, as he appeared in his judge robes from the very first and last episodes. Also included in the wave was Armus, the tar creature who killed Lt. Yar on Vagra II. I skipped Armus because he’s just a one-off alien in a very terrible episode, and the figure didn’t look so hot anyway, but I’ll keep an eye out for him turning up on the cheap. I also thought it was in bad form to include the creature that killed Yar before even making Yar. I could also point out that while the crew are all depicted in their later season uniforms, Q and Armus are both from the first season, which just makes no sense to me at all.

The card designs are the same as the first wave, and they’re absolutely fantastic. You get the familiar TNG title logo up at the top with the Enterprise-D speeding out of the card with warp streaks all around it. Each card is personalized with individual character art inside a Delta insignia. The character art appears to be original and it looks great. There’s also some foil on the cards, which gives them a premium look, and they damn well should considering the price. I generally keep all my ReAction figures carded, and I was tempted to do so with these, but I opened the first wave, so let’s tear into these and check them out!

Starting out with Riker and LaForge, these figures utilize the same body that we saw last time for Worf, Picard, and Data. It’s unfortunate, since the cast were all very different heights, and Riker should not be as tall as LaForge. Sorry, but this kind of recycling would be acceptable on $10 retro figures, but not at nearly double that price. The paint on these are also not as tight as the first wave. Both of these figures have weird smudges on their backs, and LaForge has smudging on the front of his tunic as well. As expected, all the figures in this wave have the retro-style five points of articulation. And yeah, they should have given Riker one articulated knee, so he could do his signature pose.

Riker’s head sculpt isn’t great, but I guess it’s acceptable for a retro line like this. I like his blue eyes, but for some reason he looks a bit like an adult Wesley Crusher, which kind of makes me laugh. LaForge’s, on the other hand, is really quite good. Sure, he’s more recognizable because of his visor, but I think they did a great job on his facial features too. Both heads have paint issues, but Riker made out better with just some stray marks on his face. LaForge’s is an absolute mess, with silver paint from the visor on his nose and up near his eyebrows. It’s a shame, because the sculpt deserved better paint. Normally, I’m not very critical of paint on 3 3/4-inch figure portraits, because I punch in pretty close for these pictures, but the problems here are all noticeable with the figure in hand and viewed by the naked eye.

The ladies offer all new sculpting, but they do also share the same arms. The legs are almost the same, but Crusher’s have the bottom parts of her lab coat added. As a result, you have the same height issues going on, but in this case Troi is actually a bit taller than Crusher, because of her wall of hair. With that having been said, both of these sculpts are excellent for the line, and the paint here is actually not bad, making them stand out from the piss-poor paint on the dudes. They didn’t quite capture the magical contours of Troi’s tushie, but it is a retro line, so I’ll let it go. I am glad they put Crusher in her lab coat, and I think they did a great job working it into the retro sculpt. It would have been interesting to see them try it as a Kenner-style vinyl cape, but I’m not sure that would have worked.

The portraits here are pretty solid. I think Troi made out a little better in the likeness, but Crusher isn’t bad for a retro line. They also did a nice job with their hair. My only big complaint with Crusher is that she isn’t Dr. Pulaski. Crusher was easily the weakest character of the show to me, and I thought bringing in Pulaski punched things up a lot. Boy, was I pissed off when she only lasted one season. I would definitely have to buy a ReAction Pulaski if they made her, and then I could disappear Crusher!

And finally, we have Judge Q, and this is an excellent figure. I’m not sure the likeness is really there, but the costume is so distinctive, that there’s no denying who this is supposed to be. The robes are implemented in a fashion similar to Kenner’s Obi-Wan or Emperor, and they looks great. I like the paint and detail on his necklace, and all around this is solid work.

One of my big gripes with this line last time around was the lack of accessories, as all you got were some phasers. Here we have one step forward and one step back. Riker and LaForge come with the same phasers we saw last time, and they still can’t hold them very well. Crusher comes with a medical tricorder, and Troi and Q come with nothing. I’m fine with Troi and Q not including accessories, but that meant we should have had more come with the others. Could we at least get a diagnostic tool for LaForge? And maybe a regular tricorder so I could give it to Data? Not having a tricorder for Data pisses me off all the more when I see what a great job they did with Crusher’s medical tricorder. It may not look like much in the picture, but it’s so damn tiny that I think it’s impressive work. Either way, it’s not cool to skimp on accessories when you’re charging $18 a pop for 5-POA figures.

And last time I checked out these figures with Galoob’s Shuttlecraft, as both lines were scaled roughly the same. This time I pulled out the Playmates shuttle to see how that would work, and it works pretty damn well. Playmate’s shuttle was under-scaled for it’s own line, which makes these work even better. Of course, the giant single seat in the cockpit is completely out of whack, but I’ll be someone could 3D-print a set of two seats for it that would work even better. All in all, it makes for a great piece to display with these figures.

And that’s Wave Two of Super7’s TNG ReAction line! This assortment was a real mixed bag. Riker and LaForge should have been easy slam dunks, since they’re 95% recycled parts, but the QC on the paint was non-existent. At least the ladies and Q all came out fine. I haven’t seen anything about a third wave, and that’s fine by me, because I think I’m done with these. I would consider picking up some more aliens, and Yar if they ever do her, but my guess is that if we do get more figures, we’ll see some repaints, like LaForge in his Season One uniform, maybe a Thomas Riker, and at these prices, I’m not biting on those. If these were ten bucks a pop, I’d be willing to stick with it, but $18 for these is just way too much, making me wish I had just left them all carded. With Playmates releasing some new TNG figures soon, I’m interested to see how those turn out.

ThunderCats Ultimates: Tygra by Super7

If you aren’t up to date on the tortured history of classic ThunderCats figures, Mattel only managed to get us half of the core team, Lion-O and Panthro (plus the ThunderKittens), before abandoning the line. Super7 took it over, and did some reissues with extra accessories, before gearing up to finish the team. Cheetara is shipping soon, but today we’re adding the noble Tygra to the ThunderCat Possee!

The packaging is as awesome as always, with a black sleeve over the window box. The sleeve has a red foil ThunderCats logo, while the box inside gives you a great look at the figure and thee extras inside. You also get some character art on the back of the box, along with a brief bio. I don’t usually save my figure packages, but so far I’ve been keeping these, so you know they’re something special!

If I was pressed to name my favorite of the original ThunderCats, it very well might be Tygra. He seems a little bit more complex than the others, with his shining virtue being that of integrity. He’s an architect, wise council, and fierce fighter, but he also has a pretty down to earth sense of humor. And if I read the subtext of the cartoon correctly, I’m pretty sure he was the one banging Cheetara. But, I also just really dig his character design. His outfit is comprised of various shades of teal and blue, with gold studs on the front of his stirrup boots. His black and orange tiger-stripes are absolutely gorgeous, and they really make this figure pop. I also dig the single shoulder piece, with the gold trim. Naturally, Tygra sports a bold ThunderCat emblem in the middle of his chest. The only thing I don’t like here is the wash they put on his lower front and back. I don’t think it works as intended, and just makes him look dirty, soiling what is an otherwise bright and snappy deco.

Tygra comes with two head sculpts, one standard, and one with his battle face on. I prefer the standard, but the alternative certainly works well for some action poses. Either way, they both really capture the character likeness beautifully. I particularly like the little bemused smirk on the primary head. It’s such a tiny touch, but it’s just perfect. Once again, the orange and black here really pops, and when you combine it with the white ear tuft, and the flesh tone of his face, it makes for a superb color palate. The paint for the eyes, eyebrows, and stripes is all sharp and crisp, but the white for his ears could have been a bit sharper.

As usual, the articulation here is serviceable, but I would certainly not consider these figures super-articulated. All the necessary points are there, but the range of motion in some of those points, particularly the knees and elbows, just isn’t. They are absolutely fun to play around with, but with an agile character like Tygra, I felt myself wanting a little more.

Tygra comes with no less than three versions of his bolo whip, as well as three sets of hands. You get some graspy hands, and two pairs of accessory holding hands, with the hinges orientated both side to side and forward and back. I know some people are really into the option of having the accessory hands with both hinge options. Sometimes I dig it, especially with Lion-O, but here it feels a bit redundant, and I think I would have rather had a pair of fists. Anyway, the first version of his whip is in its collapsed form, which is just the handle and three bolos at the end. This was a must-have accessory for me, so naturally I’m glad they included it.

The second is an actual string version of the whip, with the bolo piece being plastic. I appreciate what they were going for here, but I’m not sure I’ll get a lot of use out of it. The transition from string to plastic tip is rather jarring, and I couldn’t find much to do with it as far as posing goes. Although, I will concede that It’s a lot of fun to lasso Mutants with.

And lastly, we get the full-on plastic bolo whip, which is sculpted in a sort of serpentine pattern, so it can coil around Tygra, which is how he makes himself invisible in the cartoon. And yeah, that’s probably how I’ll display him most of the time. It’s cast in a soft and flexible plastic that returns to its intended form. This piece looks absolutely fantastic, and it works well both for the invisibility trick, or for just wielding it as a conventional whip. I had lots of fun playing around with it.

No offense to Pumyra and Linx-O, but damn, it feels wonderful to have another main ThunderCat join the team. And despite a few nitpicks, Tygra turned out absolutely great! Giving up three versions of the whip was certainly generous, and they absolutely nailed the likeness in his portrait! And for the record, I did buy Super7’s versions of Pymyra and Lion-O, and I will eventually get around to comparing them to the Mattel versions, which I already reviewed. But I definitely want to get through the rest of the new characters released so far. Next time I visit with this line, I’ll turn my attention back to the Evil Mutants!

ThunderCats Ultimates: Lynx-O by Super7

The second season of the ThunderCats cartoon was a big flipping deal for me. It opened with a five-part series that might as well have been a movie. We got the addition of three new Cats from Thundera, new vehicles and new enemies. It was an exciting time be alive! I never owned LJN’s ThunderCats toys as a kid, mainly because my Birthday presents, Christmas gifts, and my allowance were already spread out over too many other toy lines. But, in classic 80’s cartoon fashion, we were getting treated to a whole new series of 30-minute toy commercials for a bunch of cool and brand new shit!

Enter Lynx-O, who would serve as wise elder to the ThunderCats and could also actually fight, because he wasn’t a ghost, unlike some wise elders. Lynx-O escaped the destruction of Thundera, along with Pumyra and Bengali, in the most unlikeliest of coincidences. He was rescued by a Berbil ship that just happened to be passing by, but not before being blinded by a blast of fire. Lynx-O was undoubtedly the stand-out character among the three new additions, and he would quickly become one of my favorite Cats on the show. As usual, the figure comes in a beautiful window box with an outer sleeve and some kick ass artwork on the back. Let’s get this Cat loose!

Lynx-O sports a clean and simple design that vibes well with both the original toy and his animated counterpart. He’s got a black bodysuit, which is painted right onto the buck, with just a shoulder cuff on the right arm, and a sleeve that extends just past his elbow on the left. He sports a pair of red undies with a sort of inverted vest that extends up to his shoulders, a beige belt, sculpted beige wraps around his lower legs, red boots, and a red ThunderCat emblem on his chest. You also get some painted markings around his wrists. The colors on this figure look great, with the bright reds contrasting with the glossy black for a deco that really pops. I just love his design, and Super7 did a beautiful job with it.

The stock portrait is amazing and just loaded with personality and detail. The eyes are shut, showing his red eyelids, framed with black eyeliner. He has bushy white eyebrows and mustache, but his beard is orange with black fringe and spots. There’s some great definition in the structure of his cheekbones and brow, and his bald pate is adorned with a sculpted red bandana, which is tied at the back. Even his ears are quite distinctive, with white interiors, and some black at the tips. I’m so pleased at how this portrait came out, especially since I was a tad disappointed with the Pumyra portrait that we got from Mattel, and from what I’ve seen, it doesn’t look like Super7 improved on it much, but I’ll save that for a later review!

Lynx-O also comes with a second, more expressive portrait. Here, he’s snarling and clearly heading into battle against some troublesome Mutants, Berzerkers, Lunatacs, or perhaps even Mumm-Ra himself. This one is every bit as fantastic as the other, but I associate Lynx-O with more of a calm and disciplined nature, so I’ll likely be displaying the figure with the first one most of the time.

In terms of articulation, Lynx-O follows the same basic formula that we’ve seen with the Mattel’s Classic ThunderCats. That is to say, there’s some good useful points here, making them fun to play with, but the range of motion in some of them isn’t outrageous. For the arms you get rotating hinges in the shoulders, swivels in the biceps, hinged elbows, and hinged pegs for the wrists. The legs are ball jointed in the hips with swivels up high, hinged knees, and hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. There’s a swivel in the waist, an ab-crunch hinge in the torso, and a ball joint in the neck. Lynx-O comes with three sets of hands: One pair of grapple hands, and two pairs of accessory holding hands, one hinged forward and the other hinged sideways.

As for accessories? Well, you get a few potentially cool things, but ultimately I found each of them wanting for one reason or another. For starters, you get the Light Shield. This was a cool gadget in the cartoon, but I don’t think it translated well as an action figure accessory. It clips onto his arm, and the idea is that it can shoot or deflect rays of energy. The clip is too loose, and I have to slide it pretty far up his arm to keep it from falling off. It’s OK for what it is, but I doubt I will even display it on the figure.

Secondly, you get the Tile from The Fountain, and if you’re not up on your ThunderCats lore, this one can be a bit tricky to explain or understand. It’s basically an artifact from Thundera that was used to stabilize New Thundera, in what was the final episode of the original cartoon. Now, on the one hand, I really dig that this got included with Lynx-O as an accessory, although it would have worked with Cheetara too. On the other hand, it’s just a painted square of plastic, so apart from being a very cool reference to the cartoon, it isn’t what I would consider a lot of fun, or a great display piece.

The final accessory is actually my favorite, and that’s the Brailel Board. This is basically a portable control panel that allowed Lynx-O to do… well, pretty much whatever the script needed. It could be used like a console to operate the ThunderStrike, or it could be used like a computer ro scanning device. It’s an excellent addition to the figure, and certainly one that is most associated with the character in the cartoon. Again, probably not the most exciting thing around, but I dig it a lot.

Despite my little nitpicks with the accessories, Lynx-O is a favorite new addition to my ThunderCats shelf. After Season Two kicked off, he quickly became one of my favorite characters on the show, and I think it was great that the cartoon portrayed someone with a disability as an absolute as such a strong hero. He had a razor sharp mind, heightened senses, and on more than one occasion, Lynx-O’s blindness was key to saving the ThunderCats from some dastardly trap!

ThunderCats Ultimates: Jaga by Super7

I just got notice that the next wave of Super7’s Ultimate ThunderCats has shipped, and that made me realize that I still had one figure left from the previous assortment to review here. This assortment consisted of Captain Cracker, Slithe, and the Elder of the ThunderCats himself… Jaga!

Once again, the figure comes in some super spiffy packaging, which includes a black outer slipcase with a beautiful red foil Eye of Thundera emblazoned on the front. The inner packaging is a window box with the ThunderCats logo and the character’s name on the front, and some character art and a little blurb about them on the back. Everything is collector friendly, which is a big plus in my book, although I will likely just be keeping the packaging for Mumm-Ra and Lion-O and pitching the rest.

Here’s Jaga out of the box and looking like he stepped right out of the screen into my living room and making me spit out my Fruit Loops. Super7 has been doing a great job nailing the simple animated styles on these figures, and Jaga is another fine example of that. His body is brown and off-white, with some bright blue boots, a pair of mismatched wrist bracers, and an unusual gold belt-undie combo, which reaches up to his neck and clips onto his blue cape, just under the bold ThunderCats emblem. And Jaga is looking pretty good for an old cat, as he’s positively ripped with muscles! The cape is plastic, but you get a bonus soft-goods cape, which we’ll check out at the end. Some of the paint lines could have been a little sharper on my figure, mostly where the brown and off-white patterns of his body meet. There’s nothing outrageously sloppy, but at the same time, there’s room for improvement.

You get a whopping three heads with this figure. The one that he has on in the package is your regular vanilla Jaga. It’s my guess that this will be the default for a lot of collectors out there, and it looks great. You get some sharp printing on the eyes, a well-sculpted beard, bold nose, and his skull cap helmet with a pike jutting up from the top.

The second head is old man Jaga, and I happen to like this one a lot too. He looks a little more gaunt, with his cheeks sucked in quite a bit. He lacks the vertical hashes under his eyes, and his eyes are a little narrower and lack a bit of the spark from the younger version. His eyebrows are less stylized, and his beard is a bit more bushy and unkept. He also looks like he might be just a wee bit tired of Lion-O’s shit. The helmet, on the other hand, is the same as the previous head. I may actually go with this one as my default display head, but I haven’t decided yet.

And finally, you get a head sans helmet, and this one looks great too. This is clearly meant to be the younger version, but now you can see his pointed ears, and his bald pate. I like the way his hair flares up with his ears. It’s a nice piece of work, but I don’t think this one will get a lot of display time, unless I wind up picking up a second Jaga figure to display it on.

Jaga comes with a few accessories, but two of them I’ve seen before. Sort of. You get the Sword of Omens in both the sleeping dagger version and its aroused sword form. In addition to his relaxed hands, Jaga comes with two additional pairs to help him interact with the swords: One has forward hinges, and the other the normal side-to-side hinges.

I have yet to receive my Super7 Ultimates Lion-O, so currently, I only have the sword that came with the original Matty Lion-O to compare this one to, and it is a completely new and vastly improved sculpt. The hilt is bigger and has sharper detail, as well as a much more pronounced and better painted Eye of Thundera. I also like how the cross-guard is curled in a little more to give you that proper Sight-Beyond-Sight configuration. The blade is longer, and has a central fuller instead of a diamond cross-section. The only thing I prefer about the Matty version is the silver paint on the blade, which I think looks a bit nicer.

You also get an effect part hand, depicting jaga clothing the ThunderCats team with the magic cloth. This is one of those really cool bonus accessories that I absolutely love, and yet will probably never actual use for display purposes.

Our last stop in the review is the soft-goods cape, which actually comes on the figure in the package. Both capes have pegs behind the ThunderCats emblem that plugs into the top of Jaga’s outfit. It works OK, but I would have appreciated a pet hole in the chest too, so it would anchor it down better. As it is, the peg can press against the figure’s chest and pop out, although it doesn’t happen all that frequently. The soft cape is beautifully tailored with some immaculate stitching and a pretty close match for the blue plastic used for the boots. It also has a wire to assist with some dynamic poses.

Jaga was a great choice for this wave, as he’s one of my favorite figures in the line from outside the core team. While there are some opportunities to clean up some of the paint lines, I still think that this figure turned out looking fabulous. The two additional heads add a lot of value to the package, and I was both surprised and delighted to see the improvements to The Sword of Omens. I’ll likely hand it over to Lion-O as his new default accessory. I should have the next litter of cats here by next week, and I can’t wait to start cracking into those!

ThunderCats Ultimates: Captain Cracker by Super7

I’m trying to parse out my reviews of Super7’s third wave of ThunderCats Ultimates, since there are only three figures and who knows when more will ship. Last time I checked out Slithe and now I’m turning my attention to that cantankerous clockwork clunker and evil space pirate, Captain Cracker!

You get the same beautiful style packaging as we saw last time, but Cracker’s box is a lot smaller, as he doesn’t have nearly the chonk factor of Slithe. It seemed to cause some collectors a lot of distress to see Captain Cracker turn up in Wave 3 of Super7’s ThunderCats. No doubt, they were hoping for a more prominent character, but I was pleased to no end. As eager as I am to complete my ThunderCats and Evil Mutants, I’m fine with them peppering the waves with more peripheral characters. And it’s not like Cracker was a one and done villain. After he was introduced running afoul of Mandora the Evil Chaser, he returned for two more episodes, the third of which even got him top billing in Cracker’s Revenge!
ThunderCats character designs tend to cut two ways. You’ve got your bad-ass characters and your goofy characters. Guess which group Cracker belongs to! But goofy or not, he has the potential to make for a great action figure!

And on the whole, I think that fun potential is realized here. Despite being a robot, Cracker wears clothes! His plastic wardrobe consists of tan trousers with a brown shoe on his left foot and just a metallic peg protruding from his right knee. He’s got an orange shirt with sculpted black vest, ragged sleeves, fingerless white gloves, and a brown belt with a sheath for his dagger. The sculpt is pretty basic here, which fits for the animated aesthetic. I do think it was a little cheap sculpting the vest as part of the body, rather than making it a separate piece worn by the figure. The paint could have been a lot cleaner around those ragged sleeves. If this were a twenty dollar, off the rack figure, I could be more forgiving.

At least they didn’t cheap out on the heads, as you get two portraits to choose from. The standard features Cracker offering a malevolent mugging and evil grin, showing every one of his weird white robot teeth. Super7 did a nice job capturing Cracker’s personality with some very nice detail. The Captain has a sculpted dew-rag “tied” around the top of his head. He’s got a prominent, a pointed spike for a nose, and an eyepatch bolted to his face. His exposed right eye is drawn on his face and looks wonderfully cheesy. Cracker has what looks like whiskers for a mustache and right eyebrow. I seem to remember the mustache sparking when Cracker got mad in the cartoon.

The second head gives Cracker a surprised expression, with his jaw clamped shut and his one eye wide open. Who’s laughing now, Cracker?

The Captain comes with three sets of hands, including two fists, two relaxed hands, one right accessory holding hand and one left graspy hand. Considering he comes with two weapons, I’m kind of put out that we didn’t get a left hand for holding his other weapon. So, let’s take a look at the weapons.

The dagger is a nice piece, with a gold painted hilt and a silver blade. It fits snugly into the sheath on his belt, and he can hold it perfectly fine in that one accessory holding hand.

His other weapon is a cutlass, and this is all silver. Either they were going for something simple to emulate the animated look, or they were too cheap to paint the hilt. Honestly, I can’t remember what Cracker’s sword looked like in the cartoon, so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. It’s fine. There’s no scabbard for it, but you can thrust it through his belt when he’s not using it. It sure would have been nice to have him hold the sword in one hand and the dagger in the other, but nope!

Cracker also comes with a wrench, which I assume was included based on the scene in Mandora and the Pirates, where he threatens to take Quick Pick apart with the wrench if Mandora doesn’t give herself up. I suppose he could also use it to do maintenance on himself. Also… Can we get a Quick Pick figure, please?

And last but not least is Cracker’s bird, which I’m pretty sure was never given a name, but hopefully someone will correct me if I’m wrong. [Oh, wait. It’s Polly. It’s actually printed on the back of the box!] Actually, you get two versions of The Captain’s trusty sidekick, one with wings at his side and one with wings spread. Both of these are sculpted and painted very nicely, and both feature rotating heads. They also both feature a peg in the feet that plugs into the hole on Cracker’s left shoulder.

The peg works pretty well, but for it to work, Cracker’s arm needs to stay down. I would have loved another display option. Like maybe a way to clip the bird to his arm or a hand with a peg hole to hold him.

I like robots. I like pirates. It stand to reason that I would love a robot pirate! With that being said, I think Captain Cracker turned out pretty good, but not quite great. It felt like I had a litany of nitpicks in this review, and they started to add up. Cracker is a great looking figure, and I’m happy to have him in my collection, but I think this was a figure that needed to really win fans over for being released so soon in the line, and I’m not sure he has what it takes to do that.

ThunderCats Ultimates: Slithe by Super7

Wow, it’s been about four years since I reviewed the last of Mattel’s ThunderCats Classics figures! These were offered through Matty Collector and only survived one wave before Matty shut things down and eventually passed the license off to Super7. Super7 stepped in by offering a redo of the first wave of figures with more accessories. They also adopted a made-to-pre-order business model, which means delivery is sloooooow. But now, a new wave with new characters has shipped and I’m excited to finally have new additions to this collection!

And who better to kick things off than with Slithe, Yesssss? As the de facto leader of The Evil Mutants from Plun-Darr, Slithe is without a doubt the most coveted release in this wave! Not only is he an important character, but he’s also one of the more unique character designs of the Mutants, and I was beyond curious to see how his figure would turn out. The packaging is super snazzy with a cover featuring the red foil insignia of Mumm-Ra The Ever Living. Lift the cover off to reveal the window box within. We can see the figure from the front and from the back some character art and a blurb about Slithe. Inside, the figure comes on a hefty tray with a second tray containing the accessories, nested under it.

Slithe is indeed a big boi, with a lot of satisfying heft to the figure. His stocky, hunched body is beautifully recreated here in what is a wonderful compromise between realistic detail and the simple nature of his cartoon counterpart. His green skin is textured with reptilian scales, along with smooth patches scattered throughout, and a smooth, light blue surface for the undercarriage of his tail and his chest. Personally, I would have liked that light blue to be closer to a greenish-gray, but I still think it looks good. He’s got a yellow sash tied around his waist, secured by a Y-shaped harness with two brown suspenders running up from the back, over his shoulders and joining together in the center of his chest at what looks like a steer’s head fixture. Below the yellow sash he has a shaggy brown skirt that covers the modesty of his lizard-goodies. His tail curls up behind him, and his hump is crested with dinosaur-like spikes. The sculpt and coloring on display here are both fantastic, and this figure not only looks great, but feels incredibly solid in hand!

Slithe’s ugly mug is positioned dead center of his hump and mounted on a dumbell-style arm, which allows it to look side to side as well as up and down and swivel, like a dog hearing a strange noise. The sculpted is packed with detail and personality. His headpiece looks like it’s a separate piece that’s attached to the figure. One eye is characteristically popped a little larger than the other and he offers a slightly pensive glance, as if wondering why their last plan to defeat the ThunderCats went tits up. The paint on the exposed fangs could have been a little tighter, but you have to get in pretty close to see any issues.

Slithe features a second head is a lot more expressive, with his one left eye squinting a lot more and his mouth slightly agape to show his disgusting mutant lizard tongue. It’s really a toss-up as to which head I will display him with the most, but I’m currently leaning toward this second one.

Other than the unusual neck articulation, everything else is pretty standard. You get rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees. The ankles are hinged and have generous lateral rockers. The wrists are on hinged pegs so they can be swapped out with the accessory holding hands. The tail will swivel, and he has what feels like a ball joint tucked under that waist sash. The joints work well and do a nice job of supporting his bulk, even if he isn’t resting on his tail. The balance on this figure is actually amazing for such an oddly shaped fellow!

You get three weapons with the figure. The first is this classic spiked mace. The shaft is a little bendy, but otherwise it’s a nice enough weapon.

Next up, you get an ax with a gnarled, rustic looking shaft, and a pretty well worn blade, full of nicks and dents and other battle damage. This is probably my favorite of the three, as it has loads of personality.

And finally, you get a cleaner ax with a spear head on the tip and a less worn blade. I like that the butt cap on the pole of this one matches the one on the mace.

Damn, this figure turned out great! And most importantly, I’m happy to see that the Ultimates fits in seamlessly with Matty’s Classics, as they are meant to. Yeah, it’s been a long road, and it goes without saying that collecting this line is not for those without resolve and patience. But the fact that it survived being cancelled to get handed off to such a skilled creator of action figures tells me that this line was meant to be. And having never had any ThunderCats figures as a kid, this line continuing is like a dream come true, and I’m happy to see it’s in good hands. It also makes me happy to see such high quality paint and quality control here, because I am pretty much All-In on their Silverhawks and G.I. JOE lines. I just hope I live long enough to actually get all these great figures in hand!

Ultimate Voltron by Super7

I did some reorganizing in the closets this weekend and found some stuff that I never got around to reviewing and set aside a small stack of goodies. Among that pile is Super7’s stab at creating a stylized and articulated 7-inch version of the Legendary Defender of the Universe, Voltron, for their Ultimates line!

Everything about this packaging screams premium! You get classy angled edges and a swank glossy black sleeve with foil lightning bolts surrounding a foil Coat of Arms. Lifting off the sleeve reveals a foil window box with Voltron and his accessories filling out the inner tray quite nicely! The rainbow Voltron logo is situated below the figure and the back of the package has the opening narration of the cartoon series. Everything is collector friendly, and that’s a wonderful thing, because this is a figure I intend to display in the packaging. Let’s get him out and have a look!

Obviously, this is a Voltron figure that does not separate, which allows for creating a sculpt with all the stylish flare of the big robot’s animated appearance. And I’m happy to say that Super7 took full advantage of it! The limbs are devoid of the more unsightly lion kibble, with those details softened and blended into the robot. The arms are a bit more rounded, while the legs are left more boxy. Meanwhile, the torso is perfectly proportioned. And while the goal here was to create a simpler and more animated look, there’s still plenty of nice detail, particularly in the lower legs, the “belt,” the chest crest, and of course the head sculpt. Along with a solid sculpt, the colors are vibrant with a mix of metallic and matte finishes to offer some nice contrast.

Unfortunately, as I really started to scrutinize the figure, the cracks in the foundation began to show themselves. There are some weird imperfections in the plastic, like creases and blemishes showing some problems with the molding process. Likewise, the paint application shows a lot of inconsistencies. It’s sharp in some areas, messy in others. There are a number of flubbed areas where brush strokes and swirls can be seen. No single one of these nitpicks is terrible, but when they all form together, the figure just doesn’t stand up to careful inspection.

But where this figure really flops is in the articulation. Now, Super7 is a stand up company, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they did a complete run down on the articulation when they solicited it. But, I bought mine from an online retailer, which simply listed it as Super Articulated. What I got was profoundly disappointing. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders, there are swivels in the biceps, hinges in the elbows, and rotating hinges in the wrists. All that is pretty good, although the shoulders tend to look rather awkward when angled out. It’s the legs that really hurt the figure. The hips have front and back rotation, and that’s it. No lateral movement at all. The figure is sculpted with a bit of a wide stance, but again… that’s it. The knees are hinged. You do get rotation in the waist and the neck. Voltron can achieve some decent looking modest poses for display, but sadly I did not find him to be a fun figure to play around with.

As for accessories, you get two extra hands, with the lions’ mouths open. Why Super7 didn’t just hinge the mouths is beyond me. Maybe they felt the hinge wouldn’t hold the accessories well, and that’s fair enough. The regular lion hands have soft mouths to grip the accessories pretty strongly.

Naturally, Voltron comes with his Blazing Sword and Shield and these accessories are absolutely gorgeous! The sculpts are great and they are actually vac metalized so they have stunning silver finishes. As mentioned, the grippy lion head hands hold them extremely well, although the joints in the shoulders and elbows aren’t always up to the task to hold their weight for long.

And finally, you also get a Summoning version of the Blazing Sword with a blue hilt and a glow-in-the-dark blade. Necessary? Nope! But it sure is a heck of a nice bonus!

I was really excited to finally open this figure, but I’m sorry to say it did not live up to my expectations. You get some stellar packaging and a figure that looks pretty good just standing on the shelf, but I found him to be frustrating to pose in any meaningful manner, and in severe need of some lateral hinges in those hips. Added to that, the strange imperfections in the molding, and some sloppy paint just doesn’t reflect the $45 price tag. There’s definitely some stuff to like here, but not enough to make this a happy purchase.

ReAction Star Trek: The Next Generation (Wave One) by Super7

Playmates just announced a return to making Star Trek figures, and while I fear that line will be populated by stuff from the grim-dark, depressing, dystopian shit that is Discovery and Picard, it’ll certainly be worth a look. But it wasn’t too long ago that Super7 announced that they had secured the license to The Next Generation and that got me more excited! I don’t think a week ever passes me by without watching at least one episode of Star Trek. It will forever be my Go-To show when I want to put something on to relax or watch something while I’m having dinner. No, it’s not always The Next Generation, but that one remains one of my all-time great comfort shows. So, when Super7 announced they were adding TNG to their ReAction series, I smiled and said Make it So!

Now, I say in the title Wave One, but I bought an extra Borg Drone instead of Guinan, so I was fibbing just a little bit. The others include Picard, Data, Worf, and Wesley Crusher. If you’re keeping score, this is the second time ReAction and Star Trek teamed up, but the first time it was Funko doing Classic Trek, and well, they weren’t very good. I had high hopes for these, however, as I’ve been enjoying most of Super7’s ReAction lines. Transformers, Alien, ThunderCats, Jem, I’ve been buying a lot of them. Most of those I’ve chosen to keep carded, but I decided to open this TNG line, mainly because I want to be able to crew my Shuttlecraft Galileo from Galoob’s old line, and it’s just not compatible with the totes and totes of Playmates Trek figures I have.

I dig the cards a lot. They are personalized with some great character art on the front, set against a snappy silver foil Delta symbol. The backdrop features the multi-colored star streaks with The Enterprise at warp, and the familiar title logo is at the top. The figures are on trays, so they don’t rattle around in their little bubble coffins, which is always a plus. The back of each card has a little blurb about the character, and oddly enough Star Trek is written in the Classic font at the top. It also features the standard ship’s computer LCARS display, which is really cool. Finally, you also get a Collect Them All style look at all six figures available in this wave. It’s not a bad assortment, but I would have preferred another alien instead of Guinan. Maybe a Romulan or Ferengi.

Straightaway, the Enterprise crew all share the same body, which is fine for some and a bummer for others. I have no problem with Data and Picard sharing a body, but Worf should have been bigger. Yeah, he is very slightly taller, but only because of his big head. The uniforms are modeled after the later seasons, with the tunic and trousers as opposed to the S1 jumpsuits, and that was probably a good choice. I dig that the patterns on the tunic are actually part of the sculpt, and the tiny comm-badges look good. Oh yeah, the rank pips on the collar are different sculpts. As always, these ReAction figures feature the old style five points of articulation. I like that the T-crotch doesn’t cause their legs to spread like they did on the Playmates figures. Ironically, these might actually be more compatible with the Playmates Bridge Playset than the Playmates figures were!

Wesley features a newly sculpted torso and arms for his fashionable sweater, although they cheaped out by giving him the same legs as the uniformed figures, so he’s as tall as Worf and kind of lame. The Borg is the only figure among these that uses a completely unique sculpt, and they did a beautiful job on him. Sure, it’s simplified design to match the retro style, but it still looks great, with tubes and implants all over. I think I actually like this one more than the Playmates Borg.

The head sculpts range from pretty good to outright fantastic. I think Picard’s is the weakest, but not terrible. I think the smile is a little uncharacteristic, as he tends to come across as a little stodgy and dour a lot of the time. Still, I dig it.

Data’s is second from the bottom, but again decent. The yellow eyes are a nice touch. When you punch in this close with the camera, the paint tends to look sloppy, but it’s not something that’s noticeable with the figure in hand. And at least his face isn’t bizarrely speckled like Galoob’s first Data!

Wesley’s is surprisingly good for being so simple. A lot of the likeness is conveyed in the hair sculpt, but the facial features are pretty good too, especially the shape of the mouth.

Worf comes out on top among the Enterprise crew. Holy shit, this is a phenomenal sculpt for a 3 3/4-inch retro line. Sure, they had the most to work with here, but the detail is still exceptional. They also managed to refrain from giving him a giant bobble head. I should also mention here that Worf’s baldric is sculpted separately and worn by the figure. That’s one of the few advantages of Super7 recycling the same body, because it looks great.

The Borg is on par with Worf as just having a fantastic portrait. Again, they had a lot to work with here, but it turned out fantastic. The Borgified part of his head is actually sculpted separately and attached to the head.

I hope you don’t like accessories, because half the figures in this wave come with bupkis, and the ones that do all come with the same one! Wesley and the Borg get nothing and the others get the same phaser. Now, in fairness, the phaser is incredibly detailed for such a tiny accessory. They can hold it pretty well, although they have to have their arms lowered to have it pointed straight out to shoot. But hey, that’s better than sculpting it into their hands like Galoob did back in the day!

So, here’s the deal. At $18 a pop, Super7’s ReAction figures are expensive for what they are. But their past lines like ThunderCats and Transformers have justified the cost to me with gorgeous card artwork and excellent unique sculpts. They’re just cool What If? lines to me and fun to collect and display. That’s not the case here. The Next Generation already had its turn at 3 3/4-inch and 4-inch figures, making these less a cool curiosity and more of a Here We Go Again! The cards look good, but I didn’t shed a tear when I was ripping into them. And while the figures look good, this wave features too much parts recycling to justify the cost. I like the phasers, but these really needed a few more extras. A tricorder with Data? A bat’leth with Worf? Maybe a PADD with Picard? Keep in mind, with shipping these set me back $120. That’s insane! I had no problem spending that for past ReAction waves, but the value just isn’t’ there on these. I don’t know if the cost of acquiring the license required cut backs, but with CBS/Paramount running the franchise into the ground, it couldn’t have been that expensive to get. Even McFarlane walked away from it just a year or so ago. Even still, with half the wave sharing the same body, these should have been no more than $10-15 a pop. Will I buy any more? It depends on what they show for Wave Two. Or more to the point, if there is a Wave Two! That’s all I have to say about the figures… so feel free to dip out now, but for anyone interested, I’m going to see how these work with…

The Galoob Shuttlecraft Galileo! I don’t have any loose figures to go with this beauty, because all my Galoob figures are carded, but they were the same scale as ReAction and not stylized like the Playmates line, so let’s see how they do!

The shuttle is definitely undersized, but that was the case with the Galoob figures as well. But they certainly fit well in the vehicle. The box claims this thing holds six figures, but I’ve always called bullshit on that. It comfortably seats four, with two in the cockpit and two in the back cargo area. Where are the other two supposed to go? Maybe if you pull them apart it would work, but it always seemed like a fascicle claim to me.

I always liked this original TNG shuttle design and I was sorry when they dumped it. Although the replacement isn’t bad and Playmates did an excellent job on that one. As a toy, Galoob’s Galileo ain’t so great, but I do adore it as a curiosity. There’s no electronics, the sides of the nacelles are detailed with stickers, which never stay on, and the Pop Up Sensor Unit and Slide-Out Phaser Cannon are kind of underwhelming. It’s not a cheap toy to get nowadays, so I can’t really recommend hunting one down. Still, it’s nice to finally have some figures to go in it!