Silverhawks Ultimates: Mon-Star and Throne by Super7

I was positively giddy when Super7 announced they were doing Silverhawks figures! While admittedly nowhere near as solid as its younger toon cousin, ThunderCats, Silverhawks was one of the last cartoons I really got into before succumbing to the “I’m too cool for cartoons” teenage years. And it’s rare that I have an excuse to gas on about this cartoon, so pardon me if I get a little longwinded. The series featured the same amazing level of animation as ThunderCats, some even more colorful and bizarre characters, and a lot of the same voice actors. Larry Kenney, Lion-O himself, even narrates the opening of the pilot episode and introduces us to the characters. It follows a very similar formula to its catcentric cartoon cousin, and I’ve even read somewhere that it was intended to take place in the same universe. I’ll get more into the Silverhawks themselves when I have a look at Bluegrass next week, but today we’re looking at the reason the Silverhawks have jobs, and that’s the evil Limbo Mob Kingpin, Mon-Star!

Technically, we’re starting with the second wave, because the planned first wave was delayed. Mon-Star comes in an elongated window box to house all his extras, but the package design is similar to what we saw for the ThunderCats Ultimates, with a slipcase that lifts off to reveal the goods. The slipcase and box have a beautiful crimson foil finish and the front of the slipcase has Mon-Star’s ugly mug in his powered-up form. Much like Mumm-Ra, Mon-Star had a regular form and a powered up form, which he attained by absorbing the power of the Moon Star and reciting the incantation… “Moon Star of Limbo, give me the might, the muscle, the menace of Mon-Star!” He’s also the leader of the Limbo Galaxy’s most notorious mob of gangsters. Today we’re looking at his regular form, which unlike Mumm-Ra is pretty damn impressive all by himself! Inside the box, you get the figure, two additional heads, no less than five pairs of hands, and two versions of his buddy Sky Shadow. Also included in this wave is his throne, which is packaged separately.

Here’s Mon-Star out of the box, and like I said, he’s pretty intimidating before he even gains that might and muscle of the Moon Star! This is also the very first time we’re getting an actual figure based on this form, as the original Kenner figure was based on his powered up form, with only a changeable face to show the transformation. Mon-Star is quite literally a beast of a figure, content with waring very little in the way of clothes. He has a furry diaper to protect his mon-star modesty, although, I suppose that could just be his natural hair, because has some similar fringe coming off his forearms. And if true, that’s kind of gross. He also has some armor on his upper chest, and two shoulder pieces with spikes angled outward. He’s a savage looking creature with some chiseled muscles, all brought out in what is a solid, albeit basic sculpt. He does, however, have some pretty good detail in them monster feets. His skin is mostly black with some maroon wash here and there, a maroon finish to his armor, and some flame red touches on his furry bits.

The portraits are huge, mainly because of his wild and copious coif of lion-like hair, and it is a glorious mane. The plastic pouf radiates outward from his face with alternating red and black strands. Mon-Star also has a long tuft of red hair protruding from his chin. He’s an ugly sonuvagun with a squished nose and jagged teeth protruding from his closed lips. One piercing eye gazes forward while his left eye is covered by a patch, and bares the Light Star, one of his fiercest weapons.

The second option gives us an even wilder hair sculpt and his mouth slightly parted. I never knew what was up with that middle tooth that looks like it’s growing up out of the top of his jaw, but it sure is faithful to the cartoon. There’s a sharper angle to his right brow on this head, showing that he is more than mildly displeased.

And finally you get his Oh, shit, he’s really pissed head. The hair is even wilder, and you get a little more black wash in the red areas. His mouth is further agape, his exposed eye is wide with range, and the Light Star on his patch is clearly active. In the cartoon, the Light Star was a beam weapon, which had the power to immobilize or even take control of his targets. All three of these heads are excellent, and with the bulk of the figure being a little plain, it’s nice to see Super7 poured the sculpted detail into these portraits. As for which one to display on the figure? That’s a tough one, but chances are I’ll mostly go with the second one.

The articulation here should hold no surprises if you’ve handled any of Super7’s Ultimates. It’s not exceptional, but it gets the job done. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and elbows with the wrists on hinged pegs so you can swap out the hands. The legs are ball jointed up in the hips and have rotating hinges in the knees and ankles. There’s a ball joint under his chest and a ball joint in his neck. The joints all feel great and while it would have been nice to have a better range of motion in the elbows, I can still have plenty of fun with him.

The number of hands here is absolutely ridiculous! You get five sets: Fists, accessory holding hands, pointing finger hands, grasping hands, and somewhat relaxed hands. It’s pretty luxurious to get a full pair of pointing fingers, and I’m not entirely sure what the accessory holding hands are for, but it’s nice to cover all the bases. He also comes with a single right trigger hand. Again, he has no weapon, but I suppose he can borrow one from his cohorts, so that’s cool.

The only accessories here are the two versions of Sky Shadow. This companion beast was introduced in Episode 9, when Mon-Star asked one of his cronies, Hardware, to make himself a cyborg bird capable of thwarting the Silverhawks spy, Tallyhawk. In the toy line, and eventually the cartoon, each character had their own bird-buddy. Sky Shadow was a sort of space dragon that was captured by Hardware and converted into a cyborg, which is just a sample of the kind of body horror that this cartoon flippantly engages in. The first version depicts Sky Shadow before getting all borged up. He’s a little bit cuter here than he was in the cartoon and looks more like a baby dragon than a vicious bird creature. It’s a nice bonus, even though he was only seen in this form briefly before he had the horrific surgeries forced upon him.

The second version is Cyborg Sky Shadow, but he’s closed up in his perched mode. It’s not the Sky Shadow that everybody wants, but that one will be included with the powered up version of Mon-Star. Indeed, this isn’t much of an accessory, as it’s kind of just a jumble of cyborg bird parts all rolled up with two lobster claws showing through. And that brings us to the throne!

This throne comes in a window box without a slipcase cover. It’s called the Transformation Chamber Throne, but I don’t remember him having to be in it to change form. Indeed, I pulled out my DVD set and watched a bunch of episodes since these figues came in and I only recall seeing the throne a few times.

And it is indeed just a big chair, but a pretty nice one. The sculpt has some granite-like fissures throughout the surface with some cutouts running up the inside back and fronts of the armrests. The back has ribbed cable-like tubes coming off and ending on the floor, presumably connecting the chair to the Transformation Chamber. It’s a cool design with a very organic and almost HR Giger feel to it. The color has a nice stone and light blue swirly look to it.

Mon-Star fits in it pretty well, with his feet firmly planted on the ground and his hands stretched out to the arm rests looking like he’s ready to start berating Yes-Man or crying about how the cursed Silverhawks defeated him yet again. For some reason, I think he looks really good seated in it with his angry head and pointing hand. Is the chair worth it? Well, at $45, I’m kind of iffy about that. It’s not nearly as iconic to me as say Mumm-Ra’s tomb, and while it is a very solid piece and looks great, I’m not sure that there’s really $45 of value here. I mainly got mine because I just pre-ordered the whole wave, which I think knocked ten bucks off of it. I’m not sorry I got it, but I wouldn’t have hunted one down if it wasn’t included in the assortment.

And while the throne is simply OK, I couldn’t be happier with how Mon-Star turned out. I’m really thrilled to finally have a figure of this version of the character, since the cartoon features him like this a lot. Not having this Mon-Star seemed like a huge gap in the original figure line. This is a beautiful figure that comes close to rivaling powered up Mumm-Ra in size, which makes me extra excited to see how big his powered up version will be when the intended first wave actually ships in a month or so. So far this line is off to a great start! I’ll try to carve out a slot for next week to take a look at the first of the Silverhawks, starting with Bluegrass!

ThunderCats Ultimates: Snowman of Hook Mountain by Super7

The time of reckoning is coming! Super7’s ThunderTank is starting to show up in people’s hands. And I still have a lot of ThunderCats figures to try to review before that happens. So, I’m going to do my best to throw a lot of love at this line over the next few weeks. Will I be caught up by the time the tank arrives? Probably not. But I’ll try to close the gap as much as I can. Today I’m checking out a figure from Wave 4, and it is indeed the Snowman of Hook Mountain! *Snowmeow not included!

We’ve seen the packaging for these figures many times now, but it’s so nicely done, that I don’t mind taking more shots of another one. You get the sleeve with the red foil Eye of Thundera on the front and when you lift it off it reveals the window box. The window shows off the figure and just how much little excess room there is in there because he’s so hefty. The back panel has a nice bit of character art and a blurb about Snowman. I love the one line here that states, so matter of fact and irrefutably, Lion-O was able to tame Snowmeow because he is the Lord of all Cats. Cartoon logic, bitches! I really enjoy Snowman’s debut episode a lot. It starts out with a misunderstanding and Lion-O fighting him, but they end up as fast friends, making Snowman a formidable ThunderCat ally!

Protector of the Castle of the Snowmen, Standing member of The League of Third Earth… like his animated counterpart, Snowman is a big boy, measuring in at many chonks more than even the biggest ThunderCat! He has a dark blue, short-sleeve tunic over lighter blue sleeves and baggie trousers. His lower legs are covered in sculpted fur boots, and he’s got a mantle of more sculpted fur over his shoulders and covering most of his chest and back. His hands are bare, but he’s got some natural brown fur on the backs of his mighty meathooks! This is not one of the most complex character designs out there, but Super7 did a really nice job detailing all that gray fur. I also dig how the articulation cuts at the knees and ankles make it look like the boots are cinched and tied at those points.

When this figure was originally solicited, I seem to remember the plan was to have a regular head and helmeted head, but we wound up with one head and a removable helmet, and that made me happy. Sure, you could argue that the eyes would line up better with the eyeholes if the helmet had the exposed eyes as part of the sculpt, but what we got isn’t that bad, and I like to have the option to have him holding the helmet and not seeing a severed head in there. I love this helmet design, as it looks like a cross between an exaggerated knight’s helmet and a German WWI helmet with the one spike protruding from the top. The visor is massive and the silver paint looks quite nice!

Remove the helmet and you are treated to Snowman’s walrus-like visage. At least it reminds me of a walrus sans tusks and with a human nose. He’s got a wall of off-white facial hair surrounding his buried mouth with the rest of the head covered in brown fur, leaving only the skin around the nose and eyes bare. Oh yeah, he’s also got two adorable little ears jutting from his hair. If only they had hired on Wilfred Brimley to voice this guy! “Folks, I’d like to talk to you all about Thundrilliam…”

For articulation, Snowman has all the right points, but because of his bigger size, the range of motion is curtailed in some of them. There’s a ball joint under the chest, which allows him to rotate and lean back and forward a bit, with the ball joint in the neck fairing about as well. The arms do a pretty good job with rotating hinges in the shoulders and elbows, and hinged pegs for the hands. There are three sets of hands: Fists, Relaxed, and Accessory Holding. The legs have a great range of motion in the ball jointed hips, but the knees don’t bend back nearly as much as I would like, because of the sculpt. The ankles are good for flattening the feet on wider stances, but not a whole lot more. Snowman is still loads of fun to play with, but for a line that isn’t exactly super-articulated, he manages to offer a wee bit less.

As for accessories, Snowman comes with a lance, a spear, and a shield. Each of these are cast in chalky, somewhat transparent plastic to make them look like they’re fashioned in ice, and it’s a pretty nice effect, which I don’t seem to remember being the case on the LJN figure’s accessories. The lance even has a cool bubble effect in the handle, and this weapon is almost twice as tall as Snowman himself!

The spear and shield are my favorites of the three, as the spear is a lot easier for him to wield than the bulky jousting lance. The shield handle, however, is very tough to get into his hand, as the fingers are not very pliable. Still, he looks great holding them! I’ll likely leave it connected to that hand to risk having to deal with that tight grip again.

Snowman was one of the first inhabitants of Third Earth that left a lasting impression on me in the cartoon. His episode is fun and does a good job about teaching a life lesson. Naturally, I was excited to get a figure of him, and Super7’s does not disappoint. Is there any chance we might still get Snowmeow? Well, initially I thought the chances were slim since they didn’t come together. But, seeing as how Super7 packaged Mandora and her Electro-Charger separately, I think there’s still some hope. If Super7 is confident enough in selling some of the bigger toys, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the big snow cat show up.

ThunderCats Ultimates: Electro-Charger by Super7

As promised, I’m back today to round out the week with a look at the very first vehicle released in Super7’s ThunderCats Ultimates line. Besides being absolutely stoked to be getting Mandora the Evil Chaser’s flying police motorcycle, I was also curious to see how this toy would turn out as an indicator of future possibilities. And I’m not just talking about the ThunderTank, but more so the variety of one-person vehicles released in LJN’s original toyline. Not long ago, I bought a vintage LJN Skycutter, which scales fairly well with the Ultimates figures, but I’d love to see Super7 get to work on their own version of the Skycutter, Nosediver, and other fun little vehicles! Hopefully, you already checked out my look at Mandora from a few days ago. If not it should be right below this one, otherwise… let’s get to it!

The Electro-Charger comes in a window box, with the window wrapping around the front and top panels. The front has the classic ThunderCats logo and it identifies the Electro-Charger as “Mandora’s Interstellar Transport Vehicle!” The back panel of the box has some shots calling out some of the toy’s features, as well as a cool photo of Mandora with her sweet ride. The toy is 99% assembled (only the rear antenna needs to be attached), so it displays great in the box, and the packaging is totally collector friendly. Just pop off the antenna, and you can use the box as a garage!

Out of the box, this thing looks absolutely amazing. The design looks a lot like a police motorcycle model kitbashed with a spaceship model, and I mean that in the most loving way imaginable. The clean white plastic looks fantastic, and the toy is all about those sweeping curves and smooth rounded surfaces. The translucent red caps on the front of the wings are reminiscent of the bussard collectors on the USS Enterprise, while the yellow star, windshield, and transparent yellow headlamp and side panels drive home the police motorcycle motif.

There’s sides of the space bike are fitted blue panels and silver exhaust tubing, with some lovely burn marks painted around the edges. The blue paint contrasts beautifully with the white and the silver paint on the pipes has a gorgeous satin finish. The two seats are ribbed and painted black with an extended back on the rear seat. Below that you get the Interplanetary Control Force emblem printed in yellow, a tall antenna, and a single yellow rear tail light. Super7 did a beautiful job recreating the cartoon model of this bike in plastic, and it sure is an impressive toy to hold.

The dashboard sports some excellent detail with a painted control console and a set of silver handlebars with black grips. You also get two console display options, thanks to swap out instrument boards which connect to the dashboard via magnets. The first option is a display screen, which I think is how the console appeared in Mandora’s debut episode. The second panel features a host of switches and buttons. This panel was showcased in the episode Cracker’s Revenge, where Captain Bragg’s avian companion Crownan had to operate the bike because Mandora was tied to it and it was speeding out of control.

Just like in the cartoon, the Electro-Charger has retractable tires to allow it to land and be driven just like a regular motorcycle. Depending on the episode, sometimes the wheels were deployed even when it was in flight. I’m guessing that was an animation error, rather than being intentional. There’s no mechanism to deploy the wheels, instead you first have to remove the two hatches, which are held on by clips. Once those are off, you can open the hatch on the back of the bike with the Interplanetary Control Force insignia to push down the back wheel, while the front wheel can just be grabbed and pulled out through the open hatch. There’s also a flip down kickstand in the middle, but I didn’t find it was really necessary, as the bike seems to sit fine without it.

The kickstand also houses the hole which the translucent flight stand can be pegged into. It’s a rock solid connection and it displays the bike in a slightly inclined manner. Mandora herself fits perfectly on the bike and you can use a few different pairs of hands to grip the handlebars, depending on how tight you want that grip to be. I found the looser grips work just as well and are easier to get her hands on and off the grips. And boy does she look fantastic on the bike!

The back seat is roomy enough for Lion-O or any of the other ThunderCats to catch a ride, showing just what a good sized vehicle this is!

And as I mentioned yesterday, the Electro-Charger comes with Mandora’s Enzyme Catalyzer, or Soap Gun if you prefer. There’s even a hatch just below the handlebars that has a compartment to store it, which is where she kept it in her debut episode.

The Enzyme Catalyzer consists of the gun portion and the soap tank with a rubber hose running between them. There’s a grab bar on the tank so she can hold it in one hand while wielding the nozzle like a gun. You also get a soap spray effect part to attach to the nozzle! I love it!

It’s hard to believe that so many decades later, we finally have Mandora and her Electro-Charger in toy form! This is a beautiful and impressive toy, but with a price tag that is not for the weak of wallet. At $150, this one really tests the ThunderCats fanboy chops, and I can certainly see sticker shock preventing some collectors from buying it. With that having been said, the bike showcases some top notch craftsmanship, and I have absolutely no issues with mine when it comes to the paint or the overall build. It’s quite simply immaculate, which really bolsters my confidence in the upcoming ThunderTank. I was maybe a wee bit concerned about the possibility of buyer’s remorse on this one, but that certainly has not been the case and sure am happy to be able to display this in my collection! While it was offered as a pre-order, a number of online retailers are showing it in stock as we speak.

ThunderCats Ultimates: Mandora by Super7

From what I’ve been hearing, we’re about a month away from Super7’s behemoth ThunderTank shipping out, but this month, we got another vehicle in the ThunderCats line with Mandora and her Electro-Charger both arriving here last week. I know, I have a few older ThunderCats releases on my backlog, but I couldn’t resist pushing the Evil Chaser and her sweet ride to the front of the line. These were released separately, so I’m going to check out Mandora today, and then we’ll have a look at the Electro-Charger on Friday!

Super7’s Ultimates packaging looks slick as ever. You get a beautiful window box with a sleeve over it. Lift off the sleeve, which is adorned with a red foil Eye of Thundera, and you get treated to a great look at the figure and accessories inside the box. The back panel has some nice character art, along with a little bio blurb about the character. Working for Interplanetary Control Force, an organization of interstellar space cops, Mandora is known as an Evil Chaser, and appeared in around half a dozen episodes of the original cartoon, peppered across both seasons. In her debut, she travels to Third Earth to recapture a trio of evil fugitives, which Lion-O accidentally set free. And yes, Super7, I’d like figures of Plutar, Burnout, and most of all Quick Pick, please and thank you!

Out of the box, Mandora is ready to hunt down fugitives no matter where they hide! Her costume is the spitting image of her animated counterpart, with a black bodysuit, sleeveless on the left side, red and pink boots and gauntlets, a gray belt with white and red belt buckle, some pink shoulder pads, and, what is that a half-jacket? Half a chest armor? I don’t know, but it looks great! While the shoulders are sculpted separately, sadly they are not designed to be removable, so you can’t recreate that bare shoulder look from her debut episode. Bummer! She also has a gray scabbard on her right leg to hold her boomerang!

You get no less than three different heads to choose from, all sporting her RoboCop-inspired visor with yellow ponytail sprouting from the back and back-swept headphones. The only difference between the first two heads is the way her ponytail is positioned. The first has it dropping straight down, while the other is a windblown look.

The third head has the ponytail blowing in the opposite direction and Mandora gritting her teeth. Her visor is also changed to a tracking display. The paint on my figure’s second head could be a little cleaner, especially when you punch in real close with the camera, but I don’t have any issues with the other two. I might as well take this opportunity to address the skin tone. Super7 went with bare, unpainted plastic for the skin which looked really waxy in the promo shots. In hand, I think it looks fine, and I’d even go so far as to say I think it turned out better than if they had painted it.

Mandora has pretty much the same articulation as the other two ladies of the line, which means it’s definitely serviceable, but far from the best. The legs have ball jointed hips, rotating hinges in the knees, and both hinges and lateral rockers in the ankles. The neck is ball jointed and there’s a ball joint under the chest. The arms have rotating hinges in the shoulders and elbows, with hinged pegs for the hands to swap them out. And boy do you get a lot of hands! You get fists, relaxed hands, grasping hands, accessory holding hands, you even get a right pointing hand and a right thumbs-up hand. As for the articulation, the biggest issue remains the range of motion in the elbows and knees, which does feel limited. Thankfully, there are slits cut in the back of the shoulders to keep them from hindering the shoulder movement.

As for accessories, Mandora has an inventory of goodies that hits most of the beats. Her trademark boomerang is front and center, actually she has two of them: One standard, and one with a trailing motion effect. The boomerang is nice and colorful with a white base and blue and red accents. The motion effect has a semi-transparent red trail that looks great.

Next up, you get a set of handcuffs with real chain connecting them. The cuffs do not open, but you only need to pop off a figure’s hands to slip them on.

She has her ID badge with her picture printed on a sticker.. Depending on which episode you’re watching, Mandora sometimes flashed her badge with her picture upright and sometimes with the badge part at the top and her picture upside down. The sticker on my figure’s accessory is kind of rough, with some chipping on the edges, but it’s pretty small and hard to notice with the naked eye.

And lastly, you get her computerized ticket book and the tracking device she used to hunt fugitives. Both of these are pretty simple accessories, but cool additions nonetheless. Pity we didn’t get some tiny paper tickets to hand out to Snarfer. Assuming we actually get Snarfer. Yeah, I’m pretty sure we’ll get a Snarfer.

I was super excited when Mandora first got solicited and now that I’ve get her in hand, I’m thrilled to have her in my collection. It always surprised me that she didn’t get an LJN release in the original toyline, as she’s a damn cool looking character, and she sure came back for a good number of episodes. Now, naturally the big omission with Super7’s figure is her enzyme-catalyzer (aka. soap gun). Super7 didn’t forget it, but rather chose to bundle it with the Electro-Charger. I was always going to pick up her ride, so I don’t mind it getting put in with the bike, but I can see why some collectors might consider it a cheap move. Not everyone is going to buy both the figure and the bike. So yeah, I think they should have included it with the figure. Come on back Friday and we’ll have a look at the Electro-Charger!

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!