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: 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!