Savage World (ThunderCats): Tygra and Cheetara by Funko

Last month Funko (partially) shipped their second wave of Savage World ThunderCats, but Cheetara was delayed so I only reviewed the two Mutants from the wave. But now Cheetara has arrived, so it’s time to dig out Tygra and see how the other half of this assortment (and final wave of the series) turned out!

If you’re still unfamiliar with Savage World, this line took a number of existing franchises, coupled them with the vintage He-Man style and produced action figures with varying results. But with the handling of the ThunderCats license in such disarray (from Ban Dai to Matty to Super7) over the years, this line was still the closest we’re likely to come to a somewhat complete line of the main heroes and villains. That is unless Super7 can get us Cheetara and a bunch of Evil Mutants. And to be perfectly honest, I think this particular property is very well suited to this kind of treatment. Granted the original LJN figures weren’t stylized like this, but I dig having them in a format where they can interact with my old He-Mans. The first wave included Lion-O, Panthro, Slithe and Mumm-Ra. The figures come sealed on very collector-unfriendly bubbles and cards, and the cards actually feature character art specific to each figure. Let’s start with Tygra!

Ah, very nice! One of the things that impresses me the most about this line was Funko’s willingness to invest in original sculpting for each figure. There’s some re-use to be sure, and a lot of re-sculpting, but Tygra here represents how easily Funko could have gotten away with just repainting a blank buck, but chose not to. The ThunderCat emblem is sculpted into the chest, as is the sash that runs over his left shoulder. Other points of new sculpting include the border on his left sleeve, the elbow pads, and the boots. As a whole, the paintwork has been quite good on this line and that’s mostly still the case with Tygra here. The lines are reasonably sharp for a figure in this price range, and there’s little to no slop. Indeed, the only thing I can really complain about is a little spot of blue paint on his left foot. And yes, each of the figures have a very obvious and unsightly code printed on their back.

The portraits continue to be excellent, and I’d dare say Tygra’s is among the best. This head sculpt leans into the style of the old cartoon with the flared hair reminiscent of cat ears, whereas the old LJN figure had more of a rounded coif. The sculpted facial features are sharp and the paint here really shines. From the razor sharp printed eyes to the black stripes in his hair, there’s nothing to complain about here. The orange the used for his skin and fur really pops nicely too.

Articulation continues to be standard stuff. The shoulders and neck have swivel cuts, the legs are ball jointed at the hips, and the waist has a swivel but no snap-back action like the old He-Man figures. You get one bagged accessory, and that’s Tygra’s trademark bolo whip. It’s cast in soft plastic and features a painted grip and painted red balls at the end of each of the three strands. My one complaint with these figures is that the grips have been very tight and it can be a chore to get the accessories into their hands, but once it’s in it stays put. Next up… Cheetara!

As the first female figure in this assortment, Cheetara uses a slighter female buck similar to what we’ve seen in other Savage World sub-lines. I think it looks great and works well with the guys. The sculpting here is all new, including the top of her one-piece, the ThunderCat emblem on her chest, the bangles on her right wrist and her left arm bracer, and finally her buccaneer style boots. And as with Tygra, the paintwork here is excellent. Little touches include the silver on her bangles and the spots on her right shoulder. I also like the contrast between the glossy finish on her one-piece and chest emblem against the matte used for the rest of the figure.

The portrait  is solid, although the facial features look a wee bit softer than what we got on the rest. She also has more of a blank expression than her teammates. To make up for it, her hair sculpt is absolutely fantastic and the black spots against the yellow really sings.

The articulation here is identical to Tygra’s although Cheetara’s hair renders the neck swivel almost useless. She comes with one accessory and that’s her staff, which has a woodgrain finish to it and is painted over in yellow. She can grip it just fine, but her hands are sculpted with a bit of a turn, which is not ideal for posing with it.

Ans so, I’m happy to say that Tygra and Cheetara turned out great and they round out the team quite nicely! Of course, it was impossible to end this review without bad news as Funko has no new releases listed for 2020 and these appear to be the last we’ll see of Funko’s Savage World. And while the overall reception of this line has been decidedly mixed, I would have loved to see this line continue for at least one more wave. Maybe Jaga, Grune, Pumira, and Vulture Man? Yeah, that would have been a solid end to it, and sure a Cat’s Lair in the same style as the DC Primal Age playset would have been fantastic.  But that’s not to say it’s the last time we’ll see Savage World here on FFZ. While I doubt I’ll be going through all the DC Primal Age releases, I’ll likely dig up the Street Fighter figures at one point when I need some quick-and-easy material for content.

Savage World (ThunderCats): Monkian and Jackalman by Funko

Despite the ThunderCats main license passing from BanDai to Mattel and now to Super7, Funko’s weird He-man styled Savage World series continues to be our best bet for collecting a line of heroic kitties and evil mutant action figures. The first wave consisted of Lion-O, Mumm-Ra, Ssslithe, and Panthro who shipping about a month or so later for no discernible reason. Well, the same thing is happening again with the second wave consisting Tygra, Monkian, Jackalman, and Cheetara now shipping about a month later. Again, I’m not sure what the deal is with the logistics here, but because I don’t yet have a complete second wave, I thought I’d just go ahead and open the two Mutants and then check out Tygra later when Cheetara finally shows up.

The packaging is the same as the first wave with the cards featuring some individual character art on the front and the familiar Collect-Them-All layout on the back. The figures themselves are sealed into their bubbles, so this is definitely not a collector friendly line. And maybe that’s for the best, because in my experience it’s really tough to find these cards that aren’t bend or creased in some way. Mine aren’t too bad, but I’m still going to tear them open. If you look back at my review of the first Wave, you’ll see that I was extremely happy with those figures, and I’m pleased to say that trend continues with this pair. The Savage World style doesn’t work for everything, but I think it fits the ThunderCats in general quite well, and that goes double for these Mutants. Let’s start with Monkian!

Monkian has a clean, animated look about him and despite the stylized proportions, he’s still the spitting image of the character as he appeared in the cartoon, more so than the old LJN figure. Details in the sculpt include the brown straps on his legs and arms, as well as a couple of spikes jutting out from the leg wraps. His mutant monkey unmentionables are covered up by a sculpted brown skirt and simple black belt. There are also tufts of plastic fur on his shoulders and a bit down his back. But c’mon, Funko. Did you really need to print letters and numbers across his back?

The head sculpts in this line have been excellent and that’s still the case with Monkian. Again, it’s clearly a cartoon portrait, complete with his white plastic “beard” and skull-cap style helmet. The coloring here is great as well, with clean paint lines all around. They used two different shades of metallic paint for the helmet, and his deep set eyes are perfectly printed.

Monkian comes with a single weapon, and that’s his spiked flail, which is a lovely little accessory. The handle has brown sculpted wrappings, and the silver ball is placed on a bendy black tether. It can be held in either of his hands.

I’ve got all the same praise for Jackalman, and he shows off how adept Funko is in re-sculpting parts for this line. For example, the feet are identical, and the legs would be too, but Jackalman has ankle cuffs instead of the straps. The right arm is the same right down to the tufted hair on the shoulder, but Jackalman has a wrist cuff instead of the wraps. Likewise, the chest is the same, but with the three-point chest harness added. Jackalman’s left arm features a prominent piece of armor with silver studs running around the edge and a leopard-print bracer sculpted onto his forearm. He also has a plastic furry diaper very much like what we see on the He-Man figures. As with Monkian, all the correct nods to the original LJN figure are here, but this one is clearly based more on the cartoon look.

The head sculpt is wonderfully detailed, although I will concede I don’t like it quite as much as Monkian’s. I don’t dislike it, but I’m just not in love with it.

Jackalman comes with one weapon, and it is indeed his battleaxe. It’s a great looking piece, but it fits rather loosely in his hand.

I think I even surprised myself with how excited I was that we got a second wave of this line. No, the He-Man style isn’t necessarily optimal for these figures, but I still think it works well and this is a case of something being better than nothing. It’s been a long struggle just to get a collection of three Evil Mutants to stand beside Mumm-Ra and I think these figurs look great together. While Super7 is still pressing on with the Classics line that they won back from Mattel, I still think Savage World is our best bet for an extensive line, and I’m anxiously awaiting word of a possible Wave 3. And at about $13 a pop, these aren’t exactly breaking my bank account. I’ll be back to wrap up the rest of this wave as soon as Cheetara shows up!

Savage World (ThunderCats): Wave One by Funko

The ThunderCats have had a hard time catching a break. They got an amazing series reboot back in 2011, but it didn’t last. Ban Dai tried to re-launch figures based on the classic cartoon not once, but twice, each time only producing two figures. The license fell to Mattel and they only managed to get a handful of figures out before dropping the line. We all hoped Super7 would have picked it up along with the Masters of the Universe license, but that didn’t happen. Up until now, the only way to get a (sort of) complete team was Mezco’s excellent Mega-Scale figures. And now… it’s Funko’s turn!

Savage World is Funko’s attempt to take popular licenses and merge them with the vintage He-Man action figure aesthetic. These haven’t been nearly as prolific as their Pop! Vinyls, but they’ve managed to do Mortal Kombat, 80’s Slashers, and even DC Comic Heroes as DC Primal Age. Of all of these so far, ThunderCats seems like the most likely candidate, and I was super excited to get these in hand when they were announced. But then the curse struck again. My pre-order filled for three of the four figures, with Panthro remaining in limbo. Weeks went by, I couldn’t find him anywhere, and it seemed like my pre-order was never going to fill. Eventually, I got tired of waiting and picked him up off of Ebay in order to get a complete set.

The first wave consists of Lion-O, Panthro, Mumm-Ra, and Slithe, which feels like a pretty solid assortment. These figures come on simple bubble-and-card packaging, which is in no way collector friendly, with their accessories bagged behind the figure. If you’re looking to keep a set MOC, you might want to be careful ordering these, because it’s not uncommon for them to show up with one or both of the legs detached. Sure, they do pop back on easy enough, but nobody wants to display a figure with its’ limbs rattling around in the bubble. The back of the card has a “Collect-Them-All” layout, which also shows Wave Two consisting of Tygra, Cheetara, Jackalman and Monkian. As much as I’d love to see this line go the distance, I’m just begging the powers that be to get us that second wave. These are pretty simple figures, so I’m going to just tackle the whole wave today…

Lion-O is the one figure in this wave where the squat styling feels a little off to me. At first, I couldn’t figure out why, but I’ve decided it’s because his hair makes his head look big and thereby makes his body look extra squat. It didn’t take long for that to wear off and now I’m fine with it, because everything else about this figure is just spot-on wonderful. I’m especially happy with the way the coloring here came out. Sure, some of that white edging could have been sharper, but I’ve got to get in pretty close before it bothers me. Articulation on all of these figures is identical, which includes swivels in the neck, waist, and shoulders, and ball joints in the hips.

Lion-O comes with his two iconic accessories: The Claw Shield and The Sword of Omens. The Claw is a nice softer sculpt to make it actually look like fur and has the three grappels painted red on the knuckles. The Sword is a solid recreation of the iconic sword. It’s cast in gray plastic and has the Eye of Thundera painted on both sides near the crossguard. All in all, I’m really pleased with this MOTU-styled Lord of the Thundercats and he looks great posed with his accessories.

Panthro looked a lot more naturally to me right out of the gate, because he doesn’t have the whole big hair thing going on and I think this is a great representation of the character, stylized or not. The spikes on his shoulder straps are sharp and solid, and the sculpt even includes his ninja-style footwear and the cords where they are tied on. The only problem I have with this figure is that the Eye of Thundera is printed a bit off-center on his belt. Otherwise, the paint is pretty sharp and the coloring looks great.

Panthro comes with his nun-chuks, which are painted blue and red with a silver painted flexible “chain” connecting them, and have the adorable little cat claws sculpted into the ends of them. He can hold them in either hand and if you cheat, you can even get him to hold them in both hands at once… sort of. Let’s move on to the baddies!

Slithe is the one figure here where the stylized look doesn’t even come into play, and by that I mean this just looks like regular old Slithe to me. They did a great job with the sculpt, from the ragged skirt to the fishy lips and popped eye, he looks great. The coloring here is really evocative of the animation as well and some nice flourishes include the bright silver paint on his wrist bracer and the green spots on his tail. My one little gripe about Slithe is that the way his legs are sculpted can make it tough for him to stand. I feel like they should have sculpted them to be a little wider apart, but after enough fiddling, I was able to get him stable and he hasn’t taken a shelf dive yet.

Slithe comes with one accessory and that’s his long handled axe. I actually had to go back and look at some pictures to remember what the LJN figure came with, and I suppose this is a pretty decent match for the original accessory.

And that brings us to Mumm-RA, The Ever Living! When it comes to sculpt and coloring, Mumm-Ra is easily the most impressive figure in the assortment. He’s also another one that I think works in this scale and style perfectly. Funko really went to town on all the extra bits, like the skirt, cape, torn bandages, and grieves. He also features my favorite head sculpt of the bunch, even though they’re all good, this one just delivers that extra bit of awesome. He’s also beautifully colored with lots of red and gold, and even blue on the twin snakes of his headdress.

Mumm-Ra comes with one accessory and that’s his double-bladed sword. This thing is a nasty piece of cutlery with jagged edges on each blade and a central golden grip sculpted to look like snakes twisted together. I never really associate this weapon with the character a lot, but it’s still pretty cool.

And that’s Wave One of Savage World ThunderCats in the bag! I probably wouldn’t be gushing about these figures as much if Ban Dai or Mattel had managed to make their lines work. But if this is the format that succeeds in getting us a properly fleshed out ThunderCats line, then I’m all for it. The sculpting here is fantastic, the colors are great, and even the accessories are on point. And who knows? Maybe if these sell well, Funko will get us a Cat’s Lair playset in the same style as the Primal Age Batcave! Either way, all I can say is bring on Wave Two!

FigureFan’s Disappointments 2017, Part 2

This is it, Toyhounds, the final day of my week of canned bullshit. It’s also the final five Biggest Disappointments of 2017. These are the things that I added to my collection and reviewed throughout the year that didn’t really live up to my hopes and dreams. These are in no particular order, so let’s get started…

Femme Fatales (Justice League Unlimited) Hawkgirl by Diamond Select: There was a lot of competition in this line for a spot on my Favorites list, but really only one that deserved to land among my Disappointments. I was really looking forward to getting the JLU version of Hawkgirl on my DC Gallery shelf, but when the statue showed up it was marred by some pretty poor paintwork, ugly seams in the arms, and just an overall lack of quality control. When I look at how amazing some of the Gallery statues have been this past year, it’s easy to forgive one bad one slipping by. But that doesn’t make me feel any better about laying out the cash for it.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Sixth-Scale Drax The Destroyer by Hot Toys: I have been called a Hot Toys sycophant. And yes, if sticking my tongue down their collective trousers would net me some extra Reward Points at Sideshow, I’d get right on that lickity split. So, it’s probably no surprise that never before has a Hot Toys figure appeared on my annual list of Disappointments, but I guess there really is a first time for everything. After a long series of delays, and the possibility that Hot Toys Drax might be a no-show, he finally showed up this year and he was a little wanting. The sculpt was solid enough, as was the likeness, but there’s just something about him that failed to impress. Toss in a faulty right arm on my figure that often pops out at the elbow joint and a price point that was too high for what came in the box (a common failing for Hot Toys in 2017), and I couldn’t help but dub him Drax The Disappointment. Oh, I’m still happy to have a complete Hot Toys Guardians team on my shelf, but Drax deserved more polish and a price tag around $20 lower.

DC Super-Villains: Johnny Quick and Atomica by DC Collectibles: For the most part, DC Collectible’s Super-Villains line has been pretty solid. Hell, I even liked their New 52 Captain Cold figure, and I kind of hate that character design. So when Johnny Quick showed up at my door with some terrible paint fading and an arm that pulled right out of the socket, it shouldn’t be any surprise to see him turn up here. And what a disappointment it was, because I really dig this design and I loved to hate him in the Forever Evil. But when you toss him in with a rather lackluster DeathStorm, it’s no wonder that I didn’t pursue the rest of the Crime Syndicate from this line.

Marvel Legends Warlock Build-A-Figure by Hasbro: What’s that, you say? You cry foul because I had a Marvel Legends figure on the list already? Well, you’re going to have to fight me, because here’s another one. I’m justifying this because 1) He’s a Build-A-Figure and 2) I really did review a shit ton of Marvel Legends in 2017, so you’re just going to have to let me have this one transgression. Warlock featured a decent sculpt and a pretty cool paint job, but he was not a character that I was interested in, and especially not as the BAF waiting as a reward for collecting an entire wave. Add that to the fact that the left arm of my Warlock simply will not stay in the socket, and you have a figure that I would have happily done without. Now that I think of it, this is the third figure on this list that had arm issues. Weird.

ThunderCats Classics Panthro by Mattel: Here’s the thing. I ran out of shit that disappointed me after nine, so I had to get cute with this last one. And that’s why after long deliberation, I decided to put a figure that I rated with excellent marks here on this list. Because no matter how great Panthro turned out (and he is a great figure),  he arrived to me heralded by a bitter chorus of disappointment. At the time I opened him, it seemed unlikely that ThunderCats Classics would continue. And shortly after we got word from Super7 that they were not able to secure the license and continue the series. And that was easily my number one biggest disappointment of 2017. It’s not Panthro’s fault, but he seemed like a good conduit to get this one on the list.

And that wraps up this week of so-called content. I’ll be back on Monday with the first Marvel Monday of the year and I hope to have Transformers Thursday and DC Friday on the books as well, along with whatever I wind up tucking into Tuesday. Have a great weekend!

ThunderCats Classics: Panthro by Mattel

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

tccpant3

tccpant4

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

tccpant8

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

tccpant9

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

tccpant10

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

tccpant12

tccpant5

tccpant7

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

tccpant13

tccpant14

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

tccpant17

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

tccpant15

tccpant16

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

tccpant11

tccpant1

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

ThunderCats Classics: Pumyra by Mattel

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

pumyr1

pumyr2

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

pumyr3

pumyr4

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

pumyr5

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

pumyr11

pumyr13

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

pumyr6

pumyr14

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

pumyr8

pumyr9

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

pumyr10

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

pumyr7

pumyr12

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

ThunderCats Classics: Jackalman by Mattel

Hurray! It’s time for another depressing look into Matty’s still-born ThunderCats Classics action figure line. The second figure in this very short-lived line is none other than Jackalman, and that’s great, because why spend the slots getting us an entire team of ThunderCats when Matty can give us little bits and pieces of an incomplete line? Why not just kick me in the dick with a steel toed boot while you’re at it, you assholes! Anyway, in addition to being cut short, these figures have also been arriving really late. Jackalman is October’s release and mine only just arrived a few days ago.

jackman13

jackman14

Here’s a look at the packaging, which is mostly the same as we saw with Lion-O. You get a black mailer box, this time with Mumm-Ra’s logo on the front and some nice monochrome art on the side panels. Inside, the figure comes in a colorful window box with a trap door in the bottom to slide out the tray. You get a great look at the figure from the front and the back panel has some rather colorful and unconventional character art, as well as a blurb about the character. In a nutshell, the presentation here is absolutely superb and it’s totally collector friendly. Jackalman has the dubious distinction of being the first and very likely the last of The Evil Mutants to be released in this line, unless of course Super7 can work licensing miracles. Yeah, that isn’t going to happen.

jackman1

And that’s a crying shame because this figure is fantastic! Jackalman makes use of a fair bit of the MOTUC Beastman buck. I never thought it would work as well as it does here. And yet, Jackalman feels even less like an MOTUC-styled figure to me than Lion-O did. Part of the illusion of newness comes from the clever way Matty layered the neck and additional shoulder fur onto the buck by sculpting it as part of the left shoulder armor and chest straps. Jackalman is still wearing a belt and furry diaper, but these are both new sculpts and are very distinctive. The minimalist detail on the shoulder armor really lends itself to an animated look, and I dig the leopard print armor plate strapped to his forearm.

jackman2

The coloring on this figure is nice and vibrant. The orange-brown fur is pretty close to Beastman’s coloring, but I think this figure still manages to carry a unique look without feeling like a glorified custom. I will concede that the paint could have been cleaner in some areas. For example, there’s a little chipping to the gray borders on his ankle cuffs and the white paint on my figure’s right fang is sloppy. I’d say that the paint QC is in step with the recent MOTUC figures I’ve been getting, which is to say not terrible, but not as good as it was in the earlier days of the line either.

jackman4

jackman3

If there’s any one thing that really sells this figure for me, it’s the head sculpt. They’ve really managed to capture the personality of this particular Mutant in the portrait. It’s so good that it just reinforces what a damn shame it is that we’ll never get to see them take a stab at Vultureman, Monkian, or Ssslithe.

jackman6

jackman5

The articulation here is very similar to the MOTUC line. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders, swivels in the biceps, and hinges in the elbows. The legs have rotating hinges and swivels in the hips and hinges in the knees. There’s a swivel in the waist and an ab crunch hinge in the chest. The neck is ball jointed. The improvements include hinges and some rather generous lateral rockers in the ankles and the wrists are on rotating hinges. Jackalman comes with an extra set of hands that offer a little more versatility with the accessories, but I found them to be unnecessary.

jackman8

jackman7

Speaking of accessories, Jackalman comes with two weapons. First off, we have this pretty cool club with a spike in it. It’s a wickedly gnarled sculpt with a lot of personality for a simple club.

jackman9

jackman11

jackman12

Even better, you get this amazing axe. It’s a two-handed pole weapon with a wood grain pattern sculpted into the shaft. I love the crude, hammered look to the axe head.

jackman10

jackman15

jackman16

While the paint could have been a little tighter on my figure, I still think Jackalman is a fantastic release and yet another example of how great this line could be if it were ever allowed to go the distance. At the same time, I can’t help but feel a little resentful that with so few different figures being made, one of them is Jackalman. Yes, I realize that the releases were planned out before the line was shit-canned. And yes, it’s bad form to blame Jackalman for not being Cheetara, Tygra, or even Ssslithe. But it’s hard not to think that way.

ThunderCats Classics: Lion-O by Mattel

After a slight delay and having his entire toy line collapse out from under him, Matty’s Lion-O finally arrived at my doorstep last week. Of course, he was unceremoniously preceded by the SDCC Thunder Kittens, which I looked at a few weeks back, right around the same time Matty announced they were closing up shop. Since then Super7, who inherited Matty’s Masters license, exhibited at the New York Comic Con with lots of Masters of the Universe Classics teasers, but not a peep about Thundercats. Yes, I think I’m finally prepared to concede this line is dead after this year, but I’m going to try not to focus on that in this feature and just look at this figure for what it is. I will, however, make some comparisons to the Bandai figures from several years back.

matlio2

The packaging and presentation here is quite nice. There’s a black mailer box with the Thundercats logo and the Eye of Thundera on the front and some additional art on the side panels.

matlio3

matlio4

Inside the mailer box you get this really slick looking window box. And yes, that’s a cat hair stuck to the bubble of the package. Is that meta or irony? I’m really not sure. Anyway, the figure is presented against a bright red backdrop and the artwork on the bottom shows Lion-O gazing into the Sword of Omens with the blade extending upward in the form of molded detail in the window. On the bottom, there’s a flap that opens to allow you to pull the tray out. The back of the package features some very colorful artwork and a blurb about Lion-O himself. I’m totally blown away by the presentation here. It’s just fantastic and totally collector friendly. I don’t keep a lot of my toys’ packaging, but this one I sure as hell will be hanging onto. Let’s get the Lord of the Thundercats out of the package and check him out…

matlio5

matlio6

The idea here was to recreate the Thundercats in the Masters Classics style and while I was dubious at first, I have to say it works brilliantly. This is certainly the Lion-O that I know and love and I didn’t already know that he was developed with the Masters Classics in mind, I probably wouldn’t have even noticed until I picked him up and played with him and felt a lot of the similarities. I think the buff proportions look great on him and his outfit is executed beautifully. The detail on the exposed mid-riff area maybe looks a little off. It’s a little too much like it was chiseled out of plastic, but it’s not something that really hurts the overall look of the figure for me. The detailing on the belt is great and the shade of blue they used for his vest and boots is perfect. The paint on my figure is very sharp.

matlio7

In the cartoon, Lion-O used the Claw Shield as a sheath for the Sword of Omens when it was in its dagger form. To simulate that, you get the Claw Shield with the Sword of Omens hilt sculpted in it and the whole thing pegs onto his belt. Now, on the one hand, Bandai was able to give us a Claw Shield with a removable Sword of Omens on each of their Classics Lion-O’s. On the other hand, Matty’s version of the Shield looks so much better than what Bandai gave us. Here, we get actual sculpted fur, as well as painted knuckles and claws, whereas the Bandai version of this piece was just smooth gold plastic. I’m not saying that Matty couldn’t have still made it work with a removable sword, but I still prefer what we got here, based on the aesthetics alone.

matlio8

matlio9

I find that I’m still mulling over the head sculpt. It’s good, don’t get me wrong, but at the same time it feels a little off. There might be a wee too much Masters styling in there. I think it leans a bit toward being an interpretation of Lion-O than an attempt at recreating the animated character. I suppose you could argue the same thing about MOTUC He-Man, even the Filmation one, versus the figure. I think Bandai was on the right track with their larger Lion-O figure, but at the same time, the sculpt was way too soft. Here, you get much more defined features. In the end, I guess this is leaning toward more like what a realistic Lion-O might look like and I’m OK with that. Lion-O’s hair must be pretty tough to do in a 3D representation like an action figure, but I think they did a fine job with it.

matlio10

The articulation is exactly what I’ve come to expect from the Masters Classics line and that has it’s good and bad points. The MOTUC articulation is great when compared to the vintage figures, but it’s feeling a little dated to me now. The arms feature rotating hinges in the shoulders and wrists, hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the biceps. The legs are ball jointed at the hips, hinged at the knees, and have swivels at the hips. The ankles have both hinges and lateral rockers. There’s a swivel in the waist, an ab crunch hinge in the torso, and the neck is ball jointed. The points are all there, and the hinges in the wrists are a nice bonus, but the range of motion is stifled by the muscle sculpt. Bandai’s figures had mostly the same points, but a better range of motion. On the other hand, this figure feels a lot more solid and better built.

matlio18

matlio11

In addition to the Claw Shield that pegs to the belt, Lion-O comes with another one that he can wear simply by popping off his left hand and popping the Shield onto it. And while I nitpicked the belt version having the sword sculpted in as part of it, the wearable Shield can indeed hold the small version of the Sword of Omens that comes with the figure. This Claw has all the same great sculpting paint as the other one.

matlio12

The small Sword of Omens is a nicely sculpted little piece with some great paintwork as well. The hilt is left matte silver while the blade itself is painted with metallic silver paint. The paint used for the closed Eye of Thundera is also sharp and clean.

matlio13

matlio14

matlio15

And naturally, you get the Sword of Omens in all it’s… um, fully erect glory. This is a great little recreation of the majestic weapon, right down to the detail in the curled crossguard and a tiny Eye of Thundera painted every bit as neatly as the larger one on his belt buckle. Again, the hilt is left matte silver plastic while the blade is painted with a metallic shade to make it really pop. The plastic used here is a lot stouter than the stuff Bandai used for theirs, leading to a lot less warping and bending. Lion-O also comes with an extra left hand with a looser grip that makes it easier to hold the sword in both hands. But the big question is… can he be posed consulting the sword’s Sight Beyond Sight?

matlio17

Yes, he can!

matlio16

matlio1

matlio19

When Bandai’s Lion-O’s came out, I thought they were decent figures. The original, larger version was my favorite of the two and there’s still a lot I love about that release. I was interested to see if Matty’s version would replace him and after spending some time with this figure, I have to say that he has. Blending Thundercats with Masters Classics was an interesting experiment and it’s almost surprising to me how well it played out in the end. Lion-O is a great looking figure and I’m finding it pretty hard to put him down since he landed on my desk sometime last week. And yes, here’s where I throw in what a shame it is that a figure this good is part of a line that will yet again be cut short. Actually, at this point it’s not so much a shame as it is a cruel joke the universe seems to be playing on us poor Thundercats collectors.

ThunderCats Classics: Wilykit and Wilykat (SDCC Exclusive) by Mattel

Yes, folks, I’m sort of cheating on this fine Anime Saturday morning. Obviously this day is set aside for figures based on proper anime, but today I’m bending the rules so I can finally look at this set based on the Thundercats cartoon, which at least counts as animation, and a tenuous hook on which to hang today’s Feature. I was so excited for this set when it was first revealed. I cursed it for being a convention exclusive, but I vowed I would pay whatever price was needed. In the end, I was able to get it off of the soon to be defunct Matty Collector site with little difficulty and since then it’s been sitting in the corner silently mocking me. I should be cherishing this Feature, but I’m more in a mind of just wanting to get it over with…

kitkat1

Of course, the reason for my onset of Thundercats induced depression is because the line may already be dead. With Matty Collector going under at the end of the year and transferring their licenses to indie toy company, Super7, it seems unlikely (albeit not impossible) that Thundercats Classics will survive the switch. That means that after two false starts from Bandai, the dream of getting a full set of Thundercats figures based on the classic cartoon may still be only just that… a dream. With that rousing introduction out of the way, I’m going to try as hard as I can to not let any of the behind-the-scenes politics to cloud my opinions on these Thunder Kittens.

kitkat2

kitkat19

The packaging for this set sure is nice. I don’t know whether it was ever really an SDCC exclusive, few things are these days, but the presentation sure points to it being something special. The set comes in an illustrated black shipper box with the Eye of Thundera logo and the figures’ names below it.
Inside, you get a fantastic looking window box that shows off the figures and their accessories beautifully. The back and side panels feature some rather pretty character art, and the whole thing unfolds into an illustrated display stage with The Cat’s Lair in the background. Getting the figures and all the accessories out can be a pain, thanks to those terrible plastic ties that all these companies seem to be using now. Also, you’ll want to be super careful opening up the stage, which serves as a storage for the hoverboard display stands. Ultimately, Matty went all out for the presentation here and I absolutely respect and appreciate that.

kitkat3

And here are WilyKit and WilyKat out of the package. The figures themselves are special for being really the first time we’re getting proper figures of the Thunder Kittens. I believe LJN originally released them as static PVC figurines. They later got better releases, but still felt a little wanting. Even the 2011 reboot figures were rather insubstantial in the 3 3/4-inch scale and not released at all into Bandai’s 6-inch scale. The sculpts on these kittens are pretty solid. They do a nice job capturing both the character portraits as well as the classic costumes. Kat features his two-tone brown belted tunic and buccaneer boots. Kit features her ragged-cut dress and spats. Both figures have places on their belts where you can peg in the coiled versions of their weapons. Overall, there’s a very nice balance here between detail and adhering to the simple animated look.

kitkat4

The articulation here is identical on both figures, and it’s safe to say these are the best articulated versions of the kittens we’ve yet to see. You get rotating hinges in the shoulders, elbows, hips, and knees. The ankles are hinged, the waists and wrists have swivels, and the necks are ball jointed. Hinges in the wrists would have been nice and the tunic and dress do inhibit the hip movement a bit, but otherwise I really have no complaints when it comes to the pose-ability here.

kitkat5

Unfortunately, the paint quality runs hot and cold. Most of the paint on these are fine, but there are some flubs that have no business being on a pair of $60 figures in this scale. Oddly enough these mostly appear on my Kat, while Kit has escaped largely unscathed. The biggest offender is on my Wilykat’s face, where there’s a large glob of paint on his left cheek just beside his nose. There’s also a lot of paint chipping on his right arm just below his wrist bracer. Some of the lines could also be sharper.

kitkat6

Each of the kittens come with some extra hands. These are all pretty standard with the exception of the one sculpted with an effects part for Kat’s smoke bombs. The sculpt and paint on this piece are fantastic, but if memory serves, the purpose was to throw these and have them burst into a smokescreen, so why would they already be smoking in his hand? Am I missing something?

kitkat8

kitkat7

You also get deployed versions of each kittens weapon. Kat comes with his whip and Kit comes with her pink lasso. It’s worth pointing out that on the back of the box, it mentions Wilykit having a hypnotic flute as one of her weapons. It’s not included with the figure, but then unless I’m mis-remembering the flute was something they introduced in the 2011 reboot. Granted, it’s been a while since I’ve watched my original Thundercats DVDs, so I could be entirely off base on that one. Either way, it probably shouldn’t have been mentioned on the box.

kitkat9

kitkat14

The hoverboards are nice pieces, but the paint on these could have been better. Again, the issue seems to mostly affect Kat’s board and not Kit’s. Kat’s board just looks dirty on the top surface with all sorts of scratches and stray paint marks, and the edging lines aren’t really that sharp. Someone at the factory really had it out for WilyKat that day. If this set were a regular release that I had picked up through a regular retailer, I would have demanded an exchange for another one.

kitkat11

kitkat10

The clear stands secure pretty well to the bottoms of the boards and they hold them beautifully thanks to a pretty strong ball joint. Each stand features a sculpted Eye of Thundera. The figures attach to the boards via standard foot pegs and they look great riding them.

kitkat17

Finally, we have the stage, which folds out from the packaging. Even better, it can be folded back together so the figure can be returned to the packaging without any issues. I absolutely love when companies do this sort of thing and in this case it goes a long way to help justify the price point here. The artwork is beautiful and the figures look fantastic displayed on it. It’ll look fantastic at the back of a shelf with the kittens on the stage and whatever other figures we manage to get posed standing in front of it.

kitkat16

Also, if you’re wondering, the kittens scale pretty well with Bandai’s first pair of Thundercats Classics, Lion-O and Tygra.

kitkat13

kitkat18

If I set aside all the ill will I’m feeling toward Matty and their Thundercats Classics right now, this set really only suffers from some piss-poor paint QC, and I’m willing to concede that issue might be isolated to my particular set. If the paint on my Wilykit figure and board wasn’t such an issue, I’d be free to gush on about how much I adore these figures, the accessories, and the overall presentation. Even if we never do wind up with a complete set of Classics out of this line, it’s nice to finally have decent figures of the Thunder Kittens and knowing that I’ll at least have some of the core team to display them with. Indeed, I’m smitten enough with this set that I’m seriously considering rolling the dice on better paint and picking up a second one. And just because there aren’t enough Uncle Buck references in Thundercats action figure reviews…

uncle-buck-quarter-1

“Hey Wilykat… Here’s a quarter. Go downtown and have a rat gnaw that thing off your face.”