ThunderCats Classics: the toy line that we (and a lot of fans) have a love/hate relationship with. When this line was first announced last year, Bandai has TC fan's mouths salivating at the prospect of a figure line in the same vein of Masters of the Universe Classics. Then Bandai dropped the bombshell that the figures would clock in at around 9" tall. while the first wave of Lion-O and Tygra looked good (Lion-O more-so than his second-in-command), they were still the odd Cats out on the shelf filled with 6" to 7" scale figures. Recently, Bandai heard the outcry and remedied the situation by releasing the new ThunderCats Classics line utilizing the 6" scale. Is all right in the world now? Have the ThunderCats finally pounced their way to the top of our collections? Read on as today we're taking a look at both Lion-O and Mumm-Ra from Bandai's 6" ThunderCats Classics line!
Lion-O and Mumm-Ra both have sculpts that match up well as far as style goes. "Simple but effective" is the name of the game here with the adversaries each bringing across the update feel of the vintage line. Lion-O has a new head sculpt that has him baring his fangs in a defiant roar, and we like it more and more each time we look at it. It instantly allows any pose to become far more dramatic simply by giving him that non-static expression. Mumm-Ra is in his Ever-Living form and is larger than Lion-O (as he should be) and has a very striking look. His helmet has pieces of "fabric" that are flowing out from the back as he screams with his transformation. The sculpt has all of the necessary details from the wristbands to the furry footguards. while both sculpts have an almost overly-smooth appearance, we can't fault them as we believe this was the intended look for the line.
Both of these figures feature simple but effective paintjobs that are both color accurate and cleanly applied. Would we have liked more detailing and shading? Of course, but this also leaves things open for more error so we're happy with the choice Bandai made with these mass-market figures. Also, both Mumm-Ra and Lion-O's stamped symbols are very cleanly tampographed which is surprisingly a very big deal. Our biggest gripe on these figures is the same as it was during our review of the SDCC-Exclusive Lion-O in that his ankle joints are oddly an orange plastic while his boots are blue! This gives him inexplicably ridiculous ankles that are bright enough to be noticeable from a distance and sadly diminish this awesome figure's overall looks. Some simple blue paint or having the plastic molded in blue would have easily fixed this error.
Articulation is where these figures manage to live up to the expectations placed on Bandai by fans when this line was announced. While Lion-O has the same amazing articulation as the earlier Classics version, the Mumm-Ra figure is new though and that's what we're gonna look at here. The evil conqueror of Third Earth features a ball-joint head, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, hinged elbows, ball-joint wrists, ball-joint waist, swivel/hinge hips, swivel thighs, hinged knees, swivel calves, and dual/hinged rocker ankles. The ornate helmet limits the upper movement of the head, but not so much that it's too bad. The same can't be said for the skirt, however. His hips are incredibly limited by the thick plastic used for the skirting to the point where front and rear movement is almost impossible when posing him. Otherwise everything positions smoothly and there was no problems with loose of stuck joints on either of the figures.
Hands are the name of the game when it comes to accessories for these two ThunderCats figures. Both Lion-O and Mumm-Ra have extra digits to spare with each having a set of open and a set of gripping hands. Lion-O also comes equipped with his Claw Shield, dormant and extended versions of the Sword of Omens, and a piece to attach the Claw Shield to his hip. The hands easily attach with ball-joints on the wrists and once applied, don't have too many instances of popping off. Lion-O's Claw shield and swords are the same scaled down versions as seen on the previous 9" Classics toy. We will say the swords are incredibly rubbery-- to the point we wanted to just tie the Sword of Omens in a knot and toss it in the trash. Harsh? Yes. True? Also, yes. Our SDCC-version of Lion-O has the vac-metal rigid sword and it is a thing of beauty and perfection. Damn child safety regulations! Mumm-Ra has two sets of bandages that fit into pegs on his back to look like flowing strands bursting out from his transformation. These turned out great and once we figured out what position we liked them in, loved the way they look and add to the overall feel of the figure.
Overall, both of these figures are the same quality as the original ThunderCats Classics line and that's not a completely bad thing. Fans seem to be picking these two up and are thankful for the scale change, but would just like to see a little more effort going into the small details like hinges matching the colors of the extremities since this is deemed a "collector's line". For more on the ThunderCats, be sure to check out Bandai's official website!
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