Tuesday, September 06, 2011

(Mostly) a review! Bandai's ThunderCats Classic Lion-O!

Often, I don't consider myself qualified for proper action figure reviews, because I usually buy figures based on the characters involved. But today, we have a character I have surprisingly no nostalgic attachment to: Lion-O, of the ThunderCats! Never watched the cartoon as a kid (I would've been a bit too old for it) and I can't recall if I've ever seen in person an old LJN figure. I have caught the first few episodes of the new cartoon, though, and been pretty impressed. (I was prepared to hate "Song of the Petalars," the first episode I saw, and it won me over. Written by longtime comic writer J.M. DeMatteis, too.)

Rather than the new cartoon, the Classic line is based on the old series and the old figures. The old figures especially, I think. Lion-O's sculpt and paint aren't soft, but they're both very cartoony, with not a lot of extra, hard-to-animate detail. Which is fine: was anyone clamoring for a photo-realistic ThunderCats? Maybe? I don't know...

While I don't usually give the packaging a lot of thought, this one could maybe, theoretically be reusable; if that's your thing. Except, instead of twisties or rubber bands, Lion-O is held in with little plastic bits like I find holding new socks together. And of course, I hacked the whole enterprise to bits because I didn't want the Sword of Omens to get bent up. (It's slightly warped, which should be correctable.)

Even with only a passing familiarity to the old cartoon, I can tell Lion-O looks dead-on-model. The ThunderCats logo on the Sword of Omens and the belt, and Lion-O's eyes are all very well applied--I want to see all three are tampos, but I'm not positive. Mine had a couple gloppy parts on the face, that show up on the macro pictures, but he looks fine in hand. Even if I've never been sure about Lion-O's Fred Flintstone five o'clock shadow.

The packaging proclaims "18 points of articulation!" so let's do a quick count: two neck points, two shoulders, two elbows, two wrists, chest, waist, two hips, two mid-thigh, double points on the knees, and both ankles. Sounds about right, and it's all pretty stout. Lion-O's colossal hair may hamper the top neck joint a smidge, but still not bad. The wrist articulation is pretty good, but does show the orange skin-tone paint there; it probably should've been painted the same color as his gloves. Ditto the orange showing through at the ankles.

Although there are four- and six-inch scale figures in the new cartoon line, Classics Lion-O is about eight inches tall. That makes him taller than DCUC, Marvel Legends, or Masters of the Universe Classics figures; but I don't know how tall Lion-0 the character is supposed to be--he could well be taller than a normal person.

So, overall? This Lion-O feels like an updated, upgraded version of his older toy; and I think I've already seen other reviews say he feels very much like a toy, not a statue or a little representation of a character, he's a toy. But a pretty darn good toy. Good articulation, nice paint, and a good heft to him. Grab him if you can: you might consider picking up a poor Tygra as well, since I saw three of those left when I got the last Lion-O!


Dale Bagwell said...

You've honestly never watched an old episode of the show? Wow! even I have and I was probably on 5, or 6. I've even watched an episode or 2 of the Silverhawks.(remember them)

The new cartoon series looks pretty good though, but I don't get cable so I don't watch it on a regular basis.

The figure looks alright, but nothing I'd get.

Nope DC gets all my money for now, that is until Wave 20 drops and I've cherry-picked all the other figures I can afford.

next, I was going say the new 2012 Marvel Legends line, but after seeing the previews, I'm not impressed. I like the BAF Terrax, but don't like having to buy all the other figures needed to build him, So I'm skipping this line altogether unless a miracle happens.

Susan said...

Been watching the new 'toon, and I like it better than the old one! Great animation, and the storylines are more intricate than the original. I'm hoping for toys for the new one, but if I come across old-school Lion-O, I might grab him too.