Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Thundercats 2011 (Needlessly separating this into Part 3)

I jumped into this line as the show started up and bought two of possibly the most useless figures in the line!  But hey, I liked the kids in the show, so I wanted representations.

Those first two pics probably tell you all you need to know.  The only parts that move are the necks and the shoulders!  They've got that "thunder lynx" thing with the magnet in their butts, so that means that the whole bottom half doesn't get to move.  Kinda sucks 'cause these kids are jumpin' all over the place in the show.  They're actually pretty cool, on top of that, which is why I knew I had to get 'em.  I mean these are great representations of them!  They just...don't move much.

At the very least they make up the rest of the package with the cool boards!  The kids had some fly boards back in the original toon, so they come back with the same thing.  These ones roll around, have some cutters (grabbers?) on the front, and the sides pop open to SHOOT STUFF!

Now they each come with their own stuff as well.  Wilykat here has come grappling claws that slide into his open hands.

Can't really hang him from things without supporting him, but they can kinda act as weapons 'n stuff, 'cause they won't fall off his hands if you hit stuff with 'em. 

...and she gets a flute.  Not inaccurate, I guess.  I do wish they had at least given her some elbows or just molded her arms differently so she could bring it to her mouth.  Ah well.  At the very least her hands can hold other things!

These were the only things I had to represent the kids back in the day.  I think there were some actual figures, but all I had were these little army men type figures.  Hooo boy they're ugly.  *shudder* Ealgh.  Bleck.  Bleh.  Just...wash your eyes.  Hilarious though! 

HAAAAA violence.  I have no idea where that came from, but it's one of my favorites.

Now, next is another deluxe with little to no reason to even be a deluxe.  His original figure was a favorite when I was a kid, and his new one is even better!

GRUUUUNE!  For this show he's a turncoat that leaves the Cats to work for Mumm-Ra.  Think it worked similar to that in the original toon.  Doesn't matter! 

This guy is all badass.  The beard looks like it gets in the way, but you can actually lift it slightly and turn his head.  No matter which way he's looking the eyes look ready to cut out your heart. 

Now for his standard accessories he comes with a bow and arrow (with a spot on the bow to plug in the arrow).  The thing up top is a quiver with a magnet on the back to keep it on Grune's back.  It also has a stand so it can sit in front of him.  There's also some holes on the bow in case you wana add some rope.

And THIS is the reason he's a deluxe!  A massive club that goes well with the fact that this guy is voiced by Clancy Brown.

It's true, too!  If Clancy Brown opened up his mouth you'd see Grune on his larynx.  Funny note: Clancy Brown voices this guy - a dude with a long fang - AND he voices a guy in Avatar: The Last Airbender called Long Feng.  Coincidence? 

Yeah.  Probably is.  Funny though!  Nothin' gets past me!  Nothin' useless, anyway.

Anyway this thing would be best held with two hands, but you really gotta work it in there.  When you do, it's kinda bent.  Ain't perfect, but it gets the job done.

Now when you put a portion of the GRUNESTICK to his back, it gets bigger!  Thundercats is all about weapons that get bigger.  In the show the stick lights up with energy and fires destructive blasts!  It's pretty rad.

Now the problems he has holding the GRUNESTICK with two hands carries over here as well.  There's really no good way to get him to look like he's about to shoot a straight arrow...this is about as good as it gets.  I think a solid arrow-being-drawn-back-on-the-string would have worked better than the separate arrow and bow.  Ah well!  Good enough.

Now there he is with the original one!  If this line had lasted long enough I think the new figure would look awesome repainted in the classic colors!  One thing you can do is mix the old toy's weapons with the new guy.

Even more awesome!  I'd highly suggest him, but I didn't see him very often, and he wasn't one of the guys that was sitting around (at least not around here).  I love the figure, but it's hard to talk excitedly about something that seemed like it was doing well, but just flopped down and died right in front of me.

The next stuff is pretty much the dregs - whatever was able to come out before the toyline died.

This is Claudus, Lion-O's dad.  He dies in the series pilot, though it's not much of a spoiler.  He's voiced by the guy who voiced Lion-O from the original toon.  The toy is cool, but held back a bit by the big shoulder pads and the skirt armor.  Also he's got similar hands to Mumm-Ra in that they just have grooves cut into the open palms so you can kinda...shove the sword in.  It's not as bad as Mumm-Ra's but seriously - what is wrong with C-grip hands?  Why even bother molding open hands like that when you know he needs to hold something?

Moving on: Since I liked the 6 inch Mumm-Ra so much, and since the line was dying and I wanted to get what I could, I decided to get the 6 inch Cheetara.  Would have gotten the 6 inch Tygra too, but he never showed up.

She is pretty dang awesome, and WAY better than her 3.5 version, which I never photographed.  Her thunder lynx magnet thingy was attached to her back, which is where her hair is, so the whole thing is one solid chunk.  6 inch Cheetara here is free from that problem, so she poses real nice! 

Hard to see there, but she gets a magic staff in the series at one point, and that symbol on the staff shows that is what she comes with.  Neat!

Now the other junk that managed to come out before the line died consisted of two more classic guys in 6 inch form.  I never took pics of the classic guys before these...that was an 8 INCH Lion-O and Tygra.  I don't know why they were 8 inch, and it seemed like no one else did either.  BUT...Bandai stuck to their guns for a bit and made Lion-O and Tygra.  They sold negligibly, and Bandai rescinded that order with 6 inch Lion-O and Mumm-Ra, which was also near useless because the folks that already bought the 8 inch didn't want these, and the folks that didn't were left with ANGRY LION-O.

I like him much MUCH better than the 8 inch guy, but I really don't get what the heck was going through their heads when they chose the 8 inch scale at first.  Just...confusing.  Also confusing that this Lion-O is shouting.  I mean , I understand they wanted to do something different for the other release but - come on Bandai - 6 inches is different enough from 8 inches!  Wasn't that good enough a reason to make another?  So yeah, they make an unwanted size, backpedal and make the size they should have in the first place, but then change the head because they want to make it different enough to buy again. 


That was a cutoff reference to Blundercats. (NSFW buddy, but if you're ready for a party then turn it up when Mumm-Ra talks).  I love it when voice actors have a good time! 

Anyway, classic Mumm-Ra is neat, but his legs don't move much thanks to the skirt, and they totally ignored the fact that the original figure came with a cool knife and sword (the sword was the black bladed item in the previous post).  I was really looking forward to a new version of that classic sword, deal.  He came with hands for holding things, but no things to hold!  Ah well.  It's not like Bandai wasn't already in the middle of making confusing choices at the time.

So lets finish this up, eh?

This figure seemed like a random thing, but if you watch the show you'll see where the metal arms come from.  I mostly bought it 'cause this one colored his nunchucks.

The silver ones came with the first release of Panthro, and the colored ones came with the silver armed version.  Those blue and red chucks are pretty iconic, so I wanted the color!

I got the regular version of Panthro once the line was going under, so I never ended up taking pics of him until I got the silver armed version.  Nice figure though!  If you like the look, I'd suggest him.  Heck, if it isn't obvious, I highly suggest most of the line...but once again the excitement kinda gets drawn out of me when you consider how cool it could have been.  Cut down in it's prime.

We end out tour with the head on the right, which is the final and perfect version of Tygra's eyes.  The one on the left was the second one, which still wasn't enough.

This version also came with a much longer whip, for some reason.  I'm not complainin'.

*sigh* and that's the end, until I decide to take some new pics (which I may).  It was a mostly fantastic toyline with some odd choices by Bandai.  I am normally behind Bandai 100%, and in terms of a play worthy toy I still am - but I can't help but feel that some of their choices for the release of this toyline (and the crazy 8 inch classics thing) may have added to the death of the poor things.  The cartoon?  Man, I don't know.  No idea.  It was pretty cool.  Really enjoyed it.  Dunno what went wrong, but it was a fun and short ride.


  1. Thundercats screw ups (cartoon and toys) from an original thundercats line in my opinion:
    1) They changed the back story to nearly every character. The only things they seemed to get right were wily kit and kat were siblings and lion-o was the son of the king. Everything... changed. It was like having he-man and teela being siblings, skeletor only being in 2 of 12 episodes and never fighting he-man, he-man's dad being a slave owner and racist, he-man's people living on earth, and he-man being a complete douche. So it turned off original fans quickly. I couldn't stomach it after 2 episodes (was thundercats in name only) and came back to it after about 8 episodes because I was told one of the episodes was good.
    2) The bad guys were too sympathetic (oppressed) and the good guys had it coming. As someone who likes clear cut heroes, I had trouble finding any. Panthro was the only one I found to be truly heroic.
    3) Lion-O being whiny. I just wanted to reach through the TV and slap him all the time. That's why the original cartoon did not leave him 13-14.
    4) They stopped the cartoon for about 10 weeks in late fall and tried to bring it back in January. Cartoon network is TERRIBLE with these random breaks and they don't tell you it is the fall finale or when it is coming back in the spring/winter. Most kids want to keep watching a new episode every week for more than 8 week in a row. They forget and lose interest too fast for that short of an introduction and that long of a break. I thought it was canceled and was about to un-DVR it.
    - Where were the mutants besides the lizard men and slithe?!? Monkian was always my favorite and then he shows up and they don't even call him Monkian. What was his name? Bruce? Gary? Tim?
    - Pumyra being a bad guy. She was my favorite heroine in the 80's and they had her turn evil. I vowed to never watch the show again... which I didn't because they canceled it.

    - The eyes on the 6 inch figures were rough and didn't look as good on the 3.5 inch figures. The 3.5 inch figures looked rough with all the articulation they tried. Cheetarah looked like she would crumble if you opened her. So she's still MOC...
    - TOO many mummy Mumm-ras. They needed to do more of the monster and less of the mummy. I know the mummy was shown more in this cartoon, but who wants their hero to fight an old dude that can't move? "Grandpa kicking" the all new action figure line from bandai.
    - The ankle pins in the classics versions. Whoever thought yellow pins in the blue ankles wouldn't be noticed should be fired and their vision tested for being color blind... or just blind. The ankles, feet, and shins just look awful from that. I almost didn't buy any of them because of that.
    - The yelling Lion-O mouth... yuck...
    - The random 8 inch no wait 6 inch... not wait... dead...
    - Not enough single carded mutants. Actually... no single carded mutants. Bandai decision guy "Let's produce only heros and only one villian. And the villian is a 90 year old man with no articulation." Bandai butt kissers, "PERFECT!" Would have loved to have been in that meeting. Really no lizard troopers, no slithe (he did come in a cannon pack but nor on a single card), no monkian, no vultureman, no jackalman, no grune (not deluxe), no nothing...

    Just some food for thought.

    1. Cartoon:
      1) The toon was WAY better if you just ignore the original. Also, you gotta stick with it. They're trying to tell a story, so you notice Lion-O learning and becoming less of a dick as time goes on. It was pretty well done. Nothing amazing, but not bad.

      2) The "badguys" were oppressed on both sides. It's not an easy label. Mumm-Ra is forcing them to fight (except for some crazies that want to fight for him) and the Cats see the lizards as bad due to past prejudices (also due to Mumm-Ra). I thought it was a pretty interesting thing to add to a kids cartoon! I like when they don't assume kids are too dumb to understand these things.

      3) Once again, you've got to watch the show through. It's trying to tell a story of a whiny privledged kid who has to step into the role of leader from out of nowhere. He learns a lot. It's not shakespearean writing or anything, but far from crap.

      4) YES, I totally agree here. Dunno what the hell was up with that. It was in the middle of the freakin' story, too! Speaking as someone who was into it - it's really jarring to just stop it randomly while I'm waiting for it to answer questions. As you said; when it's kids watching they're just gona move on to something else. It's not really creating suspense when it wait THAT long. I had to force myself to forget it for a bit there.

      5) Monkian and Jackleman (yeah they gave 'em names; can't remember them) show up and they're awesome! They come back a few more times as well. Really liked Jackleman. I think sometimes it's better to use villians like that a little sparsely. Makes them more dangerous when they show up, and since they HAVE to be defeated, less appearances show them getting beaten less and make them more imposing.

      6) Can't help ya there. Her double cross was interesting to me and I never saw it coming. Pretty cool twist for me! To each his own. I think your main problem is the connection to the old toon, whereas I didn't have as strong a connection. I thought they told a pretty dang good story on their own, but I'm not going to discredit your irritation with the lack of connections to the original toon. I always like a healthy mix of nods to the source, but I honestly thought this one had enough while doing it's own thing. I wouldn't have wanted it to retell the old story anyway.

    2. Toys:
      1) Yeah, the eyes on the 6 inchers were just...painted on. Kinda soft and weird looking. The 3.5 figures were nice and sturdy, though! A Bandai standard. They make sturdy figures - make no mistake. Cheetara in 3.5 is nearly useless with her articulation, but she will not fall apart.

      2) I don't know if they overproduced him or if he was just left on the pegs. Either way he was sadly uninteresting and I think there are ways they could have spiced him up, considering how much he actually could do in his mummy form. But yeah, WAY too many mummies...

      3) Bleh, yeah I dunno why the joint pins were either black or mismatching. All of 'em. I don't care as much 'cause I'm just in it for fun toys, but it is nonetheless glaring. I mean how many other toys do you see doing that? Kids or collectors line - it's not standard practice.

      4) Nothin' more to say about that!

      5) *nod nod nod* All of this. No idea what the heck was going through thier minds.

      6) This is just standard toy stuff, sadly. I will never understand how you sell hundreds of Spider-Man and Batman but only one or two of thier villians. But it works, or else they wouldn't do it. Why did they do it here, though? Very strange. The show had a diverse set of folks, so the toyline should have been the same. And like you're saying: Why only Mumm-Ra for SO long? It was all you saw! They made a lizard man in a vehicle and Grune (who was hard to find) but that was it! AND they didn't even show more badguys for the stuff that DIDN'T COME OUT. So for the future stuff we didn't end up getting, they didn't have any bladguys planned but a dumb Slythe that...smashed barrels? I guess? What were they even planning? Was there a plan?

      So yeah, though I don't agree with a portion of your arguments, I think the random FULL STOP set by Cartoon Network and Bandai's....just...utterly confusing choices really helped to kill something that could have kept on going.

    3. I did watch the show the whole way through. And it was getting better, I agree with you there. Once I was able to say this is not Thundercats, it's just something similar I was able to enjoy it more. The nods were only on the surface, which is why I think most hard core fans didn't get hooked. I think if it had used a different name it would have done better. The expectations wouldn't have been there. It's the whole, please the hardcore fans as best you can, if they love it they will probably talk and spread the word.
      And I personally thought Lion-O was a whiny douche the whole season. I just hate the repetative nature of a lot of kid shows today where the main character makes the same stupid mistake (i.e. Character Y doesn't listen to character x, character y does it anyway and gets overmatched by character Q, character x has to save character y... in every episode.) over and over. Transformers Prime with the little girl (Miko?) was the worst. That was the plot for like 5 straight episodes and I couldn't take it anymore and stopped watching. Anyway, Lion-O acting in defiance and stubborness the WHOLE season was just grating on me personally.

      And with the villians' names, as a kid watching the original, they were easy to remember. It would be like calling Beast Man, Rquell Raqazzz the whole show. Just doesn't stick as well as Beast Man. I thought the characters in the new show were more menacing and dangerous and loved the usage. But there should have been more mutants (aka more species) in the villian army that were actually evil, not just conscripts. It's hard to hate an army of slaves and see them as bad guys that need a good butt kicking.

      But thanks for the review! Always love them.

    4. Hm...I'll have to watch through it again without all the waiting between episodes (pretty sure I have it all recorded still). I thought Lion-O seemed less whiny as the show went on, but I may have a different opinion when watching it straight through (also some time has passed, and that can often change opinion). I certainly don't disagree with your annoyance - I hate that crap too. I just don't rememeber it being bad enough to bother me with this one. To each his own, I suppose, but I would like to watch it again to be sure.

      As for the names: I don't remember the villian's names 'cause I only watched it all once; I don't think they were crazy complicated. I do think they could have stuck with the original names, though. Jackleman was a psycho and could have been known as that name, and Monkion was similar to other names that used thier species name as well (like Lion-O) so he could have stuck with it too.

      Finally, with the slaves: I dunno, I liked the feeling bad for them thing. I think there were enough horrible goons, but I do think it doesn't sit great on it's own. I think further seasons would have increased the number of truely vicious badguys, but who's to say now?

      I'm not sayin' this was animation gold, but I did enjoy it. As usual though, the first season of anything is rarely it's best season. I would have loved to see what they could have done with more time.

  2. Cheetara's magic staff; can you put an orange flavored crystal in it and travel to other worlds with Rutger Hauer? These things are important!

    1. Only if you bop your head with it and turn around in a circle mumbling to yourself in the EXACT right spot. And the Rutger Hauer thing. I don't think it works without him.

  3. Greatest reboot of an '80s property we've ever received. Better than He-Man 2002, better than Ninja Turtles 2003, better than G.I. Joe Renegades (which is HUGE praise)...

    Until I read Matt's comments above, I foolishly but legitimately believed everyone felt the same way.

    They took a garish, poorly animated toy commercial with comically inept writing and turned it into a startling, dynamic, surprising, elegant TV animation masterpiece. I'm so discouraged that it's cancelled.

    I admire you, Alexx, for seeing the bright side of these toys, and I admit your photos are rather persuasive, but I think it's telling that someone as enthusiastic about the cartoon as I am opted to pass on the toys even when they were reduced to $2 or so.

    Having said that, even if it is all Bandai's fault that the show was canceled (toys suck = toys don't sell = cartoon dies), at least you can see the logic of the cancellation, which is more than one can say about Renegades.

    1. Wow, I thought you woulda been interested in at least SOME of these! The 6 inch 2011 Mumm-Ra was probably the most fantastic, since he avoided the cheaply painted-on eyes thing. If no one else I'd suggest that one, since he would look great with a lot of the toy mixes you work up.

      But yes, the real sad part is the loss of the show. I was really getting into it and more seasons would have really ramped it up. I was trying to avoid saying bad things about the classic toon 'cause it's been years since I've seen it, but the last time I did it was just HILARIOUS. I really don't hold much nostalgia for the 80's stuff beyond "yeah I used to watch those." I can't really make it through the original He-Man cartoon either. People SWEAR by it, somehow. I can't really say much without watching through them again, but I've at least tried with He-Man and I dunno how i'd get through it all without being able to write a running gag commentation through the whole thing. My favorite part will always be how He-Man can't hit things with his sword, but he can THROW it at everything. The most powerful weapon in the show and he tosses it like a damn rock every chance he gets. I love it!

      Anyway yeah, I hate to lose the Thundercats show, but you're right. At the very least it's a little more clear cut than Renegades. Granted...I guess Renegades was clear in one way: "We don't want it showing together with the new movie." *sigh* Sure guys, whatever. Just put a lid on a terriffic show then. Not like that hasn't happened to everything else so far *cough*spectacular spider-man, Avengers: Earth's Mightest Heros, Iron Man: Armored Adventures*cough*