SEARCH REVIEWS    LIVING WITH LATE FEES    FEATURES    LINKS    BIO    MISSION    EMAIL    MAIN PAGE >


Panthor - Masters of the Universe Classics
Mattel

Panthor Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC action figure by Mattel


Before you start composing that email, tweet, wall post, or discussion board reply berating me for my obvious stupidity in placing Skeletor on the back of Panthor, please understand that I know it should be Keldor. But I went searching for that evil bastard and came up empty handed. He's around here someplace, but he's eluding me, so rather than hold up the review I went for second best. Just don't tell old skull face that I called him second best.

One of the coolest figures released last year in the already uber-cool series Masters of the Universe Classics was Battlecat, He-man's feline friend. Following up this year, Mattel has released Panthor, Keldor's kitty cat and Battlecat's kissing cousin.

Panthor was one of two MOTUC releases for April, and cost $30 originally. He sold out pretty quickly, but there's some online choices listed at the end of the review if you missed out.
Panthor Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC action figure by Mattel
Panthor Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC action figure by Mattel
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Panthor Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC action figure by Mattel
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Panthor Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC action figure by Mattel
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Panthor Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC action figure by Mattel
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Panthor Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC action figure by Mattel
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Panthor Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC action figure by Mattel
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Panthor Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC action figure by Mattel
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Panthor Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC action figure by Mattel
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Packaging - ***1/2
The box is the same as what we received with Battlecat, but with the Panthor name and background info. It's not particularly collector friendly, although it does appear that you could get him back in place if it was really worth the effort to you.

One feature I do like is the use of rope string ties, rather than metal twisties. These are much easier to remove, and can easily be cut or untied. There's a couple additional rubber bands that seemed superfluous, but no biggie.

Sculpting - ****
At first glance, you might think this bad boy is identical to his cousin, but you'd be wrong. It's close, but there are some sculpting differences.

Those differences aren't on the body though, where the basic figure has the same fur texture and overall design.  It does appear that the mid foreleg joints are better hidden this time around, but that might be more of a manufacturing improvement than a sculpt change.

The scale is excellent, and any of the figures can ride on his back in style. He's impressive on the shelf without being overwhelming.

The head is where the differences lie between the two cats. The faces appear the same to me - the muzzle, jaws, teeth, and eyes have the same snarling expression. The jaw is articulated of course, but more on that in the later section.

The shape of the head is not the same, however, and there is a bit of a knot on top, a bump that sticks up. The fur on the sides flares out more, and the ears are not folded completely back, but at half mast as it were. These minor sculpt changes to the shape of the head are clearly there to work with his specific armor.

Paint - ***
While the overall paint quality is good, I'm not quite as happy here as I was with his predecessor.

The eyes have a little bit of slop, and the overall purple/black color of the body isn't as consistent in tone from one section or piece to another. I know they did that on purpose to try to give him some pop, but it's not working for me. There's even more slop around the teeth and tongue, and the white color seems a bit thick and gloppy.

Battlecat also sported those cool stripes that broke up some of the expansive green color, but Panthor doesn't get any of those. Makes sense of course, since he's a panther, not a tiger, but it means less detail work for this category.

Taken as a whole, it's decent work but not up to the four star level we saw on Battlecat.

Articulation - ***1/2
There's plenty of joints here, allowing you to put him in some terrific poses.

As I mentioned earlier, the jaw is articulated allowing the mouth to open wide, or almost shut. This adds quite a bit to the personality of the beast, although with the large fangs there's no way he'll ever be 'cute'.

The head is jointed to move side to side slightly, and the neck can move up and down on the torso. There's a mid-torso joint too, and the tail has a ball joint to allow it a wide range of poses.

For the legs, there are disc and post ball joints at all four hips and all four paws. These joints can also be found mid leg on the front set, and the back legs have double pin knees.

With all that articulation, you should have no trouble finding your favorite pose. All these joints are also tight and well made, so normal play poses zero risk of breakage.

Accessories - ***1/2
He comes with two sections of armor - body plating and a helmet.

The body armor has the sculpted seat for Keldor to ride upon his back, and the size and shape works well for the figure. However, the armor tends to slide backward on his body, and doesn't fit as tightly up over the front shoulders as I'd like. It is removable, in case you were wondering.

The helmet is outstanding - a really cool design done right. The dangerous horns are long and detailed, and the helm snaps firmly over the ears and face. No trouble keeping this guy in place, and yet it didn't appear as though it would damage the underlying paint work even with repeated play.

Fun Factor - ****
MOTUC is many things (most of them good), and Mattel is a few more (most not mentionable in the presence of women or children), but one thing this entire series is, is fun. This is a tremendous toy, and it fulfills their original mission perfectly - they took the nostalgic fun of the original series and added all the improvements of the present. In fact, they've done such a good job, that this series is a better set of toys than 95% of the stuff currently at your local Toys R Us. To bad so few kids will ever get the chance to play with them.

Value - **1/2
In the year since Battlecat was released, I've learned to be a tad more accepting with the $20 price point on the MOTUC regular figures. The extra heads and other goodies we've been getting has helped of course. Panthor is still the same $30 that Battlecat was, and considering the price increases we've seen elsewhere over the last year, I can't complain too much.

Things to Watch Out For -
Zippo - he's sturdy and well built, ready for any battle!

Overall - ***1/2
Battlecat was a four star figure for me, and I believe I even picked him as a top three 'vehicle' for 2010. Panthor is likely to be very high on my Best Of list again for 2011, but I have to be honest and say that he's not quite as nice as Battlecat.

It's the paint - if the various pieces had been a tad more consistent, and the teeth, tongue and eyes a little cleaner, he would have pulled the same score as his furry brother. Still, these issues are pretty minor when looking at the overall package, and fans of the series are going to be very happy with him.

Score Recap:
Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpting - ****
Paint - ***
Articulation - ***1/2
Accessories - ***1/2
Fun Factor - ****
Value - **1/2
Overall - ***1/2

Where to Buy -
Obviously, Matty Collector was the place to pick these up originally, where he was $30. Online options include these site sponsors:

- Big Bad Toy Store has him for $55.

- or you can search ebay for a deal.

Related Links -
Looking for MOTUC reviews? I have MOTUC reviews!

- King Hssss was the last to get the Captain Toy Treatment.

- prior was Vikor, and before that the very yellow Buzz Off.

- Grizzlor was November's release.

- the previous month was the swapped shoulders Roboto.

- Gygor makes other big monkeys look silly.

- another character with animal instincts is Chief Carnivus.

- just before that was Whiplash.

- Orko was the SDCC exclusive this year.

- just before the Con, Matty sold out of Count Marzo.

- before that was She-Ra, Princess of Power, and the large scale Tytus.

- I've also looked at the cool custom swords and shields you can get from SpyMonkey Creations.

- prior to that, I looked at the other May release, Optikk.

- seems like it was just yesterday that I covered Evil-Lyn.

- prior to that it was Moss Man.

- check out the cool MOTUC Display stands.

- just before that I covered Battle Cat and Trap Jaw, and prior to that was Adora.

- I really liked Scare glow, although he's not exactly what you'd call a key character.

- She-Ra isn't the first girl in the series - Teela has that honor.

- before that there was Webstor, one of my favorite, and Tri-klops, another one of my favs.

- prior to that was Man-at-armsHordak, ZodacFaker, Mer-man and Stratos, starting out with He-man, Skeletor and Beastman together in one review.

Discussion:
Want to chat about this review?  Try out one of these terrific forums where I'll be discussing it!

Enjoyed this review? Be sure to head back to the main page to find thousands more just like it!

KEEP SCROLLING DOWN FOR MORE PHOTOS!



Share this review with others! 
 
Digg it!
 StumbleUpon Toolbar
Stumble It!
 
Reddit

Panthor Masters of the Universe Classics MOTUC action figure by Mattel


This product was purchased for the review by the reviewer. Photos and text by Michael Crawford.

This page copyright 2000 - 2011, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved. Click here for copyright permissions! Hosted by 1 Hour Hosting.com