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


Lion-O - Modern Thundercats
Bandai

Lion-O Thundercats action figure by Bandai


I've already discussed the general lowdown with me and the Thundercats - didn't watch the old show, but think the new one is doing pretty well.

Bandai is doing several toy lines, including a 6" scale set based on the new show designs. Tonight I'm checking out the main man, Lion-O.

You can find these at Toys R Us right now, and they run around $18.

Packaging - ***
Pretty basic stuff here, and not as nice as the collector friendly packaging of the 'classics' figures. But it does use the standard Thundercats logo, and has decent text and graphics on the back, with some basic personalization for the character. It needs more instruction though - there's no mention of fitting the knife in the glove or in fitting the glove on the belt.
Lion-O Thundercats action figure by Bandai
Lion-O Thundercats action figure by Bandai
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Lion-O Thundercats action figure by Bandai
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Lion-O Thundercats action figure by Bandai
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Lion-O Thundercats action figure by Bandai
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Lion-O Thundercats action figure by Bandai
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Lion-O Thundercats action figure by Bandai
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Sculpting - ***
These figures are smaller than the classics line, coming in at around 6".

The detailing is appropriate for the cartoon style, without a lot of texture or fine detail, but a good match to the source material.

On the Classic version, I complained that the top of his 'gloves' were merely painted, and not sculpted. I heard from a number of folks that it was just a fur color change, so they didn't need to be sculpted. My response back was that in that case, they didn't need to be sculpted but they did need to be irregular - having a straight line did not make them look like a fur color change.

On this version, they did BOTH. The edge of the lighter fur on the hands is sculpted AND it's irregular. Some folks might not like the sculpted edge because it stands out so much, and I can understand that, but it's done here to allow the entire left hand to pop off. That way the gold glove can fit over the arm, with less risk to the wrist peg.

I'm not as big of a fan of the splayed fingers on the glove with this modern version. I preferred the claw hand we saw with the original figure, as it works better with a wider range of poses.

The right hand is sculpted to properly hold the weapons, and the figure stands terrific on his own in just about any pose.

Paint - **
Here's where the modern figures take a hit, same as the classics.

The paint quality itself is good, and there's plenty of color. The work matches up with the show pretty well, although some of the colors seem a little off to me. Being color blind though, I might not be the best judge of that.

The work on the face is unusual - it's clean, it's fairly neat, but somehow it makes the face details look soft, rather than sharp.

But these are all minor issues, issues that would only hurt the score by a star tops. What kills the score here is the damn pins in ALL the joints. These are darkly colored, not matching the limbs at all. They look completely out of place, like rivets on a robot, and really hurt the overall appearance of the figure for me.

Articulation - ***1/2
There's plenty of articulation here, and all of it is tight and solid.

There's a ball neck, but it's pretty well restricted to just turning, with very little tilting either side to side or front to back.

There's ball jointed shoulders and hips as well, with swivel joints on the limb side. Double pin elbows and knees allow for deep bends, and the pins at the wrists and ankles work well. Since the left forearm can pop off, it can also turn, and there's both a cut waist and an ab crunch.

To allow as much poseability as possible, the shoulder arm on the left is also jointed so that it can move upward with the arm, and both hip plates move up in deeper stances.

I'm not going to blast them here for the goofy pin colors, since I already took them to task for it in the Paint category. They might not be the right color, but at least they are sturdy.

A couple other joints would have been nice - a better neck, or rocker feet, for example - but these are certainly sufficient. They also allow the figure to take very natural, flowing poses, demonstrating that the joints and sculpt are designed to work well together.

Accessories - ****
I'm a big fan of accessories, when they are done right. They should make sense for the character, and they should add to the play value for kids - scraps of paper, buttons, or odds and ends don't do that, they just end up tossed aside.

Here are four accessories that work great, fulfilling everything you could want. There are two weapons - his sword and his shorter knife. Both sport terrific sculpts, and the paint work on the emblems is well done. I wish the plastic was a little sturdier - they'll probably wilt over time - but I understand the need for the soft plastic with an actual toy for children.

He also comes with two gloves or shields, depending on your point of view, that can fit on his left arm. One is open clawed, intended to be actually worn on the arm, while the other has a closed hand, designed to be worn on the belt. There's a small black strap with a bulb tip that can snap into the hole for the wrist peg on the glove, holding it on his side. I didn't pick up on this at first with the older version, but now it seems pretty obvious. The problem with the older version is that the glove is bulky, but by providing two with this modern character, Bandai has helped at least a little in that regard.

The knife also fits inside either glove, so he can carry it on his belt when the glove is there, or on his forearm when the glove is attached there.

Fun Factor - ****
Yea, those damn pins are annoying, but most kids will overlook that when it comes to play value. The great articulation and accessories along with the basic conflict nature of the show make these excellent action figures for the younger set.

Value - **
Eighteen dollars for one six inch scale action figure? I'm just not sure how parents are doing it. To get a single wave of 6 figures, they are expected to shell out over $100 - that's insane.

Things to Watch Out For -
Take a little care putting the shield/glove on the belt. You have to push pretty hard to snap it on, and I have a bad feeling that the strap isn't going to last without some care.

Overall - ***
With terrific articulation and accessories and plenty of play potential, Bandai could have a terrific line of action figures on their hands. But something as blatant as the odd colored pins really hurt their overall look, at least for me, turning what's supposed to be a cat-person into something mechanical in appearance.

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

Where to Buy -
This is one you should be able to pick up at your local Toys R Us without too much trouble.

Related Links -
I just checked out the classic Lion-O earlier this week, I've looked at the smaller scale Tygra from the new show, and I've also looked at this statue of the original Lion-O.

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! 
Google +1
 
Digg it!
 StumbleUpon Toolbar
Stumble It!
 
Reddit

Lion-O Thundercats action figure by Bandai


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