Thundercats Classic: 6″ Lion-O and Mumm-Ra Review
Last year when I heard there would be a new Thundercats cartoon and toys after over 20 years, I was ecstatic. There would be figures based on the new cartoon in 4″ and 6″ sizes, role-play toys, and, best of all, figures based on the original 1985 cartoon. Called Thundercats Classic, these 8″ figures feature cartoon-accurate designs and modern articulation. Two were released: Lion-O and Tygra. Overall I thought they were great, but they had a couple of minor issues. I suppose Bandai listened to fan demand, or just wanted to save money on plastic, as they dropped the line in favor of a 6″ line that addresses some of those issues, but brings in a few more. The first two 6″ figures are Lion-O and Mumm-Ra.
The first issue with the 8″ line is that nothing else is 8″, so they don’t fit in with other figures. I’m sure a lot of people would like to be able to display their MOTUC and Thundercats together. Do the 6″ figures solve this problem? Well no, not really. Lion-O looks absolutely tiny standing next to MOTUC, DCUC or anything made by NECA. He’s roughly the same size as the 2011 6″ Lion-O, so better than nothing I suppose. Another issue is that the plastic and paint used on the 8″ figures was really shiny. The new figures are a definite improvement there, but could still be better.
The new 6″ Lion-O is basically the same 8″ Lion-O figure, just scaled down, with a little bit less articulation and a new angry face sculpt. His design is straight out of the 1985 cartoon. The paint job is minimal, but effective, utilizing solid colors instead of subtle shading. Most parts are just cast in the appropriate color of plastic, with paint on the head, hands and forearms, trim on the boots and shirt, and the belt has a nice-looking metallic paint job. The neck and abdomen are painted to be the same color as his arms and legs, and I think the color matches a little bit better than on the 8″. One issue with the 8″ figures was that the ankle joints were made of the same plastic as the legs, so Lion-O has bright orange joints in the middle of his blue boots. The 6″ figure has the same problem. A new issue of the 6″ figure is that the back is covered in visible screws.
The 8″ Lion-O had a separate neck piece so he could look up and down, while the 6″ can only turn side to side. The arms have the same elbow and bicep joints and double-jointed shoulders. The 8″ figure’s awesome multi-jointed wrists are just simple ball joints on the 6″, but he can still hold aloft his magic sword better than any He-Man figure can. Legs are the same as the 8″, with cuts on the thighs and boots, and double-jointed hips, knees and ankles. The hips stick out from the pelvis a lot more than on the 8″, which kind of looks off. Torso articulation is actually slightly better on the 6″ figure. The waist can move back and forward, side to side, and rotate, while the chest can move side to side over the abdomen.
This Lion-O has the same accessories as the 8″ figure, the fully extended Sword of Omens and the dagger version. Both are made of a soft plastic that can warp easily. He has a set of open hands, and a set that can hold the sword (including the left hand, which the 8″ figure lacked). Last, he has the claw shield, which can store the dagger inside. Instead of fitting over his hand, it pops on to the wrist like the hands do. There is a strap that pegs into his side and can hold the claw shield if Lion-O is not wearing it. The peg is a tight fit, so it can pop off and go flying across the room if you’re not careful.
Mumm-Ra is a completely new figure. Like Lion-O, his design is straight from the cartoon. Mumm-Ra, of course, is the primary villain of the Thundercats franchise, and this figure is his powered up form, Mumm-Ra the Ever Living. Like Lion-O, most of his parts are cast in the appropriate color plastic, with paint on the head, arm bands, snake symbol on his chest, skirt, shin guards and the bandages around his neck. He has the same sort of bulky torso the 8″ Tygra has, which kind of makes him look more flabby than muscular. Also his skirt is too straight, but that might be nitpicking.
Mumm-Ra’s neck is slightly more mobile than Lion-O’s. It can turn and move forward and back, but not a lot. He’s always kind of looking up. There are joints on the knees, thighs, boots, biceps and elbows, double-jointed shoulders, hips and ankles, and ball-jointed hands. The leg movement is restricted by the hard skirt though. The waist is on a ball joint, allowing decent forward and back movement, but he can’t turn very far.
For accessories, he has a set of open, clawing hands, and a set that can hold weapons, though he doesn’t come with any to hold. He has some long, flowing bandages that peg into his back. The flaps on his headdress are also removable, if you want. There’s also a larger, hexagon-shaped hole on his back, possibly for a cape that didn’t end up being included? Maybe they’ll do something with it in the future.
I think I still like the 8″ figures a little better, but each size has its own strengths and weaknesses. If I had my way, they’d be the size of MOTUC with the good points of each. Aw well, they’re all great figures that I’m happy to have in my collection. The 6″ is the standard now so expect more characters in this size. You should still be able to find the 8″ ones in some stores, and Walmart has had them on clearance for half price.
I guess getting Mumm-Ra’s bandages into the right place can be a bit tricky and there are no instructions to help. The pegs are angled to match his back so they only really fit well in one specific orientation. So here’s a photo of where they fit. As long as you have the orientation right you can swap which is in which hole, but I think this way looks best.