Friday, January 6, 2012

I'm A Grown Man And I Bought This: 8" Classic Thundercats Lion-O Figure

I was never a huge fan of Thundercats back when it first premiered. In the early 1980s I was either A) sitting in college classes, B) doing homework, C) working or D) sleeping until noon. I was aware of the show though and had a passing knowledge of the plot line and I liked the character designs.

So when Bandai recently released a series of classic Thundercats figures, nostalgia got the better of me and I bought one.

Why release new Thundercats toys now, some thirty years after the show left the airwaves? Because there's a brand new series on Cartoon Network. It's pretty good too, from what I hear (alas, my household remains cable-less). Bandai released both a 6" and 3.75" line of figures based on the new series, and threw a bone to us old school fans and released two classic figures– Lion-O and Tygra.

In a strange move on Bandai's part, however, the classic figures are a whopping 8" tall! That's a really odd size in the universe of action figures. I can't think of any other current line in that scale. Their large size means they won't fit in with any other action figures, so if you wanted to display Lion-O next to your He-Man figures, you're out of luck.

The large size also pushes up the price point. Lion-O here cost a ridiculous $18! Needless to say that at that price, none of Lion-O's pals will be joining him in my collection.

Ridiculous price aside, how's the actual figure? Pretty good. The sculpting is well done and they managed to add a lot of detail while still retaining the simple animated of the character. The paint job is well done, as it should be on a figure of this size and for this price. The colors are bright and vibrant and give the figure the cartoon look of the source material.

I have a few minor quibbles though. If you look closely you'll see that his yellow gloves are simply painted on. For 18 bucks the least they could have done was to sculpt glove lines on his forearms.

One area in which they didn't skimp: accessories. Lion-O comes with quite a few weapons and spare parts. He comes with his Sword of Omens of course, as seen above.

He also comes with the Gauntlet of Vague Premonitions, or whatever it's called (I told you I never watched the show much).

If you don't like the Gauntlet look, you can swap it out for a normal left hand. In all he comes with two normal hands, a sword gripping right hand, and the Gauntlet left hand.

He also comes with a small dagger, that can be stored inside the Gauntlet when not in use.

Lion-O's also quite articulated, as seen here. He has quite a few points of articulation which allow him to be place in virtually any pose.

One more minor quibble that's very evident in this photo: for some reason Bandai molded the connecting pegs in his ankles the same orange as his skin color, rather than in the blue of his boots. This makes the pegs really stand out, and there's no excuse for it, especially at this price point.

Here we see Lion-O doing his best Captain Kirk pose, screaming, "KHAAAAAAN!!!" Or perhaps he's just discovered a fallen comrade and is screaming "WHYYYYYY!!!" to the heavens.

If you're a fan of classic Thundercats and you don't mind spending nearly $20 on a figure that's too big to fit in with anything else on your action figure shelf, then this is the toy for you.

Actually you may want to hold off on buying this. This bizarre 8" scale line was dead in the water almost the instant it was released. So many fans complained about the size that Bandai has canceled this line, and it releasing a NEW classic Thundercats figure line in a 6" scale. That seems more like it. Now your Thundercats can team up with your He-Man and DC Universe figures!


  1. I have an 6" Gene SImmons "Demon" and an 6" Eric Draven "The Crow" from McFarlane Toys, both in their own display cases. Maybe Lion-O will make a good third wheel even though he'll be much less Goth than the other two.

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