Monday 2 January 2012

Classic Cats, 1980s Lion-O

So I had the 6 inch 2011 Lion-O in, and in a father/Son moment, I got the 8 inch Classic Lion-O as well.  I have been looking forward to messing with this guy after playing around with the smaller younger one and finally I got a chance to crack him open and have a look see.

The box is a little larger than the 2011’s box.  Naturally, after all there are two more inches involved in this one.  It has some nice artwork on it and a tiny bit of blurb about the Thundercats making a ‘return.’  Again, there are three languages on the box, yet the toys are limited for sale in North America only…


A closer look of the package.


Again, oddly the different languages.  One of which is French… Yet these are currently only being allowed for sale in North America.  I am still disappointed that it doesn’t allow for some information on the Thundercats.  Admittedly though this release is obviously aiming for those that knew  of the Thundercats in previous mythology.  Even so, they could probably increase the knowledge a bit with some blurb about Lion-O. I mean I had to watch the start of the cartoon to learn anything about him.  It wasn’t that enjoyable to be honest…  But Lion-O is still pretty cool. I guess I like the aesthetic design of the figures and some of the episodes were interesting, but the ones in between the good ones (sadly the majority) were confusing and boring.

“Create action poses” Ha ha! Yeh, that’s what ‘Action figures’ are for aren’t they?


Other figures in the line and some abilities of the toy with the sword.

The front of the pack just has a large section that is covered mostly by the figure.


You can see that the little sword of omens is a bit bent in the box.  He comes with interchangeable hands as well, which is handy. He has some ball joints attached to a swivel in the wrist, allowing for lots of wrist movement, except when you have his gauntlet on.

The box also states that he has 18 points of articulation.  Now for a while there I wondered about this, as the 6 inch 2011 Lion-O also has 18 points of articulation.  Yet 80s is missing  the double elbow joint that his younger counterpart has.  Until now.  I only just noticed it, 80s has an extra swivel in his shins.  Hmmm.  I think I would have preferred the extra elbow joint, since he has a swivel in his thigh anyway.  Oh well.


I do like the artwork on the side.

Now to break him out of the box.


My what a strapping figure he is sporting there.  As you can see, it is a great interpretation of Lion-O.  Definitely better than the original toy.  Well, articulation wise I guess.  The original had a light gimmick in it.  It came with a ring, in which a battery would reside and if you placed the connector bit in Lion-O’s back, his eyes would light up.  Mumm-Ra had the same thing and I will admit that I thought it was mighty awesome!!  No such luck with this guy though, but he does come more as an action figure now.

The paint applications are pretty sharply applied and the colours are pretty well done too.  His proportions are about right and overall the toy is a good interpretation of the cartoon version of Lion-O, which is what I wanted.

So, lets start at the top shall we?    Now as I mentioned earlier, the original toy had light up eyes but this one doesn’t.  However, he does have nice, cleanly applied eyebrows and eye details.  The red of his eyes is quite striking and looks very nice.  A great substitute for the light up eyes in my opinion.  Around his eyes and chin/mouth is a lighter shade.  Perhaps less fur?  I don’t know as I am not sure how furry exactly Lion-O is supposed to be, nonetheless these areas too are crisply painted.

Hmmm, as a ranga, he has lovely flowing locks of hair.  I love it! Such an 80’s inspired bouffant hair.


It’s not all just hair and eye makeup though.  His head is well articulated with a swivel at the top of the neck and a hinge at the bottom.  It appears to work fairly well.  Mine is a bit loose though so he has a tendency to check out his shoes at the strangest of times.


He has great colours and a very muscly back!  Waist and diaphragm (area) articulation.

The font is just as muscly and has nice colours as well.  Not terribly strangely, the same colours as the back.  His belt has nice clear painted applications of the Thundercats logo and a nice metallic blue paint on his belt.


He has an obvious stamp on his bumb and mine has a slight building flaw in his side.  Easily pressed together, but disconcerting nonetheless.


I like the 80s look of his boots and the rubbery looking sculpting on the top of his foot.  Unfortunately though, you can also see that they used a different colour for the hinge of the joint.  Why couldn’t have they used blue for that, it stands out quite a bit!


I do like the moulding on the boot here.  Looks like its made of plastic, um and on a foot like a shoe should be.

You can see that the gauntlet can be attached to his belt.  Mine is a bit loose and the smallest movement will often knock it off the belt.  The sword of Omens when in small mode, fits really nicely into the gauntlet, ending up with the stone in the right spot and it’s well secured.


They used some good plastic on the gauntlet giving it an excellent golden sheen.  The red/gold combo of colours looks very nice!

The Knife of Omens™ clips cleanly and securely through a little slide section inside and it attaches to the belt harness by plugging into a ball.  It attached to his wrist by plugging over the ball joint on his wrist.


You can also see that his wrists have different coloured joints like the feet.


The different hands are for holding the sword and more relaxed hands.  Overall the wrist movement is excellent and firm enough so the sword doesn’t flop.



ROWR!! Like a Tiger! 
I mean Lion!

Better do something better and grab yer knife!


Ba ba ba ba daaaaaaaaaa! Hooooooooo!

The Knife of Omens™ is nicely detailed and the stone (with the eye thing on it) is crisply painted on.   The hilt and even blade itself is well sculpted and interesting enough for me to photograph it.


The Knife of Omens™ is embarrassingly soft though…  No stabbing with this baby.  Once bent it stays that way for a while as well.


Grant me Sight BEYOND SIGHT!!


You can pull of his looking through the sword pose, but I will admit that I cheated somewhat with the lack of depth perception that comes with the use of cameras.

Articulation overall is pretty impressive and I found myself leaving him around at work so I could mess about with him.  Balance wasn’t much of an issue as his legs have lots of joints in them.


You can make him do some classic posing with his gauntlet on as well.


And the Sword of Omens is pretty cool as well.




Oh. Nothing happened.

Again the sword has lots of details sculpted on and they are different to the ones on the Knife of Omens.™  With nice paint details on the Thundercats logo on the sword and a sweeeet silver plastic for the sword.  Sadly again though the sword is very very soft.



The sword makes it a bit harder to get the sight beyond sight thing going.  I will say this right now, I really enjoyed playing with this guy! 

I got out the 2011 Lion-O of 6 inches and had a little compare.

That last image in that group is a good example of where 2011 manages to be just a tad better than 80s/  Both have their elbows as bent as possible and the extra joint in 2011s makes it just a little bit better.  Sadly those joints went from 2011’s elbow to 80’s shins.

Quick size comparison.
Gauntlet comparison.  Does Lion-O’s gauntlet have a name?  Hand of Omens? Gauntlet of Omens? Furniture Wrecker of Omens?  I prefer the 80’s one here, the straight fingers on 2011’s and lack of colour make it looks somewhat awkward.

Proof of the fun to be had with Lion-O.

Lugnut has a new king now!

And then I said to Starscream…

If we do it together boys


Muscle bonding. Oh yeh!

Right so to summ this up, I guess I really like this toy.  Great articulation and aesthetics that really capture what I (hazily) remember of the character from the cartoon.  Let down by the removal of an elbow joint, bendo sword™ and odd coloured joint pieces breaking up the base colours.  But really, this dude is a lot of fun.  Taking into the account of price on this guy, I probably wouldn’t want to pay more than retail for it. 

Now to wait for the classic Cheetara! Reeeeeow!  Oh and Mumm-Ra as well, that would be cool!!

Oh and as I am sort of throwing out old magazines, here is a little scan of an amusing back page featuring a shot of the original Lion-O.  Reproduced without permission from Toy Fare #144.

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