By: Bandai America
Well it’s about freakin’ time.
If you’ve been following the Thundercats toy line, you’ll recognize this as absolutely the most difficult figure to find in the current market. Originally, he debuted with the 6” Cheetara figure from earlier this year, but never made it to the case packout. To this point, only one e-tailer appears to have gotten any at all, to say nothing of brick and mortar stores. Kinda funny considering his gimmick is invisibility. I had to jump through a hoop or two to get it, which will probably backfire in a few months when these all end up on clearance pegs at TJ Maxx, but hey, life’s for the living.
The real question is, was this cat worth the wait?
Tygra comes on the standard blister and card format the other 4” and 6” figures have used. I believe the art is re-used between the different scales, but it works and features a pretty dynamic pose in-package. From the few who have been able to obtain these, I’ve heard that this can twist up his right leg a bit and may need to be boiled to straighten.
For the record, mine’s leg was okay, but his right foot does turn inward very slightly. I can’t be sure it’s because of how he’s packaged, but it’s worth mentioning.
“Wait, why is Tygra green?” – Wesitron, after the design sheets came out.
Tygra here looks quite smart in his modern outfit. I’ll admit it took me for a loop when I first saw it, but when you figure the 80’s designs featured 3 of the main characters sporting blue outfits, the choice to update the look makes sense.
Tygra’s face looks great and is a fair representation of his look from the show. Interestingly, it’s not the same as the head sculpt on the back of the packaging, which featured an angrier looking Tygra, which probably would have matched the character a little better. While the paint in general looks excellent on my particular figure, you’ll notice that the glaring omission is the belt, which should feature the same greens and browns present on the rest of the figure, save on the canisters themselves.
I had hoped we might see a bit more color on the belt, seeing as how it was most people primary complaint on the smaller version, but once you get to posing him it’s not that distracting. Aside from the dark blue (black maybe?) color of his undergarment, the rest of the paint is done in a very attractive matte finish that really adds a sense of quality to the overall presentation. He looks more like a Bandai release than a Bandai America figure, which is definitely a good thing. The only other paint issue is that his ears should be of the orange fur color, not the lighter color on his face and in his hair.
The arm armor looks great on this version, and is designed to glide smoothly over the top of the shoulder similar to the way the thigh muscles work on the Classics figures. While less shiny than his brother Lion-O, aesthetically he fits in with him pretty well.
For those who may not have noticed, he does indeed have screw holes on his back. Personally I don’t find them very distracting, but I know for some it’s a deal-breaker, so keep it in mind if you decide you want to track one down.
He’s very similar to the previous releases, sporting an articulation map virtually identical to Panthro’s. Ball and socket neck, swivel-hinged shoulders, swivel biceps, double-hinged elbows, ball and socket wrists, side to side hinged chest, ball and socket waist, swivel-hinged hips, swivel thighs, double-hinged knees, hinged ankles, and rockers in the ankles as well.
Now it sounds great, but there are certainly some limitations. For one, the neck ball works about as well as any Bandai America neck ball, which is to say it doesn’t. At all. The rocker ankles are helpful, but due to the armor design are very limited in range. The hips are restricted by the belt, which luckily is only pegged in at the left hip and can be moved to achieve deeper stances at the price of occasionally looking a bit awkward. The side to side hinge in the chest I think would have worked much better as an additional ball and socket joint, the one in his waist just doesn’t have the same range as the Lion-O’s we’ve seen so far. And then there’s this:
You might have to zoom in to see it properly, but the disc in his left shoulder is built with a catch to prevent the arm from moving in past a certain point. WTH? Why? Why would you ever want to restrict a joint on an action figure? You can see from above how far in the arm can move, which means he can never fully rest his left arm at his side. The weird thing is that his right arm also has a catch but it doesn’t prevent inward motion as bad as on the left. I will probably take him apart eventually to fix this, but it makes me wonder if I have a defective or mis-constructed unit or if it was just an awful, awful design choice on Bandai’s part.
All the restrictions aside, he still moves quite well. If you have a Tamashii Stage or any kind of flight stand, the fun level instantly goes up tenfold. Tygra’s the kinda cat who spends a lot of time in the air whipping and blasting fools like nobody’s business, but can look equally badass on foot.
While he certainly doesn’t have the range of Lion-O, he moves very well. There may be some modifications you can do to help him along, but he moves at least on par with most releases at this price point.
So suck on that, Lion-O.
For supposedly fifteen dollars, Tygra comes well-detailed and articulated and features two accessories as well as a working holster. I say supposedly because he’s currently not available anywhere. Once I found out that EnchantedToyChest was the only e-tailer who apparently received any and then realized they were only offering them on their eBay page, it was just a matter of stalking them for weeks until a set popped up. Unfortunately I had to order it as a two-piece set with Lion-O, but it’s a small price to pay to getting as close as we might ever get to finishing the team.
Very recently a few more have been discovered via eBay, but for 30 bucks just for Tygra. The pair cost me 29.99, and I seriously have to applaud ETC for not jacking up the price considering the difficulty of obtaining this guy. If he does make it out to retail in some way, you’ll find that he fits in great with your other 6” Thundercats and stands very well on his own merits. More hands would be cool, but really aren’t necessary. A good, solid deal from Bandai.
And I highly recommend a Tamashii Stage.
Tygra here is a beast to get, but certainly worth the 15 bucks you should be paying. Once he gets up into the 20-dollar range, you’ll really have to think about how bad you want him. He’s a great toy and he’ll help to fill out that 6” team, but the articulation flaws aren’t to be overlooked, nor is the difficulty in obtaining him. Keep a weather eye on EnchantedToyChest’s eBay page and you may get lucky, but don’t forget that a lot of really awesome toys that were seemingly rare and pushed the price up drastically ended up at discount chains for 10 bucks or less *cough*RevealTheShield*cough*.
Thanks for reading and as always, it’s just a toy. Open the darned thing.
If you’re into the Thundercats, make sure you check out Newt’s review of 6” Classic Mumm-Ra.
If you just love classic show properties and want to see them revived, you might want to look at Newt’s coverage of the proposed Thundarr remake. Very cool stuff!