6 Inch Scale
I feel like I say this a lot, but it’s true, as a youngster, my cousin had all the coolest figures. While I had a variety of Thundercats toys, I did not have Mumm-Ra. My cousin did though, so I was exposed to the double edged sword of greatness and crap that was LJN’s Mumm-Ra. See the LJN Mumm-Ra wore his headdress like a wig and once it fell off (to be lost in the unknown as accessories often are) he looked more like Telly Savalas the Ever-Living than Mumm-Ra. Actually he looked almost exactly like the the toliet monster in Ghoulies but I digress.
However, I knew in my heart of hearts, just how cool Mumm-Ra was. Thankfully, Bandai has finally given us an action figure that delivers on the promise that the LJN Mumm-Ra had. The Thundercats Classics line gets the first villain in the form of their chief foe, Mumm-Ra. The question remains, though… Is he worth your $15?
The package is the same pretty bland package that Lion-O came in, with the minor modifications to make it reflect the Mumm-Ra character. There is a tiny bit of classic toon art, or at least a picture that looks to be ripped from the cartoon, but it’s nothing fancy. In what is a bit of a recurring theme with this line, the package is more utilitarian than collector designed.
One neat touch is the backer on the inside of the card has the two snakes logo, as opposed to the lion logo that Lion-O had. It’s a small thing, but it does show some effort. Bandai is clearly trying to target not just old guys in their 30′s with this figure, but also kids. This has the multilingual card as well so that Bandai doesn’t have to offer up different cards for different markets. It’s also resealable, which is something it has over lines like MOTUC.
Unlike Lion-O who was basically a scaled down version of the 8 inch figure, Mumm-Ra is all new. The sculpt is pretty great, doing a nice job of translating a 2D character from an 80′s cartoon, into a modern action figure. There are some major differences from the Lion-O figure in it’s construction and this is not a case where a similar “buck” is reused.
The Ever-Living one has his patented garb, complete with his ankle coverings. The design is clean and the colors are appropriate for the character. Everything looks as though it just hopped right off my old 15 inch TV some Saturday morning.
The face sculpt is good, with a definite anime influence (that’s fitting) and is less sharp in design than the LJN figure was. Mumm-Ra is better off for it, I think. The head gear is wisely made on this go around, saving kids the horror of trying to find Mumm-Ra’s wig. Lord help me, the nightmares I still have about searching through my cousin’s R2-D2 shaped toy box, trying to find Mumm-Ra’s missing pieces so he could be a major villain and not a goofy looking goon.
Mumm-Ra has a fair amount of screw holes in his back, but they don’t seem as jarring as they did on Lion-O. Partially because two of those holes are meant to be plugged with his bandage wrappings. Oddly, he has a hexagon shaped hole that looks like something is supposed to plug in there, but it beats me what.
Interestingly, Mumm-Ra is more or less in scale with MOTUC. His head is a bit small in general, but the LJN figure had too big of a head, so I guess it all evens out. What makes this particularly odd is that Bandai could have easily matched this line with MOTUC but opted not to. I think that was a misstep, myself. Then again, maybe I just miss the days when companies like Remco would encourage you to mix and match toy lines.
The added height definitely makes Mumm-Ra seem more imposing when facing off against Lion-O, however. That’s definitely a plus and I always approve when toy lines add a sense of scale into the actual figures themselves. That’s definitely one of the biggest weaknesses of some of the competitors out there.
Lion-O was loaded to the gills with articulation, but presumably to keep Mumm-Ra looking more aesthetically pleasing, he has less articulation. Of course you could make the argument that screw holes are far worse offenders than articulation cuts, but I’ll leave that to the toy scholars to decide.
What you do have is a fairly poseable Mumm-Ra, but he lacks the torso joint and the double knees of his smaller hero counterpart. I don’t miss it much, but if you’re an articulation junkie, feel free to bang your head against the wall.
Losing the double knees is largely irrelevant, as his legs are heavily restricted by his skirt anyway. On the plus side, his ball jointed head works a million times better than Lion-O’s because he doesn’t have the crazy hair.
Mumm-Ra comes up a bit light in this department as well.
You get two sets of hands, one pair of open claw hands and one set of sword gripping hands. You also get two bandage things that plug into his back. It’s pretty cool to have them, but I found them very frustrating to deal with.
I’m not really sure which hole which bandage is supposed to go in. They tend to fall out as well. The hands are an easy swap, though.
Unfortunately, he doesn’t come with anything to hold in his “holding” hands. No sword, no staff, nothing. I found this axe for him, but it’s too small. I guess I’ll have to call Spy Monkey Creations or just track down an old LJN weapon.
At $15, he is a decent value. While on one hand he definitely has less accessories and articulation than Lion-O, he’s also bigger and feels more substantial. If he’d had his sword and staff, this would be for all intents and purposes, perfect. Without them, he feels a bit like a weaker value, but still a solid buy in my book. He benefits from not having the issues that Lion-O did with the different color ankle pegs as well.
Packaging – 7
Sculpting – 8
Paint – 9
Articulation – 7
Accessories – Extra Hands, 2 Bandages
Value – 7
Overall – 8 out of 10
Mumm-Ra is a near miss with perfection but despite having some things that calculate less than Lion-O, I’m giving him the same score. Ultimately I feel he’s just as good as Lion-O, even though he packs less in. I don’t know why I feel he’s nearly as good with less, I just do.
What really strikes me about these figures is that I am more interested in Thundercats now, than I’ve probably ever been in my entire life. I think that says a lot about the success of this line.
I can’t wait to pick up more of these guys. Bring on the next releases Bandai! I’m officially on board!