After reviewing Wilykit and Wilykat over the weekend, I received a lot of requests for more Thundercats reviews. So I’m back tonight with a review of the last of the new 4″ Bandai Thundercats figures I picked up from Series 1: Cheetara. In the new series on Cartoon Network, Cheetara is the last survivor of Jaga’s powerful team of cleric warriors. I really enjoy this new portrayal of Cheetara, which makes her appear to be one of the stronger females in American cartoons today (and maybe any day). This is currently the only Cheetara figure scheduled for release by Bandai in any size or series (including the Classics line), and luckily, it’s mostly decent.
The primary ‘Right’ is of course that we’re getting Cheetara at all as part of Series 1. I’m really pleased that Bandai got the rights to Thundercats, as I fear if Mattel got the license the line would be female-less as their Avatar: The Last Airbender figure line was. With both Cheetara and Wilykit in the first set, the initial team of Thundercats is already complete.
As far as the sculpting and paintwork go, like the twins, Cheetara is pretty great. There was no paint slop or stray lines that I could find on Cheetara, and her sculpt and paint both appear to be show-accurate and nicely-executed.
Unlike the twins, Cheetara has ample articulation (though not necessarily all the articulation you want–more on that later). Cheetara has 10 points of articulation: ball-jointed shoulders, swivel elbows, v-cut legs, swivel thighs, and knees.
I neglected to mention in my review of Wilykat and Wilykit another positive feature of this 4″ line of Thundercats figures: the low price-point. At just $6.99 each, this is a particularly outstanding value in a market overflowing with similarly-sized figures retailing at $7.99 to $10.99. Given a choice between the statuesque, poorly-painted $9.99 Young Justice figures and the vastly better $6.99 Thundercats, I’d take the Thundercats every time.
Bandai did a fantastic job with the scaling in this line. Cheetara looks just the right size standing next to Wilykat & Wilykit, and fits in well with the Marvel Universe line of figures. The scale doesn’t seem quite perfect to me with Star Wars, but I’m not sure exactly how large the Thundercats are supposed to be opposed to a person, so that’s a personal judgement you’ll have to make.
While Cheetara has quite a bit more articulation than the twins (who only had 3 points each), unfortunately that articulation isn’t necessarily in the most useful places. Cheetara is missing a couple of vital articulation points, specifically neck, ankles and wrists. With no neck articulation, Cheetara can only stare straight forward. And as a character famed for her running abilities, it’s too bad that she cannot hold a running pose of any kind due to the lack of ankle joints. In addition, Cheetara is made from a soft plastic that combines with her missing ankle joints making it hard to achieve even a stable standing pose for her. The missing wrist joints make it difficult and awkward to try to give Cheetara a good pose holding her bo staff.
And since I’ve brought up Cheetara’s bo staff, I might as well mention it’s made out of a very cheap, thin plastic. As a result, it had already started to warp and unstraighten before even being taken out of the package. You can straighten it out, but it always seems to revert back to slightly bent. This makes it look more like a limp spaghetti noodle than a deadly weapon, which is unfortunate since it makes Cheetara look a lot less formidable.
I’m just going to come right out and say this: Cheetara has a giant brown box covering up most of the back of her head. It apparently has something to do with some kind of “Thunderlynx” magnetic feature, but that isn’t clearly explained anywhere so I’ve no clue what it is, how it works, or why it messes up what’s otherwise a beautiful sculpt.
“Where Can I Buy It?!”
The Thundercats Cheetara 4″ action figure is currently in-stock and readily available at Amazon.com with free shipping for around $9. She’ll run you about $8+ in stores after tax if you can find her, but you can save yourself some time and gas looking for her and just pay the extra dollar to order her off Amazon right now if you feel so inclined.
Overall: Overall, I am slightly less enamored with this figure than I was with Wilykit and Wilykat. I commend Bandai for including two females in the first series of figures, and Cheetara has an accurate sculpt with a nice paint job and good proportions. On the flipside, the v-joint leg articulation is awkward and largely useless, the giant brown box on the back of her head is unsightly, the lack of wrist joint severely inhibits poseability with her bo staff, she stands up poorly, and the plastic used on both her and especially her bo staff is cheap. Ultimately, those are moot points. If you want to complete your Thundercats lineup, you’ll need to purchase this Cheetara, as she’s the only one scheduled for the foreseeable future. But while this figure is a necessity, it’s also only an average product.