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Mumm-Ra

Thundercats Classic
by yo go re

When Bandai got the Thundercats license, it covered both the new and vintage characters. They started out with ill-conceived 8" figures, then corrected their course and went for 6". Both scales had a Lion-O, but only the 6" figures brought us Mumm-Ra.

Mumm-Ra was one of the major villains of the '80s, right up there in the same category as Skeletor, Cobra Commander and Megatron. They filled the fantasy, military and technology archetypes, while Mumm-Ra took care of horror - after all, he's a living mummy!

Though the figure's done in a 6" scale, he actually stands 7" tall. That's not as big as the Icon Heroes statue, it's enough to make him look large and imposing. The sculpt is cartoony and undetailed, but in a good way; he has just enough detail to keep from looking plain, but it doesn't go overboard with the musculature and textures. His skirt has large, simple wrinkles, and his greaves are smooth and unmarred with stylized fur poking out at the ankles. While he's definitely muscular, you can still make out his ribcage - a legacy of his mummicular nature. Oddly, Bandai has decided that the snake symbol on his chest is a raised disc, not something that's directly tattooed (or otherwise emblazoned) on his flesh. Huh?

The paint is done in solid, flat colors. There's no shading or highlighting anywhere, just the colors as they were designed. His skin is a bluish gray, with lighter patches around his red eyes. His skirt is red and blue with gold trim. His helmet is black and gold, with dark blue and red strips billowing behind him and two snakes rising from the top.

Mumm-Ra's articulation is just as good as you'd hope. He has a balljointed neck, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, hinged elbows, balljointed wrists, balljointed waist, swivel/hinge hips, swivel thighs, hinged knees, swivel shins and hinge/rocker ankles. Basically, he can get into any pose you want. Yes, his skirt blocks his hips, but not to any degree that's bothersome: you weren't planning on having him do big high-kicks, were you?

Since Mumm-Ra doesn't change color near any of his joints (unlike Lion-O), he doesn't have any internal workings that are the wrong color - everything is the same gray-blue. He does share one of the traditional Bandai flaws, however: exposed screws holding him together. Thankfully, between his skirt and other costume elements, you can see fewer of them here than on other figures. That's something, at least. There's a giant hexagonal hole between his shoulders, so you have to wonder if they planned to include his cape at some point. It's not here now, in case you couldn't piece that together.

What he does include are two sets bandages that can plug into his back to simulate the way they'd swirl around him when he transformed from his tiny, decayed form. It can be tough to figure out how the strips are supposed to fit, even after consulting the included instructions. Here's what to do: the "flatter" set goes on his left, and stretches out behind him; the "curvy" set starts on his right, but wraps up over the left shoulder. Other than that, you can intertwine them however you want for the best look. He also comes with two extra "gripping" hands, which are kind of pointless. He doesn't use weapons, he doesn't come with weapons, and he has no need to hold anything. Lose those and give us his cape!

The Thundercats reboot was really good - the cartoon was excellent, and it meant we could finally get quality toys of the old characters. Unfortunately, Cartoon Network seemed to work overtime to kill any momentum the show had (see also: Young Justice), and the fact that the toys are being clearanced out everywhere suggests that we won't be seeing any more. So sad! If you want a 6" scale Mumm-Ra, though, this really is a good figure and worth picking up, especially now that you can get him cheap!

-- 06/30/12


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