Joined: 18 Dec 2005
|Posted: Sun Feb 12, 2012 9:36 pm Post subject: Masters of The Universe Classics: Panthor
|Hello again fellow He-Fans and She-Ravers,
Time to look at the last of the figures Mattel has opted to make available year round for the Masters of the Universe Classics line. (at least for now, we hope to see others added later) Just as He-Man was made available with his feline steed Battle Cat, Skeletor is available and to even it out so is his big putty tat: Panthor!
Panthor comes in the same type of box as Battle Cat. Something else interesting is he is held in place by twine strings instead of the normal plastic twist-ties. The back features a look at other figures in the line, all evil warriors, and a picture of the figure itself next to his bio.
Panthor®, Savage Cat of Skeletor®
Real Name: Panthor®
During his exile from Eternos Palace™, Keldor™ saved a young dylinx cub from a hunter’s pit in the Corridors of Lithos. The cub remained fiercely loyal to Keldor™, who named him “Panthor®” after a tribal story his Gar mother told him as a child. The purple skinned feline remained with Keldor™ even after he was transformed into the Evil Lord of Destruction™ by Hordak’s magic. Finding a new home in Snake Mountain™, Panthor® is forever at his master’s side carrying him into battle or curled up at the foot of Skeletor’s throne, loyally growling at any who disagree with the Overlord of Evil™.
You've probably noticed by now I have a tendency to point out a lot of stuff I don't like in the MOTUC bios. Well guess what, I got nothing this time! Yes, I completely like this bio it fits the character, presents a believable back story and I can't see anything to complain about. Even the part about Keldor being transformed by Hordak's magic I like, because it doesn't mention the part I don't (Demo-Man). If I wanted to be super nit-picky, I could mention maybe it should say purple furred instead of skinned, but then again Panthor's skin is probably purple under his fur, (Real life tiger stripes go all the way to their skin) so forget it, that's fine. Congratulations, here is a bio I have nothing negative to say about. On to the figure itself....
.... and that I do have something to say about.
Before you even remove him from the box, you can't help but notice something different about this Panthor. Something that sets him far apart from his previous versions.
Yes, this version of Panthor does not have any flocking. He's not fuzzy. No fur. Now while there are fans who are happy he isn't flocked, many, many, many fans, myself included (obviously) feel he should have been. To me a Panthor without flocking is like Moss Man without flocking, or Grizzlor without fur, or Scare Glow without glowing! It's part of what makes the figure what it is and without it there's just something big missing.
All right, let me take a breather here and talk about what we did get. Panthor is, as you might suspect, mostly a repaint of Battle Cat. he is done in a deep purple with a slight black drybrushing to bring out the details -instead of being flocked to look furry. He has all the same articulation points, and that's great. Just as with Battle Cat it makes for a fantastic sculpt.
Panthor does have a different and new head sculpt. Next to Battle Cat you can clearly see how Panthor has a much more savage look to him. While I do think this is a great sculpt, it brings up the flocking issue again. It's been suggested by some, including the Four Horsemen, that flocking might have obscured the sculpt. While that may be true, I have to say, with all due respect to the Horsemen whose designs I love, shouldn't they have taken that into account when designing him and maybe not bothered to go into such deep detail just assuming it would be covered by the flocking?
Accessory wise Panthor just has his saddle, which is a repaint of Battle Cat's saddle, done in green with metallic green highlights in the same places as Battle Cat's red ones. Panthor does have one brand new item as well.
Panthor comes with a brand new helmet done in the same coloring as his saddle. The helmet resembles the ram horns on Skeletor's havoc staff. It clips onto his face behind the ears and stays on tightly. Panthor has never had a helmet before, and while I personally prefer to display him without one, I can't object to it being included as a new bonus. (Although, you know, this kind of hides the face sculpt too doesn't it?)
Next to the vintage figure you can see how the sculpt is more detailed and unique. But, it also shows how cool the flocking would have been. I mean my vintage Panthor is not in the best of shape and he still has more fur than the new one.
And the 200X Panthor had flocking and some articulation. He also had some silly missile launchers that plugged into his saddle. I do have mine, I just prefer to display him without them. While I included the guns in the Battle Cat review to focus on how the vintage style armor was better, I left them off Panthor here to keep the focus on how the flocking is better.
I think the thing that really bugs me the most about why he has no flocking is the reason he doesn't. At the 2009 SDCC Mattel held a vote of those in attendance on if Panthor should be flocked. Letting a small group of fans who were lucky enough to be able to both get to SDCC in the first place and then make it into the panel decide what everyone would be getting. This is bad enough, but then every indication seemed to indicate that WITH flocking had won the vote! A video of the panel was posted on Youtube and when the vote is made, there really looks and sounds to be a much higher call for flocking than not. Mattel's answer was that you can't see the whole room in the video and the vote was very close with non-flocked winning by a very tiny margin. Even if that is so, subsequent polls by sites like He-Man.org show that on a whole a good 80% or more of collectors preferred flocked!
So do I recommend Panthor? Much as I want flocking, this is a nice figure and Skeletor looks great sitting on him. Mattel has stated they may release a flocked version somewhere down the line, but honestly I wouldn't hold out waiting for it. I suggest if you want a Panthor get him. If you don't want flocking, voila you're done. If you do, head out to a hobby store, and get some purple flock, or find it online, and add it on yourself.
Panthor is available now on Mattycollector.com and will be year round. Until next time, Good Journey.
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