Mattel: ThunderCats Classics Lion-O Figure Review



Sword Of Omens, give me sight beyond sight.

This is simply heartbreaking. When you can make ThunderCats figures, sculpted by The Four Horsemen, and go ahead and cancel the line even before it’s officially being launched, you are turning your back on the collector community. As we reported during our San Diego Comic-Con coverage, Mattel is shutting down Mattycollector at the end of this year, and Super 7 will be taking over Masters of the Universe Classics starting in December 2015 with Ultimate versions of He-Man, Skeletor, Teela, Ram Man (mini-comic), and Faker. Since Mattel holds the ThunderCats license from Warner Brothers, Super 7 cannot obtain the license until this is given to them with approval from Warner Brothers. Legal issues can take time, and there is no way of knowing right now how much time will go by until more ThunderCats Classics figures can be offered. With the Mattycollector subscription, fans will be getting Lion-O, Panthro, Decayed form Mumm-Ra, Jackalman, Pumyra, along with the San Diego Comic-Con Thunder Kittens will be offered from Mattel.

It’s truly a shame that Mattel is ending this line, as there are many passionate fans including new one’s that would jump on board to purchase a ThunderCats line that looks like this. At New York Comic-Con, we learned from Super 7 that Mattel recently offered a warehouse sale open to employees only, and were selling some rare vintage Masters of the Universe items including a three pack that is roughly work $10k on the secondary market, and only selling it for $20. When asked, their response was we don’t care. That’s exactly the problem, Mattel’s leadership simply does not have the passion for this brand are looking towards more of the hot sellers such as Barbie and Hot Wheels, and less of a collector-aimed line that brings in a much smaller profit. What Mattel needs is a team of very passionate fans for the Masters of the Universe, She-Ra and ThunderCats brands, that are willing to take chances and offer animated series. Nickelodeon is airing one of the best Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series right now, and this is because the writers and directors grew up reading the comics and watching the show, and have become fans of the franchise. Unfortunately, there is no one or not enough of these type of people at Mattel right now, which is why these brands are being tossed aside like they are.

If done right, we feel that both Masters of the Universe and ThunderCats can reach a much larger audience if an incredible animated series is aired. But without a show like this, both franchises will continue to be a low selling point for Mattel and other companies, despite the very large audience that has followed these since the 1980’s. From Mattel’s recent actions, it’s safe to assume that they are shelving He-Man once again, and this time it could be shelved for another decade or more before attempting to revive it. This is very unfortunate, but this is what corporations sometimes do.

Availability: September 2016



On a more brighter side of things, Lion-O is released and simply looks incredible. As the leader of the surviving ThunderCats, Lion-O has a aesthetic value and represents the appearance of the 1980’s from what we remember. If you are a collector of Masters of the Universe Classics, Lion-O is sculpted in a similar way makes a great compliment to the He-Man line. If you are a fan of both franchises, you can now own a He-Man and Lion-O figure that are sculpted in a similar style for some great crossover battle poses along with their supporting characters.

If you liked the prototype figure that Mattel had shown at New York ToyFair, then you will love this figure. There are some design choices that were made that typically make Lion-O stand out from existing Lion-O figures, including thicker arms and thighs. This was to keep him in scale with the He-Man line and there is also some reused parts of Masters of the Universe Classics figures, which may not be to everyone’s liking. However, you can’t deny that the Horsemen do a great job when it comes to toy sculpting.



Even though Lion-O uses some shared parts with Masters of the Universe Classics, the Horsemen found a way to make them work with the new tooling given to him, including that incredible head sculpt that is unmistakably Lion-O. Creating a sculpt for such an 80’s icon is no easy task, and this new Lion-O figure features a great likeness from every angle from head-to-toe. Lion-O’s classic costume is represented here with the blue that matches the original color scheme. The orange hair is based on the vintage toy design, and the brightness in the colors also work well with the animated design.

Lion-O’s articulation mostly resembles that of Masters of the Universe Classics, and has the standard hinged wrists and rocker ankle joints, which are more in line with the Marvel Legends ankle rockers over MOTU Classics. Included with Lion-O is the Sword of Omens (large and small), two Claw Shields with one that can fit on his hip, and the other attaches to his arm. The Claw Shield that attaches to his hip is attached with a peg joint, and has the Sword of Omens permanently stored inside. Also included is an additional left hand to swap out with the Claw Shield.


Lion-O is an incredible figure that is very nicely detailed, painted and sculpted. Hopefully, Super 7 can obtain the ThunderCats license and continue this line with the Horsemen sculpting it, because as you know, just owning half of dozen of these is simply not enough. We need SSSlythe, Mumm-Ra transformed, Cheetara, Jaga, and all of the other characters, including the Lunataks.

Highly Recommended.



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