Friday, October 7, 2011

Thundercats: Cheetara (2011)

Presenting Cheetara from the new Thunrdercats Animated series (2011). Admittedly I have mixed feelings about the reboot of the Thundercats. Personally I feel that people should never touch iconic classics because you'd end up with people comparing the original to the new version.

And I can't help but do so in this case.

This toy incarnation of Cheetara from Bandai stands 4 inches tall - she is designed to electronically interact with the new Bandai Thundercat vehicles hence her smaller size. I purchased her on the black market in Greenhills here in the Philippines and she was the only Cheetara I saw in the entire commercial area so I thought she was a steal at PhP 695 (Around US$ 16). Unfortunately, her retail price in Amazon is already dropping from US$ 9.95 to U$ 9.52 plus shipping. I'm not so sure if this is because of the problems with the toy itself or the aforementioned problems with comparing a classic icon with its modern incarnation. Which is sad because Cheetara is not even available on the local E-bay which makes her quite rare - as most female action figures are.

Cheetara's blister card reads that: "Cheetara is an expert fighter whose duty is to protect Lion-O and the Sword of Omens at any cost." It then goes on to describe its Thunder Lynx - magnet powered technology that activates special functions/sound effects on the separately sold Thundercats vehicles and Tower of Omens Playset.

In the 2011 Animated Series, Cheetara is the last of an order of magical clerics - so, like Jaga, she's a magic-user and was trained by the Mighty Jaga himself. Like her 80s predecessor, Cheetara is also the fastest Thundercat alive and an accomplished warrior, particularly skilled with the use of the Bo-Staff - which is the action-figure's only accessory.

What's to like about the new Thundercats Cheetara?

Well I was going to say "Nothing." But I do believer that I have to give Bandai credit for the sculpting. The original 80's Cheetara was very womanly and mature. There was an almost Xena like character to her - but waaay hotter than Xena.

This modern recreation of the character I feel is intentionally younger than the original Cheetara - probably because  Lion-O shows an interest in her romantically and I have a feeling that this story arc will be pursued - unlike in the original series where other than commenting on how handsome the aged Lion-O had become, there was no real romantic interest between Lion-O and Cheetara.

 That being said, the modern Cheetara's outfit deviates from the very utilitarian/spartan look of the original Cheetara. It's definitely younger, more complex and accents the curves of her abs and ample bosom - in between of which you can find the Thundercats sigil.

Cheetara's facial sculpt is also quite accurate - unlike the look of her original 80s version toy which had problems with her hair. 

What's not to like about the new Thundercats Cheetara?

Oh where do I begin?
  • The Thunder-Lynx. The Thunder-Lynx is a magnet that generates interaction with the Thundercats vehicles/playets. Unfortunately unlike Hasbro which has figured out that magnets can be quite small and can be hidden in places that will not hamper articulation or aesthetics, Bandai has not quite figured this out yet. Cheetara's Thunder-Lynx magnet is on her back. It initially appears like a backpack which would have been fine, but it unfortunately locks her head in place because it locks her hair in place. Cheetara cannot turn her head and we all know that this is a huge no-no for action figure collectors who love to pose their figures. Despite all the bashing that I may have done to Hasbro in the past with regard to their figures, they no longer do such a basic error. 
  • Cheetara's staff. It's made from poor, plastic. It's so soft, you can make the ends meet. That's not a staff, that's a whip. 
  • Poor plastic - You know how - especially if you live in a humid climate like I do - certain plastic toys - including some Marvel Legends start to become sticky? I have a feeling it won't take long before Cheetara becomes sticky. Also of particular note by the way is how certain owners of Cheetara figures have complained about her legs bending awkwardly. I suppose I got lucky.
  • Poor articulation - Aside from  her head being locked in place by her Thunder-Lynx, she can't really move that much - though Bandai claims that she has 14 points of articulation. Don't expect much. Cheetara is probably more designed to fit into the tight constraints of the Thundercat vehicles rather than pose for her owners. 

It's sad that such a  promising reboot turned out so poorly. If you're a die-hard Thundercats fan, go get one. If you're looking for something because you like the new animated series, then perhaps waiting for the rumored 6" series of Thundercat figures might be better worth your while. Still though, you have to admit that Cheetara is hot. 


  1. WOW fantastic!!! You have a nice site !!! come share it with TOY STORIES! :D

  2. Hey Mommy Jes! Thanks for liking! Sure! What's the link?


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