LEGO

MOTU Origins Vehicles

panthor_11
I got flocking lucky. Through some perseverance and oh-so-many visits to the same stinkin’ Wal*Marts day after day, I have a fuzzy Panthor in my ranks. Hoo-ray! Is Panthor or Battle Cat really a vehicle or a character? I feel like officially it would be an Accessory, but that sounds like a purse. Maybe it’s a deluxe figure? Battle Cat had a speaking role in the cartoon. Is this another Turbo Teen debate waiting to happen? Let’s take a look at Battle Cat, Panthor, Land Shark and the Sky Sled. Click below for more
battlecat_06
Back in the 80s, the most important action feature of Battle Cat, was that you could take the armor off and he was just Cringer. I didn’t play with mine all that much as Cringer, but heaven forbid we lost the saddle or helmet, he can’t be Battle Cat without the helmet. I’m glad the armor comes off quickly and easily so you can relive that aspect of “Retro Play”. It took some doing but I was able to get this classic Lazy Sunday (Eternia) pose with Prince Adam.
battlecat_01
So how is he as Battle Cat? Suited up he’s pretty powerful looking, He-Man fits on the saddle just fine and they look good together. I’m not going to avoid the elephant in the room (because the elephant has wrists) the only issue with this toy is the lack of wrist articulation. You know what made 80s Ravage one of the coolest toys ever? Besides fitting inside another cool toy, he had great articulation and you could get so many sweet poses. The Battle Cat/Panthor body has great articulation in the head, jaw, shoulder, hip, knees, elbows and tail. They’re great! But the lack of the wrist articulation severely limits the cool poses you can put it in. On one hand I almost prefer a static yet dynamic sculpt that looks cool in photos and on my shelf over not having any cool poses. As a photographer attempting to get you to like what I like, this was the biggest challenge, to try and make these look cool. The Mega Construx version of Battle Cat and Panthor are much better for cool poses and photos.
megaconsPanthor_05
So that’s a major pet peeve (because they’re cats). I do have to say it was worth the effort to get the flocked Panthor (Wal*Mart exclusive, $40). Comparing it to the 80s versions, Battle Cat had a helmet, but Panthor did not. That’s ok, he’s got fuzzzzz. I love the sense of monetary equality action figure companies had back then. Orko uses less plastic, so let’s give him a motorized feature and a magic trick. (Sidebar… I feel like I remember my mom being ticked off that Wicket the Ewok cost the same as the other Star Wars figures even though he was much smaller. Hmmm) So, by that rationale, Battle Cat and flocked Panthor should have cost the same (the cost of the flocking making up for not including a helmet) But haha, Panthor was $15 more expensive and nigh impossible to acquire at retail. (There was a non-flocked version that was more available, and the same price as Battle Cat)
panthor_09
Let me take a moment here… yes it was hard to find, and yes, it’s so close to be fantastic and it just fell short. But I’m pretty happy with the purchase. I’m not regretting any of it.
I also really enjoy the head articulation. He can look around a lot better, and any toy with an operable jaw gets major points in my book. On Battle Cat I like how they added a tiny bit of gloss on his eyes so it stands out from the surrounding fur. My final verdict, for display and play, Battle Cat and Panthor are fine. For photos, they present some challenges. I didn’t regret tracking down the flocked version.
landshark_06Knock knock, it’s the plumber. Ha-ha it’s really Land Shark. (That didn’t fit the original at all, but honestly, I couldn’t otherwise sum it up in one quick sentence) I was able to get this vehicle from Amazon. My brother had the original Land Shark, and this is a pretty faithful re-creation. There is a hint of additional detail in the teeth. I’m glad they were able to keep the chomping action as it rolls, and from what I remember, the dashboard sticker is also on-point. One minor frustration I had was getting Skeletor’s legs to fit in just right so that he could grab onto both handles. I actually didn’t get it, and that’s why in the image he has one hand raised. I really appreciate you can turn the activator wheel specifically to display it in the open or closed position. It’s a fun, creative car for the bad guys. I particularly like the action feature where you can chew on other action figures. Much like the sliming action of the Slime Pit (2022 please, Mattel). And while you’re at it, keep an eye out for the Hot Wheel’s scaled Land Shark. The World’s Smallest Skeletor fits in it!
skysled_03
I’m actually very impressed with the Sky Sled. The detail and construction are solid. I like the base, it looks great on the shelf and it pops off for zooming around the room in your hand. I like that they give you interchangeable “head” and panels so you can customize it for good or evil. I really like the laser blast coming out of the front blaster. This was also the only way to get the Prince Adam action figure. When the Sky Sled came out with the original offering of Wave 1, Mattel was setting a precedent for homage plus update. It looks like the original, but check out how it’s better. I’m curious to see how Roton and Attak Trak turn out. And will we eventually get the full Battle Ram? Will this Sky Sled plug on to the front or will there be a different Sky Sled that comes with that? Hmmmm.
panthor_06
I hope I didn’t come off overly disappointed, I just had a few criticisms. Otherwise I’m very happy with this line, I’m still hunting, pile-of-looting, brickseeking, and collecting what I can get my hands on. I’m not sure if I’ll buy every vehicle that comes out. I did pre-order Castle Grayskull (and if you’re like me, you know how that’s going). If you were on the fence on picking any of these up, I hope these photos show that they can remind you of that spark of joy of being 6 years old again. Stay tuned for upcoming reviews and check out my photos and previous MOTU articles below.

MOTU Origins Vehicles

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