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Vault Review: Panthor

Well, I hope everyone enjoyed Thor week. We had a lot of fun running down the Thor related Marvel Universe figures, but now it’s time to get back to toy business. So to ease us back into our normal routine I thought I’d start off the week with one last, very unofficial, Thor review: MOTU Classics PanTHOR!

Panthor was probably one of my favorite MOTU figures as a kid. He was this dark purple cat with glowing green eyes and real fur. What wasn’t to love? Plus, he didn’t need a saddle or helmet. Sure he served Skeletor, but he certainly wasn’t going to be anyone’s ride. Panthor’s way too cool and badass for that. Basically he’s the Samuel L. Jackson of the giant Eternian cats.

Now that Panthor’s been updated for the MOTU Classics line he’s been given a bio to explain his origin. Interestingly, Keldor saved cub Panthor similar to how Adam had saved Cringer as a cub. (Remember kids, if you’re ever on Eternia, the first thing you need to do is rescue a baby cat. He will be your loyal companion forever.) I don’t mind the similarities so much, but that makes Panthor about twenty years older than Cringer. No wonder he’s always laying around and getting annoyed when people disturb him. Plus, he doesn’t even have magical powers. I guess that explains why he and Battle Cat never got into more fights on the original show.

Like the original Battle Cat/Panthor, these new Classics versions are basically the same figure. That’s just something you get used to as a MOTU fan. And I don’t really mind it that much in this case because, realistically, giant cats are mostly similar in real life. Also, I always saw the reuse of vehicles and weapons as a form of proliferation and deterrence on Eternia. The good guys get a falcon, so the bad guys get a purple falcon and a mechanical horse. Then the good guys add a mechanical horse to their arsenal along with a guy with a big fist. The villain’s response: a guy with a giant karate chopping hand. Before you know it both sides are being carried to the battlefield in a giant reanimated dinosaur skeleton.

The one new piece that was added to the Panthor body is his upper head. Where Battle Cat has a rounder head with much more scruffy cheek fur, Panthor’s head is narrower and his cheek fur goes back more like it’s been combed. Also, Panthor’s ears are turned back, making them appear like horns or the top of an owl’s head. (If you own a cat then you’ve definitely seen this annoyed look before.) Meanwhile, Battle Cat is seriously pissed with his ears laying flat back on his head. I’m really happy with the work the Horsemen put into this new head and its similarity to the original paintings.

Panthor’s paint is pretty simple. The entire body is molded in that deep purple color. Interestingly, the combination of the hard plastic and dark colors gives his fur a sheen that isn’t as visible on Battle Cat. There are also these much darker, almost black, washes that highlight the textures in his muscle and longer fur nicely. For some reason the paint used on Panthor’s teeth is much thicker than that used on Battle Cat. This gives them much less definition. Also, they’re tinted a slight purple. I’m not sure if that was done on purpose or not, but it makes them look odd in my opinion. I do like that Panthor’s claws are a shiny brown and that they gave him black pads on the bottoms of his feet. Continue to Page Enchantress…

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20 comments to MOTUClassics.Com
Vault Review: Panthor

  • bmnbinc

    Good one Vault! of all the Thor variations..i love this one! SO even panthor decided to customize Roboto now did he? Hope he set right the reversed shoulders 🙂

    • AdventureVault

      Thanks. 🙂

      Panthor’s going to take a whole new direction with Roboto: No shoulders!

  • dayraven

    you know, two things come out of this bio, which you touch on vault… one being, yes, panthor is 20 years older than battle cat… as you say, no wonder in the MYP, he was always napping.

    the second being, cringer get what then, magickally aged, to become battle cat? vuz otherwise, the green tigers are notably smaller than the purple panthor people… or they take very much longer to mature… either way, it kind of paints panthor as the serious badass, and battle cat as the loser on magickal steroids in order to compete… that kind of seems the opposite of how it ought to work.

    • AdventureVault

      Yeah, I never really thought about Panthor being older until that new bio. It’s kind of odd to think about, but it really explains a lot of his personality.

      I also never really thought Cringer was a full sized cat until now. There’s really no reason he shouldn’t be an adult, he’s only a bit younger than Adam. So I guess those Green Tigers are much smaller than their Preternian ancestors.

  • dayraven

    ooh, before i forget, i’m glad to see you all are back up and running… bet that was some harrowing shizo for a while there.

    lastly, matt k of the fwoosh made a passing comment in his photoplay about wishing panthor had popped claws… howzabout a question in the next Q&A about why mattel didn’t think about swappable front paws for “claws retracted” vs “claws popped” posing… it’s that kind of in-the-box thinking that will keep this line from ever being great, no matter what the matty shills want to suggest.

    • AdventureVault

      Spread claws would have been a great addition also. That’s a great idea Matt K had.

    • manekochan

      Technically, the claws are popped already. You generally can’t see that much of them when they’re sheathed. It would be neat to have them a little more apparent, though.

  • LV

    The picture with Moss Man is one of the greatest toy images I have ever seen.

  • manekochan

    The sizes don’t make sense, particularly since tigers are the largest cats and, whatever Panthor is, is originally smaller. Arguing from the standpoint of his name, Panthor is probably more of a leopard, one of the smallest cats that is still classified as a large cat. Maybe he has some tiger blood in his ancestry. Or maybe it’s flipped on Eternia and the species are vastly different from ours. Oh, those Aliens and their wacky fauna…
    Or maybe, even, Skeletor made him bigger with magic. A 20-some odd year old big cat that’s still spry enough to fight is pretty far fetched. Than again, the cats on He-man, over the years have displayed an almost human intelligence. Maybe they have the life span of a human as well…
    I’m really interested in finding out more about these damned things but I’m going to bet the story is something more like, “He’s a big cat. They have those here.”

  • Well, at risk of ruffling feathers, I can’t help but think Panthor and Cringer have to be from completely different species.

    I mean, Cringer talks. I’d think that’s pretty significant.

    Also, they share completely alien traits compared to Earth cats. They allow people to ride on their backs.

    If you have EVER (been) owned (by) a cat you understand just how impossible that concept is. 🙂

    • manekochan

      Yeah. They’re obviously different species than Earth cats, but Battle Cat is definitely based on a tiger, originally. I just wonder what they based Panthor on. In the Filmation stuff he was smaller than Battle Cat whereas Cringer didn’t get that much bigger so, regardless of the speaking thing, the leopard/tiger thing works out. If you take into account the 200X stuff it makes much less sense as the transformed Battlecat is the same size as Panthor. These new toys are showing them at the same size which brings the question up again.
      I wish they would tell us more about stuff rather than just plunking it down and being like, “there you go. It’s a thing.” Bios give no info about the world or the species in general. I want D&D Monster Manual level info on everything.

  • Beedo Sookcool

    Very nice review, as always. My favourite pic has got to be the one with Panthor nibbling on Roboto’s bucket. Excellent posing bringing out the best in an excellent sculpt.

    Now I’ve just got to wait for mine to arrive. Fun story: After the MattyCollector website glitch that resulted in SIX FREAKIN’ WEAPONS RACK ORDERS which I had to receive and THEN send back five (it was too late to cancel them online, apparently), our thoughtful postman decided that for efficiency, he should send back the last three packages from MattyCollector without even asking if I WANTED them sent back. So Panthor and Sy-Klone, after all the palaver of getting my subscription renewed on a new card, ARE NOW WINGING THEIR WAY BACK ACROSS THE FREAKING ATLANTIC, WHERE I HAVE TO TELL MATTEL TO SEND THEM BACK . . . AGAIN!!!

    And people wonder why I drink.

  • Clay

    Despite the name, Panthor does look more tiger-shaped than panther-shaped, even in animated form where that can’t be explained away by a buck body. I don’t see any reason the various Eternian cat species should be scaled to each other the same way their Earth counterparts are though (I mean their lions are comparatively huge! And fair enough, I say), but it would be interesting to find out more about them.

    Battle Cat does seem quite a bit bigger than Cringer in 80s MOTU (particularly the title sequence that shows him getting ‘scaled up’) but since Grayskull’s power can magically change people’s outfits, ages, hair lengths and skin tones, that’s not too hard to accept. As a kid I always assumed that while Cringer was fairly standard looking on Eternia, BC was bigger and badassier than any natural creature they had there, and seeing a giant armoured green tiger was as odd for them as seeing a giant armoured king penguin would be for us.

  • Battle Catman

    Battle Cat is cool, but I find myself glancing over at Panthor on my bookshelf and smiling more often.

    • Russ

      Panthor easily wows me a lot more with that helmet. When I first saw images of Battle Cat from SDCC 2009….I just thought it was ok. I kept saying “well how else did we expect him to look?” To me there were no big surprises with Battle Cat or anything like that; I just found no “oomph” with the figure; Panthor is a bit of a different story, if specifically because of that helmet. It really adds a lot.

      See, for me, the line isn’t all about nostalgia. I went on a nostalgia trip in–get ready for this–my late teens. I kinda drifted away from that by my mid 20s, so now I just love the line cause I went from having a nostalgic connection to just being a massive fan of the property.

      That being said, I don’t need my figures to be “just like I remember having as a kid”; it’s those new extra touches that give it the added “oomph” that really sell me on much of it now.

      • Battle Catman

        Agreed. That’s my issue with figures like Buzz Off and Sy-Klone and the eventual Clawful–a rigid conformity to the 80’s line that kills any innovation or possible improvements for the sake of “nostalgia.”

  • americanhyena

    I just can’t make up my mind on the helmet. I mean…I like it, but I also like him without it…

    I’ve changed it on my display about seven or eight times, lol.

  • polo23

    Awesome review as always. With the addition of that new helmet Panthor looks 10 times better than Battle Cat. Now we have to wait & see what Clawdeen & KG cat looks like.

  • Jesus Santillan

    My Panthor was Stolen in international USPS service.