Vault Review: Panthor

My biggest problem with Panthor’s paint job was his eyes. Most of the Panthors we got here at IAT had eyes that looked slightly off to the side. I’m not really sure why painting them straight was an issue, but apparently it was because I’ve seen a few others online like that also. Something else I was a bit disappointed in was that his eyes were done in yellow instead of the creepy glowing green of the original figure. I know this is just a personal preference, but it’s something I loved as a kid and would have liked to have seen done with this figure.

Something else I’d like to address is Panthor’s lack of flock. I realize that this is the way the Horsemen prefer the figure to be, and that a lot of you out there agree. I’m cool with that. But I’d like to see Toy Guru re-release Panthor again next year, this time flocked but not as a subscription figure. This way the fans that prefer a fuzzy version (with green eyes!) can get the figure they want, and the other fans aren’t forced to buy one. This will also be the third time that Mattel can put this cat body to use, so the main cost issue would only be the flocking. It’s a win win situation for everyone.

Panthor’s articulation is the exact same as Battle Cat’s. When Battle Cat first came out I was super happy with him. I thought he was awesome and everything a cat figure should be. It’s been a few months now and I’ve now added Panthor, so the honeymoon is over. I still love both cats, but there are a couple things I wish they would fix articulation wise.

My biggest complaint is that the ball joints for his head and torso don’t really allow for ball joint-like movement. Neither Panthor nor Battle Cat can look up or to the sides, and the only reason they can look down is because of the hinged neck joint. This really takes away from the expressiveness of the figures. Cats are flexible and they’re always circling things or looking to their sides. Poor Panthor and Battle Cat can only attack what’s directly in front of them. What’s really sad is that this wouldn’t even require a new joint, just better implementation of the current joints.

Panthor comes with two accessories: a saddle and a helmet. Like the original figure, the saddle is just a repaint of Battle Cat’s. But even though they could have stopped there, the Horsemen took the opportunity to give him an all-new helmet to even out any fight he may have with Battle Cat. The coloring on both pieces is great. I really love the dark metallic greens that actually make these look armored. Originally I didn’t know how I felt about the new helmet, but the more I played around with it the more I really like it. It really looks like it could have been part of the original design. Plus it’s got that ram motif going on, so it matches Skeletor nicely. (I wonder if Evil-Lyn stole it from her father also?)

All around Panthor is a pretty great figure, even with the few flaws. His new head is a great representation of the old painting, plus it gives him an entirely different look than Battle Cat. I’m really glad we got this version, but now I’m definitely ready for his green eyed flocked form. Only then can he truly take his place as the Sam Jackson of my MOTU shelf.


20 thoughts on “MOTUClassics.Com
Vault Review: Panthor

  1. 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 🙂

    1. Thanks. 🙂

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

  2. 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.

    1. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    2. 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.

  4. 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.”

  5. 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. 🙂

    1. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    1. 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.

      1. 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.”

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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