Battle Lion Review

Unmasked is a bit funny though. Mattel and the 4H did a fantastic thing – the MO2K armor on Battle Lion is interchangeable with Battle Cat. The saddle wouldn’t be that big a deal, but the mask is. I didn’t think I’d get so giddy over putting Battle Lion’s gear on Battle Cat, but I did. I think I blame the vintage helmet. I have an admission, I don’t like the vintage helmet. Blasphemous, I know. It looked cool in the show. It’s iconic. The sculpt is solid, but it covers up that wonderfully sculpted tiger head. In my collection, Battle Cat hasn’t worn that helmet for years. I had to hunt it down in the parts bin to take the pictures for this review.

The MO2K armor is much more subtle, just fitting over the face and I like that better. I’m not going to trade up, once everything is set back up, Battle Lion will keep his gear and Battle Cat will go back to being unmasked and the center of attention in the He-Man display, but I do like it better. The only bad side effect to being able to switch them out like that though? The Lion and Tiger have to have the same face – that’s why the mask comes in handy on Battle Lion.

The two… paw covers? Pawntlets? Does foot armor for cats have a name? Anyway, they’re nicely sculpted and they fit great. They more than anything have a vintage classicized feel to them. They’re nifty.

The saddle is the main highlight for the armored up bits though and I like it well enough. It’s very soft overall and that takes away some of the detail from the 4H’s great sculpt, but it looks good. It works. The techy feel is still there with all the knobs and buttons and there’s a slot for the longer Preternia loincloths, so that’s cool. I would’ve liked to see some add-ons or updates here though. No, not missiles, but a spot to store gear. I love that Battle Cat has that and it would’ve been neat to see again in a different form.

Articulation is the same as Battle Cat, Panthor, and the Griffin, so if you have one of those you know what to expect. Everything works great except the head and front legs are blocked a bit by the mane.

The paintwork on Battle Lion was pretty sharp. The cat itself has some airbrushing to bring out details and all the facial bits were well done. I think one eye is slightly off center from the other, but it works. The armored bits are mostly molded one color with the metallic highlight. The saddle already has a few areas where that highlight is flaking off, so that may be a concern over time.

Overall, yeah, Battle Lion is pretty much a repaint… that’s the same color as the original. Well, that’s more on the show’s creators than the toymakers really. That’s been my take away from playing around with him – any issues I have with Battle Lion in general are with the creators of the show and are ten years moot. The toy itself is a nice recreation from the show. I do wish he were bigger, but I understand why he’s not and the various big cats do look good posed together on the shelf. The great Battle Cat articulation is mostly intact and he’s painted well. That fits my toy collector requirements. Now, it’s just too bad Hordak’s never going to get his Mantisaur…

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Battle Lion Review

  1. I bought two Battle Cats back when he was re-released (I missed out on him when first released, and I was gutted >_

    And I have King He-Man ride BL. My take is Battle Lion IS Battle Cat. Eternian cats start off looking like tigers then lose their stripes as they age and grow a big ass fro mane. I love them, works brilliantly for me. Plus I ignore all the bios anyway.

  2. What, no Changeling gag? 😉
    (wait, crap. Gar was a TIGER on NTT#1, not a lion. NEXT TIME GADGET!!!)
    I’m still buying me one later for Gar-lion.

    yep, that’s pretty much what I expected: new head and armor. I didn’t think they’d change the tail, but that’s a nice bonus. wait, is it different from the Griffin tail? nope, his tail is split at the end. nevermind.
    (and now I want to swap Lion head onto Griffin for the Hawkman foe!)

  3. Don’t know why but after seeing that pic of the saddle and “loincloth slot” all I can see is one of those toy riders outside shops – “climb on King Greyskull and put your 25c in the slot and mummy will be back soon”


  4. Sweet review, great comics and pics. Looking forward to getting this guy.

    As for size, if I recall correctly, Battle Lion is described as a “liger prince,” and the thing about ligers is: they’re even bigger than tigers, at least a foot longer and much beefier. And I know this from being a biologist, not from Napoleon Dynamite. };D

    1. Thanks! And you are correct, though it was changed to “lygor” since none of this is on earth. Though tiger stayed tiger…

  5. Love the last two pictures! I always hated Hordak’s steed, though. What was it, a giant Mantis, right? I’ll bet the 4H could make it cool, though. What could Matty give Hiss to ride? A super scaled-down Serpos?
    Looks like a great toy, and I’m hoping they offer him around X-mas at a discounted price. I don’t collect MOTU, but he’ll make a cool Beast Boy accessory.

    1. Hssss would probably have that Tyrantisaurus from preternia, since it appeared to be his steed.

      1. Totally forgot about that. Never really made sense to me, though. I mean, I get they’re lizards, but it doesn’t really fit for the Snake-men. Plus, it’s one way to get the MOTU fans a version of Serpos (albeit waaaay out of scale).
        Yeah, Mantisaur! That thing sucked! I like that the Horde is comprised of villains gathered from various conquered worlds, but a giant bug? Really? it just seems apropos of nothing. Why would Hordak settle on that? He should have something more intimidating. Like a giant swan or something. 😉

        1. I loved Mantisaur as a kid, would seriously maim to get a super-articulated 4H MOTUC update of him now. Mantises are awesome in general. Giant robot mantises? Even awesomer.

          Since the Horde was basically horror themed — vampire (Hordak), werebear (Grizzlor), swamp monster (Leech), Frankenstein (Modulok), and . . . whatever the Hells Mantenna was supposed to be — Mantisaur has to be a nod to the Giant Monster Arthropod films of the 1950s. The Deadly Mantis, in particular.

  6. I did some parts switcheroo between BC and BL: BC took the Shoes and Armor and kept the Vintage Helm.
    BC got the Vintage BC Armor and the BL Helmet.

    Justification: The BL Helmet is the Original Helmet. The Vintage Helmet that BC Wears is a tribute to the Original Helmet Plus BL’s Mane. The End!

  7. I love Battle Lion, and he wasn’t something I was dying to have, but I did want him if he was released. Thankfully, he did not disappoint.

    I love the cat buck in the line. It is very photogenic, detailed, paints well, and is a downright awesome toy.

    Panthor remains my favorite, but Battle Cat and the griffin are right there along with Battle Lion now.

    I love having the different beasts in the line – lion, panther, tiger, and griffin.

    It’s just so cool to me. 🙂

  8. You’ve come to the well guarded and potentially devastating secret of pre-ternia. Battle Lion is not a lion at all but a Liger.

    1. Actually, (isn’t that the best way to start a sentence), he’s a Lygor. Says so right in the bio I ignored. A green, alien Lygor.

  9. i know it’s a buck line so battle lion was destined to be cast upon the battle cat body… for that, i will always mourn, for that feature is why i think motuc can, and in some beautiful future, will be, trumped as the “best” motu line.

    i for one want a to-scale king grayskull and battle lion more than any other characters who’ve been ripped off in the scale lottery. sure, millenium he-man had lots of characters whose scaled differed from their vintage counterparts, but i feel like for those two characters in particular, their size was a defining characteristic. this battle lion looks nice, and i may well enjoy him as a nice chotchki in the collection… but like king grayskull, i will keep searching for the right buck for a custom that will do the character justice…

    like how i’ve had to patiently wait for the spider-man legends line to yield an “ultimate goblin” whose size, detail and proportion are virtually perfect for doing calligar king ceratus justice…

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