…and we’re back! Did you miss us? We missed you. We experienced some technical difficulties on Wednesday night that crashed the site and caused some other behind-the-scenes problems, but we’re all better now (we hope!).
We get a lot of MOTU requests in our inbox that go unused. It’s not that we don’t appreciate them, it’s always nice to see requests for some of our favorite MOTU characters, but Mattel makes it seem like the list is made and no amount of requests will change anything. It won’t move up Roboto or help Extendar’s chances. Still, the requests come in and we decided to toss at least one MOTU character into our 1st quarter poll (voting begins 4/16!). We looked at the e-mails and chose Panthor because we don’t agree on how he should be done.
Panthor is a given. If Mattel doesn’t make him as the 4th quarter large scale beast, we’ll be surprised, but we’ll also immediately expect him in 2011. It’d be crazy to draw him out. But there’s more to Panthor than just “when”, there’s also how to do Panthor. And I don’t mean flocking. The first version will not be, that’s been decided already. No, this has been the source of debate here at IAT since Battle Cat was announced, a debate that centers on the head sculpt. Here are the two sides…
Toy Guru has gone on record time and again to remind us that “characters who shared parts in the old lines will share them again”. If we take that philosophy to Panthor, then we should be expecting a straight reuse of Battle Cat. Some of us here at IAT are okay with that. Since most of the artwork for MOTU took it’s cues from the toys, a lot of it depicts Panthor more tigerlike than his cartoon namesake. By the time the 200x, or “millenium” version as Poe Ghostal suggests, rolls around, Panthor has longer fur not only on the toy, but in the cartoon as well.
With MOTU Classics being built so heavily on nostalgia for the original toys, it follows that Panthor should be made exactly as he was before. Even if Panthor was given two heads, one accurate to the original toy and one accurate to the newer designs, like Moss Man, both would have the extra fur.
Nostalgia for the original toy aside, Panthor is a panther. His name doesn’t really make sense otherwise. His appearances in the original cartoon were not frequent, but they are lasting. And that includes his sleek short fur and visible jawline. Luckily, for the “Panthor is a panther” contingent, when asked about Panthor receiving a new head, Matty gave the usual line about it being to early too comment, but did say “we do have some ideas that will blow you away!” Now, this can mean any number of things, no matter which Matty translator you use, but suffice to say, there’s nothing that exciting about just repainting Battle Cat in the opposite hues. So, we’ll take it to mean that something unique to Panthor will be on the way. Whether it’s a unique head sculpt, or two heads to appease both sides, or something else entirely, we can’t say. Hopefully, Panthor is on the schedule for 2010 and we’ll see him as early as July at San Diego Comic Con. That’d be nice. If not, we’ll marvel at what is shown and wait rather impatiently for 2011.
Regardless of what Mattel chooses to do, it’s probably not going to separate the divide here at IAT. So we turn to you, our readers, and ask you to let us know what you think. Do you want a new head on Panthor, closer to his cartoon design? Or do you want the classic toy updated, the vintage oils realized, via a reuse of Battle Cats head?