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by yo go re

At this point last year, we were happily reviewing all the Thundercats toys, and now here we are, with what looks to be the last one we'll ever write about.

Claudus is the brave King of Thundera whose sworn duty is to protect his people against the forces of evil.

Unlike most people, I actually saw Claudus in stores one time. One time. It was at a Walmart near my mother's house at, like, 1am. I didn't buy him because I figured I'd see him again, not realizing how shortpacked he was and how under-ordered Thundercats Series 2 would be. Thankfully I put off paying secondary market prices because Five Below, that bastion of low-priced surprises, apparently bought lots of Series 2 on closeout. Although, out of 20 (short) pegs of Thundercats toys, I got the only Claudus they had. Lucky!

King Claudus appeared on the old show, but not until the series was pretty far along. The updated one appeared in the first episode, and actually looks like he might be related to his son this time. His hair is the same red, just darker, and the markings on his broad face are similar. He has a large horizontal scar across his nose, showing he's not just a figurehead.

In a nice bit of casting, Claudus was voiced by Larry Kenney - the original series' Lion-O. The armor he wears has the same basic shapes as the '80s costume (particularly the breastplate and the belt), but it's much more ornate. He wears black and silver dual-layered pauldrons, an ankle-length cape, and a loincloth/hip armor combo. His arms are bare, save for the bracer worn on his right arm - it's the same color as his fur, so it's hard to spot. Like all the Thundercats, he goes barefoot.

His articulation is weird, even by the low standards of this line. Despite his huge beard and mane, the range of motion on the neck swivel is pretty good. The swivel/hinge shoulders and the hinged elbows are standard, but rather than hiding the wrist joints like Lion-O did, they're just cut straight through the arm. He has no waist, but he does get swivel/hinge ball hips, like any real action figure would have. The thighs swivel and the knees are hinged, but he has no ankles.

Claudus' only accessory is the Sword of Omens. It's the same one Lion-O came with - no new sculpt or anything - but shouldn't Claudis have also come with the Claw Shield? He used it before it was passed down to Lion-O, so technically it was his property. His arm is too big to allow them to share, so Bandai would have had to mold a new one.

King Claudus was a much more interesting character on the reboot than on the original show, and it's nice that there was a figure made of him. It would be nicer if that figure had actually made it to stores at any point, becaause while he may be worth the $5 I paid, he's most definitely not worth the price scalpers are asking.

-- 12/01/12

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