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by yo go re

At this point last year, we were all excited by the new Thundercats toys Bandai was releasing - both the modern figures, and the inexplicably 8" classics versions. Now here we are in 2012, and the cartoon's seemingly cancelled, the toys are apparently dead, and we're left with incomplete collections.

Modern Mumm-Ra was available in both the 4" and 6" lines, but whenever he was seen in his powered up form on the cartoon, he towered above all the other characters - so the 6" Mumm-Ra is really in scale with the 4" figures, and the 4" figure is in scale with... the Minimates? It's them or nothing.

To the top of his helmet, this figure stands 6⅞" tall. A little assembly is required when you open him: the bandages that blow out from under his helmet are packaged separately, since there wouldn't be any way to get him in the blister otherwise. You actually have to pop the helmet off, then slip the pieces into place and put the headgear back on. His helmet holds the pieces in place very well, so this was clever work on Bandai's part.

Under the helmet, Mumm-Ra has a face that is reminiscent of the one seen on his decayed form, but fuller, thicker and more rounded. His eyes are smaller, but he still has the jagged teeth, the flattened nose and the super wrinkly chin. If you didn't know they were the same person, you'd at least think they were members of the same race.

Gone is the scrawny body completely swathed in bandages - empowered by the ancient spirits of evil, Mumm-Ra finds himself rejuvenated, so he's huge and jammed with muscles! His proportions are unusual, with his fingertips reaching lower than his knees, and his legs set very wide, even at the hips. The most mystifying thing about his transformation might be not that he gains so much bulk, but that clothes he wasn't wearing before appear out of thin air: he has golden greaves and bracers, rings around his elbows, and a multi-layered skirt. He even gets a golden plaque on the center of his chest, with the traditional "crossed snakes" design in red. There are still a few bandages around his forearms and waist, but certainly not as many as he wore before. In traditional Bandai style, he's missing some paint apps: there are bandages sculpted on his arms that are still the same blue as his skin.

Articulation is decent for his size. Mumm-Ra has a balljointed head, swivel/hinge shoulders, swivel biceps, hinged elbows, swivel forearms, balljointed wrists, swivel waist, swivel/hinge hips, swivel thighs, double-hinged knees, swivel shins and hinged/rocker ankles. None of the joints are stuck or loose, so he'll hold even dynamic action poses nicely. He has interchangeable hands: two open claws, two gently curled to clutch weapons.

Speaking of weapons, Mumm-Ra comes with the Sword of Plun-Darr, in both compact dagger form and its expanded, double-bladed whirlwind of death form. That one's done in two pieces, so it would fit in the packaging: assembled, it's 10¼" long. Unfortunately, it's made from soft plastic, so it droops unless it's being held perfectly. He also gets his shield, with the fingers extended way out to stab at his enemies. A black clip on the underside allows it to snap onto the figure's arm. Just as with the decayed Mumm-Ra, the accessories are the wrong colors: the swords shoulder be darker grey with a hole where the red stone is currently, and the gauntlet shield is supposed to be nearly black with red accents and blue and purple gems.

There's one thing missing from this figure. Well, actually two things. And the sculpt suggests that they were, at one point, planned. Remember how in the 4" Mumm-Ra review we insisted that he wasn't a mummified human living on a future Earth? And suggested he was hiding something in that hump under his cape? Well, when he transforms into his giant form, he also gets a giant pair of wings to go with it: everybody on this show is an animal, and Mumm-Ra is a bat! That explains his pointy nose and ears! Sadly, this figure is missing his wings - there are two conspicuous plugs on his back where wings might have fit, but he has none.

I held off on getting this figure because A) it was $15, and 2) I was hoping there would be a version with his wings in this scale. When it became clear that wasn't going to happen, and when this bad boy went on clearance for $11, I finally bit, just to complete my collection. Mumm-Ra isn't bad at that price, but he had a long way to go before being an ideal representation.

-- 09/02/12

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