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Lion-O, Mumm-Ra the Ever-Living, Lord Jaga and Grune

Thundercats Minimates
by yo go re

As his homeworld crumbled around him, young Lion-O fled Thundera with the noble Jaga. Jaga would sacrifice himself to ensure his war reached the safety of Third Earth, but little did he know the dangers the boy would face, most notably his old foe Grune the Warrior and a new threat, Mumm-Ra the Ever-Living.

The fourth box set in the Thundercats series is mainly about re-covering old ground. By which we mean "three of the four characters were released in the first box set," starting with Lion-O. Of course, that was the adult version, while this is his pre-suspended-animation-malfunction child version.

This one is technically from the episode "Time Switch," not the pilot episode. How can we tell? Because he's not naked. None of the Thundercats wore clothes until they got to Third Earth. But when exposed to gas from one of the Suspension Capsules, Lion-O began de-aging, and his clothes somehow went with him. So he's still wearing the same blue outfit, but he's got less muscular detailing (and his abs aren't poking out). Even his belt is smaller and less detailed than the last figure's!

Lion-O uses the same "child" body introduced in the last set, and even with the unarticulated wrists and ankles, we hope this body finds its way into some other properties. [Get in the house, Carl! --ed.] Surprisingly, his hair is a new piece - seriously, every time these Thundercats sets could cut corners, they choose not to. Impressive!

And of course, as soon as we say that, then we get to tell you that Lion-O's accessories - the Sword of Omens, in both its full-sized and dagger-sized forms - are the same ones the other figure had. But there's no shame in that, is there? They're supposed to be the same item, after all, so remolding them would have been silly.

Our last Mumm-Ra was just Mumm-Ra, but this is Mumm-Ra the Ever-Living! Yes, it matters. Because this isn't a scrawny little mummy, it's a giant chunk of blue muscles! The blue is slightly more vibrant than on the last toy, but that suits his reinvigorated state.

Like so many Hulks before him, Mumm-Ra the Ever-Living gets bulked up by the addition of extra pieces on his chest, biceps, thighs, hands and feet. And really, only the biceps and thighs are reused (and the thighs get painted muscles). The feet are sculpted with the fur and metal greaves, and the chest cap has his shredded cape permanently attached. His skirt is a new piece, too.

His face is even angrier than before, and you can tell that even despite the fact that it's hidden behind his ornate headdress. Golden armor frames his face, twin snakes rise off the top like horns, and a bit of blue cloth falls down over the back of his neck. A few bits of mummy-​wrap rest against his chest.

Mumm-Ra has an extra set of hands, and at first I couldn't figure out why. Turns out there are bits of his cape attached to the arms, so it will flare out and move as you pose him. Since that's not ideal for every situation, Icon Heroes opted for a second set of hands that were molded sans cape. This is very handy (no pun intended) because he also includes the double-bladed sword of Plun-Darr, and he can't hold it with the cape in the way.

The difference between this Jaga figure and the last one is that this one is still alive. Rather than blue, his colorscheme is mostly yellow. In fact, the color is the only real difference - all the paint masks are the same, just given different colors. He has the same cape, the same bracelets, the same pointy hat, all of it - he's just alive rather than an Obi-Wan style ghost.

Okay, there's one difference: he's not just alive, he's young. As seen in the episode "Shadowmaster," Jaga was once a young, virile cat with great big eyebrows, and that's what this face gives us. Actually, he ends up looking kind of Persian (but maybe that's just the influence of his pointy hat). This definitely helps set him apart from the old toy, making him his own thing.

If you miss the old head (which would literally be the "old" head), the set includes that, too. Like the body, the paint masks on that one are carried over from before. What's different, though, is that this one includes hair! It looks like reused Wolverine hair, but it's not - it's a new mold. Crazy! Remember what we said about not cutting corners? Granted, Jaga's supposed to be bald on top, but maybe they went this route so the hair could work for either young or old heads.

Jaga may or may not have any accessories: he's packaged next to the Sword of Omens, and he did use it in the show, so that may belong to him instead of young Lion-O. It's up to you how you want to play.

Our final full figure in this set is Grune the Destroyer, the once-heroic warrior who turned to the side of evil. He considered the citizens of Thundera unworthy of the protection of the Thundercats, and wanted to rule them. He staged a coup, got smacked down by Jaga and was banished to space. He landed on Third Earth, where he rampaged like the vikings of old until he was sealed in a tomb for centuries, then came back as a ghost to fight Jaga some more.

Grune gets new boots, with metal plates on the shins and sculpted lines on the sides. He's wearing spiked gloves, which means new wrist pieces (thought they'd work really well for a Ghost Rider Minimate in the future), a belt with spikes in the center, and new shoulder armor designed to look like cat faces. The eyes of those faces are even painted red!

His hair and lumpy helmet are one piece. He's painted with his single sabertooth and an unhappy look on his face. We know that it's tradition that Minimates don't have noses, but Grune's design really suffers for it: while many of the other characters have colors that suggest a nose, Grune's so encompassingly brown that he doesn't benefit from that. Plus, his nose in the show was black, so its absence really stands out. It may be time for some customization.

Grune only comes with one accessory: his Thundrainium mace, which is basically Kryptonite to Thunderians. It's silver with big blue spikes on each surface. The set also includes a second chest for him, with a Thundercats logo on his chest. In case you want to portray him as a good guy. We don't count that as an accessory, though - it's more of a bonus. Something.

Just like the previous sets, this one includes a fifth minifigure pack-in. This time it's Mumm-Ra's beloved pet dog, Ma-Mutt. It's a single, unarticulated piece, but the sculpt of the figurine makes it look like it could be built like the Terror Dogs. The body looks doggish, but the legs are clearly meant to suggest Minimate limbs, with sculpted joints and everything. Also, all the Minimates in this set come with clear disc bases to help them stand.

If that's all this set came with, it would already be worth buying - all the figures are done well, and add a lot to the collection. But there's another surprise waiting for us. Bagged together and taped to the back of the tray are a large version of Lion-O's belt and spiked blue harness. What are those about? Well, if you remember in the first box set when Lion-O and Panthro's painted Thundercats symbols wiped off their gear with ease? These are replacement pieces! Awesome! There's only one more Thundercats set planned after this one, but Icon Heroes are going out with class!

-- 07/31/13

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