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Wilykit and Wilykat

Thundercats Classic
by yo go re

No matter how young or small, this dynamic twin duo are key members of the Thundercats team and important for the group's survival on Third Earth. Wilykat and younger sister, Wilykit, live for mischief making and playing jokes, luckily, their playful antics have a purpose. As natural tricksters, these Thunderkittens use beguiling methods to conquer the most fiendish of foes. Wilykat subdues with his Flick, a grappling hook, to overcome enemies and Wilykit enchants with her hypnotic flute.

Who writes this copy? Even if you overlook the blending of modern and vintage stories (the flute and the flink [not "Flick"] were 2011 elements, not '80s), the bio is riddled with missing words and badly edited run-on sentences. Since OAFE started, we've been offering proofreading services in exchange for toys, and yet stuff like this still makes it out the door. Swallow your damn pride and accept help when you need it! Or at least don't run your text back and forth through Babelfish before putting it on your packaging. But enough grammar-shaming: on with the toys!

Wilykat is, like the bio said, the older sibling of the pair. Not that it really matters, because they both had the same personality. Since he's a child, he stands only about 5" tall, and the sculpt is specifically executed to make him appear young: thin limbs with no definition, a very round face, etc. This isn't just a short adult, this is clearly an adolescent being.

The '80s costumes weren't as cool as the modern updates, so Kat is wearing a shapeless earthtone smock. Honestly, it's like a medieval peasant's tunic or something. Half of it is orange and half is brown, with tan outlines in between. There is a paint mistake here: the right sleeve should be the same brown as the portion of the shirt it's up against, but instead it's the same orange as the other side. Whoops! He has a belt with pouches all the way around, and his boots have crossed ties across the front.

There's a bit of information we were going to save for the Tygra review, but who knows if we'll ever get him? So here goes: have you ever noticed that the Thundercats seem to be specifically designed to cash in on the musical Cats? They have the same kind of hair and facial markings that John Napier created for the musical, which would have been at the peak of its popularity when the cartoon was in development. Wilykat could easily be standing at the back of the stage during a performance of "Mr. Mistoffelees" or "Old Deuteronomy."

Wilykat's articulation isn't quite as good as the adult figures', though it's still slightly above average for Mattel. There's a balljointed head, swivel/hinge shoulders and elbows, swivel wrists and waist, swivel/hinge hips and knees, and swivel/hinge ankles that work almost like rocker joints. The figure has five interchangeable hands, including one that's molded with his smoke bomb puffing forth a giant cloud. The set also includes two versions of his bola weapon: one to be held, the other coiled up and stuck in the back of his belt.

It's not clear what age the Thunderkittens are supposed to be (assuming Thunderians grown and mature in any way even remotely like humans do), but if they're twins, then they're at the age where boys and girls start to display sexual dimorphism - we're not talking secondary sexual characteristics or anything, but Wilykit's body is smaller than her brother's: her limbs are thinner and she's shorter (though the toy ends up taller thanks to the way her hair is styled).

Kit's costume clearly shows her era of origin, in that it looks like she's wearing a jazzercise outfit, complete with leg warmers. What, they couldn't have given her a headband to go with it? Her jumper is pink and blue, strongly contrasting with her bigger bro's browns, and as it only goes over one shoulder, it only has one sleeve. Instead of pouches, her belt has little capsules - between the two of them, Wilykat and Wilykit have unintentionally duplicated both styles of Batman's utility belt!

The colors used for the skin are lighter on this figure than they were on the other, despite the kids generally being depicted with the same tonesin the cartoon. Not only is the "base" color a lighter version of what Wilykat had, the light patches on her hands and face are so pale as to nearly be white, rather than tan. Does she not get enough sun?

The articulation on both figures is the same, so everything we said up above applies here, too. Lion-O and Jackalman had hinged torsos, hinges in the wrists, and swivel biceps, thighs and shins that these smaller kids lack, but what we do get is good for the size. Wilykit has her choice of four hands, and two versions of her pink rope weapon: a lasso, and a coil for her belt.

The set also includes two spaceboards for the kids to ride - Wilykat's has a brown edge and base, while Wilykit's is blue. They're solid pieces, 5¾" long with all the sculpted details they need, and a single footpeg to attach the figure. Since they're basically flying surfboards, Mattel was clever enough to throw in a pair of clear stands to make the boards hover.

As with most Mattel SDCC exclusives, it's worth talking about the packaging here. At a glance, it's just a wider version of what the normal figures come in, but there's more going on than there seems. Specifically, the image of Lion-O looking through the Sword of Omens is done in two pieces, so you can choose how it overlaps: either with the Eye of Thundera or the Thundercats sigil showing.

But more than that, the backdrop behind the figures, depicting the Cats Lair, unfolds a bit to become a larger diorama with a bit of forced perspective. It's not quite as ornate as the cardboard castle that came with King Grayskull, but it's still a nice inclusion.

This is the Matteliest exclusive to ever Mattel. Originally available as an SDCC exclusive, I was unable to get one (or more specifically, Rustin was unable to get one for me) because Mattel didn't have any on-site sales (thereby missing the point of a con exclusive entirely). Then, for some reason, it wasn't available as part of their post-con website sale. Wasn't even listed. But amazingly, it showed up on their Black Friday sale, with a rather hearty discount to boot! This isn't quite as bad as the "ultra limited MUST preorder" Castle Grayskull being sold for more than 50% off, but it's still a typical Matty shenannigan. To sum up: I wanted to pay Mattel full price for this set, but they wouldn't let me, so I ended up paying them less and they took it. Pity the people who bought it in July, because they got Matteled.

That said, Wilykat and Wilykit are really nice toys and an important part of the Thundercats collection. They make sense as a con exclusive, since they probably wouldn't fit into the budget for the regular line, and it's lovely that Mattel finally gave more people a chance to get them (even if it did take a few months longer than it should have).

-- 12/10/16

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