Continuing my effort to catch up on the MOTUC reviews…
Mattel was nothing if not thrifty with the original Masters of the Universe line in the 1980s. The mold for Battle Cat was borrowed from a Big Jim playset from the 1970s, and Panthor was obviously a repainted, flocked Battle Cat. Mattel is just as concerned with saving money through mold re-use with Masters of the Universe Classics today as they were in the 1980s (if not more so), so there’s not a whole lot to say about Panthor that I didn’t say about Battle Cat.
Real Name: Panthor
During his exile from Eternos Palace, Keldor saved a young dylinx cub from a hunter’s pit in the Corridors of Lithos. The cub remained fiercely loyal to Keldor, who named him “Panthor” after a tribal story his Gar mother told him as a child. The purple skinned feline remained with Keldor even after he was transformed into the Evil Lord of Destruction by Hordak’s magic. Finding a new home in Snake Mountain, Panthor is forever at his master’s side carrying him into battle or curled up at the foot of Skeletor’s throne, loyally growling at any who disagree with the Overlord of Evil.
I’m glad Mattel decided to forego the flocking this time. I know many fans really wanted it, but I just hate flocking. Without it, you can admire the sculpt, which looks just as good with Panthor’s purple coloring.
The upper part of the head is a new sculpt that offers a somewhat sleeker and more appropriate panther-ish look than the heroic Battle Cat. The ears are back and outward, giving the character a somewhat demonic look. There’s a lot of character in the face.
The body has a dark wash to it that looks great in most parts, but a bit too obvious on the back and flanks–fortunately, they’re usually covered by the saddle. The only other accessory is the helmet, which, again, many fans didn’t like, but I think is fantastic. It offers another bit of symmetry between Battle Cat and Panthor and it has a very vintage look to it.
Articulation is the same as Battle Cat, which I explained at length in that review so I’ll refer you to that and not rehash it here.
I wish I had more to say about this figure, but it’s just not that different from Battle Cat. I also have no nostalgic stories to impart–I never owned a Panthor as a kid–and he didn’t get much characterization on either cartoon, so there’s nothing to talk about there.
He’s still a cool figure, of course, and for many a necessary counterpart to Battle Cat. Personally, I love the new helmet. He gets four instead of Battle Cat’s five ravens only because he’s mostly a repaint, without enough new material to make him a really wow-worthy piece.
Where to Buy: