MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE (2002)
Masters of the Universe leans pretty hard on classical fantasy tropes. One of those tropes was the inclusion of steeds that were something other than a horse. The first animals inducted into the original Masters line were feline beasts, one for each side’s leader. Skeletor and the Evil Warriors got Panthor, and He-Man and the Heroic Warriors had Battle Cat, who’s the focus of today’s review.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Battle Cat was released as a deluxe item alongside the first series of Masters of the Universe figures. He and Panthor were released at the same time. The figure stands about 3 ½ inches tall and is about 9 inches from nose to tail. The vintage Battle Cat didn’t feature any articulation, but the 2002 version changes things up a bit, giving him joints at the top of each leg and a swivel joint on the tail. There’s also a button on the figure’s back which, when pressed, swings the right front leg forward and opens the mouth. So, he’s still not super posable, but certainly an improvement over earlier figures. Battle Cat makes use of four different add-ons for his armor. The torso piece is strapped into place, while he helmet and toe guards just snap into place. All of the pieces are very nicely sculpted, with lots of fun details that add a little bit of depth to the armor. In addition, the pieces all stay in place pretty securely, which is a definite plus. The underlying body is decently sculpted. Obviously, the areas left exposed by the armor are given the most detailing, but the face is surprisingly well detailed, despite being covered by the faceplate. The paintwork on Battle Cat is rather on the minimal size. For the most part, the colors are done via molded plastic with only the stripes and the eyes and mouth being actually painted. The stripes could possibly be a little cleaner, but other than that, the figure looks pretty good. In addition to the armor pieces, Battle Cat also included a pair of missile launching cannons, which could be attached to the shoulder armor. They were, however, not the slightest bit accurate to the show’s armor design.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
I never had a Battle Cat growing up. For whatever reason he was never my thing. I did want a Panthor, but never got one (I eventually got the MotUC version, so that’s a win for me). I ended up getting Battle Cat just a few weeks ago, at the same time as Teela. Mostly, I got him because he was $2, which I feel is just about always a good reason to get an action figure. Battle Cat was an improvement upon a figure than needed quite a bit of improving. That makes him a decent figure, but hardly anything stellar. Still, when paired with the He-Man from the same line, this figure does manage to look pretty darn awesome, and that’s more than worth the $2 I paid.