FLASH GORDON (PLAYMATES)
Okay, remember yesterday’s discussion of the characters unique to the various incarnations of Flash Gordon. Well, today’s focus is technically one of those, but only sort of. See, Princess Thundarr, of the Leonids was a new addition to the cast of the ‘90s cartoon, but she’s effectively just a gender-swapped version of the original strip’s Prince Thun, leader of the Lion Men (who, it should be noted, weren’t actual lion people, unlike the Leonids). Yes, of the eight figures released from the cartoon, a whole two of them were female. That’s pretty good for the time!
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Princess Thundar (that’s how it’s spelled on the packaging, but every other reference I’ve found has the two “r”s, so I’m guessing someone goofed) was another of the basic assortment of figures from Playmates’ Flash Gordon line. The figure stands a little under 5 inches tall (she’s the shortest figure from the line), and has 6 points of articulation, counting her tail. Not an amazing selection, but at least she doesn’t have those v-hips! Thundar’s sculpt is pretty decently handled. She’s a fair translation of the show design into three dimensions, though she does seem a touch…blander?…than her show appearance. In fact, bland is probably a apt descriptor of her in general. From a purely technical standpoint, she’s perfectly fine, but she doesn’t really have the spark of character that Flash, Dale, and Ming all had. Her expression is rather blank, her pose is little more than a simple standing pose (which isn’t inherently bad, but looks off compared to the others in the line), and she just feels a bit meh. Even the paint is kind of boring. Her colors aren’t far removed from how they looked on the show, but they do seem a little more washed out than they should be (in contrast to the overly bright Talon figure). They’re still handled well technically, but it just feels like there could be more pop. Princess Thundar included a weird bladed disc thing, a rebel VisiPad, and a purple AirSled.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
Thundar also came from the lot of eight I picked up last summer. I can’t say my expectations of her were strongly one way or another. Ultimately, she feels like something of a counter point to Talon. Her paint work is sharp, but dull. Her sculpt is decently detailed and all, but still…dull. And her pose is very stiff, which seems very contrary to her nature on the show. Of the two, she’s the superior figure, but that takes her from being bad to being just sort of “meh.”