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MOTUC Review – Chief Carnivus

Chief Carnivus is a character from the 2002 cartoon I had no knowledge of prior to his announcement as a figure at a con.  Since then I’ve finally watched the 2002 series and honestly, there wasn’t a lot there with Carnivus to connect with.  This figure definitely tests the subscription is once again.  Is this figure cool enough for the collection without the aid of nostalgia?  Read on for more pics and thoughts.

Chief Carnivus

Real Name:  Carnivus Fervelius III

Leader of a race of Eternian cat warriors called Qadians, Carnivus keeps his people safe high in the village of Felis Qadi.  For many years the Qadians kept a neutral stance, preferring not to get involved in the affairs of other tribes.  But with the rise of Skeletor and the subsequent releas of the Sanake Men and the Horde from their interdimensional prisons, Carnivus agreed to re-evaluate his core principles and joined the struggle for freedom allying himself and his people with King Randor’s new Eternian Council.  Carnivus usues his feline agility and great courage to fight against evil.

The bio hews pretty closely to the few appearances of Chief (sometimes referred to as King) Carnivus in the 2002 cartoon.  He appeared in an episode where he joins Randor’s council and one where one of his settlements is transformed into Snake Men.  Nothing too exciting or offensive.  I have to wonder how helpful this band of isolationalists are going to be in the fight against evil, though.  I do like the final line in the bio as it really sounds like those cheezy marketing slogans on old card backs and ads from the 80’s.

Accessories

Carnivus comes with a sword, shield, removable cape and removeable upper body armor.

I really like the design and sculpt of this sword.  I don’t know if it’s because the guy is a cat warrior, but the hilt design of the sword with the center jewel definitely makes me think of the Sword of Omens from Thundercats.  I like how the rivet design in the hilt echoes the rivets in the knee armor and wrist bands.  The sword is cast in a nice solid plastic which is always appreciated.

The shield has a really cool relief sculpted on the front that is reminiscent of the Central Tower of the Eternia playset from the original line.  The bio doesn’t mention any link between the Qadians and the tower, but I appreciate the visual reference back to something from the original toys.  Even if you don’t catch the reference, the relief seems perfectly appropriate for the character.  The shield is also a firm plastic and it clips to his arm solidly.

The cape is a separate piece from the armor and it sits loosely on the shoulders.  It’s easily removeable, but I don’t really like the look of him without the cape.  The armor also sits on the shoulders.  The weight of the cape keeps the armor on.

Shoulder armor allows for good range of motion.

The shoulder pads are connected to the chest armor by a thin strip of plastic.  The plastic is soft enough that Carnivus retains full arm poseability.  Mattel also used a nice soft plastic on the cape that is fairly light, which is great to see.  I really hope they can keep these plastic combinations right as the line continues.

Sculpt

The body looks like it’s mostly Beastman with new hands, feet, loincloth, head, accessories and upper calves.  The calves are from Zodak and He-Ro.  The new leg piece adds a little height to Carnivus so he seems a little taller than most of the figures in the line.  It’s a small difference, but given the uniformity of base bodies in this line, the difference feels more significant than it would otherwise.  Carnivus was a little bigger than Randor in the cartoon, so that works.

I’ve heard a lot of chatter about the headsculpt beeing too cartoony.  I don’t really have that issue with it.  I think it would be tough to make a non-cartoonish sculpt of a Lion Man, but there is plenty of nice sculpted detail on Carnivus’ face.  He doesn’t strike me as more catoony than any of the humans in this line and I think the guys at Mattel did an amazing job translating the angular style of the 2002 cartoon into the thicker MOTUC style.  Carnivus sports most of the details from his cartoon appearance, but they are softened and cheated a little to make use of some existing parts and match the MOTUC style better.  The unique parts work well with the body and I feel like he meshes with my MOTUC collection fine.  The Beastman body is probably one of my favorites from the available bases and I think it works so much better with a little extra height.

I also like how the original loincloth piece has the furry underwear incorporated into the 2002 design.  I feel like it helps merge the styles.  It’s pretty cool that the cape is slightly tattered at the edges.  It makes sense to me that a guy traipsing about in the jungle with a cape that long would have some wear and tear on it.

Articulation

Articulation is standard for MOTUC.  The loincloth, cape and armor pieces are all fairly flexible and do not impede movement too badly.  The head movement is hindered by Carnivus’ long hair, though.  You still get good side to side movement, but looking up isn’t great.  I had my first real QC issue with this line with Carnivus.  His ankle was flopping loose in the package.  Fortunately I was able to use the boil and pop method and fix it.

Paint

The face has some nice washes to bring out the detail and make the fur look a little more realistic.  It doesn’t look like my figure had any washes or drybrushing on the body, though.  It still looks good, but you would think they would want to highlight all that awesome fur sculpting detail with some paint.

The paint on my Carnivus has some bad spots.  It looks like the tampo for the center jewel of the cape piece is off center a bit and I have a bit of red paint splotching on the shield.  Nothing figure killing, but I am used to better in this line.  I guess this is as good a place to mention this as any, but I love the paint scheme for this character.  The red/purple/gold combo is perfect for royalty.  I like the darker gold in the figure compared to the brighter gold in the show as it somehow looks less tacky to me.

Overall

I’d say the subscription passed the test again.  I’ve got another figure that I love even though I have no previous connection to the character.  Carnivus looks great with the rest of the collection.  I pose him with Randor and hope to add Lord Dactys to their Eternian Council ranks at some point.

I had a great time posing and playing with him while taking these pics.  He’s just cool.  I’d definitely reccomend the figure to any fans of the 7th Kingdom line from the 4 Horsemen.  He’s a Lion Man, what’s not to love?

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