Yesssss. Yesssssss! The greatest ThunderCats character of them all has arrived! Slithe has finally joined the collection and by Thundera – it is GREAT to have a new ThunderCats figure!
I know – it has been a long journey. Longer than the trip from the doomed Thundera to Third Earth it seems, but after all this time, we finally have new ThunderCats ULTIMATES! figures to celebrate. And celebrate we shall! Now, I have made it crystal clear over the years that Slithe is my favorite (and the best) ThunderCats character, so getting this figure is huge deal to me personally, but there are also some other factors at play here with this release. Yes, we can add Slithe to our collections, and if he is a harbinger of the quality and overall results that are to come throughout, we are going to be in good shape. More so, he is the first NEW ThunderCats character to be added to the ULTIMATES/Classics line in five years. Yes, it has been a journey, but Slithe is like a (very handsome) release valve we have needed for some time, and man, it feels like such a relief.
This property has had such challenges when it comes to modern action figure lines, I think everyone is still a little anxious, and most certainly feeling that collector PTSD. So I understand that it might still take a bit of time and the getting of a few more figures before that collective sigh of relief is breathed, but Slithe is like waking up from those cold sweats. There have been too many storms to count at this point, but we have weathered a lot. Everything from factory schedule challenges, to an ongoing global pandemic, to the need to take more time to work out the kinks, but I want to feel like we are finally getting on course, but I am not going to jinx it just yet.
Super7 announced that series three (minus the delayed Cheetara), will be shipping in full by October. Slithe and Captain Cracker made it to BBTS first, so you know I couldn’t wait for my boy. So, if Cracker and Jaga turn out as nicely as Slithe, the November ship time for the dramatically delayed series two holds true with the Tygra and Mumm-ra forearm corrections, and series four ships in December as planned, then I will consider us to be over the hump. Yes, there is still a lot to happen, but Slithe gives me that hope that has been challenged even for the most stalwart collector. I know the Cheetara delay is tough, but it is 100% the right move (good figures are forever), and the time until she is released will seem less just by virtue of the fact that we will essentially be doubling our collection between now and when she is scheduled to ship. The biblical journey through the desert just might be over.
Okay, we can talk about the overall future of the line until we are blue in the face – trust me, I would love to – but it’s time to focus on the mutant, the legend: Slithe! Yesss, YESSSSSS. I have been in love with this ugly chonk for pretty much my entire life. The vintage Slithe figure is a top five toy from my youth and his cartoon design (which is the basis for this figure) holds a special place in my heart due to the shared Rankin/Bass studio affiliation making Slithe look like a distant cousin of the Middle-Earth orcs and goblins. His design has always spoken to me, and much like my tendencies in MOTU due to Mer-Man, Slithe definitely made me more of a fan of the bad guys than the good guys in the ThunderCats property.
Obviously, Slithe is a thicc boi, and that is mostly due to his width and depth. He is (appropriately) not tall, but he is most certainly wide across the chest, and thick from front to back, mostly due to his neck and tail. The packaging is about 1.5 times as deep as a standard Super7 ThunderCats box, and he most certainly needs it. I love that they have retained the character bios on the back, and they have also integrated Jason Edmiston’s art on the back as well. That is ALWAYS a good thing.
The sculpting work is glorious. I mean GLORIOUS. It is 100% a sculpt by Eric Treadaway from the Four Horsemen, and even if I did not know this or could not tell just by looking at it, I would bet that it was simply because he and I have talked at length about Slithe. Like, back when Mattel first got the license we talked about Slithe for a couple of hours on the floor at SDCC. That is not hyperbole. Eric is the consummate professional when it comes to his craft, but you can always tell when he has a love for a character because everything is amped up to beyond perfection. I am so glad Slithe benefits from this.
Slithe does not share any parts with any previously-released figures. His design is obviously unique, and it would not be possible to share parts and do him justice at the same time, so I am so happy Super7 went all out here. All of the costume and character details are on-point; he is skin is appropriately textured and spotted, and his scant harness is perfectly on-model. It is funny because the wrinkly underside of his chin, and the bottom of his feet are two great places to realize that no detail has been left out. He is appropriately hunched as part of the other all form, but don’t let his portly frame fool you, this lizard boy can move, but more on that in just a moment.
He comes with two heads that are more like face plates, and damnit, you are not going to be able to choose which one to display. So, it is better to get two of these figures like me so you don’t have to decide because both elicit Slithe’s personality very well. The more placid face with one eye open slightly wider than the other is very iconic, and if this figure only had this head, I would be completely happy. The second head is pretty much exactly how Slithe looks when he is talking to Mumm-Ra or being sinister in general. I love how his mouth is half open because you can practically hear his voice when you look at him.
As I mentioned above, don’t let Slithe’s build deceive you, he has just about as much articulation as many of the ULTIMATES! figures, and with some points providing pretty exceptional range. He has fairly standard partial ball shoulders, hinge and swivel elbows, partial ball hips, and hinge and swivel knees. These all move with pretty much the same amount of movement as other figures much thinner, so he has great range. Even with this build, the figure moves very well, so he can most certainly keep up with his pal Jackalman.
His rocker ankles are VERY well done, and you can get some pretty extreme poses (for Slithe) and he will remain flat-footed. I know joint tolerance is an ongoing opportunity for Super7, but Slithe’s hips are strong and can support him perfectly. With those and his ankles, the figure can balance on one foot without any help from the tail, even I was surprised by that. Speaking of the tail, it is not designed to be removable, and it has a twist joint at the base. The tail certainly adds a lot of stability to the figure, but again, it is 100% NOT needed for standing. His hips also move front to back in some very low-seated abdominal articulation so this helps make him hunch over even further. I was not expecting this point and it is pretty much invisible, so that is a cool thing.
My favorite point of articulation though, is the neck, and it is a revelation. Slithe has such a large neck, I just assumed his head movement would be pretty limited, but boy was I wrong. You get so much range with this: side to side, up and down and even a touch of front to back, which seems to fly in the face of his design. This range, coupled with the two heads makes this figure so expressive he kinda makes everyone else struggle to keep up. I know, it is hard to show off the full capability of this, but trust me, once you get yours, you will very likely be impressed.
Finally Slithe comes with three weapons and an alternate set of hands. You get the vintage toy style axe, as well as a second axe and mace based off of the cartoon designs. I am partial to the toy version, even if it is not completely accurate to this design, but I just love it too much. Slithe has interchangeable open and grip hands as well. I have heard from another collector that their Slithe grip hands are slightly loose at the side to side hinge, but mine does not have that issue. I would say that if I had any nit to pick with this figure it’s that the hands are pretty stiff in terms of the plastic. It might be a good idea to heat them up just a bit before trading out the weapons just to make the process easier. Actually that is a good idea when you swap the heads, too. I know that is not a huge deal, I just want to call it out.
It is such a great time when a new figure can be amazing unto itself, but also provide some long-awaited hopeful release for a line in general. I cannot think of a better figure than Slithe to get things back on track with the release schedule of the ThunderCats ULTIMATES! line, so I am very excited for the future. Slithe is serious in contention for my figure of the year at this point, and if he is the indication for how the line will fare going forward, we will be in good shape. So, welcome, Slithe! And bring on Captain Cracker! And bring on Jaga! Series two and four, we will be seeing you soon, and Cheetara, you join us when you are ready. I really hope that we will see the solicitation for series 5 in November or December and then build a massive and awesome ThunderCats collection.
Slithe is shipping now from BBTS, so if you cannot wait, go and get him! Super7 expects to be shipping him and the rest of series three next month, so better ThunderCats times are upon us. Do NOT skip Slithe, he is amazing and thus far, the ThunderCats ULTIMATES! figure to get!