It’s #ThunderThursday and what a great Thunder Thursday it is! After quite the adventure, the new ThunderCats ULTIMATES! Cheetara figure is getting ready to ship from Super7 to customers around the globe. We are fortunate enough to be able to bring you an early look at the final figure.
Have you been with us since Cheetara was originally announced as part of TCats U! series 3? If so, I am positive you are very familiar with all of the time and obstacles this figure has faced in its journey from concept to release. If not, I will bottom line it for you: essentially, the series was solicited right when the world fell in the dumpster due to COVID-19, so production and shipping delays were many and often. Then, when the rest of series 3 shipped last fall, the final Cheetara figure did not meet Super7’s expectations, so she had to go back into production again to correct some things (her hips mostly). Well, that took time too because we are still in a global shipping and production crisis, but, BUT – the wait is finally over and she is going to start shipping to fans ASAP.
All caught up? Good! So now we can move on and ask the question: is she worth the wait? In one word, YES – especially considering the fact that S7 went back to the factory to make things right. I mean, if you remember the in-package picture from the first version you can immediately see that the hips are miles better, and probably some of the best hips S7 has done for ULTIMATES! yet. Plus, she turned out looking good overall, and to me, very representative to animated version of Cheetara. If you have the Mattel Wilykit and Wilykat, you know it is a real thrill to assemble the original TCats team (minus Snarf) in this collection. It has been a long time coming.
With the corrections in place, Cheetara meets the standards of the recent series three and series four ThunderCats assortment. Overall, the production quality, paint lines, and engineering are all great. There is a lot of subtle paint details that early pictures were not picking up, so being able to see places like the color transition from the beige to the very light orange is meaningful, as details are being properly minded. Cheetara features pinless joints, all of which a strong enough to support posing, but fluid enough to not be rigid. Like all U! figures, she has about 20 points of articulation. I am also happy to report that her height it pretty much spot-on compared to the other figures in the line.
I know Cheetara’s leotard outfit is not the most complicated in terms of design within the ThunderCats troop, but it looks nice here, and there are a lot of paint applications throughout. As the color transitions on Cheetara herself are subtle, I appreciate that they are executed well. Her spots look nice as well, and they add just enough flair to help bolster the design and match her cheetah namesake. I will also note that the bracelets are a separate piece, so be mindful when you swap hands.
The portrait/faces are likely to bring the most discourse when people talk about the figure once they get it in-hand, but I think they all turned out very nice. Yes, they have departed somewhat from the original prototype (like most figures), but i believe this was done to be very true to the animated source. So, while it is fine to have a preference one way or another, the final faces all do look good. I appreciate that Super7 did include a bonus “summoned” head with glow-in-the-dark eyes, but of the three, I think the windswept head is my favorite. It is just befitting of the character and it adds some subtle dynamism to the figure. Frankly though, all of the lines are very clean and the eyes look great too, so there is no going wrong with your choice here.
Cheetara also some with a bevy of swappable parts and accessories. These include her iconic staff, the retracted staff, mirror, flute, open and closed lockets, and the newly-included fire effect. I love getting the various treasures of Thundera and Third Earth implements, but as you can imagine, Cheetara will be posed on my shelf with her staff. In addition to the three swappable heads, you also get lots of different hands: firsts, grips, running (open), and clawing. The various hands can hold all of the other items well, save for the retracted staff, it is a little too thin for the grip hands. That is my only nitpick about them, though. However, the retracted staff DOES fit perfectly into the bracer, so I think that is a trade-off because making it thicker our have thrown off the bracer sculpt. So, I totally get it.
Cheetara has started shipping! She is arriving! She is here! By and large, I think most collectors will be quite pleased with this release of this VERY important ThunderCat. I think the figure turned out great and having Cheetara stand with her fellow Cats is great thing. That means series five with Bengali, Vultureman, Hammer Hand, and Mirror Lion-O is up next, and the good news is they have already left the factory! HOPEFULLY we will see the return of series six for pre-order soon, and then 7, 8, 9, 10, and on an on. I know I am ready to really build out this collection now – so let’s get to it! Oh, and if you have not ordered your Cheetara yet – get to it!
*Thanks to Super7 for sending along this figure for an early preview.