So naturally, I missed out on ol' B'Cat.
Almost an entire year and a few MOTC figures later (including Adam, King Grayskull, He-Ro, and He-Man himself), I knew I had to have the world's most famous green cat. So naturally, I jumped at the chance when Matty Collector put him on their Cyber Monday Sale for the 29th of November last year!
To my surprise, I managed to get to the order page,put in my order, and get the confirmation email relatively easily. There wasn't the dreaded "Red Wall of Reload."
Also, I'd thought Battle Cat would make an excellent Christmas present for the Rangerlord, and since I'd always wanted to get the DC Universe Classics Color of Fear 2-pack set, I was thrilled at having completed my order. Huzzah!
Five weeks later and out of the country for my honeymoon, the package still hadn't arrived. But on the Monday of week six, I get a text from my in-laws that it had arrived. According to the mailing labels on the box, it had been to Germany and France before arriving in Singapore? What did that mean? I didn't care! I still don't! Battle Cat was here! Double Huzzah! Of course I had to wait till the following week when I returned home before cracking him open, but it was well worth the wait. Let's have a look-see, shall we? :)
Like: That Battle Cat is all texture all over. He feels grrrrrreat!
Like: His face. It looks like his entire head, except the jaw, is painted (judging from the different shade of green it is from the body.) The paint is simply superb, especially the red Eye(s) of the Tiger. (Yes, I couldn't resist.) Those are yellow with red triangular pupils--real fierce. His nose, lips and whisker holes(?) are a darker green. The yellow stripes on his head are also really cool and give him a terribly menacing look.
Like: That they got him in just the right shade of deep green and the yellow. The yellow especially is nice and orangy so that he looks more like an exotic beast and less like a Green Bay Packer.
Like: His armor. It's the correct shade of dark red. It's also got great shading, fits the curve of his body perfectly. The seat also has some deliberate He-Man butt and thigh sweat weathering. How could you resist detail like that?
Dislike: That his armor obscures the excellent face and actually makes Battle Cat look less ferocious. Also, and this is nitpicky, the saddle armor restricts his torso articulation somewhat. But with He-Man set to be riding him most of the time, the use of the torso won't come into play that much anyway.
Dislike: That the left leather stirrup has a smaller opening than the right one. It's only big enough to fit He-Man's big toe, while the right leather strap allows almost all of his front right foot in it. Looking at the way the left strap is twisted, this seems part of the design. But I can't imagine Mattel meaning this to be deliberate. Let's hope it's a one-off on my figure.
|Nifty armor button|
Like: That all alone, Battle Cat looks great. But with He-Man, our resident Fighting Tiger is just magical. In fact, while I was snapping shots of this big boy I was kinda underwhelmed with the poses I could come up with. But once I plonked on his rider, the photos started to look simply brilliant. He-Man was always kick-ass, but I always felt that the Adam and Cringer combo was just invincible. Don't take my word for it, see for yourself! ;P
Aesthetics: 10/10 - Battle Cat is as close to perfect as it gets. He's molded in a light green but has still been sprayed and painted dark green over most areas like the top of his body and head, his limbs, lower jaw and tail. It's all been blended so well that for a moment I though he'd been molded dark and sprayed a lighter green. But a closer look revealed the opposite.
Poseability: 9.5/10 - Good on his own, awesome with He-Man! His torso may get restricted by the body armor, but his legs are simply astounding. With 5 points on each limb, he can crouch, stretch, pounce, and even stand on his two hind legs (with the help of his tail.) The hinged jaw and the menacing row of teeth also really give B'Cat plenty of character.
It might be easier to point out what isn't articulated on Battle Cat than what is. His hinged neck and swivel/hinge tail also deserve special mention because of their impressive range and also because Mattel really didn't have to give the figure these points.
The only things I wish were slightly better are the ball-jointed head, which is almost just a swivel, the very limited hinge in his "shoulders," and the chest pivot being limited slightly by the armor.
Fun: 10/10 - Having Battle Cat is like having He-Man's ultimate accessory. But he's more than that. He's He-Man's companion, his one true partner in battle, and the one thing that makes them an instant win. And while He-Man will most likely be the first guy you put on him, the truth is that he can carry any figure! (Yes, I'm just brilliant, aren't I?) I believe he'll also look good with anyone else riding, especially the likes of King Grayskull, He-Ro, Battle Armor He-Man, and also Man-At Arms.
I also think Battle Cat would look superb with He-Man on him and Teela riding pillion, but alas, I haven't got a Teela! In fact, I don't have any of He-Man's MOTU companions! Poor guy, I'm gonna have to remedy that soon. Btu for now he's just gonna have to play with Battle Cat. ;)
Value: 9.5/10 - I paid S$54 for him after shipping. (That comes to about $US41.50) That's a good S$26 (US$20) less than the cheapest I can find him for here. It's also the first time I'd ordered off Mattycollector and I have to say that the 6 week shipping wait aside, it went smoothly. 'Cat is worth every single penny, from the sculpt to the paint to the articulation to the nostalgic value. Perhaps the only thing that could possibly make him even better value is an interchangeable Cringer head pack-in. Yeah, I know. He doesn't really even need that. But I can dream, can't I? Heh. :)
Overall: 9.85/10 - Easily the best toy of the MOTUC line and like many people believe, the best of 2010. I'll have to agree. Mattel will be hard pressed to come up with something better than this. It also means that when they do release Panthor, he'll be just as good. Heck, they could even come up with new characters from the Green Tiger Tribe that they created for his retconned background and I'd probably buy them, as would many others, I believe (maybe even a 2-pack a la the Eternian Palace Guards?...)
For those of you who got them, I say great! For those He-Man fans who haven't, I say that you absolutely should. If you want to but missed out, watch out for the re-release--Battle Cat is too good for Mattel not to want to maximize his potential!