Bandai Thundercats Classics Lion-O

The Lord of the Thundercats has finally been given the modern treatment! Lets take a look…

Having the original LJN Lion-O figure is one of my earliest childhood toy memories. I loved that figure, so it was a no-brainer that I had to hunt down the new Bandai version. A lot has been said and made of the fact that these figures are 8″ scale, but to me it makes sense. Holding one of these in your had gives you the same proportionate feel you had as a child holding the original 6″ version, and it really makes it feel like a good, solid, sturdy, retro figure.


Lion-O comes with more accessories than Tygra. He includes 3 hands (1 closed for holding swords) two versions of the Sword of Omens, a claw glove, and a belt strap to hold the glove. Lion-O uses some of the same parts as Tygra, including the swivel-ball joints on the wrists, which I love. These give a LOT of poseability, more than a normal balljoint, and helps alot with Lion-O’s sword poses.


One issue I have with this figure is the full-size Sword of Omens. It is made of VERY soft plastic, so much s that it begins to droop if you have it held out in any position. It is a little longer than it should be, and starts to fall under its own weight. This was even more of an issue when taking these photos under hot lights. The San Diego Comic-Con version of Lion-O came with hard plastic chromed versions of the swords, I really wish this version had at least come with the hard plastic.

Lion-O shares the same articulation as the Bandai Thundercats Classics Tygra, with an added ab-crunch. I really have to hand it to Bandai for stepping up on the collector market and putting out some amazingly stable and solidly articulated figures.


It’s really amazing to put this side to side with the vintage figure and see some of the small cues they took from its design and look. The stylized swoosh in his hair is a very cool wink to the original figure.


Though there are a few issues like the soft sword and mismatched plastic colors on some joints, this is still the Lion-O I have been wanting since I was a child.┬áThis figure does everything it should – it harkens back to the original, but updates itself with modern styling and articulation. Don’t wait to get this guy – you WILL regret it.

12 thoughts on “Bandai Thundercats Classics Lion-O”

  1. the head sculpt is off. the brow and jawline are way too big. even though it’s dated i prefer the vintage lion-o head sculpt.

  2. i also agree, Tygra’s headsculpt came out almost perfect. Tygra looks very much like the way he did in the cartoon but just a little more realistic.

  3. The soft sword is a huge disappointment. Whenever I position Lion-O with the sword held non-vertically, it starts to wilt and droop.

  4. I stopped in Toys R Us today and saw all the Thundercat toys. They didn’t have Lion-O, but I got to check out Tigra. Now I loved the toys back in the day, and while I was on the fence about whether I would be getting these classics, I was looking forward to seeing them. What a disappointment! They look so cheap! And they are expensive as heck. $23 bucks for cheap shiny plastic and super minimal paint aps. The thing that surprises me about these reviews, when Hasbro first took over Marvel Legends and did a crud job, with the same cheap plastic look and no paint aps, everybody was panning that series. Eventually they got a little better, but to go from an amazing line to super cheap, it’s jarring. Now here we are willing to pay 20+ shipping for a well done, nicely sculpted and nicely painted He-Man Classic figure. And we are just expected to pony up that same money for Thundercats, despite obviously lower quality, just because they decided to make these things too big and they are the only game in town for Thundercats? I don’t think so. Maybe when the figures get a makeover again in 20 years, that company may get my money.

  5. Toys R Us is not the place to buy these. They are $16 everywhere else. The shiney plastic is just what Bandai does. You will also notice if you bought one, that it is incredibly HARD plastic. these are made to last. If you drop them, they wont get nicks or scrapes like MOTUC figures would.

  6. 16 bucks is definitely a better price, although not amazing. I would have to see Lion-O in person and make the judgement then at that price. I stopped buying the DC Classics when they got to that price, just picking up the few I really really want. But still, I would rather it not look like cheap shiny plastic even if it means I can’t push the figure off tables and ledges.

  7. being shiny doesn’t make something cheap, diamonds are shiny and there not cheap. the plastic used for tygra and lion-o is very sturdy, it really is hard plastic. there’s definitely some weight there, they don’t feel cheap at all.
    besides my dislike for lion-o’s head sculpt both sculpts are top notch. there on the same level as mattel’s motu classics line sculpt wise. there’s alot of detail there.
    the only thing two knocks on them is first the articulation could be a bit better, but it’s still way above average just not perfect. and the slight glare/shininess which is really not that bad. yes it makes them feel more like “toys” than a collectors item but once you have them in hand for a few minutes the quality of the sculpt and the playability will win you over. there really great toys.
    for $16 your getting a figure that’s almost on the same level as a motu classics figure for $4 cheaper.

  8. Great review!! I have to agree, that these are the Thundercats figures that I have been waiting for. Bandai has done an amazing job with these toys. I collect all sorts of figures, including Masters of the Universe Classics, and in my opinion, these Thundercats figures are superior. The articulation model used on them is perfect. In comparison to the 20 dollar (28 dollars with shipping!)MOTUC figures, you get a larger, better articulated, and more durable figure. I remember the first year of MOTUC figures having questionable ankles, where you didn’t know if your figure would be able to hold even the most modest of poses. Not the case with Lion-O. Also, we get lateral movement in the ankles, that actually works the way you want it to. I agree that the sword is a unfortunate, but overall, I love this figure and cannot wait to see Panthro and Cheetara.

  9. I am a big fan of the originals and was not going to buy the new figures or the classics. When I saw Lion-O and Tygra classics I quickly bought them becuase they looked awesome. I was soo not going to buy them and there I was paying $25 and feeling 8 years old again. Now my only problem is when are more coming!!!! Dont take long to release them already.
    Cant wait for Chetara Pnathro and Gengali, JAGA! I want more now!!!

  10. Just bought Lion-o from Walmart I like it so much I am reluctant to open the package because it will loose value. Guess I gotta get another to handle. Hey! Where’s Panthro? Can’t wait. By the way love the review.

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