The highly anticipated first wave of ThunderCats Ultimates! from Super7 is about to be shipped to collectors worldwide. We spoke with well-known YouTuber and toy reviewer Toy Bro, aka Jared Elswick, about the very first figure in the line. Check out the full video review below, plus our Q&A with Toy Bro about the line and some exciting first-look stills.
TC.org: Hi Jared! You’re a well-known face in the toy review community and also the lucky first to review the debut of ThunderCats Ultimates! Wave 1. How does it feel to have these figures in hand? Did you have a similar giddy experience as you did with the TMNT Raphael figure?
TB: To say I was (still am) excited is an understatement. Just like everyone else, I’ve been chomping at the bit to get these in hand. Even though they aren’t “new” to me, since I have the Matty figures, it’s incredibly exciting to have the start of a new ThunderCats line again.
TC.org: Super7 has provided you with these first releases from TMNT and now ThunderCats to review. Have you felt any pressure to get your reviews out as soon as possible, since fans have been clamoring for these for what feels like ages?
TB: I wouldn’t say it was really “pressure”, but I knew it was important to get things rolling as quickly as possible since Turtles were already shipping and ‘Cats were right behind them, not to mention I was itching to tear into them.
TC.org: First things first, can you give us the dimensions of the actual packaging? These appear to be somewhat bigger than the previous Super7 Toxie release, right?
TB: ‘Cats are actually the same size as the Toxie box, so 8″ x 9″. TMNT boxes are slightly larger, however.
TC.org: Lion-O is the first to be revealed, and you’ve already teased some photos of him and the others in packaging, but also “in the flesh”. Was he the obvious first figure to review?
TB: No question, Lion-O was the one to review first. He is Lord of the ThunderCats after all. It seemed wrong to do anyone else before him.
TC.org: Who are you planning to review next?
TB: The reviews will be staggered, good guy/bad guy, with Mumm-Ra being second.
TC.org: The packaging is impressive, and the image on the back is probably the single most recognizable piece of visual branding next to the actual logo. Did this bring back any nostalgic feelings of your first ThunderCats experience as a kid?
TB: As soon as I saw the back of the box, a huge smile hit my face. Like you said, that image is hugely and instantly recognizable—it’s pure ThunderCats nostalgia. It was nice to be surprised with that.
TC.org: Your reviews have always been fair when it comes to both the positives and the negatives. But some fans and collectors are quick to point out that negative reviews can have negative consequences for a toyline. For instance, a recent reviewer’s negative comments on the Raphael figure had many TMNT fans saying they’d be canceling their orders. Then your review hit and the fan response did a 180, with more fans jumping on the bandwagon to collect the line. What responsibility do you feel to the fandom when you review figures?
TB: I try to keep my “fanboy” nature in check when I do reviews. Sometimes that is hard, though. Despite being a reviewer, I’m just as excited to get these toys as the next guy. It’s difficult to distance yourself from the feeling of getting that “new thing” that also happens to be a huge part of your childhood. I say it a lot—nostalgia is big thing for me with toys. But when there’s something I don’t like about a figure, I’ll say it and try to explain why. Case in point with the recent Turtles figures, there are some things I don’t like about a few of them, some more important than others. It hasn’t stopped me from enjoying the figures. I don’t feel like it’s out of the realm of possibility to really enjoy a figure that you still think has a few problems. It’s rare for a toy to be “perfect”.
TC.org: Back to Lion-O! There seem to be lots of improvements on its Matty Collector predecessor. While the pins are still evident, do you feel that overall this is an improvement on the original?
TB: I think there is a lot to like with this new figure in comparison to the Mattel figure. One of my biggest complaints with the Matty version was that you couldn’t display Lion-O with an empty Claw Shield and the short Sword of Omens. That has been fixed here, not to mention a more cartoon-accurate Shield. I also really like the alt head a lot more in person than I had expected. I’m always down for more accessories, too.
TC.org: Which figure from this four is your current favorite?
TB: Lion-O, but Mumm-Ra is a close second.
TC.org: Of the already revealed Waves 2 and 3, which one are you looking forward to most?
TB: Wave 2. Tygra is my favorite ThunderCat, but we’re also getting 2 huge figures in this wave with the transformed Mumm-Ra and Grune. Granted, I’m almost as equally excited about Wave 3, specifically with Slithe and Jaga. But Tygra is my biggest “want” from the line by a wide margin.
TC.org: Since this is your favorite property, do you have an obscure character you really want to see made that has not yet been announced?
TB: Well, my most wanted figure—figures, really—are the Lunatacks, end of story. They aren’t really obscure, though. If we’re talking something less important, then give me a Black Widow Shark or Demolisher or Enflamer!
TC.org: Thank you for taking the time to speak to us and for sharing this exclusive first look with us. Let’s do it again with the next figure’s review!
Jared “Toy Bro” Elswick is a longtime toy collector and hobbyist. In 2017 he turned his passion for action figures into a YouTube channel in order to have an outlet for expressing his views on the properties he collects. It has since become a huge part of his daily routine to review, discuss and promote action figures on YouTube and across social media.