Monday, 5 March 2012

Review: ThunderCats Sword of Omens

£19.99 from Toys R Us

I had the original ThunderCats Sword of Omens when I was small. I'd still have it now, but some little rascal has claimed it has his. Since Christmas and a failed attempt regain ownership by buying him the new version, he now has two. Curses.

Quick! Glance at the photo of the 'old' version before the little rascal runs off with it again -

The new sword is a near-perfect update of the original. Bandai have, to all intents and purposes, looked at the original role-play toy and redone it but with the advances of 20-odd years of toy manufacturing.

The only feature of the old one was a light-up eye in the hilt of the sword. The new one does this two, but adds a 'growing' blade (something sorely missing from the old version), pop-out hilt, and some swish sound effects. The sounds are pretty good. Hold down a button on the handle and a voice calls out 'thunder, thunder, thunder...' at increasing volume until you release the button and you get the eye lighting up and a cry of 'ThunderCats-Ho!'. The other noise, predictably, and activated by pressing a button beneath the eye, is 'Eye of Thundera, give me sight-beyond-sight'.

It's worth noting that the sword blade doesn't grow bigger by itself. I had hoped that it would somehow pop up with the press of it button, but you have to pull it out manually (it sort of works by swinging it, but it's quite stiff). This is disappointing, but not really unexpected. The only real problem with the sword is exactly the same issue that the original had all those years ago. With use (i.e. dropping it down on the floor, like children will) the print on the eye of the ThunderCats logo will begin to chip off. With the original you could, if you wanted, paint it back on as the Cat logo was embossed. On the new one the logo will simply fade away.

Other than not letting your child play with it, there's not really a way round this issue. But, hey, after many years of playing, most of the paint on my original is still present so it's not a big worry. The likelihood is that by the time the black paint is all gone the child will have moved onto the next craze so won't care a less anyway.

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