Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Uncle Ben

[The Orlando Bloom of Third Earth]

Many a child-at-heart still draws fun-filled, action-packed memories when they recall the ThunderCats series - the "Hoooooooo!", the villains, the weapons and the play-sets and the characters.

We (meaning the classic geeks) are all familiar will the main protagonist group that made up the nuclear family of the ThunderCats. I've always been more curious as to the origins of the mysterious trio that were introduced to the cast later on in the series history. Rather than draw it out into one large entry, let's start at one of these curious cats: Ben-Gali.

Ben-Gali is one of the two younger new Thundereans among the trio, ideally named after the bengal tiger but more resembling a white tiger. He is a skilled blacksmith apparently like his father before him. This talent proves valuable after the Sword of Omens is once again brokenby Tug Mug in 'Mumm-Ra Lives!'.

Bengali was introduced in the "Thundercats Ho!" movie (aired as a five-part episode): a ship that escaped Thundera just prior to its destruction and wound up shipwrecked on Third Earth for a time before they were found and rescued by Lion-O and the rest of the Thundercats.

[A grumpy Ben-Gali]

Fast and agile like Tygra, Ben-Gali refers to him as 'brother' - but not in hip-hop way, mind you. It is unclear if they share a true blood bond or if the greeting is merely meant as a term of endearment (note: the new ThunderCats repeatedly call the originals 'Nobles' while referring to themselves as mere Thundereans).

In combat, Ben-Gali wields a weapon called the Hammer of Thundera. It can shoot energy blasts, and carries smoke pellets in its handle, to allow him to cause confusion and provide cover for withdrawal from a fight.


Ben-Gali's figure is essentially a re-paint and molding of Tygra's body. As with his counterparts, Ben-Gali's action figure was issued in 1987 (Series III) with new Battle-matic Action: Using your forefinger, push down the battle-matic action lever on the back to move Bengali’s arm. It can be said that Bengali is considered one of the rarest and highly sought after ThunderCat figures - a rare jewel for any collector to have in their collection.

It's less than coincidental that this Classic Articulation entry comes along with the release of a Big Bad Toy Store Exclusive release: the Bengali 10” Cold Cast Porcelain Statue, sculpted by Paul Bennet. This statues is truly exclusive because only 350 were produced and set up for grabs.

[Speedos on top of leggings are cool]

This statue is packaged in a full-color collector’s box and depicts Ben-Gali in a combat-ready stance, with the Hammer of Thundera. If you're the rich and resourceful person I know you are, then point your browser towards BBTS and get one just for yourself.