Today, we have Battle Cat, released in 1982 as part of the first wave of Masters of the Universe toys.
Depending upon which storyline you follow, Battle Cat was either a wild animal that He-Man could call from the jungle (the mini-comics canon), or he was Cringer, a cowardly tiger that would change into Battle Cat whenever Prince Adam changes into He-Man by using the Sword of Power (the cartoon canon).
The toy was the same mold that Mattel had used twice before – once in 1971 for a Tarzan and the Jungle Cat playset and again in 1976 for a toyline called Big Jim, a GI Joe knock-off about an adventurer who, in this toy set, was training a tiger.
To justify the scale difference between the previous figures’ 12″ height to He-Man’s 5″ height, they added a helmet and saddle to make the tiger He-Man’s steed. And that boring old cat figure instantly became 1000% better because of it.
There are two slightly different versions of BC – orange stripes are v1.0, yellow stripes are v2.0, released in 1984.
Although Battle Cat had zero points of articulation, so you had to hop him around to make him move, no one cared, because the idea of riding a freaking armored tiger into battle was by far the coolest thing ever to a kid (and an adult for that matter).
This is another instance where my mom thought ahead and kept my Battle Cat box. Unfortunately, the glue for the plastic deteriorated years ago, so all that’s left is the cardboard. But the wonderful box art from Rudy Obrero is still intact. I love that the price tag from Bergner’s is still there, too.
I even have the warranty card! What 8-year-old keeps the warranty card!? I was a weird kid…