Written in 2006 by Chris | Revised in 2010 by Manny F.
A product of fan passion and the realization of dreams, it is perhaps rather ironic that this site came into being almost by chance. In the summer of 2005, Warner Bros. released ThunderCats: Season 1 Part 1 on DVD, reawakening interest in the series across the globe. Inspired by this, on the forums of He-Man.org (a website devoted to that other 1980s property, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, but which serves as a central online meeting place for fans and collectors of many other cartoons and toy lines), people began enquiring as to the best ThunderCats websites to visit. Needless to say, over the years there have been many fine sites devoted to everyone’s favorite felines, some of which are now deceased but many of which are still active, full of great content, and enormously popular.
Buoyed by the popularity of these sites, and fueled with the passion for the series, several individuals who posted in that (now famous) thread spoke publicly of their desire to pool resources and skills to create a site large in scope, designed to house extensive information and materials from all of the many incarnations of the ThunderCats, from the toys to the cartoons to the comics, and beyond! For several of the team, the opportunity to work on such a site was the realization of a lifelong dream.
Kick-starting the project was Manny F., who first provided the team with the empty webspace on which to build their dreams. Over the course of the next several months, Manny would also envision, design, and build the core look of the site, and work tirelessly on webpages to ensure that everyone’s vision was made a reality. The rest of the team consisted of Neil (Blackiecats), well known for his love of ThunderCats and who had previously put together a website providing a comprehensive look at the LJN ThunderCats toy line; Manny Rodriguez (Mannyscollectibles), who had impressed everyone with his extensive collection of ThunderCats toys and passion for the show; Chris (He-Fan), a devoted ThunderCats fan for almost 20 years; and Tim Tilley (Voice Guy), whose passion for the property (and in particular the cartoons) was evident to anyone he spoke to. The team was further enhanced when fan-favorite artist Celesta Johnston graciously accepted requests to join the team. Celesta was known to thousands of ThunderCats fans for her awe-inspiring depictions of the ‘Cats on her website, and also through appearing as part of the special fan feature on the Season 1 Part 1 DVD set.
After discussion amongst the team, ThunderCats Lair was chosen as the name for the new site. The site’s forums opened almost immediately on August 20th, 2005, followed by the official launch of the site on December 10th of that same year. Two new additions to the team by this time were Mark (Grizzlor), another passionate fan with an extensive collection of ThunderCats animation art, and Martin Penny (Wacky Martin), who joined the team to add his extensive writing and research skills to the site, and particularly the planned Encyclopedia section.
In May 2006, Kyle (kzlambert), was invited to join the team to help create original artwork for the site. Kyle had been planning to create a ThunderCats Encyclopedia website, but upon discovering ThunderCats Lair, he decided that the site would be the perfect place to build the encyclopedia he envisioned.
While members of the site team have come and gone in the years following the launch, their impact on ThunderCats Lair’s development and continued support will always be remembered.
ThunderCats Lair has continued to grow exponentially throughout the years, helping to reinvigorate fans of the original series as well as introduce the property to a new generation of fans. As the site marks its 5th anniversary (December 10, 2010), the team begins another chapter in the site’s history with the launch of ThunderCats Lair 3.0, and the introduction of a new animated series and toy line.
The team’s original vision is just as relevant as it was when they started the site 5 years ago; to create a website that is devoted to the ThunderCats property and build a community around it.