July 29, 2014

MTV Geek Exclusive First Look at Bandai 6″ ThunderCats line!

From MTV Geek - Bandai 6" Classic Mumm-Ra figure A while ago we reported that Big Bad Toy Store were listing pre-orders for the next wave of Bandai’s ThunderCats figures, including a new 6″ line.

Our good friends at MTV Geek have now posted up an exclusive first look at some of the figures coming out!

Pictured on their site are the 6″ Lion-O & Mumm-Ra figures, both in the style of the classic series, and their 6″ Tygra and Cheetara figures, which follow the style of the new series.

The article also features an interview with Brehan Maul, senior director of marketing for boys toys at Bandai America – click here to check out the article, interview and photos!

EXCLUSIVE! First look at official images for Icon Heroes’ Cats Lair Mini-Environment!

A while back, Icon Heroes gave the world a sneak peek at their new Cats Lair, which was on display at the New York Comic Con. The website Alternative Mindz managed to grab a photo of the Cats Lair, which they published to their website.

ThunderCats Lair is now proud to exclusively reveal the first official images of Icon Heroes’ Cats Lair Mini-Environment!

Icon Heroes' Cats Lair 1 Icon Heroes' Cats Lair 2
Icon Heroes' Cats Lair 3 Icon Heroes' Cats Lair 4

Icon Heroes’ Cats Lair measures approximately 7.9″ wide x 11″ long x 9.5″ tall and will retail for $99.99 exclusively through Action Figure Xpress.

ThunderCatsLair.Org Official Review of “Sight Beyond Sight”!

One of the most unique elements of the new ThunderCats animated series is the far-reaching story arc that is present throughout. Whilst story arcs were present in the original series, this new take explores that concept further, with each and every episode adding a small piece to a much larger puzzle.

This is arguably the most meritorious aspect of “Sight Beyond Sight”, as the episode continues two of the series’ main themes – the ThunderCats’ quests for the stones of power, and (more subtly, but no less importantly) Lion-O’s development as a character, learning new life lessons as he grows into the king he needs to be in order to defeat Mumm-Ra.

The lesson that Lion-O learns in this episode is very cleverly presented – by failing to stop and look at the bigger picture, he creates a dangerous situation that only calm reasoning, not brute force, is able to quell. So from this perspective, this episode is a resounding success, providing Lion-O with much-needed character development and wisdom.

There are other factors where this episode scores as well. This episode presents a feast of pulse-pounding action sequences, allowing each of the adult ThunderCats to showcase their powers, weapons and abilities in a number of exciting scenes, showing that ThunderCats is one of the most visually stunning action-adventure shows around.

There are other nice touches to this episode – the first few minutes of the episode are based around a scene of the ThunderCats racing each other, which could be argued as “filler” or out-of-character with the rather desperate situation that the ThunderCats, last survivors of a fallen kingdom, find themselves in. And yet, somehow there is something endearingly human about this scene, showing the ThunderCats interacting and bonding with each other in times of leisure – and, of course the scene is also action-packed and beautifully animated.

If this episode has a failing, it is that, at times, it feels very slow-paced; whilst this might be in-keeping with the somewhat passive and almost lethargic nature of the elephants, nevertheless in places it risks losing the audience. The elephants themselves are also hard to develop an emotional attachment to – whilst they help Lion-O to discover new things about himself, and even provide some gentle development for the Thunderkittens, in contrast to some of the other guest stars of the series they are, at times, difficult to connect to, and as such it weakens the tension when their home is under threat. What could have been done to correct this is difficult to say, but it would be fair to say this this episode is one of the slowest-moving installments of the new ThunderCats series.

In conclusion, this episode works most effectively when viewed as part of a slow-burning story arc, a chapter in a large collection of adventures that the ThunderCats are embarking upon. In the absence of a really powerful villain, or more engaging guest stars, the episode nevertheless remains an important stepping stone in Lion-O’s emotional journey and a solid forerunner to even greater adventures.

ThunderCast Episode 10 – Interview With ThunderCats Book Author!

ThunderCast Episode 10ThunderCast, the world’s first podcast dedicated to ThunderCats, is back with a brand new episode! This episode is a special edition, featuring an exclusive interview with David Crichton, author of the new book Hear the Roar! The Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to the Hit 1980s Series ThunderCats!

The episode can be “streamed”, downloaded as an mp3, or you can subscribe to our podcast via iTunes – click here to check out the latest episode!

Hear the Roar! The Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to the Hit 1980s Series ThunderCats can be purchased from www.amazon.co.uk by clicking this link, and is also available to fans in the US via Big Bad Toy Store!

ThunderCatsLair.Org Official Review of “Berbils”!

Ask any fan of the original ThunderCats series which guest stars they remember most, or which were their favourites, and there’s a very strong chance that they’ll mention the Ro-Bear-Berbils. These iconic bears became an encapsulation of the whole ThunderCats concept, a unique mix of agricultural, rustic beings who appear to be completely robotic. So, when it was revealed that there was to be a new ThunderCats animated series, it was inevitable that someone would ask if the Berbils would be returning. The answer to that question was a resounding “yes” – however, few could have predicted what a faithful tribute would be paid to the original series courtesy of these characters.

There are many instances where “Berbils” pays direct homage to the classic series episode of the same name – not only do they share a title, but they also feature a similar storyline, and even feature some of the same guest characters, in the form of the Trollogs and Giantors.

From the way the Berbils talk and celebrate, to certain lines of dialogue, to some of the ThunderCats’ moves during the action sequences, to Panthro’s fixation with the Thundertank (which, as per the original series, he refers to as his “baby”), to the cameo by Snowmeow (instantly recognisable as the Snowman of Hook Mountain’s cat), everything about this episode reads as a love letter to the classic series. Whilst the new ThunderCats may, at times, have veered off in a dramatically new direction, episodes like this prove that the people working on the show have done their research, carefully crafting aspects that old-school fans will instantly recognise and relate to.

That’s not to say that this episode is a direct lift of the classic, for there are many fresh aspects as well. Primary amongst these is the introduction of the Conquerdor, a self-serving bounty hunter-type character who serves to showcase the upping of the ante when it comes to action sequences in this series – whilst the Giantors and Trollogs still make formidable foes, the Conquerdor makes for a perfect foil for the awesome power of the modern-day ThunderCats.

This episode also features some very strong character development for Panthro. From his first appearance, this battle-hardened ThunderCat has been portrayed as a dour, somewhat introverted character; thanks to the introduction of the Berbils, and particularly Ro-Ber-Bill who Panthro seems to strike up a grudging kinship with, this gruff, tough exterior is gradually peeled away to reveal a softer side to Panthro. Whether this softer side will remain in evidence is something to be seen as the series unfolds.

All of this effusive praise is not to say that there aren’t criticisms to be leveled at this episode. There is an argument that this is the second episode in a row that fails to further the main story arc of the series, namely the ThunderCats’ quest defeat Mumm-Ra and to unite the people of Third Earth against him. In that respect, one could argue that this episode is weaker even than “Ramlak Rising”, which provided strong and necessary character development for Lion-O, necessary for him to deal with his grief and become king. And yet, the counter argument is that no episode that introduces the ThunderCats to new friends and new races on Third Earth is truly wasted, for the value of those friends is yet to be seen.

But even setting this debate to one side, “Berbils” is a representation of what many ThunderCats fans hoped the new series would be – a strong retelling of the classic, with new twists and ideas but still instantly recognisable as the original. Like its predecessor of a quarter of a century ago, “Berbils” is a truly memorable and entertaining chapter in the adventures of the ThunderCats.

ThunderCats Lair artist Kyle Lambert appears on ITV’s Daybreak!

Kyle Lambert Earlier this week, ThunderCats Lair’s very own Encyclopedia artist Kyle Lambert was featured on the UK morning TV show Daybreak, spotlighting his groundbreaking digital artwork on the iPad!

Kyle first began contributing artwork to this website back in 2006, creating all the artwork for our classic series Encyclopedia. Most recently he created the banner image you see at the top of this site.

To check out Kyle’s appearance on Daybreak, click here!

For more information about Kyle and his artwork, and to keep up to date with the projects he’s working on, you can visit his website www.kylelambert.co.uk.

TV Guide provides first look at new series Berbils!

The website TV Guide have exclusively revealed the first official look at the re-imagined Berbils, set to make their debut in the new ThunderCats series that resumes this coming Friday, 28th October, on Cartoon Network!

Berbils, courtesy of TVGuide.com

First look at the new series Berbils, courtesy of www.tvguide.com

Based on this image, the Berbils look to be instantly recognisable, and according to ThunderCats producer Ethan Spaulding they haven’t made any dramatic changes to them – however, it does sound as though they’ve received one update that will be very useful on the new-look Third Earth, namely the ability to transform into balls enabling them to roll away from danger!

Click here to read the full TV Guide article!

Keep checking back to ThunderCats Lair as we count down to the resumption of the brand new ThunderCats animated series, every Friday night on Cartoon Network!

ThunderCon News – Auction for Children Affected by AIDS Foundation

Children Affected by AIDS Foundation logoThe promoters of the ThunderCon convention taking place in Los Angeles have sent over this information about a special event that’s taking place at the convention.
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POWER-CON / THUNDERCON BENEFIT AUCTION
Comic book and toy artists unite to support Power-Con / ThunderCon and the CAAF

September 12, 2011 – Power-Con / ThunderCon will be working with The Big Toy Auction to host an auction during the show’s after-hours fan and talent mixer on Saturday, September 24, 2011. Half of all proceeds will be donated to the Children Affected By AIDS Foundation.
The after-hours fan and talent mixer is open to the general public. Bids can be placed by registered in-house participants at the auction beginning at 10:00pm PST in the Woods Rooms at the Four Points by Sheraton LAX. There will be a number of floor-bidding-only items, so we invite everyone to come out for a night of fun!
If you can’t make it to the auction, you can still bid online for many of the items at:
http://www.TheBigToyAuction.com/Power.html
The online gallery will be continually updated with what is available for auction. Online bidders can register ahead of time at:
https://www.proxibid.com/asp/CreateBidder1.asp
Registration is free and any information required at sign-up is for verification purposes.
Contributing artists include Ed McGuinness, Tim Seeley, Tony Washington, Tone Rodriguez, Kevin Sharpe, and more! If you are an artist or know one that would like to contribute a piece to the auction, please e-mail info@thepower-con.com.

For more information on Power-Con / ThunderCon 2011, including tickets and programming, please visit http://www.thepower-con.com
For more information on The Big Toy Auction, please visit http://www.thebigtoyauction.com/
For more information on the Children Affected By AIDS Foundation, please visit http://www.caaf.org/
Thank you to everyone who participates!

ThunderCatsLair.Org Official Review of “The Duelist and the Drifter”!

What truly constitutes a “filler” episode? This is an interesting debate, and one which “The Duelist and the Drifter”, the eighth episode in the new ThunderCats series, is likely to spark.

This particular episode on paper adds nothing to the overall story arc of the series, insofar as it doesn’t feature any of the ThunderCats’ main enemies, or show the ThunderCats getting any closer to achieving the goals of uniting the animal races of Third Earth against Mumm-Ra (the mission that was set out in the previous episode, “Legacy”). And yet, the counter argument follows that any episode at this stage of the series that introduces new elements of Third Earth must surely be helping to develop the world that the ThunderCats are inhabiting, and thus bring the viewer closer to them.

In fact, there is one further aspect that one could argue leads this episode to fit right in to the overall story arc of the new series, and that is how, as with the original ThunderCats, this episode shows Lion-O growing and developing as a character, striking out on his own and learning lessons about himself and about life in general. This is one of the great triumphs of “The Duelist and the Drifter”, as it allows Lion-O to grow as a character without the involvement of any of the other ThunderCats, one of the first times we’ve seen this in this new incarnation.

Perhaps understandably given his lineage and his pedigree, Lion-O is full of pride and a degree of arrogance, and it’s this pride and arrogance that is exposed in this episode. For Lion-O to truly be able to defeat Mumm-Ra he has to grow, both as a warrior and as a person, growth that is essential for him to fulfill his potential for wisdom shown early on in this series. This episode embraces that concept, and through the events that unfold, Lion-O is able to shed some of the arrogance that would prevent him from achieving the greatness that he’s capable of.

Two things that aid this episode in telling that story so well are the superbly crafted script, perfectly paced and cleverly executed, and the excellent guest characters of the Drifter and the Duelist. The contrast between the two, and the way their characters are linked, makes for very engaging viewing, and added into this is some superb, action-packed animation.

There are other nice little touches as well, such as creating a “Wild West” style backdrop for the town in which all this action takes place, replacing the traditional guns with swords. And, it has to be said that this episode is a triumph for Snarf, who gets some of his best-ever screen time in the episode courtesy of several endearing scenes.

Whilst this episode may be construed as “filler”, in reality it is all part of a large, far-reaching picture – a picture that shows Lion-O, the series’ central character, growing and maturing before the eyes of the audience, whilst presenting an action-packed, skillfully-crafted episode in the process. An episode as sharp as the swords present throughout it, “The Duelist and the Drifter” is a great addition to this new series.
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Written by Chris (He-Fan)

“Hear The Roar!” – A Hit With Fans!

It’s been a good few weeks now since the release of “Hear the Roar! The Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to the Hit 1980s Series ThunderCats”, and it has proven to be a huge hit with fans! This book, written by David Crichton, is the most in-depth guide to the ThunderCats phenomenon ever written, and it’s easy to see why so many ThunderCats fans have been excitedly pouring over every page!

For those who have still to order their copies of the book, David sent over the following info and images:
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Hear the Roar! The Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to the Hit 1980s Series ThunderCats has been out for a couple of weeks now, and I’m hearing from fans of the series that they’d like to find out more about the book’s content.

To the many fans of the series who have yet to pick up their copy of the first ever guide book for ThunderCats, I hope the following information can persuade you.

The book is an A5, 500 page beast and tells the full story of the production of ThunderCats, from the toy sculptors to cel painters and guitarists to child psychologists, this book has it all! The book is structured into ten chapters and is told by the many people who made the show (or friends/relatives/colleagues where people have, sadly, passed away). There’s also an eight page photo section uncovering some exclusive photographs from people’s time at Rankin/Bass:

Chapter 1. EYE OF THE BEHOLDER, Producing ThunderCats
The opening chapter deals with the conception of the television show and the story of the collaborative effort to bring both seasons of ThunderCats from idea to reality.

Chapter 2. THE FORMULA, The Writers’ Story
Chapter two explores the moral duty the production team faced in creating responsible programming and profiles the series’ writers.

Chapter 3. THE GARDEN OF DELIGHTS, The Art of ThunderCats
The visual splendour of ThunderCats is explored as the book invites the many artists, designers and animators who worked on the series to tell their story.

Chapter 4. SWAN SONG, The Music of ThunderCats
Musician and composer Bernard Hoffer explains the process of creating a musical score for ThunderCats, while the many musicians and editors who brought his work to life share their memories.

Chapter 5. OUT OF SIGHT, The Voices Behind the Characters
Chapter five explores how a small, yet talented voice cast secured their roles on ThunderCats and how they went about turning written ideas into lively and memorable characters.

Chapter 6. The BOOK OF OMENS, The Complete Story Guide
For the first time in published form, every episode of ThunderCats is analysed and reviewed. Additionally, each episode listing features a ‘Writer’s Commentary’ box where each script writer shares their inspirations and memories.

Chapter 7. GOOD & UGLY, An A-Z of the ThunderCats’ Universe
This is no ordinary character guide! The many creatures inhabiting the ThunderCats universe are briefly profiled, using extracts from production documentation, revealing never-before-seen early ideas for many of the lead characters.

Chapter 08. ALL THAT GLITTERS, The Toy Story
ThunderCats is perhaps as famous for its merchandise line as for the show itself. This chapter stands as a comprehensive guide to one of the best-selling toy lines of its era. As we hear from the people who brought the figures to life, the relationship between the ThunderCats production office and LJN Toys is also discussed as we examine what input the toy makers had on the show.

Chapter 09. SILVERHAWKS, Party Metal, Partly Real
ThunderCats’ sister series, SilverHawks, is given its moment to shine as the making of the series is finally uncovered.

Chapter 10. RETURN TO THUNDERA, The Ongoing Saga
The concluding chapter explores why the series continues to live on and asks the series’ fans why their loyalty towards the series refuses to fade. The ThunderCats comic line and live show are also explored, while the impact of the show around the world is also examined.

The HUGE list of contributors to the book are as follows:

Arthur Rankin Jr (Rankin/Bass)
Barry Lazarowitz (Drummer)
Becky Hartman (Writer)
Bernard Hoffer (Music)
Beth Bornstein (Writer)
Deborah Goodwin (Writer – Pseudonym Bill Ratter)
Bob Camp (Character Designer)
Brian McFadden (Son of Bob McFadden – Voice Cast)
Bruce Smith (Writer)
Charles Hasegawa (Production/Animation liaison)
Chris Trengove (Writer)
Connie Long (Production)
Craig Snyder (Guitarist)
Danny Peary (Writer)
David Carren (Writer)
Denis Markell (Writer)
Dennis Woodyard (Writer & Character Designer)
Doug Preis (Voice Cast – Aluro et al)
Douglas Bornstein (Writer)
Earle Hyman (Voice Cast – Panthro et al)
Eric Hammond (Son of Earl Hammond – Voice Cast)
Ford Gilmore (WildStorm Comic Writer)
George Hampton (Writer)
Gerrianne Raphael (Voice Cast – Pumyra et al)
Heather Winters (Production and Writer)
Herb Engelhardt (Writer)
Howard Post (Writer)
J Larry Carrol (Writer)
James Rose (Writer)
James Wang (Animation sub-contractor)
Janice Wolf (Ted Wolf’s Daughter)
Jay Weinman (Post Production)
Jeri Craden (Writer)
Jim Meskimen (Character Designer)
John Crenshaw (Production)
John Curcio (Production)
Jose Longoria (LJN Toys – Line Manager)
Karen Siegel (Production)
Ken Vose (Writer)
Kevin Mowrer (LJN Toys – Designer)
Kimberly Morris (Writer)
Kitajima Nobuyuki (Animator)
Larry Franke (Production)
Larry Kenney (Voice Cast – Lion-o et al)
Laura Moorehouse (LJN – Packaging Designer)
Lawrence DuKore (Writer)
Lee Dannacher (Supervising Producer/Showrunner)
Lee Schneider (Writer)
Leonard Starr (Head Writer)
Lynne Lipton (Voice Artist – Cheetara et al)
Maggie Wheeler (Voice Artist – SilverHawks)
Margaret Dorn (Vocalist)
Matthew Malach (Production and Writer)
Michael Farrow (Production)
Michael Ungar (Production)
Nancy Gregory (Writer and Director – ThunderCats Live!)
Nicole Gray (Daughter of Mike Germakian)
Paul Samulski (LJN Manager)
Pepe Moreno (Secondary Character Designer)
Pete Cannarozzi (Music Recording)
Peter Bakalian (Production)
Peter Lawrence (Script Editor/Showrunner)
Peter Newman (Voice Cast – Tygra et al)
Peter Pryor (Toy marketing)
Peter Thom (Vocalist)
Robert Kuisis (Psychological Consultant)
Ron Goulart (Writer)
Sandy Fries (Writer)
Stan Weston (Leisure Concepts)
Stephen Perry (Writer)
Steve Kiwus (LJN Sculptor)
Theresa Plummer Andrews (Oversees acquisitions BBC)
Tom DeFalco (Marvel Comics Editor)
Tom McGrath (Kenner Toys)
Tom Perkins (Production)
Tony Giovanniello (Production)

PLUS, additional friends of cast/crew who have passed away, and a cross-section of fans of the series are interviewed. Apologies to anyone else I’ve overlooked along the way!

Hopefully that has convinced you to go and order your copy NOW. It’s still readily available from all UK online retailers, and, if you live outside the UK, you can import your copy from bookdepository.co.uk who offer free delivery and a crazy discount off the RRP! (Currently £13.34 / $21.99 )

Please also click this link to buy your copy from Amazon.co.uk and support ThunderCatslair.org!

Hear the Roar - preview image 1

Hear the Roar - preview image 2

Hear the Roar - preview image 3

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All of us here at ThunderCats Lair thoroughly recommend you check this book out…and, keep checking back, as we’ll be talking further with David about some of the exciting content you can find in the book!