Like many toy companies, LJN released catalogs for dealers on a yearly basis. LJN’s toy catalogues concentrated mainly on their actual toy lines as opposed to the many video games that LJN produced later on. It is unknown exactly how far into the future LJN kept producing their dealer catalogs – they are known to go back as far as their 1970’s toy lines and it is speculated that they were still being produced into the late 80’s, with 1987 thought to possibly be the last year of the toy catalogs, due to LJN venturing heavily into the video game industry in 1988.
We’re working on expanding this gallery of vintage photos of T-Cat toys on shelves back in the day. If you have any photos or videos like these please let us know at email@example.com
It’s been over 20 years since LJN stopped producing ThunderCats toys. Fans’ hopes of seeing a slew of classic style characters produced in action figure form were dashed by the all too soon end of the Bandai and Mezco lines in the 2011 revival. To this day the closest we’ve come to seeing a licensed Lunatak was the LJN Red Eye prototype that never made its way to production.
While there has been a lack of official ThunderCats characters, inspired ThunderCats fans have always worked hard to fill that vacuum with their own custom creations. As those fans grew older, their skills matured too, and some very talented individuals have wowed the community with their high quality production of custom toys, eye popping artwork and fantastical fiction.
Today we’re highlighting a popular partnership between Customs Artist Barbarossa and Reg, lulu-berlu.com ‘s webmaster that has spawned a number of detailed Masters of the Universe neo-vintage customs, and which has recently developed a brilliant ThunderCats customs line. The first three characters that Barbarossa has created are from the ranks of the ever popular Lunataks:
What inspired you to create the customs?
Thundercats has always been one of my favorite toy lines. My inspiration goes back to being a kid and longing for action figures of characters from the cartoon which were never made. I dreamed of being able to make them myself and now as an adult, I’m in the position to do just that and finally flesh out my childhood collection. In so doing, I’m affording other collectors the opportunity to do the same as I take a nostalgic trip back to the 80’s with each project.
Why did you choose the Lunataks to start with?
In my opinion, the Lunataks are without a doubt the most sorely absent characters from the original line. They were obviously on LJN’s radar since we saw Red Eye’s prototype but sadly, he nor any other Lunatak ever hit the shelves. When I decided to try my hand at “neo-vintage” customs of the Thundercats, there was nowhere to go but the moons of Plun-Darr.
How many figures do you produce and how many have you sold?
The number produced varies between projects but each is made by hand so the numbers are modest. I also have to be frugal with my time as I tend to have multiple other projects going on at once. We tend to sell most of them as soon as they are available at Lulu Berlu.
How did you arrive at your pricing?
The pricing is based on the fact that these are indeed hand-crafted art pieces instead of factory-produced products. Each figure is essentially equivalent to what you’d see in a production prototype or paint master; so everything that goes into a standard production figure goes into one of them. Thus, it all comes down to costs (which are not inconsiderable especiailly where molding is concerned), plus time, effort and ability. They are subsequently geared towards the high-end collector.
From the dozens if not hundreds of positive comments that I’ve seen, it suggests there would be quite a market if my figures were widely available to the collector’s niche. I can only imagine how well-received an updated Thundercats line the caliber of a MOTU Classics could be; I know I’d be on board even though my first love is the retro 80’s style. That being said, should the powers-that-be desire to bring a Retro-Styled Thundercats action figure line roaring to life, I’m ready for to step in to head up Design! Just flash a Cats’ signal and I’ll be there!
You can find out more about these beautifully made LJN style customs by visiting the detailed product page for each character:
MORE IMAGES OF THE FIGURES
A notoriously elusive piece of ThunderCats history. A handful of toy collectors swore up and down on forums for years that they had owned a Mad Bubbler as kids. This was impossible of course, because this toy never made it to production. The bubble action was problematic and it was in queue at a time that the line was winding down.
This image of the artwork was provided by our regular contributor David Crichton, author of “Hear the Roar”.
One of the first Mumm-Ra’s ever packaged?
A very cool piece of ThunderCats memorabilia has surfaced which gives us a small window into some of the promotional marketing strategies that LJN used when launching the ThunderCats toy line. A seller on ebay has listed the contents of a package distributed by Promotional Services Inc. (PSi) in Sherman Oaks, California US. This was obviously a promotions company working with LJN who cleverly sent out a packaged Mumm-Ra along with a letter explaining that he is part of a full line up of toys to go along with a large advertising campaign.
These packages were likely sent out to toy stores and sales reps would then follow up to book orders. This makes the Mumm-Ra toy which came in this package one of the first produced. Perhaps our keen collectors can say whether this particular Mumm-Ra has any differences from the rest of the line that followed. Find out in the discussion on this piece in our forums.
Here is the auction on ebay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Thundercats-Extremely-Rare-Promotional-Energizer-MummRa-in-Bubble-on-Card-/301250475644
Mezco Toyz Reveals 3rd Summer Exclusive: ThunderCats Cheetara and Snarf Mega Deluxe Figure 2 pack
New York- As the world of fandom collectively counts down to the July 18th start of San Diego Comic-Con International 2013, Mezco adds fuel to the flames of excitement by revealing the details of one of their Summer Exclusives: Cheetara and Snarf Deluxe 2 Pack! This mega scale multipack features Cheetara, the Thundarian noble who is as lovely as she is brave and cunning, and Snarf, the much beloved sidekick of the ThunderCats.
This exclusive version of Cheetara features glow in the dark eyes; superbly detailed, with 10 points of articulation, perfectly capturing not only the iconic look of Cheetara as she appeared in the classic television series, but the essence of Cheetara as she proudly wields her signature bo staff in defense of her comrades.
Snarf, the comedic yet fiercely loyal sidekick of the ThunderCats, stands a snarfing 5 inches tall (in scale with the rest of Mezco’s ThunderCats Series) and snarfs a snarfity snarf snarf. Both are packaged together in a collector-friendly window box.
As a special for ThunderCatsLair.Org readers who order before 6/07/2013, use coupon code SNARFSNARF and receive a 10% discount off your Cheetara and Snarf combo!
This Mezco Summer Exclusive is a Limited Edition of 1000 pieces. A limited amount are available online at www.mezcotoyz.com/exclusives/, but don’t delay because once they are gone, they are gone forever!
Be sure to visit Mezco at San Diego Comic Con, at booth 3445.
Not attending? Follow the excitement on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram:
A brand new ThunderCats game for the Nintendo DS, based on the recent re-imagining of ThunderCats is out right now! Our good friends at Namco Bandai sent along all the details on this exciting new release:
THUNDER, THUNDER, THUNDER, THUNDERCATS HO!
The hit animated high-action series claws its way onto the Nintendo DS™! Become Lion-O and battle Mumm-Ra
and his evil forces as you run, jump, and slash your way through action ripped straight from the new animated
series. Wield the incredible power of the Sword of Omens in this epic side-scrolling adventure.
• Intense and dynamic gameplay – Exciting swordplay, huge robot battles and more
• Master Lion-O’s special attacks – Deal devastating damage with the Sword of Omens
• Summon the rest of the Thundercats – Call upon Tygra, Cheetara, Panthro, WilyKat & WilyKit to help in diffi cult
battles. Each character possesses a unique support function and attack
• Collect Memorial Cards – Unlock and acquire memorial cards by completing objectives throughout the game
PLATFORM: Nintendo DS™
GENRE: Action Adventure
RELEASE: 30th October 2012
PUBLISHER: NAMCO BANDAI Games Inc.
DEVELOPER: Aspect Digital Entertainment
PLAYERS: 1 player
For more information on Namco Bandai Games, be sure to visit: www.namcobandaigames
Keep an eye on the front page of the site, as we will be uploading a clip from the game, along with details on how to win your very own copy courtesy of Bandai Namco Games! However be sure to check out the screenshots from the game below!
Thanks to forum member ThunDagar II, we have learned that Bandai is selling a 4-pack of previously released ThunderCats 4″ figures at Argos. The pack is similiar to the US Target store exclusive ‘Eye of Thundera’ pack, but contains different figures (aside from Snarf)
The re-pack includes the golden Lion-O from the Armor of Omens with both versions of the Sword of Omens and the Claw Shield, Clear Tygra (named as such on the box) sans weaponry from the Tower of Omens playset, wave 2 Mumm-Ra with the folded back wings and Sword of Plundarr and the Snarf, which came with the ThunderTank.
This set is advertised at £24.99, instantly reduced from the £29.99 RRP. The pack should be available in most Argos stores and for home delivery. Check the Argos website out here: Argos Exclusive ThunderCats 4-pack.
Unfortunately Argos do not deliver outside the UK, so any fans wanting this, who are outside the UK will need to get a friend in the UK to pick it up for them.
The first ever convention jointly dedicated to both He-Man and ThunderCats returns again next saturday and promises to be bigger and better than last year! You can join the fun at the Torrance Marriott South Bay 3635 Fashion Way,Torrance, California 90503! The convention takes place saturday 22nd – sunday 23rd September.
ThunderCats related guests to look out for include:
If you watch TV or listen to radio, you know his voice or more accurately, his voices. Larry Kenney famously brought life to Lion-O, Lord of the ThunderCats, from the original ThunderCats cartoon and voice of Claudius, Lion-O’s and Tygra’s Father, in the new ThunderCats series from Cartoon Network.
Kevin Kliesch is the composer for the new ThunderCats series on Cartoon Network. His score has been nominated for for the Annie Award and GoldSpirit Award, and he himself was a GoldSpirit Award nominee for Breakout Composer of the Year.
Ms. Lipton is a talented film, stage, screen, and voice actress who worked on the original ThunderCats cartoon series. She brought one of the most popular ThunderCats alive, Cheetara, by providing her voice during the entire series run.
Jim Meskimen is a comedian and actor who is voicing Aburn, member of the Elephants race and ally of the ThunderCats, in the new ThunderCats series airing on Cartoon Network. As a man of many talents, he was also a conceptual artist and lead character designer for the original ThunderCats cartoon.
Matthew Mercer is a talented voice actor who currently brings the character of Tygra to life in the new ThunderCats cartoon series on Cartoon Network.
Pepe Moreno is a comic book artist, writer, and video game developer who served as the secondary character designer for the original ThunderCats series.
Peter Newman is best known to ThunderCats fans for being the voice actor to bring the popular character Tygra to life in the original cartoon series. In addition to Tygra, he also provided the voices for Wilykat, Bengali, and Monkian.
Dan Norton is the Art Director on the brand new ThunderCats series airing on Cartoon Network.
Gerrianne Raphael is an actress who provided the voices for Chilla, Pumyra, and Jaguara on the original ThunderCats cartoon series.
and if your also a big He-Man and the Masters of the Universe fan, there are far too many guests to list here! Be sure to check out: Power-Con Guest List
The convention will also have many vendors selling all kinds of He-Man, She-ra and ThunderCats merchandise! Well worth attending the convention whether your a He-Man, She-ra, ThunderCats fan or certainly if your a fan of all 3 iconic cartoons of the 1980’s!
The admission for the convention is as follows (kids 12 or under get in free!):
-Saturday Pass: $25
-Sunday Pass: $15
-Saturday and Sunday: $30
For full and complete details about the convention, be sure to check out: Thepower-con.com
For news coverage from the convention be sure to check out our forums where fans are sure to report on all ThunderCon news!