April 25, 2014

LJN Mini-Catalogues

ThunderCats - LJN Toy Guide - Artwork and Catalogues header

LJN Mini-Catalogues

Written by Neil (Blackiecats)

 

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The mini catalogues came packaged with most figures and was a great way of advertising future figures to parents and kids. Each time a child would buy a Thundercats action figure they would be exposed to the rest of the toy line featured in each mini booklet.

In total, LJN produced 2 mini catalogues. The first was for Series 2 (1986) and the other for the final series of figures in 1987. During the first series of figures in 1985, non of the action figures came packed with a catalogue, though later re-issues of the Thundercats toys released in 1985-early 1986 might have come packed with a series 2 catalogue.

In 1987, a Rainbow Toys catalogue came with the final series of figures in the UK. The front cover matched the one LJN produced for the US, however there were a few significant changes.

All 3 catalogues folded out featuring pictures on the front and back. The first catalogue contained a total of 16 different pages (8 on the front and 8 on the reverse) The series 3 and Rainbow Toys catalogues both had a total of 20 pages (10 on the front and 10 on the reverse)

This page will guide you through all 3 catalogues and allow you to browse through them. I’ll also outline some of the odd additions to the catalogues along the way.

LJN Series 2 Catalogue (1986)

The series 2 catalogue came with later packaged series 1 toys and all of the series 2 toys. With the early releases, the catalogue came packaged behind the plastic tray which the figure sat in, so it  could move freely. For most of series 2 this was changed so the catalogue could sit inside the plastic tray just behind the figure.

The first catalogue was nicely laid out and featured every toy from the line that made up the first 2 series (1985 and 1986) as well as the sub-series of Berserkers figures.

However as you will find (and read throughout this page) the catalogue pictures did not always mirror what was actually released. There are 2 pages of the catalogue to look at that have variations to the toy actually released.

The first is the page that pictures the Cats Lair play set. If you look at this picture you will see that instead of the Mutant Attack vehicle being red, it is actually purple! (it looks blue on my scan, but it is purple in the actual catalogue picture)

Then the second variation and probably one of the most recognised amongst collectors is the Companions page. You can see that Berbil Bert and Berbil Belle are both painted differently to their commercially released counterparts. Berbil Bert is coloured like a regular Berbil off the cartoon as most the Berbil villagers are a yellow colour. I also remember Berbil Bert’s Berbil companion in Ho!-The movie (Berbil Bob) being yellow.

The second and most interesting thing about this picture is that WilyKat and WilyKit both have totally different Space Boards to those released. The Space Boards pictured look more like those on the cartoon series and I would have preffered these to have been released because I think they look much better.

Please click each page of the series 2 catalogue below to view a higher resolution of each page of the catalogue:

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LJN Series 3 Catalogue (1987)

The 3rd and final series of toys all came packaged with a series 3 catalogue. This is probably the most interesting mini catalogue of the 2 because it features pictures of
unproduced toys we might have not seen otherwise.

In total 5 different proto-types were displayed in this catalogue which included The Feliner, Luna-Tacker, The Mad Bubbler and 2 additions that were intended for the Berserkers sub-series, Cannon-Blaster and Quick-Jaws. Non of these toys were ever for sale commercially, however proto-types of all of these do exist somewhere.

Another thing to look at in this particular catalogue is the Companions page once again. For some strange reason the pvc version of Snarf which came packed with Lion-O is pictured instead of the proper Companions series version (which ironically was pictured correctly in the first catalogue) They have, however got the correct Space Boards pictured for both WilyKat and WilyKit.

The final pages to look at for variations in this particular catalogue are the Evil Mutants and Good Thundercats figure pages. The series 3 figures have variations on their weapons that are painted differently or a total different sculpt altogether. I believe the only exception are the Captain Cracker and Jaga figures which both came with the same weapons commercially.

Please click on each page of the series 3 catalogue below to view an higher resolution of each page of the catalogue:

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series3catD_thumb.jpg series3catE_thumb.jpg series3catF_thumb.jpg
series3catG_thumb.jpg series3catH_thumb.jpg

Rainbow Toys Catalogue (1987)

The Rainbow Toys headed catalogue in 1987 pretty much mirrored all the pages found in the regular LJN headed 1987 catalogue I spoke about above.

However there were a few differences and I believe this being, perhaps the very final Thundercats mini toy catalogue, it could show where LJN were headed with the line and shows that certain toys were ever to remain only proto-types.

In the Rainbow Toys catalogue the page that pictured the Luna-Tacker, was replaced with a picture of the Tongue-A-Sauras. This was the first time this toy had been pictured and I believe it was never advertised in any of the US mini catalogues.

The page that featured the Feliner in the US LJN catalogue was also replaced. In the Rainbow Toys catalogue it advertised the Thundercats Club kit, which you received by mail if you joined the Thunder Warrior club (see Mail-Away offers section for more information).

Another update to the Rainbow Toys catalogue was that the ‘Coming Soon Laser Sabers’ pages in the US catalogue were replaced. They were replaced with pictures of Captain Shiner, Mumm-Ra, Lion-O and Bengali equipped with the Laser Sabers back packs.

The final change was a new picture of the Ram-Pagers, however this updated picture was only of Driller and The Stinger, which goes to support the fact that the Mad Bubbler toy was never produced. I believe that at the point when this catalogue went into print, LJN had decided not to produce the Mad Bubbler as well as the Luna-Tacker and Feliner vehicles.

The only page featuring unproduced toys to remain the same as the US catalogue were the Berserkers page featuring Cannon-Blaster and Quick-Jaws. It is my belief that LJN could have been planning to add those 2 figures to the Berserkers line up depending on the sales of the first 4 Berserkers. I heard that the Berserkers series did not do so well in stores so this (in my opinion) is the reason they were still pictured in the last catalogue, but never produced.
The back page of the catalogue is dated as ‘1985’, however I believe this to be a printing error and it should say 1987 like the regular LJN catalogue.

Strangely the pvc Snarf and the weapons on the series 3 figures were not corrected for the Rainbow Toys catalogue.

Please click each page of the Rainbow Toys catalogue below to view a higher resolution of each page of the catalogue: