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What does the future hold for ThunderCats?

Update: Well, the plot thickens. ToyNewsI.com has just put up an article stating that they contacted Bandai asking about the rumors surrounding the demise of the line. Bandai states that they are still the master toy license holders for ThunderCats, and that they are currently focussing on rolling out product outside of the US.

That’s not a terrible amount of info, but at least we know Bandai hasn’t lost the license…yet. I’m still very interested to see how this all plays out, as I still find it highly unusual that Bandai hasn’t released or even shown us any new ThunderCats product since late last year.

Original Post: The future of the ThunderCats has been a hot topic as of late, and it seems to be really heating up.

The general consensus about the Bandai toy line has been that it’s in trouble. Ever since Toy Fair in February, where Bandai didn’t show off anything new for the brand, most collectors got the impression that the toy line was coming to an end.

Speaking as someone who actually attended the Bandai booth at Toy Fair, I can tell you that not only did they have nothing new to show us for ThunderCats, but they also acted as if they didn’t want to be showing us the few things they did have on display. They wouldn’t answer any questions about future releases, and instead were much more interested in pushing our attention to their Ben 10 line-up. That alone is what gave me the feeling that something was up with this toy line.

Now, keep in mind that Bandai has stayed silent on this. There has been no official announcement about the cancellation of the toy line. So everything being discussed here is all heresay and personal opinion. But the writing is on the wall. Most retail stores have clearanced the toys and/or moved them to smaller shelf space locations. Amazon.com have the toys listed as “discontinued.” And we haven’t seen anything new since late last year.

On top of that, we’re down to only 3 more new episodes of the cartoon. It has been said that the cartoon is dependant on the the toy sales. WB has not yet outright cancelled the cartoon, but they haven’t announced a return for the show, either. It’s on hiatus right now.

Now here’s where things get really interesting. Rumors have started to hit the net that some folks in the toy business have heard rumblings that there are other toy companies interested in picking up the ThunderCats toy rights from Bandai and continuing on with the toys. The big name being thrown around right now is Hasbro.

Mattel has also shown interest in the past. I know for certain that The Four Horsemen really want to take a stab at making ThunderCats figures. If any of you out there have the MOTU Classics Chief Carnvus figure, take a look at his sword. That is no coincidence, my friends.

So many are now speculating on who they’d like to see get the rights. Hasbro, no doubt, could probably give us some pretty great 3.75″ ThunderCats figures. Mattel would probably give us some awesome 6″-7″ ‘Classics’ style figures if they follow their MOTUC model, which I personally would be most excited to see. I’ve also seen some throwing around the Playmates name, citing how well a ThunderCats toy line could work if done like TMNT.

As it stands right now, this is all nothing more than rumor. WB has not made an official statement about the future of the cartoon. Bandai has not made an official statement about the future of the toy line. But regardless, it’s obvious that something is going on here. It’ll be interesting to see how all of this plays out.

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29 Comments

  • Suine hallock says:

    Oooh! Playmates! tmnt compatible thundercats? yes, please!

    • Pixel Dan says:

      Yeah, thinking of it in terms of playability, with playsets and vehicles, I could see this being pretty cool too. 🙂

  • fball13z says:

    I hope we hear something maybe at SDCC, sucks seeing such a great Cartoon and classic toy line being treated like BEN10s red headed step child

  • PrfktTear says:

    I've wanted Mattel TCats in Classics since the beginning! I really enjoy the show and I hope it goes a second season!

  • spartan26 says:

    I think this line would be in much better hands with mattel. not a big fan of playmates and dont want 3.75″ Tcats from Hasbro

  • @Mikey2004 says:

    I'd love a mattycollector type thundercats run in the 6" line, that would be super awesome

  • josh vozda says:

    kellddorr here, being that wb is warner brothers, and warner is allready a mattel partner with tons of stuff, im hoping mattel gets it. hasbro would be rad too, bandai didnt do too bad, i love my cats figures, but either compnay would do better in my opinion. bandai is great for power rangers and ben 10 tho, but cats was seriously lacking compared to those lines.

  • Southzen says:

    The Thundercats toon in the hands of Mattel or Hasbro may not be such a good thing!

  • The Rook says:

    If the cartoon was dependent on the success of the toy line, then it is disappointing that Bandai dropped the ball. The cartoon was really starting to shape up and I was looking forward to the full 52 episodes. I would hate to see this excellent show get cut short like the 200X MOTU cartoon.

    • Pixel Dan says:

      Yeah, I want to see it continue as well. And it mays till. But with only 3 episodes remaining and no news on when they are going back into production, I'm personally starting to get a little nervous. ThunderCatsNOW.com has an excellent podcast interview with Dan Norton up right now where he talks about how they are on hiatus and not in production onthe show right now, but that it hasn't been completely shut down yet. They are just waiting on word from WB on what to do next. So we'll keep our fingers crossed!

      • The Rook says:

        I saw there was a new episode the other day but i have not listened to it yet. I just hope they are able to complete the 52 episodes they had planned out.

  • Jarrod says:

    I'd definitely like to see Mattel and The Four Horsemen take a stab at Thundercats. Cheif Carnivus is still one of my favorite MotUC figures.

  • binks says:

    Its a shame that the cartoon has to come to an end. after a slow start it really has picked up steam and has been shaping up to becoming something special. mattel getting the thundercats license would be fantastic! here's hoping!!

  • burningsatellites says:

    MAn, I just hope another toy company gets Thundercats before this awesome show goes away. It's the cartoon I most care about right now, and I would hate to not get all the CHARACTERS in the vintage style.

    • Pixel Dan says:

      Yeah, this cartoon and Young Justice are my two favorites on TV right now. But not getting the full vintage team in toy form is what's hurting me the most right now. I absolutely hate that all I have for vintage ThunderCats representation is an 8" Lion-O and Tygra, then a 6" Lion-O and Mumm-Ra. I want to at least complete the main team…

  • bjpalm1994 says:

    Yeah, I've only been able to catch bits and pieces of the cartoon being without cable and all so i can't really comment on that but the classics line really had me excited seeing as how i had most of the original LJN TCats toys. If i had to pick between mattel & Hasbro I would love to see some 4H TCats action. That would be SWEET!!!

  • Lex says:

    anybody but bandai. I bought the Classic 7inch (or 8 inch) Liono and was quickly disapointed, the plastic feels slippery, the articulation joints are weak and loose and the weapons are too bendy… and I think the smaller scale versions of the new toon line are worse. I was really looking forward to the new line, but it has been a bit of a disaster in my opnion.

  • Val Staples says:

    I'd love to see either Hasbro or Mattel do them. I'd REALLY like to see the Four Horsemen sculpting them! ThunderCats must live on!

  • Deevil says:

    When I heard Thundercats was coming back I was so excited. The cartoon is excellent, but so far nothing has impressed me enough to purchase any toys. And with TMNT making an awesome comeback Thundercats needs a 4H sculpted reresh!! There is even enough body parts out there(from MOTUC)that a classics line wouldn't even need that much new tooling.

  • Brad says:

    More than anything else, I want the cartoon to continue. It’s the best thing on Cn; I’ve enjoyed it more than “The Clone Wars” and “Young Justice,” and those are two great shows, as well.

  • Nick says:

    I saw the same story on ToyNewsI but I don't put too much faith in it. I think from a companies stand point they aren't going to confirm rumors like that just because someone asks. It is easy to avoid uncoming changes. Yes Bandi still has the license when the question was asked. Could that change next week? Absolutely; furthermore there could be a nondisclosure agreement with whoever is getting the license next. Any of the big figure companies would want to make the announcement on their terms and grab the spotlight for a moment (perhaps at SDCC or NYCC).

    If Bandi is saying that the figures are being distributed outside the USA then why didn’t we see a big showing at the International Toy Fair in the UK?

    As for whom I would want to take up the line I am torn between Hasbro and Mattel. Hasbro just because they have the HUB and that mite help with the continuation of the cartoon which has been epic but Mattel has the Four horseman which you all know that if they got their hands on them those figures would sell like CRAZY!

  • I'm 36. I don't buy toys anymore, but I freakin' LOVE the new series. If CN cancels it after just 26 episodes I'm going to be sooooo pissed. The creators have done such a beautiful job. I want to see where they're taking the story, dammit!

  • […] going on with ThunderCats? Pixel Dan asks the question, and TNI (sort of) answers it. Bottom line: Bandai still holds the master license, their product […]

  • Chris says:

    I love Bandai and I love ThundercatS but good riddance. Bandai is a great company and a great toy producer but not for these toys. They just don't translate we'll and the bodies, sculpts, paint apps are all sub-par. I love their SouL of Chogokin line stick to big expensive robots….

  • Al loue says:

    No, hasbro. hopefully, i'll come with the show moving to the hub and shown in primetime, where it belongs!

  • […] I have show some concern regarding the future of the line. I read an interesting article over at pixel-dan about the future of the line. Only read update right now is that Bandai still owns the rights to […]

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