What does the future hold for ThunderCats?
Monday, June 4th, 2012 by Pixel Dan
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.