Funko has no future plans for Thundercats

Discussion in 'Mezco and Bandai Toys' started by Cap'n Cracka, Jun 26, 2014.

  1. Cap'n Cracka

    Cap'n Cracka Mutant

    I have been in contact with Funko, the company that recently released the Thundercats POP! Vinyl figures, and I had asked them if they had any future plans for the Thundercats line and the response was ......

    "At this time there are no further plans for Thundercats."

    So that makes Funko and Icon Heroes that will no longer be producing Thundercats items. The Mezco line seems to found itself "shelved" and at a stand still. It can only be a matter of time before they have to make a decision on renewing their license. And who knows what is happening with the Prototype Z line that was supposed to come out. I believe something was supposed to be released early this year but nothing has been to my knowledge and they have not responded to emails for months on the subject. All of this does not look promising...
     
  2. Alluro Fan

    Alluro Fan Glass Walker

    It seems that the Thundercats franchise, as much as we love it...... is dead.
     
  3. Cap'n Cracka

    Cap'n Cracka Mutant

    i dont think it is dead. well i hope it is not at least. i do think we may be starting to reach the lows of interest after the new series had caused interest in Thundercats at its all time high, since the 80s. what goes up must come down i guess. I just hope someone out there picks it up and releases new products soon. The longer it takes the quieter things will be
     
  4. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    I think the biggest problem the Thundercats franchise had was the 2011 series. Yes it got a lot of interest. Especially the Reveal poster announcing that Thundercats were coming back. I believe it was released in the summer of 2010. Sadly the series and toys did not live up to that cool art work.
    The 2011 series turned a lot of people away and didn't really bring in any one ones either. The same goes for the awful Bandai toys....well the 8" Classics were nice, it's a pity Bandai couldn't continue them regardless.
    The future of the franchise is in WB hands now and there really isn't much we can do about it. All we can hope is that they decide to revisit it soon and correct their mistakes.
     
  5. catgurl

    catgurl Moleman

    That's a shame. Those vinyl figures were so cute! :) But as Mark said, the interest level for Thundercats has faded back to the level that it was before the 2011 series. There is no point for the toy companies to continue making new products when the demand is so low. Sad but true.
     
  6. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    The interest has dropped. However the main interest people had before the 2011 series is still strong. There are still people wanting Classics style figures like the MOTUC figures that would gladly buy them.
     
  7. Tyg-ra

    Tyg-ra Junior Member

    Funko were telling you porkies then. They have 2 Thundercats exclusives for 2014 SDCC

    image.jpg
     
  8. Dr_SLUMP

    Dr_SLUMP Berserker

    Bandai of America isn't very bright. They assumed that the ending/failure of that 2011 series also had much to do with the classics.
     
  9. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    Technically they didn't lie. I believe they were just meaning 'there are no further plans' in terms of continuing the line and adding more characters.
    Merged Post:
    The way they handled the Thundercats line in general showed they were not too bright LOL.
    If Bandai Japan had been in charge of it, things would be drastically different.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2014
  10. T-Cat

    T-Cat Mutant

    Bandai America wanted to do sculpts their way, which led to a TON of folks complaining about the quality of figures and eventually stop caring about making new figures for Toy Fair 2012 but TEASED us with an awesome 6" Tygra figure IMO!

    In theory, I wouldn't say their not too bright LOL, but tried to take short cuts with this line but knew if they couldn't get away with that method they would have lines like "Ben 10" and "Power Rangers" to fall back on!

    Believe me there not losing any sleep on ThunderCats!
     
  11. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    Well I never said they were losing any sleep over it.
    Personally I liked the 6" NS line, they were not perfect but they should have just stuck with one size instead of messing around.
    I loved the 8" Classics Lion-O. If that had had correctly painted joints and a sturdier sword it would have been perfect.
     
  12. T-Cat

    T-Cat Mutant

    Agreed! I currently do not own the 8" Lion-O or Tygra mainly due to the possible bobble head action as reported by few. Does your figure have that issue?
     
  13. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    Tygra has very slightly, but it is not in anyway bad that affects him being posed or played with.

    Lion-O doesn't seem to have it at all. I know Lion-O isn't perfect, but even with his faults it is a brilliant toy any fan who had the original or loved the OS should have. Every time I pick it up to pose it or look at it, it practically roars play with me. It might be for collectors but it is a toy first and foremost and I can't help but mess about with it. I would definitely recommend picking one up if you can get one.

    I never got any of the 6" Classics.
     
  14. adssse

    adssse Thunderian Legend

    I am glad to see a little love for the NS line. They may have their faults, but there are so many reasons why I am glad we at least got what we did.
     
  15. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    I agree. The best toys though for the NS were definitely the 6" figures.
    They should have focused on the 6" line instead of the 4" line and the deluxe 4" figures.
    Financially though maybe they should have just stuck with 4" for the NS and expanded it with more characters.....although having said the NS wasn't really ripe with characters that children or colelctors would be wanting as action figures, especially at the beginning of the series. It is a shame as some great characters were introduced far to late in the series like Pumyra, Adicus, Kanar, Ratar-O and Vaultar (Vaultureman?).
     
  16. adssse

    adssse Thunderian Legend

    See I actually like and collect both the NS 4" & 6" lines. As you mentioned I would have been ok with some of the less featured characters being made only in the 4" while the 6" line being more reserved for collectors. It really is a shame that the characters you mentioned were never made (I am still smarting I never got a Jaga from this line). As much as I really like the 8" figures, the decision to go with that scale and than backtrack to 6" is what baffles me.
     
  17. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    I agree about the 6" line being more for collectors, but it would have been better if they had gone 7" for the larger NS and the OS Classics figures.
    It always seemed odd to me that they were so slow on the Classics. The 8" Classics Lion-O was and still is the best piece from the entire Bandai line. I would have thought after the fan reaction to him they would have focused on them and got Panthro, Cheetara, Mumm-Ra and a couple others ready for the various toy shows at the time. That would surely have generated a lot more interest in the franchise at the time. Like when Playmates launched the new TMNT line, they didn't just have one turtle they did all 4.
     
  18. Mumm-Ra

    Mumm-Ra Glass Walker

    I attended Funko Fun Days dinner at SDCC and went to Brian (president) directly to ask about the ThunderCats line/license in general. To paraphrase he basically said that the line "did okay".
    I got the impression fan response was under what they had hoped.

    He also stated the license was on par with MOTU but not as popular as shows such as SOA.

    That really bummed me out.

    I thanked him for at least creating the SDCC exclusives this year.
    If it wasn't for that Warner probably wouldn't of updated it's Facebook page.

    Here is my theory:

    The ThunderCats royalty structure is expensive, restrictive, short-lived and complicated. I believe WB, Rankin Bass and the Ted Wolf estate gets a piece of each sale. This would probably explain why the licensing costs are so high. The expense of the license has been mentioned as an issue by Jerry from Pop Culture Shock. Cost and fan response was the cause not to renew.

    Hard Hero really wanted to go beyond the statues they released but based on my talks with some people involved in the line they were rushing to do statues before the license expired. An unnamed source told me the "license was pulled from them" Ultimately they said the economy put them under. We've heard similar "rushing to complete" stories from Icon Heroes.

    I believe the Bandai license directly affected Icon Heroes statues from continuing. Bandai's action figures license was too similar to Icon Heroes approximate scale resins. If you recall Icon Heroes wanted to go from a resin Jackalman to a plastic version and include interchangable arms towards the end. The restictions required Icon Heroes to peg the legs in their figures. Mumm-Ra was the only figure released in plastic with no interchangeable parts.

    Bandai plain and simple just missmanaged the line. Black/miss-colored joints, changing scales and poor sculpting infuriated hard core fans. Although the show itself was critically acclaimed and generally liked by hard core fans the WB wanted toy sales from children. The show was also too expensive to animate for its core demographic. CN had an upcoming show that was similar but cheaper to produce (Chima) and that won out. So when legacy fan viewership dropped CN started messing with airings.

    As for the reason why the show didn't work for it's demographic? I believe TC2011 was in constant identity crisis trying to appeal to children when the storyline and some of its themes were more adult. So you basically have a classic line that doesn't appeal to legacy fans and new toys didn't appeal to a young audience.

    Of all the released products Mezco and Icon Heroes Mini-mates have done the best. Both of these lines have the impulse purchase/low cost/barrier to going for them. These lines reached the casual legacy fan.

    As for the future..

    Arthur Rankin's passing may have put the royalty structure in limbo.
    I've read articles that Arthur was not properly compensated for accounting errors made by the WB when he was alive (http://enchantedworldofrankinbass.blogspot.com/2009/07/arthur-rankin-jr.html)

    The only licensee that has something in the works is Prototype Z which is stuck in approval limbo on Panthro.

    The optimist in me wants to believe that WB is shoring up the license for something big in the future. The impressions from quotes by Icon Heroes (license expired..but we would revisit) and Mezco (please hold out hope) give the impression something is in the works.

    I believe for the license to work we need something big like a movie to re-launch the franchise. The movie has to appeal to kids first without totally alienating classic fans. Hopefully new and old fans alike will build the momentum to bring in a better return on investment.

    As of right now the cost of the license vs the return only seems to work with small or lower cost items (Mezco, Mini-Mates).

    The 30th anniversary is January next year. I believe WB has to have some turtle envy as of late and revisiting ThunderCats as a movie is not off the table yet.
     
  19. Mark M

    Mark M Thunderian Legend

    Some very good information and Points Mumm-Ra.

    As I have been saying their isn't a big market for statues etc. Most fans want Classics action figures. If WB could get their act together and let a company make them they would see how popular the Thundercats franchise is still is and how much the fans still love it.

    I love Thundercats as much as anyone but not enough to buy a £200+ statue when I have no interest in statues. Like most fans and toy fans in general I am only interested in action figures...well I have given up collecting figures but I would make an exception and start collecting again for a good Thundercats toyline. Even casual fans who collect other things but still like Thundercats would be more inclined to buy Classics figures.
     
  20. T-Cat

    T-Cat Mutant

    Which toy company would you prefer if you called the shots?
    Merged Post:
    I had no idea the animation cost where high, even when majority of fans didn't really care for anime ThunderCats to begin with.

    Question, if a new series where to be made which animation style would most fans want CG or regular hand drawn animation?
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2014

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