Childrens TV on Trial: The 1980’s
During the week of May 27th – 31st May 2007, the digital TV channel BBC Four broadcast a week of documentaries chronicalling the evolution of Childrens television within the UK. Starting from the introduction of childrens programming in the 1950’s right up to the 1990’s, all decades were all covered. This particular decade covered here is the 1980’s where childrens tv was now going through mega changes. Program makers had started to see the marketing potential characters and brands had and the money they were worth. Below you can download a portion of the documentary, which includes discussion of the ThunderCats cartoon series and toys.
The documentary features discussion of why the ThunderCats cartoon series came to the BBC and the reservations the controller (at that time) had about buying it. For fans of other 1980’s action and toy related cartoon series, the clip also features discussion of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Infact some of the discussion about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles here is very interesting because some of the points made were very prevalant at the BBC at that time, therefore ThunderCats also received some ‘cuts’ due to (most notably) Panthro’s use of his nunchucks!
We also get views of the cartoons and their respective toylines from a fan point of view. Two 80’s cartoon fans named Pat Wood and Matt Haze discuss what it was like growing up with these cartoons and how cool it was to collect the toys from each show. In the clip we get to see the ThunderCats toys: Panthro, Lion-O, Thundertank, WilyKat and Monkian. Can you spot any others?
For fans of other 1980’s toys, we also see Transformers, My Little Pony and He-Man and the Masters of the Universe toys in this clip (most interesting is the archive footage from a toy store and a parent buying the Castle Grayskull playset!)
If you have any questions about this article or the video contained here, please feel free to contact Blackiecats