While the rest of the internet will soon pass these images around like a cheap bottle of cooking wine at a hobo’s campfire, we here at MTV Geek! are excited to bring you these first looks at new releases from both the 6″ ThunderCats Classics and Modern line. That’s right, 6 inch ThunderCats Classics! “What the hell?!” Yeah, that was our reaction too. So, we went right to the source and got some inside info from Brehan Maul, senior director of marketing, boys, at Bandai America Incorporated, about the change in scale and a few hints about upcoming releases. Oh, and we also asked about that whole black-joint problem of Lion-O’s. You’re welcome.
Read on for the interview and a TON of photos of the Classics’ Lion-O and Mumm-Ra, along with the current versions of fan-favorites Cheetara and Tygra!
MTV Geek!: With the Classics figures being released in the 6 inch scale, what is the fate of the current 8″ ThunderCats Classics line?
Brehan Maul: The move from 8” to 6” was not one that we took lightly. While very successful, the ThunderCats 8″ figure line will not be continued in its current form. However we do plan to release the 8” scale in a limited edition capacity in support of those who have been with the line since the first release. Details are still being worked out, but all I can say is SHE is a fan favorite.
Geek: Lion-O looks to have the same body sculpt as the 8 inch release, while featuring a new “roaring” head; however, Mumm-Ra is all new. While he’s obviously been updated to match today’s sculpting, was his design influenced more by the vintage figure or the original animation?
Brehan Maul: Actually both sculpts are new due to the scaled down size. As for Mumm-Ra, we utilized the original animation as reference for the sculpt, to get the detail as close to what was shown on screen as possible. While we all loved those original LJN figures we felt like there was much to improve on to deliver the look of the original animation.
Geek: With Tygra and Cheetara being announced for the modern 6″ line, the ThunderCats’ team is almost complete. This will leave mostly villains for upcoming releases, along with 2nd tier characters. Any hints as to who we may see in the future?
Brehan Maul: What makes the new ThunderCats different from other animation out there is its scope and epic feel. With that comes a true sense of time, as you live the story along with the characters, watching them evolve and grow week to week. It’s in that evolution that we see our heroes change with updated armor, outfits and other physical developments. Without spoiling too much you can expect to see more than just villains, our core heroes will be available with all new looks and variants.
Geek: In our previous interview, it was revealed that Wily-Kit and Wily-Kat were being planned as a two-pack for the current animated series’ 6 inch line. Any word on how far along those two troublemakers are in terms of development and release date?
Brehan Maul: See previous ambiguous answer, those WilyTwins always seem to wind up somewhere.
Geek: The 6 inch modern line has fantastic articulation. However, with the Lion-O figure in particular, his joints are put together using black pins instead of a more matching color and really causes them to stand out. The same can also be said for the exposed screws on his back. Collectors displaying their figures tend to frown on things like this. Has a fix for this (orange colored-pins, screw caps, etc.) been looked into for Tygra, Cheetara, and future re-issues?
Brehan Maul: We truly believe that our 6” line is one of the highest quality out there. We have taken measures on our 6” line to correct just those issues.
Geek: When can fans expect to see these two series of figures in stores?
Brehan Maul: Some of the Spring 2012 product line may be creeping onto store shelves as early as December, but for sure January and February in store.
Cool, right? well, as an added bonus here’s a video of Larry Kinney (the voice of Lion-O in the vintage series and his father in the current animated series) telling us about a possible ThunderCats Short during this year’s Power-Con/ThunderCon:
For info on the current ThunderCats toys, be sure to check out Bandai’s official website.
Stay tuned to MTV Geek! for all your Bandai and ThunderCats coverage!