The Top 10 ThunderCats Toys and Action Figures

The Top 10 ThunderCats Toys and Action Figures

The ThunderCats is an action, adventure, family, fantasy, sci-fi animation television series that Tobin Wolf created. It originally ran from 1985 to 1989. ThunderCats was a production success, so it went on to become a media success with the production of two more television series, video games, and a comic.

The animated television series is based on a group of cat-like humanoids extraterrestrials (ThunderCats) that used to live on the planet Thundera. After the destruction of their home planet, a small group of ThunderCats managed to escape from the doomed planet, fighting off the evil mutants that were determined to destroy them.

After fleeing, the ThunderCats found themselves a new home in the Third Earth. Though the inhabitants of the Third Earth openly accepted them, the ThunderCats discovered Third Earth’s adversary, Mumm-Ra. Lion-O and the ThunderCats must contend with the affiliation of their old foe in the Mutants and a new foe in Mumm-Ra.

Following the success of the 1985 ThunderCats television series, many toy producing companies have adopted characters from the animated television series to action figures and toy collections, with LJN leading the lines as the foremost toy company to produce a toy line based on the 1985 ThunderCats animated television series.

The top ten ThunderCats toys based on the 1985 animated television series.

10. LJN’s Jaga (1986)

LJN's Jaga (1986)

LJN released the Jaga action figure amongst the third series of their ThunderCats toy in 1986. The action figure came with a Battle-Matic action lever mounted on the back, when pushed, the lever enables Jaga’s arm to move. Also packaged with LJN’s Jaga is the Sword of Omens and Jaga’s signature helmet. LJN modeled this action figure after the ThunderCats animated series character Jaga.

Jaga in the television series was once the greatest warrior on Thundera, he was briefly the leader and lord of the ThunderCats. To escape from the doomed planet, Jaga commanded the last surviving Thunderian spaceship that carried a handful of ThunderCats out of the planet, while trying to escape they encountered a Mutant force, and their ship was badly damaged in the ensuing battle. The damaged spaceship requires someone to pilot and Jaga volunteered knowing he will not complete the journey. He sent all the other ThunderCats to their suspension capsule and then piloted the ship to the Third Earth. Jaga died of old age shortly before reaching their destination.

9. Kidworks’ S-S-Slithe (1986)

Kidworks’ S-S-Slithe (1986)

In 1986, Kidworks released their S-S-Slithe miniature figurine. The action figure comes with a grey battle coupled with a black staff. Kidworks modeled this figure after the 1985 ThunderCats television series character Slithe.

Slithe in the animated television series is the secondary villain of the ThunderCats. He is the leader of the Mutants, who personally led war against the ThunderCats both on Thundera and Third Earth. His unpopular ability to lay more emphasis on the pronouncing letter “S” in his phonetics distinguishes S-S-Slithe from the rest of the mutants.

8. LJN’s Ma-Mutt (1986)

LJN 1985 ThunderCats Ma-Mutt

Ma-Mutt is a demonic bulldog with incredible strength, super speed, and an uncanny ability of flight. Ma-Mutt is the evil pet dog of the demon priest Mumm-Ra. Together with his master, they rain terror on the inhabitants of the Third Earth.

In 1986, LJN created a special toy line among the second series of their ThunderCats series called Companion, amongst this toy line, LJN released its version of the replica of Ma-Mutt. The action figure has multiple poseable parts, including the legs, arms, and head. A red plastic collar and a chain comes attached around the figure’s neck.

7. LJN’s Snarf (1986)

LJN 1986 ThunderCats Snarf

LJN released the Snarf action figure in 1986 with the Companion second series of their ThunderCats toy line. The figure has poseable legs, arms, and head. Meanwhile, LJN based the design on the 1985 version of the ThunderCats animated television series character, Snarf.

Snarf is the nursemaid to whom the ThunderCats entrusted the young Lion-O to. He took care of the young ThunderCat and even against his will still takes care of him. Snarf, though, not a warrior like the other ThunderCats is a very reliable member of the group. Snarf often gets the group food and uses its special ability to communicate with other animals to solicit for their help in battle.

6. Mezco’s Mumm-Ra (2012)

Mezco's Mumm-Ra (2012)

Mezco produced the Mumm-Ra action figure in 2012 as part of its ThunderCats toy lines. The action figure features 8 points of articulation with real clothes as the cape and bandages. Mezco’s Mumm-Ra is a perfect replica of the 1985 ThunderCat character Mumm-Ra, the action figure resembles the Mumm-Ra the Ever-Living in the animated television series.

In the series, Mumm-Ra is the primary antagonist of the original animated television series. Mumm-Ra was a demon priest, a master magician, and a sorcerer who terrorizes the Third Earth even before the arrival of the ThunderCats. He possesses a corpse-like, decayed form but can transform himself into a muscular young figure by reciting an incantation. With his attention now on the acquisition of the eye of Thundera, (ThunderCats‘ most valuable weapon) Mumm-Ra is in constant conflict with the ThunderCats until Lion-O defeated him in his pyramid-like cave.

5. Mattel’s WilyKat & Wilykit (2016)

Mattel's WilyKat & Wilykit (2016)

Mattel released their WilyKat and WilyKit action figure in 2016 as part of the Classics series from their ThunderCats toy line. The action figure pack consists of multiple interchangeable hands, lasso, space board, whip, and stands. Each figure also has thirteen points of articulation. Mattel based these action figures on the original animated series characters, WilyKat and WilyKit.

WilyKat and WilyKit are twins, often referred to as the Thunderkittens. They are the youngest, most cunning, and craftiest of the ThunderCats. WilyKat and WilyKit left Thundera as the same age as Lion-O. However, as their suspension pods remained intact all through the journey, their bodies remained well preserved unlike that of Lion-O. They are distinguishable for their playful nature and their excellent hoverboard skill.

4. Mezco’s Cheetara (2013)

Mezco's Cheetara (2013)

Mezco released the 14-inch Cheetara action figure in 2013 as part of their ThunderCats mega-scale toy line. The action pack consists of a fighting stick which is Cheetara’s favored weapon. Mezco’s Cheetara possesses ten points of articulation and it is a perfect replica of the 1985 ThunderCats animated television series character Cheetara.

Cheetara is the fastest ThunderCats, able to reach up to two miles at premium speed. She is also the only grown woman amongst the ThunderCats. Apart from speed, Cheetara also possesses some telepathic abilities like her sixth sense that enable her to see past and future events, although this vision manifests at a great physical cost. She could also feel when any of her friends are in mortal danger, an ability she attributes to her being a woman.

3. LJN’s Tygra (1986)

LJN 1986 ThunderCats Tygra

LJN produced Tyga’s action figure in 1986 among the Heroes series of the ThunderCats toy line. This action figure comes with a Battle-Matic action lever mounted on the back which when pressed allows the action figure to move its arm. LJN’s Tyga also has a plastic Bolo Whip with two strings and beads attached to each end. The action figure is based on the character Tyga from the original animated television series.

In the animated series, Tyga is Lion-O’s trusted second in command. He is an architect, and he is responsible for all the structures constructed on Third Earth by the ThunderCats. Tyga can become invisible to the naked eyes, a feature he took advantage of throughout the television series.

2. Mezco’s Panthro (2012)

Mezco's Panthro (2012)

Mezco released this magnificent 14 inches figure in 2012 as part of the Classic mega-scale series of their ThunderCats toy line. The action figure has seven points of articulation. It also comes with Panthro’s favored weapon, nunchaku. The action figure is a replica of the Panthro character from the original animated series.

Panthro is the eldest of the ThunderCats. He is also the strongest of the ThunderCats except for his awkward fear of bats and spiders. Panthro was the pilot of the spaceship that carried the ThunderCats out of Thundera until Jaga ordered him to go into his suspension pod. Once on Third Earth, he spent most of his free time working on the Thundertank, keeping it ready for battle.

1. Mezco’s Lion-O (2011)

Mezco's Lion-O (2016)

Mezco originally released their 18-inch Lion-O action figure in 2011 as part of their ThunderCats Mega-Scale series toy line. The action figure consists of the sword of Omens, claw shield, and 7 points of articulation. This action figure is a replica of the main protagonist and the leader of the ThunderCats from the 1985 animated television series.

Since its original release, Mezco has released four variants of the figure. In 2011, they also created a Con Exclusive variant with an alternative head and glow-in-the-dark eyes. Then, in 2016, they re-released the original figure with Snarf included. Finally, in 2017, Mezco released two more variants of the figure. The Mezco-Exclusive figure had an angry face and glow-in-the-dark eyes. There was also a “deluxe edition” that included interchangeable heads, but the eyes did not glow.

At the start of the cartoon, Lion-O was a 12-year-old boy. However, after his suspension pod received damage from the resulting war with the Mutants, Lion-O’s pod could only slow down Lion-O’s age as he slept. After their arrival on Third Earth, Lion-O discovers his body has grown into that of a young adult of 24 years old. Being a kid in a man’s body, Lion-O must stop his childish behavior and learn quickly to become the leader he is destined to be. After passing a series of tests, Lion-O earned his post as the Lord of the ThunderCats.

Final Thoughts

ThunderCats toys and action figures were an incredible commercial success for kids in the 1980s but now that the 80s kids are grown-up, the toys and action figures are slowly becoming an expensive, vintage collection of ThunderCats toys.

Do you have old and used ThunderCats toys?

If you have a collection of old and used toys, you can turn those toys into cash. There is no reason to let those old toys collect dust. Contact us today to sell your ThunderCats toy collection.

About the author

Author: Chris Ingledue 


Bio: I am the founder and owner of Wheeljack’s Lab pop Culture and Toy Shop. My vision has always been to reunite customers with their favorite childhood toys and pop culture, triggering fond memories, and reigniting their imaginations. Every day, I work in the “lab” where it’s Christmas 365 days a year. I scour the internet, like when we had the Sears Catalog of yesteryear, for the next great treasure. Then, I await the arrival of the postman as if he were Santa Claus himself and helping collectors worldwide with their own versions of Christmas. Every day as a vintage toy buyer is an absolute joy!

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