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Thursday, 28 July 2011

ThunderCats re-launch brings more new merchandise

Promotional art for the new ThunderCats animated series. © Warner Bros.
(Updated 18/8/11, revised launch UK date added): Panini UK, which signed a deal to publish a new ThunderCats comic earlier this year (see news story), is not alone in seeing the potential of the renewed franchise.

Warner Bros Consumer Products UK has announced it has completed deals with four new partners for the ThunderCats licensing program, which now has a total of nine licensees.

With no launch date yet for the ThunderCats comic, master toy licensee Bandai will be the first of the licensees to introduce new ThunderCats products in the UK (see www.bandai.com/thundercats), but other new partners include TV Mania, who will release a kid's apparel range, including t-shirts and hoodies (their other licenses include Marvel characters and Ben 10); Cooneen (nightwear and underwear - they also produce Transformers gear); Zeon (who are developing watches, bags, gifts for adults and kids featuring imagery from the new ThunderCats series); and Gemma International (paper part wear, greeting cards, gift wrap).

(As well as Panini, previously announced licensees include include scooter makers MV Sports (who also hold a Doctor Who license), costume makers Rubies and branded bedding producer Character World).

In the new series, the ThunderCats are on the move. After the kingdom of Thundera is attacked by the lizard people, Lion-O leads Tygra, Cheetara and the other heroes on a quest for the Book of Omens and the magic stones of legend. But he'll have to face villains like Mumm-Ra, the ancient evil sorceror, and Slithe, the dangerous lizard general. Luckily, he has the Sword of Omens and its amazing powers at his disposal.

Produced by Warner Bros. Animation and Japan's Studio4°C, the new animated ThunderCats series, which launches this week in the US, is set to premiere on Cartoon Network in the UK from 10th September at 11.00am (it was originally announced that it would launch in August), with new episodes airing on Saturdays until the end of October.

It will then be stripped daily, running weekdays at 6.00 and 8.00pm and Saturday mornings until Christmas.

ThunderCats looks to be joining a 1980s animation revival that already featured Transformers but also includes Voltron Force (see my news story on SciFiPulse.net), big time...

US Cartoon Network ThunderCats page

• Bandai ThunderCats Page: www.bandai.com/thundercats 

ThunderCats 2011 Fan Page on Facebook

Thundercats © Warner Bros.

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