Can you believe Thundercats isn't on DVD?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by David Illingworth II, Jun 14, 2003.

  1. David Illingworth II

    David Illingworth II Second Unit

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    I see lots of old cartoons available as box sets now, and I'm surprised that Thundercats isn't one of them. It would be cool to at least have the Thundercats "movie" available. Is there anybody else who would be interested in this series being released? It seems to me that the people who own rights to these old shows would be anxious to put out discs since the shows are rarely shown in syndication anymore. I know Cartoon Network used to run them, but I don't think they do anymore.
     
  2. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    I believe Mattel, or whoever made the toys owns the show. And if it's anything like dealing for Captain Power you can forget it
     
  3. David Williams

    David Williams Cinematographer

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    If I remember correctly, the toys were made by LJN. Didn't Rankin & Bass make The Thundercats (as well as Silverhawks)? So shouldn't they have the rights to it? (It was syndicated in it's original run, wasn't it?)
     
  4. Fred Mayall

    Fred Mayall Extra

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    I loved this show. I would lay down some money for Thundercats on DVD.
     
  5. Jon Robertson

    Jon Robertson Screenwriter

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    Count me in as another who would leap all over sets of Thundercats the minute they were released.
     
  6. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    Yeah, it was LJN who released the toys. If they control the video rights, then that might explain why VHS's were released from so many different companies.

    VHS releases bounced around from one company now absorbed into Artisan, to another company now connected with SonyWonder, to a third company that was and is connected with Universal's Music division (NOT the main studio division of Vivendi that puts out, say, the Bixby/Ferrigno Hulk; it's the division responsible for CD's and music DVD's that Apple was rumored to be buying a month or two ago).

    And even if it was straightened out as to who owns the rights to put it out, then there's the issue of getting around to it (if it's Artisan, would they do it before Speed Racer and TMNT was through? if SonyWonder, wouldn't they take care of Bullwinkle first?). There could be issues with cleaning up the materials and/or gathering supplements. They might also have external factors involved (like if the company who owns the rights is in the process of getting sold, they may not have the option to work on new titles right now).

    Then again, in the end, they may have considered all this and the "demand" for it, and decided it's not the next super-retro-phenomenon like Transformers after all. How big do you think the mass market is for this title anyway? Their opinion might not agree with yours.

    I'm not saying you're wrong, though. Thundercats remains quite high in the TVShowsOnDVD voting. The series is in the top 4% of our most-requested shows, with 98% of voters wanting season sets. Frankly, there are more votes for it than for Transformers. It's not a series I ever watched during that era, so I have no passion for its DVD release. But clearly others do!
     
  7. Dave Molinarolo

    Dave Molinarolo Stunt Coordinator

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  8. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    I believe Mattel bought LJN
     
  9. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    Jeff, I'm pretty sure that didn't happen. I could be wrong, and it could have been sold (the name, anyway) to Mattel for whatever value it was thought to have.

    The history of LJN is here, and as is clearly pointed out, Acclaim (the videogame folks) owned this company. It was either bought or created (I think the latter) for the express purpose of getting around Nintendo's licensing rules. In the 90's Nintendo changed those rules, so the fiction of a separate company was no longer necessary. I had forgotten it was in '94 that the company was folded back into Acclaim, but that's what it says at the link. I didn't even know it had been brought back for a Dreamcast game. Ugh. I doubt it was re-used after that.

    A look at Acclaim's site shows that the brand isn't listed there anymore. It's not a name associated with quality videogames, and frankly I doubt the brand was especially hot for the action figures/toys either. But indeed, perhaps Mattel bought the name out, or at least the rights to the toy lines put out under that brand name (not the videogames; Acclaim definately retained those rights where available). Who knows? If that happened, it went under my radar.


    But really, did the show come from the Comic Books, or (like He-Man and Transformers) really as a marketing push for the toy line, or did the toys and comics result from the series? That might help track down the current right-holders.

    Because I have a thought here: Marvel put out the comics. If they own the rights to the property, and licensed toys to LJN and all that, then the video rights would have ended up with Saban, which means Fox Kids, which means, ABC Kids, which means Disney.

    If Thundercats is now owned by Disney, then it will probably be a long time before they get around to releasing DVDs of it!
     
  10. DeathStar1

    DeathStar1 Producer

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    According to Rankin Bass, there is a new movie(Animated and live action, 2 seperate films) being produced. They'd be the first place to start for information.
     
  11. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    Aha, if there's a new film in the works, then a DVD release of the old series in SOME form is a cinch!
     
  12. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    Thundercats was actually the first revenue sharing cartoon. The show was provided free to stations, and to make sure it was promoted well, the stations also got a cut of the toy sales.
     

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