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LJN Thundercats Lion-O Series 1 1985
The very first line of Thundercats Lion-O action figures was released by LJN Toys in 1985. LJN were an American Toy manufacturer and video game publisher founded in 1970 by Jack Friedman, who ran it until its closure in 1994.
The LJN Thundercats line of toys was popular thanks to the popularity of the cartoon, which was one of the most watched on TV at that time. There were three waves of figures released by LJN over a three-year period, but despite their short run they remain hugely popular with collectors to this day.
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The first wave included four Heroes, four villains, a creature and two vehicles. These were packaged on 8-back cards that featured all the figures available on the back of the card. The centre of the card advertised the four Heroes on the left and the four villains on the right. On the top section of the card there were two panels featuring the “Battle-Matic” action feature and at the very top was the Thundercats’ logo.
Below the panels showing the heroes and villains were the vehicles and the Astral Moat Monster and below this was the LJN logo and the proof of purchase.
In France the line was known as “Cosmocats” and this was also reflected on the boxes and packaging for the LJN toys.
Thundercats Lion-O Review
Thundercats Lion-O was
released in 1985 with the first wave of figures and featured the “Battle-Matic
Action” which was activated by pushing down on a lever on his back that made
his sword arm move up and down in a slashing motion.
The Thundercats Lion-O was
also one of only two figures in this line that had a “Light-up Eyes” feature,
the other being the Mumma-Ra figure. This feature was activated by the Power
Ring, which took an AAA battery, and when inserted into a hole in Lion-O’s back
his eyes lit up. When not in use this could be worn on your hand (not the
figure’s) as a ring, as it had a Thundercats insignia on the top of it.
He came with
three accessories: the Power Ring, Sword of Omens and Claw Shield. The Sword of
Omens and the Claw Shield were both made from red plastic but the blade, hilt
and “Eye of Thundera” were painted silver. The Claw Shield could be easily clipped
onto Lion-O’s left arm to protect it in battle.
painted wearing a light sky-blue vest and boots, cream guantlets or gloves, and
a wide blue belt with a Thundercats logo belt buckle. His skin, or fur, was a
very light brown or flesh colour.
The sculpting on his torso, legs, and arms was
pretty basic and straight forward with som muscle definition on his arms on
body as well as some abs. His head sculpt was very detailed with red eyebrows
and a cream outline around his eyes, which were also fully painted, and mouth. The detail and paintwork on the head sculpt were perfect and very accurate to the cartoon.
As with many
figures in the 80’s the articulation on these was very basic. His head could be
turned from left to right and his arms moved up and down as did his legs, and
that was about it.
three variations of the Lion-O figure, one with red hair and accessories, orange,
and maroon. Be careful when buying these MOC or loose because if the figure has
red hair, the variant accessories should be the same colour., so if they are
mixed they aren’t the originals.
Childbro Lion O
companies were licensed to produce and release these figures in other countries
and often they had differences to the LJN Thundercats Lion-O, these were Playful in
Argentinia, Rainbow Toys in England and Childbro in Germany.
Lion-O produced in Argentinia did not have the light-up eyes feature and only
the blade on the sword was painted silver. Also the Snarf figure, that was sold
with the Lion-O on some of the blisters, was made from a totally different
Childbro Lion-O is commonly referred to as the “Olive Green Lion-O” due to the
slightly green tint on its torso, arms and bottom jaw.
PLEASE NOTE: All prices and values quoted on this site were correct at the time of publication based on the average value across several online and offline auction sites etc. The prices quoted ARE NOT an offer or solicitation to buy any figures at these prices.
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The following websites, magazines and books are some of the sources I have used to research the material on this site as well as many of the images etc: Wikipedia | MegoMuseum | FigureRealm | RebbleScum | Mego Action Figure Toys by John Bonavita | Toyfare Magazine | Official Price Guide to Action Figures by Stuart W. Wells III and Jim Main
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