Science of Appearances – Thundercats 80’s versus 2011

“Fashion is the science of appearances, and it inspires one with the desire to seem rather than to be.”
Edwin Hubbel

The 1980’s brought leggings, shoulder pads, acid wash jeans, and Member’s Only jackets. Now some of these things are still around today if you know where to look. I do not pretend to be an omniscient source of knowledge when it comes to fashion, although I would like to think I put together a cute outfit, but differences in fashion each decade are very apparent and some designs come full circle.

Thundercats first aired in 1984. I watched the series in the 90s since I was born in 1987. Even being a late 80s baby, Thundercats was still a large part of my childhood along with other shows like the Herculoids, Space Ghost, and Masters of the Universe. When I heard there was going to be a new Thundercats series, I was not at all skeptical as other fans. I was the opposite. Incredibly excited. I rather like seeing the older series remade, keeping in mind that these series are for the newer generations and are by no means a replacement for the beloved series of the past.

Airing on July 29th, the 2011 Thundercats was all I wanted. But I’m not here to discuss  and review the series as a whole. There are several reviews of the new Thundercats (most are very positive) already out there. I’m here to discuss the old designs versus the new ones. What did and did not like.

Let’s start with what made me squee. Wilykit, Wilykat, and Snarf!

I personally love the changes made to Wilkykit+kat! That does not mean I do not love their 80’s designs because I would choose Wilykit’s 80’s design over her newest one. I like Wilykat’s latest over his 80’s. They also seem more feline-like in the newest series. 80s Wilykit, being my favorite character from the 80s (because I was a little girl and wanted to be her), will always have a special place in my heart.

I actually do not like Snarf’s change. New Snarf is really cute. Too cute. I like cute things, and I like new Snarf, but he just can not replace 80s Snarf in my book. It just seems like such a drastic change, mainly because new Snarf does not speak. He also seems more of a pet compared to the protector and friend from the 80s.

Lion-O (ThunderCats)

Oh 80s Lion-O, sporting that amazing 80’s hair and body. Whose that next to him? That’s his 2011 counterpart. The most noticeable difference seems to be the appearance of age. 2011 Lion-O seems younger and not as built as the 80s version. His hair is a more choppy modern ‘do. So are his clothes (he’s wearing way more). I do not think there is one design I prefer over the other when it comes to Lion-O. They’re both equally Lion-O to me even if different interpretations.

I abhor Cheetara’s 80s design. There I said it. Honesty is the best policy, right? I never, ever liked that ugly orange, her wild blonde hair, or Kiss makeup. However the sex kitten of the original Thundercats still has a large fanboy following.

Absolutely in love with the new design, Cheetara also seems younger then her counterpart and the muted colors of her outfit fit better with the series. Actually, I think I will like to cosplay 2011 Cheetara because her design is so well done. It’s sexy without being too sexy. I can definitely take her seriously now.

Hard to find full length shots of Tygra without it being fanart or a figure. Still, just look at 2011 Tygra. His design is absolutely regal, fit for a king. It seems that only his clothes changed as everything else (face, “hair styling”, etc) is quite the same – which is good. I will not be missing his clingy, light blue spandex that’s for sure.

I love Panthro. He was always a badass and so was his design. Now, he is sporting some scars and spiked gloves making him the epitome of badass. Even with these new changes, I still like both designs quite equally.

Maybe 2011 Mumm Ra will shed his wraps and become the figure of my childhood nightmares. Seriously, 80s Mumm Ra visited me a couple of times in my nightly slumber. I expected more from the new Mumm Ra’s design. Hopefully he won’t be that skinny the entire series. His introduction into the current series was quite terrifying though giving me immensely high hopes for him. So, as of now, 80s Mumm Ra’s design wins for me. Jury is still deliberating on his 2011 redesign.

*most images were grabbed from Google, but here are a few image sources: Thundercats Lair and Toon Barn


6 responses to “Science of Appearances – Thundercats 80’s versus 2011

  1. You must’ve forgotten the original Mumm-Ra, ‘cuz he was both the frail mummy figure AND the huge, tough guy monster type. The Sunlight was his vampire-like weakness, reverting him to the weak form.

    Of all the characters redesigned for the new series, Mumm-Ra is really the only thing left untouched.

    Also, your belief that Tygra’s face looks ‘quite the same’ is totally wrong. Take another look at your own pictures and just look at all the differences in their faces. It’s almost as much of a change as in Lion-O.

    Cheetara only looks younger because of the anime style of the artwork. Unlike Lion-o’s looks to match his mental age (unlike the 80’s series), everyone else is playing the same intended ages as the original.

    You are just about totally alone on Snarf. Most everyone else hated his annoying stupidity. A bloated, silly, goofy, joke of a mascot character, was a cheesy 80’s stereotype character that needed to go. The new one is more a Pokemon-looking pet, and fits perfectly. No talking. His new voice isn’t annoying. He’s never in the way, and sometimes can point to help or a missed clue like any good cartoon pet should.

    The worst design is Panthro. The new design ‘is’ better, but still the most silly and generic. Spiked clothing is more goofy than bad-ass. The others are wearing logical armor. Spiked bits doesn’t make any sense. New guy’s face also looks too much like Jet Black from Cowboy Be-Bop, but I’ll give that a pass.
    The ‘scar-down-one-eye’ has been used a million times though, and needs to never be used again. It was already silly and old when we last saw it on the generic ‘cruel marine’ in the equally stupid 3D/CG-fest, Avatar.

    Ironically, the only ‘eye gimmick’ more generic is having one glowing red cyborg eye -which originally came from Terminator. That one’s been done probably a billion times over, and looks stupid every time too.

    • Hi! Thanks for the comment. I appreciate all your differing opinions because it allows me to see other views.

      Now that you have mentioned it, new Panthro does look like Jet from Cowboy Bebop! I never really noticed until you said it. That’s a great comparison.

  2. Oh… and off topic, but I see you list your race as ‘African-American’. You might want to consider that that’s doing nothing but harm. Your race, like everyone else, is ‘Human’ -hence the term you’ve heard a million times -‘the human race’.

    Do you ‘really’ think you’re a different ‘race’ than say ‘asians’ or ‘whites’? I think you’ll help improve the world if we get people to break these habits people have.
    What people mean is ‘ethnicity’, and ethnicity included far more than skin color, while genetically, we’re still all just 100% human.

    So, yeah, there are no such thing as ‘racists’ then, but you can still call them ‘mental case hateful bigots’.
    Note- the people who are most likely to talk about ‘the black, or african race’ are probably fat, bald white hillbillies in pointy-headed ghost cosplay. Why help those fools, right??

    ‘African-American’ is also weird ‘cuz it’s a mash-up of a Nationality, and a totally separate continent that you’re not from. You’re an American from America. Don’t water it down by saying you’re only part American-part something else. Notice white people almost never call themselves ‘European Americans’ because we’re not from Europe. Yes, my ancestors are from Europe, but technically all of us are originally from Africa. If we’re both from America, then we’re both Americans.

    Unless you emigrated from an actual African country…and you didn’t…then just be ‘American’. You deserve it like everyone else. You’re falling for a trap laid by bigots when you divide yourself out just like they want. Please give this some thought. Things don’t get better, smarter, more fair, more equal unless people think and change the flaws of the past.

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