Nostalgia is a powerful feeling. It’s the cause for Star Wars: The Force Awakens resembling A New Hope so much. It’s also the reason for all the reboots and relaunches that are saturating our movie theaters and television screens. Sometimes we can’t see past our own nostalgia to have an impartial opinion. It drives up the cost of goods like video games, comic books, and even collectible dolls. Classic Star Wars toys are through the roof with their prices. Older Magic: The Gathering cards are worth thousands. These prices are based solely on nostalgia, and nobody bats an eye.
ThunderCats is no different. It received a short-lived reboot TV series in 2011, which was sadly canceled after its first season. The old toys based on the classic cartoon from 1985 are worth astronomical amounts that it makes one wonder if they could be spending their money on something a little more practical. Like a car or mortgage. Does anyone really need the Cat’s Lair? No, but we sure would like one. Sure, there might be a little buyer’s remorse, but it looks so nice collecting dust on that shelf in the living room. In no particular order, these are the most valuable ThunderCats toys on the market right now.
15 BATTLE-MATIC LION-O
The original series was great for its time. Who wouldn’t watch a cartoon about a team of anthropomorphic felines fighting the armies of an all-powerful mummy? With a fun blend of medieval and futuristic technology on top of that, what’s not to like? Would you spend nearly $1,000 on an action figure to stick in a display case, though?
Or maybe you would take it out of its packaging to recreate your favorite scenes from the show. Going for $899.99 on eBay, this Lion-O action figure is still sealed and untarnished. The seller has 100% positive feedback, so we know you’ll get exactly what is advertised. You must really know what you want in life if you’re dropping that kind of cash on a toy.
14 THUNDERWINGS LION-O
There are some things to be said about people that never throw anything out. There’s even more to say when the one thing you decided to hold onto all these years, especially if you refrained from ripping open the package, is a Thunderwings Lion-O. If still in mint condition, one of these can fetch anywhere between $6,000 to $7,000. That’s gonna pay off your student loans one day. That’s a down payment on a car.
If you’re lucky enough to still have one of these laying around you have the luxury of holding onto it in an attempt to let it appreciate even more or sell, sell, sell to cash in on your rewards. Even out of the packaging this thing is more than likely worth a good chunk of change.
13 MAD BUBBLER
This is a little gem that never actually made it to market, though it did make it into some advertising alongside other figures from the ThunderCats toyline. Something about the bubble-blowing not being possible on a large scale. It was supposed to feature a function that blew bubbles when you pressed down on the head. That doesn’t mean prototypes never made their way to collectors.
Considered to be the crème de la crème to ThunderCats fans due to its rarity, even a reproduction can go for $800. While that is a lot of money for something that never went into production, that’s kind of the appeal. It’s like a trading card or comic book that was miscut or misprinted. Imperfections sell. In this case, no production sells.
12 MUMM-RA WITH LUNAR LASHER
Unlike the original Mumm-Ra toy, this one did not feature light-up-eyes or a lever on its back to make it “Battle-Matic” like several figures from this toy-line. If still in its original packaging, unopened, it can go for anywhere between $450 and $500, which isn’t too shabby for an action figure that doesn’t light up. Then again, less is usually more with collectors. They don’t need to be fancy with sparkles and neon lights.
What may be the cause for its price tag is that the blue version of Mumm-Ra was never advertised with the Lunar Lasher. Instead, it was a purple Mumm-Ra, which was seen in catalogs and on card backs. The shock a lot of fans got when there was no purple Mumm-Ra was probably more than a little disappointing. If only the internet existed at the time, it could have cleared up any confusion.
11 MUMM-RA’S TOMB FORTRESS
If you’re collecting toys from ThunderCats, you have to collect Mumm-Ra. He was the big bad, after all. It’s like collecting He-Man toys and not grabbing Skeletor or Power Ranger toys and ignoring Rita Repulsa and Lord Zedd. Actually, did anyone collect the villains from Power Rangers? Well, if you’re going to have Mumm-Ra, who is a mummy, you need his tomb.
That’s not too difficult of a task if you’re willing to cough over $100 for it. Is that too steep for you? Don’t worry, that’s only if it’s unopened in its original packaging. $50 gets you one out of the box. We’ve seen some steep prices before and these aren’t nearly as bad. It’s especially worth it if you’re a fan of everything Mumm-Ra and need his tomb to complete your collection.
When you’re a kid and you’re grabbing your favorite characters in toy-form, you’re typically picking up the good guys. They’re the characters that drive the show, the ones that we look up to and want to be most like. In ThunderCats one of those protagonists was Cheetara. Saving up $5.99 American bought you her toy with her bow-staff.
Now, in today’s economic climate, post-ThunderCats TV show, you can get her for $120 unopened. If you’re okay with a loose figure because you’re going to play with it like you’re ten years old again or recreate an awesome fight scene, then you’re in luck. You can find it for $45 in that condition. It might not be as pristine as the unopened version, but it’ll do.
He’s a panther. Let’s name him “Panthro”. That’s about how that meeting went, but we’re not here to nitpick the originality of ThunderCats names. Otherwise, we would be here all day and learn to count past 15. After all, the main protagonist is named “Lion-O” and he’s a lion. Panthro is one of the toys from the original toyline that fell into the market at $5.99.
If you were to find his toy now it would cost you $110, which is on the low-end of some figures on this list. If you’re okay with an out of the box version, that would save you 50%, but you’re a collector. Go for broke. What are you going to do with a spare $55? Buy a second Panthro?
If you’re going to collect the core of the ThunderCats team, you have to get Tygra. He was the intellectual on the team, acting as its chief architect and scientist. Tygra was responsible for all the ThunderCat structures on Third-Earth. He was also typically chosen by Lion-O to be his second-in-command, so it’s only natural that one would want to secure this action figure in their collection.
He came with his whip-like bolas that he often used in combat. You’re going to have to pay quite the hefty markup from his original price in the ‘80s. Packaged, he costs $110. Without the original packaging, he’s only going for $45, which is better than half-off. Small price to pay to have the core of the ThunderCats team, though.
7 THE CAT’S LAIR
Hardcore collectors, get your wallets ready because you can nab yourself a very awesome, mint condition Cat’s Lair for a whopping $370. That’s in its original box too. Just laying your eyes on this fortress will make you feel like a kid again, bringing back all those memories of watching the cartoon on Saturday morning in your pajamas. The cat head at the top of the fortress spun and lit up to simulate shooting lasers. It even made sounds to indicate hitting its target and sounded alarms.
If that’s just a little bit out of your price range or you’re not willing to pay that much for something that does so much, fear not, we have the loose-item price. And it’s a significant drop at $150, which is more than 50% for those that hate math. You’re going to want to unopened one, though, because that box-art is pretty awesome.
A fan-favorite character from the show and one that wasn’t in the series nearly long enough was Bengali. The white tiger character and blacksmith for the team that was called on to repair the Sword of Omens when it broke. He was introduced later in the series and called “brother” by Tygra. His action figure, with its slick shades of blue alongside his white contrast, comes in at $285. That is a lot for a piece of plastic that literally does nothing.
It looks amazing, don’t get us wrong. His original price was even more expensive than the original ThunderCats toys, which was $6.99 as opposed to $5.99. At least he comes with his Hammer of Thundera, though it doesn’t shoot blasts of energy or anything else it did in the show.
5 CHEETARA WITH WILYKIT
Just like most of the ThunderCats action figures, this one came with a “Battle-Matic” lever on the back of Cheetara that allowed the user to move her arms. Along with poseable legs and head. Unlike most of the regular figurines, this one came with an additional toy. Wilykit, the youthful sidekick of the series. Her figure wasn’t poseable or articulated and LJN eventually made a Wilykit figure that was sold on its own.
If you don’t need the original packaging and can manage to find both toys together, it will only run you $35. If you’re a perfectionist, on the other hand, and you absolutely need it in its original packaging, you’ll have to scrounge up $130 from under the sofa cushions. Or break open that E.T. piggy bank.
Driller was an interesting character in that he drilled and worked for diamonds because he needed them to keep his drill-tips sharp. His whole existence was to drill, but if he couldn’t do that he could just teleport. Anyway, he eventually had a toy made after him that had a drill that would spin if you pushed down on the lever on his back.
You can even open up the drill to create a type of tripod that allowed him to stand on his own. If this is something that interests you, an unopened, mint condition Driller only costs $250. If you happen to have this guy hidden away in your garage or basement, that’s a good starting price if you need the extra cash.
No ThunderCats collection would be complete without their mentor and master-warrior. Even though he didn’t make it to Third-Earth with Lion-O and the others, Jaga’s teachings reverberated throughout space and time, pulsing with the beat of their hearts to keep the team honest and benevolent. That just might be the sole reason his toy is going for $320 these days. That’s nearly the price of some of the fortress or vehicle sets that LJN made.
He even comes complete with his sword, helmet, and cape. His original price when he was available in stores was $7.99. Even an opened copy of this toy is $95. You’re a collector, though. Don’t let a little something like money stand in your way. He’s no Snarf, but still an integral part of the collection.
2 THE STINGER
One of the figures that was featured in many advertisements alongside toys such as The Driller and The Mad Bubbler is The Stinger. A toy that was released with the third wave of toys by LJN and came with two variants. One version had clear wings and while the other had a pinkish-green shimmer to them. The Stinger featured poseable arms and legs along with flapping wings.
While the $165 price tag isn’t specific to either version, we would recommend the more colorful version. It’s not necessary, just less boring than clear wings. Your preference. If a collector were to nab this guy along with The Driller and The Mad Bubbler, they would be sitting pretty a pricey collection that would rival some comic collections.
Talk about a jaw-dropper of a toy that most won’t even remember from the television series. This is reminiscent of that time Star Wars toys were being made of characters that you only see for a split-second in the background of a frame on Jabba’s barge. Not a particularly high-demand character at the time, but Tongue-A-Saurus was made nonetheless.
Sit down for this because he’s going for a surprising $150, which is more than some of the better-known characters from ThunderCats. Wilykit and Wilykat aren’t even going for $100. It is easy to see the appeal in making a toy out of this character since it’s not too dissimilar from Hungry Hungry Hippos. The box-art even makes it appealing. That might just be the nostalgia speaking, though.
Did you own any of these ThunderCats toys as a kid? Let us know in the comments!