Thundarr the Barbarian was a show that was ahead of it’s time. Perhaps some kids just weren’t ready for the shattered Earth of 3994 AD. As a matter of fact I doubt that the parents were happy with the sword and sorcery violence either. I’m not truly sure why it didn’t survive past two seasons…or why it took 24 years to finally get some action figures!
On the other hand I can tell you in all honesty that I ate up Thundarr The Barbarian with a spoon. A spoon covered in stuck on Boo Berry marshmallows mind you but a spoon nonetheless. Furthermore I beg you to answer the question how anyone couldn’t love this show. You had character designs by the likes of Jack Kirby and Alex Toth. Then the whole series was dreamed up by Man-Thing and Howard the Duck creator, Steve Gerber!
On the other hand my love of the show may have had a little something to do with seeing 1982’s Conan the Barbarian in theaters. I will admit I was probably too young for it at the time…or maybe I was actually at just at the right age?
Now Thundarr The Barbarian was produced by Ruby-Spears and aired on the ABC television network from 1980 to 1982. In all the series had 21 episodes. However that isn’t where I saw the show. I actually watched it in 1983 when it made the jump as a rerun on Saturday Morning on NBC.
If you frequent The Retroist I’m sure when you think of Thundarr the first thing that pops into your mind is that stunning intro!
Now check out this Thundarr The Barbarian lunchbox!
Thanks to the generosity of none other than RetroArtBlog we can totally drool over this vintage Aladdin produced lunchbox. I believe that RetroArtBlog picked it up on an online auction. A thing of beauty I bet you will agree – even it it was manufactured after the age of metal lunch boxes!
I want to point out something odd about this 1981 lunchbox and thermos. The folks at Aladdin decided to forego the villainous Gemini. Instead as is evident they went with the King of the Groundlings! Not complaining, just addressing an interesting design choice.
A super thanks to RetroArtBlog once again. Not just for granting me permission to share his recent acquisition with you but for also taking the photographs!
Want to know more about Thundarr The Barbarian?
You are totally in luck as The Retroist Podcast #48 is totally all about that classic cartoon series!
The other day at the arcade, I had dropped by to record the Zaxxon episode of the Diary of An Arcade Employee podcast and found that Shea had left me a pretty awesome gift. A laminated flyer circa 1982 from Universal Pictures promoting their then upcoming films that they felt would appeal to fans of horror, fantasy, and science-fiction.
I must assume these were handed out at trade shows to get film distributors interested enough to make sure to order enough prints for the films being offered by the studios so they could then lease them to the movie theaters. I love how they remind you of Universal Pictures heritage in those fields of entertainment right off the bat!
Then we get the enjoyment of seeing just what Universal was bringing to the table in 1982. I mean, just look at that line up! Cat People. Conan the Barbarian. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. John Carpenter’s The Thing. David Cronenberg’s Videodrome and to end the year out they had Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal!
By the way, it looks like the dates changed from that flyer which is understandable as studios have a tendency to do this all the time but E.T. hit theaters on June 11th.
Videodrome though saw itself being pushed back to February 4, 1983.
This will find a place of honor on my library wall!
The New Conan the Barbarian comes out today and I am hoping that is good. After all it will be hard to better then the original even with all the computer tech available today (which might actually hurt it). I just hope they ask this new Conan “what is best in life?”
“I live. I love. I slay…I am content.” – Conan The Barbarian
I watched Conan the Barbarian frequently as a kid and I am a big fan of the books, so I really hope this reboot delivers the goods. The trailer don’t look so bad, but wish they had passed on the 3D (I will do my best to see it without it).
The most legendary Barbarian of all time is back this Summer. Having thrived and evolved for eight consecutive decades in the public imagination- in prose and graphics, on the big screen and small, in games and properties of all kinds- Conan’s exploits in the Hyborian Age now come alive like never before in a colossal 3D action-adventure film.
A quest that begins as a personal vendetta for the fierce Cimmerian warrior soon turns into an epic battle against hulking rivals, horrific monsters, and impossible odds, as Conan realizes he is the only hope of saving the great nations of Hyboria from an encroaching reign of supernatural evil.
Deftly adapted from the original works of Robert E. Howard and faithful to the mythology and psychology of his iconic character, CONAN THE BARBARIAN stars Jason Momoa, Rachel Nichols, Stephen Lang, Ron Perlman and Rose McGowan, and is directed by Marcus Nispel.