LJN was an American toy company and video game publisher. It was founded in 1970 by Jack Friedman and ran until 1994 when it was closed down and dissolved into Acclaim Entertainment. In the early 1980s, LJN was contracted to manufacture the Thundercats toy line.
Unlike many other toys being produced at that time, the LJN Thundercats toy line was unique due to almost every toy having some sort of a "Battle-Matic" action. This feature, which made the toys extremely popular among children, was also employed by LJN in its previous toy line, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons.
The toys were release in three waves over a span of three years with each wave boasting new additions as well as re-releases of previous toys. Most of the toys came packaged along with a fold-out "Mini Catalogue" which advertised all the toys available in that year's release. With each new release, the catalogues were updated to include the new toys that were introduced.
In France, the ThunderCats were known as "Cosmocats" and the French releases of the LJN toys also bore that name on their cards and boxes.
Series 1 (1985)
The backs of the Series 1 toy cards featured 8 figures and hence they are often referred to as "8-Back" cards.
Series 2 (1986)
The backs of the Series 2 toy cards featured 6 new figures in addition to the 8 from Series 1 and hence they are often referred to as "14-Back" cards.
Series 3 (1987)
The backs of the Series 3 toy cards featured 8 new figures in addition to the 14 from Series 2 and hence they are often referred to as "22-Back" cards. Most of the Series 3 toys use the back to Series 2 (14 Back). This makes collecting variants of Series 2 and reissues in Series 3 confusing.
There were a number of figures and vehicles that were advertised in the LJN catalogues but were never produced. Only a few prototypes of these toys were made.