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Xonox Press Release: Thundarr the Barbarian (aka Tomarc)


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#1 NIAD OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 13, 2013 4:21 PM

In the spirit of sharing, I give you this picture of a Xonox Press Release Flyer for the game Thundarr the Barbarian by Xonox. As most of you know already, Thundarr was the original working title to this game and then it was later changed (I assume for legal reasons) to Tomarc.

Plenty more interesting stuff to share, but I think the rest will have to wait for the Coleco Museum (which could be a ways off yet), unless of course people want to share on this forum as well. You know, a little give and take.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Thundarr the Barbarian - Press Kit Flyer.jpg


#2 jirkoo OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 13, 2013 4:24 PM

Great piece of history. Thanks!

#3 cmart604 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 13, 2013 6:52 PM

Cool! Thanks for sharing Jim! :thumbsup: Neat to see the mock up box.

#4 Pixelboy ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:15 PM

Weird... The screenshot shown in the press release looks nothing like the actual game of Tomarc.

#5 ColecoDan OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:02 PM

Weird... The screenshot shown in the press release looks nothing like the actual game of Tomarc.


Good point, I didn't even pay attention to that. It actually looks a lot more interesting than the actual game.

#6 NIAD OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:27 PM

I've never been able to get anywhere in Tomarc the Barbarian (not that I really tried much either with this game :sleep: ), but was pretty sure that the screen mock-ups in the ress Release were considerably different. I guess they weren't lying with that small text under the box, you know, the one that goes somethings like "Actual game screens may blah, blah, blah, blah".

#7 ColecoFan1981 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 14, 2013 2:18 AM

In the spirit of sharing, I give you this picture of a Xonox Press Release Flyer for the game Thundarr the Barbarian by Xonox. As most of you know already, Thundarr was the original working title to this game and then it was later changed (I assume for legal reasons) to Tomarc.

Plenty more interesting stuff to share, but I think the rest will have to wait for the Coleco Museum (which could be a ways off yet), unless of course people want to share on this forum as well. You know, a little give and take.

Thundarr: The Barbarian was copyright to Ruby-Spears Enterprises (now part of Warner Bros. Entertainment), and began life as a Saturday morning cartoon that aired on ABC in the years 1980 to 1982, and re-ran on NBC in the 1983-84 season. I would think that R-S, then owned by Taft Entertainment, wanted too much of Xonox' money for the license.

~Ben

#8 nanochess ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:23 AM

It remembers me when I was a kid, I used to read Compute! magazines. Always I was wondering why the screenshots were looking like drawings done by hand. Later I was running my own contest for myself: is real this screenshot or not? :) I took it very seriously.

Besides I slowly became disappointed when I was able to read the descriptions and discovered that the game descriptions were way too good versus the real game.

Edited by nanochess, Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:24 AM.


#9 NIAD OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 14, 2013 4:06 PM

Thundarr: The Barbarian was copyright to Ruby-Spears Enterprises (now part of Warner Bros. Entertainment), and began life as a Saturday morning cartoon that aired on ABC in the years 1980 to 1982, and re-ran on NBC in the 1983-84 season. I would think that R-S, then owned by Taft Entertainment, wanted too much of Xonox' money for the license.

~Ben

Thanks for the detailed info Ben and indeed I do recall watching the cartoon.. the first run on ABC. As far as the licensing fees being the reason why the name was changed (which undoubtedly caused the game and game graphics to change), I would say that is highly likely, but there had to have been something else as well seeing that Xonox must have already acquired the license and negotiated license fees before they went ahead producing mock-up screens, press release flyers, etc.

I would venture a guess that R-S Enter./Taft was extremely disappointed with the quality of the game and pulled the license per a clause in the contract that allowed them to protect their intellectual property from subpar productions. You know, the same crap that Mattel states (or supposedly states :roll: ) with that certain CV He-Man game.

#10 ed1475 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:04 PM

There are 2 adventures in Tomarc the Barbarian. Each with 2 screens. I only found this out about a year ago when making a gameplay video for Youtube.

What's really funny is that in adventure 2 Tomarc looks completely different and is less than half the size as in adventure 1. The sound effect of his climbing the spider web is taken from DK Junior. When climbing, Tomarc is even shaped similar to the Intellivision version of DK Junior done by Coleco.

http://youtu.be/Iv3GnPM_dC4

#11 NIAD OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:19 PM

Ed, thanks for posting the link to the video and saving me the horror of playing this game like I was considering. You deserve about 100 oldschool AtariAge +1s.

#12 PingvinBlueJeans OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:20 PM

In the spirit of sharing, I give you this picture of a Xonox Press Release Flyer for the game Thundarr the Barbarian by Xonox. As most of you know already, Thundarr was the original working title to this game and then it was later changed (I assume for legal reasons) to Tomarc.

Plenty more interesting stuff to share, but I think the rest will have to wait for the Coleco Museum (which could be a ways off yet), unless of course people want to share on this forum as well. You know, a little give and take.


Quite a while back, I spoke with a programmer who did some development for Xonox. Regarding Thundarr/Tomarc, he had this to say...

You’re right about the quality of many of the Xonox games being lacking. We gave them what we could in the time allowed but as I remember we never had more than 90 days for any of the titles. Motocross Racer was done in 70 days (I think). I was never happy with Tomarc (Thundarr) or Lancelot but nothing could really be done about it. I don’t remember the exact details (so don’t take this as fact) but it was my impression that the license for Thundarr was pulled because the trademark holder was not happy with the way the game turned out.


EDIT: The programmer is actually referring to the 2600 versions of these games, but take that for what you will.

#13 Zwackery OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:19 PM

I really have a soft spot for Thundarr. I bought the release of the figures a few years back.

#14 PingvinBlueJeans OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 14, 2013 10:46 PM

I really have a soft spot for Thundarr. I bought the release of the figures a few years back.

Sounds like you've got more of a hard-on than a "soft spot", eh? :P

#15 NIAD OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 14, 2013 11:22 PM

Sounds like you've got more of a hard-on than a "soft spot", eh? :P

Now, now. Let's leave Zwackery's fetishes out of this! :P

#16 Zwackery OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 15, 2013 7:00 AM

Well, they are action figures "for the adult collector".

#17 NIAD OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 15, 2013 4:43 PM

Thanks PingvinBlueJeans for posting the info you had from the Xonox programmer... stuff like this is priceless and I look forward to reading/viewing any other great history like this that you may have available and are willing to share with the community.

#18 sega_SHARK OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 15, 2013 5:05 PM

+1 for the Pingvin. Fun stuff.

#19 atarilovesyou OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 19, 2013 11:54 PM

I used to love watching Thundarr as a kid. There was him, and another jacked on steroids type cartoon guy (not He-Man) who had one half of a sword and the main bad guy had the other...together the swords did some crazy shit, who knows...it was ages ago. But Thundarr was cool.

#20 KeizerGhidorah OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:03 AM

...and another jacked on steroids type cartoon guy (not He-Man) who had one half of a sword and the main bad guy had the other...together the swords did some crazy shit, who knows...it was ages ago.

You thinking of Blackstar?

Back on topic, I always wondered why there was never a Thundarr game- I mean, it ran on ABC until from 1980-82 and then again on NBC in 1983, right around the time Atari was riding high. Now I see why- it just sucked :(

#21 ColecoFan1981 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 20, 2013 2:07 AM

You thinking of Blackstar?

Back on topic, I always wondered why there was never a Thundarr game- I mean, it ran on ABC until from 1980-82 and then again on NBC in 1983, right around the time Atari was riding high. Now I see why- it just sucked :(

When NBC had re-ran Thundarr in '83, the video game crash was sadly just beginning...

~Ben

Edited by ColecoFan1981, Sun Jan 20, 2013 2:08 AM.


#22 KeizerGhidorah OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 20, 2013 2:09 AM

When NBC had re-ran Thundarr in '83, the video game crash was sadly just beginning...

~Ben

Oh well. It's too bad about the game though- a Thundarr game woulda been awesome.

Edited by KeizerGhidorah, Sun Jan 20, 2013 2:10 AM.


#23 atarilovesyou OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 20, 2013 2:19 AM

Yep, Blackstar...something kinda creepy about a muscled up dude running around in space with a bunch of green munchkins.

Oh yeah, and Tomarc truly is a turd. My opinion of course.

#24 NIAD OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:23 AM

For that matter, with the exception of maybe 2 games, all of Xonox' CV games were turds but that is to be expected when programmers are given a timeframe of 90 days to get the job done. Maybe with a team of programmers working together, better games could have been developed, but it seems like most were done by 2 programmers at most.

So what do I consider the two exceptions in Xonox' CV library? I would say Artillery Duel with it's 2-player simultaneous gameplay and Motocross Racer. I know some people have a sweet spot for It's Only RnR, but I just could never get into that game and Sir Lancelot was close but should have been so much more especially considering the game, Joust, they borrowed heavily from.

#25 ColecoDan OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:36 AM

I think slurpy gets kindof addicting if you give it a chance. I hate motocross racer especially trying to drive up the mountain. The controls are so ridiculous.




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