Thunder! Thunder! ThunderCats, Ho…me?

I can’t hear that battle cry or the theme song to “ThunderCats” without my pulse quickening and the urge to hold a plastic Sword of Omens aloft becoming almost too strong to resist. I’m a child of the ‘80s (you might have seen my articles about “Ghostbuters” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”  to name just a couple) and when it comes to cartoons from that era “ThunderCats” is near the top in my book.

So, seeing as we’ve already tackled valuing the likes of Castle Grayskull from “He-Man” and even Smurf Village, I figured the time was purrfect to try putting a price on the most iconic property from “ThunderCats”: their headquarters, the Cats Lair.

Using my own form of “sight beyond sight,” I held my laptop skyward and used the power of math to determine that this cat-shaped fortress would be worth \$8,612,308 on today’s real estate market—if it were a real place, of course, and if Snarf hadn’t managed to wreck it somehow.

Somewhere, Mumm-Ra has stirred in his slumber upon hearing that figure. Unlike that vile baddie, I didn’t use dark magic to achieve my goal—just the process I’ll explain in the following paragraphs. ThunderCats, Ho-ld on to your questions ‘til the end and come along with me on a real estate tour of Third Earth.

## How I Did It

In case you’re a newcomer to our fictional property evaluations, here’s a quick overview of how we figure out these things. Just like actual First Earth real estate evaluations, you need to know three things to get an estimate:

• The size of the property (in this case the Cats Lair)
• Where the property is located
• The price of similar properties there

I like to start with the size of the property, so I’m going to do just that.

## They Must Need A Big Cat Box

I’ve had to resort to some pretty bizarre tactics when evaluating a piece of fictional property like the Cats Lair. One of my favorites was using the size of a pizza box to measure the Ninja Turtles’ lair. Usually, though, it comes down to staring at a lot of still images from the movie or cartoon the property is from; seldom is there anything really official to go by.

In the case of this “ThunderCats” evaluation, however, I kind of lucked out. They weren’t easy to track down, but I managed to find a set of blueprints for the Cats Lair used by the animators on the original series as reference (so things like the Sword of Omens chamber weren’t depicted as being in different locations in each episode).

These blueprints confirmed that the lair is six stories tall plus a basement, and is comprised of the following major locations:

• Thundertank hangar
• Main hall
• Central hall
• Training room
• Sword chamber
• Round table
• Kitchen
• Weapons room
• Two guest rooms
• ThunderCats’ bedrooms (barracks style)
• Lion-O’s room (he gets his own for some reason)
• Machine room
• Control room (in the cat’s head)
• Basement level with power generator

To get my measurements, I used the 36-inch width of a standard interior door. I added up every inch of the fortress (including the basement level since it’s finished) and got a total square footage of 19,753. That’s actually not too far off from Castle Grayskull’s 16,745 square feet, for ‘80s cartoon comparison sake.

With the size all tied up like an enemy in Tygra’s bullwhip, I could move on to my next big challenge: figuring out where on Earth (not Third Earth) this place would be.

## ThunderMaps, Ho!

In the original series, the Cats Lair was erected by the ThunderCats on a planet called Third Earth, after they fled their home world of Thundera. What I quasi-sort-of remembered from my more intense period of “ThunderCats” fandom was that Third Earth is actually Earth after some major calamity.

Using a really cool map of Third Earth locations I found online (below), I started my quest to find a “First Earth” location that fit the bill. Knowing that the main bad guy, Mumm-Ra, was shown living in a pyramid in Egypt early on in the series, I anchored the location of his foreboding onyx pyramid there on a world map.

Then, I pored over the Middle East and Europe looking for other matches. The ruins north of Mumm-Ra’s pyramid on the map reminded me of those from ancient Greece. I figured the water to the south could be the Mediterranean Sea, while the water to the north could be the Black Sea.

What I found was that, if I took a map of the area defined by Romania to the north and Egypt to the south and turned it about 45 degrees counter-clockwise, it was a pretty good match to Third Earth. I figured this made sense, as some sort of massive calamity (maybe an asteroid?) could have caused the Earth to shift on its axis, resulting in a warping of land masses and the expansion of bodies of water like the Black Sea.

That’s my take, anyway. The creators of the show probably just threw a bunch of Earth landmarks together to make their world, but crazy people like me will always look for a connection, right? Right?

Anyway, after syncing up my real-world map with the map of Third Earth, I decided that Bucharest, Romania was the best fit for the Cats Lair’s location. With that figured out, I just had to look up real estate listings for the area in hopes of finding something similar (to a giant cat-shaped fortress). Yeah, good luck.

## Panthro, Cheetara, And The Rest Learn Romanian

The idea of “ThunderCats” dubbed in Romanian is pretty funny. I had to get serious, though, if I was going to find some suitable properties to base my price per square foot on. Fortunately, the Internet has everything, including listings for castles (and castle-sized homes) near Bucharest.

After finding five such places (including one actual castle), I found the average of their prices on a square foot basis and ended up with a figure of \$436 per square foot. The only thing left to do was battle Mumm-Ra to make an offer… I mean use some math to get my final figures.

Multiplying the square footage of the Cats Lair (19,753) by the just-mentioned price per square foot for a similarly sized home in Bucharest (\$426), I got a total price of \$8,612,308. That’s enough money to buy about 3,255 metric tons of premium cat litter.

Honestly, Mumm-Ra might be better off spending that amount on cosmetic surgery. I mean, have you seen the guy? He should at least consider using some moisturizer. He could buy 18,953 gallons of Neutrogena for that price.