Name: The Mad Bubbler
From: ThunderCats (1985)
Classification: A magical and malevolent creature from after school cartoons.
Appearing only once in the last season of the ThunderCats, The Mad Bubbler has lived in infamy with the toy collecting world. I personally love the idea of this monster. It looks and feels like something that could only come out of the ’80s. It also feels like some crazy D&D monster from some off the wall module, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
The Mad Bubbler is a giant sized creature that lives in a remote region near Hook Mountain, making his home in an abandoned mine (or an abandoned underground apartment complex, it’s hard to tell). The Mad Bubbler moves freely through out the tunnels and caves of the underground complex with the ability to turn into mist. This power allows him to move silently and he uses it to ambush unsuspecting victims.
Once he gets the drop on someone, The Mad Bubbler breathes out a torrent of bubbles that will encase and trap his prey. The bubbles are unbreakable and they seem to pop only after he turns back into mist and leaves the area.
The bubbles also have the ability to poison the person trapped inside with a toxin that turns them into a mad, rage fueled killer. The people under these spells will violently attack anyone or anything that gets in their way. The Mad Bubbler enjoys these games of death and hides somewhere unseen watching it unfold.
In this episode titled “The Mad Bubbler”, the Lunataks, Luna, Amok, and Chilla attack Snow Man and travel into the cave. They are almost instantly overtaken by The Mad Bubbler and turn on each other in a running battle through the caves and tunnels. Snow Man travels to the Tower of Omens to alert the ThunderCats and Tygra, Panthro, and Cheetara respond. They to are easily overtaken by The Mad Bubbler’s bubbles and begin fighting each other also.
The Thundercats are saved by Snarf and Snarfer who tagged along on the Feliner. The two Snarfs were also trapped by the Mad Bubbler but didn’t fall under the murderous spell because “Snarfs are incapable of doing evil acts”. Snarf and Snarfer tried their best to get the ThunderCat’s weapons away from them but soon were caught by Tygra. Before Panthro, Cheetara, and Tygra could kill them, Lion-O shows up and breaks the poison’s grasp by using the Eye of Thundera on them. It is never resolved what happened to the Mad Bubbler or the poisoned Lunataks.
For a one-off character/monster, The Mad Bubbler was elevated to the highest of pantheons because of the myths and mysteries surrounding his toy in the LJN ThunderCats toy line.
Advertised as part of the Ram-Pagers toy line, The Mad Bubbler never made it to mass market.
LJN had difficulties in getting the toy’s action feature of bubble making to work and with the show’s run ending and the toy line ending it was never a priority. A few production copies have made their way to auctions and have homes in private collections. The Mad Bubbler has become the “Golden Goose” to many serious collectors of toys and ’80s nostalgia.