Cliffbee.com: Classics Thundercracker Toy Review

Toy Reviews
Individual Review




Name: Thundercracker
Series: Convention Exclusives
Allegiance: Decepticon
Alternate Mode: F-15 Fighter



PLANE MODE
Height: 6cm Length: 18.5cm Width: 13cm

   A metallic mid blue F-15 fighter in the spirit of the original Thundercracker toy, with silver air intakes and red stripes on the tailfins and wings to match those on the original. Thundercracker is a repaint of Starscream and and Skywarp, albeit he's a _much_ closer match to G1 than either of those toys. The blue is a touch lighter, which helps him match the cartoon version, although the difference is small. Like the other seekers, he has a transparent orange canopy, which sports blue ribs. The paint mask is essentially identical to that of the original - the silver on his air intakes is a little sparser and there are Decepticon logos on his wings - but that's about it. Unlike Screamer or Skywarp, the rubsign is on the fuselage - as in G1. A great colour scheme which is ridiculously faithful to the original. Ironically, Skywarp was originally a repaint of Thundercracker (there was no Diaclone in the Skywarp colours), and now Thundercracker is a repaint of Skywarp.

   For the size this is a pretty realistic F-15, with a seat inside the cockpit, subtle but complex plane seams moulded on top of the jet and _underneath_ the wings, detailed engine cowlings and canopy ribs. The guns underneath his wings are close to Thundercracker's original weaponry, also. The plastic of his canopy isn't quite as transparent as on the other Classics seekers, by the way.

   The guns underneath his wings are actually missile launchers, the missiles fire about half a metre, and aren't susceptible to popping out the moment you touch the triggers, which I appreciate. The launchers detach for his transformation, but I'm happy to report that the wings and tailfins do not - fuselage-only G1 Seekers are far too common, but this guy won't be ruined by a missing tailfin. There are four pseudo-tyres underneath - moulded lumps rather than wheels, and while Thundercracker sits flat on the table, rolling would have been nice.

   A much better paintmask that that of Starscream, and an improvement over Skywarp - both in reference to G1 and for its own sake. Yes it's the third version of this mould, but there are enough improvements here that Thundercracker still offers something as a jet. The fixed wings are a nice improvement (something the Robotmasters figure couldn't quite manage) and the vehicle holds together well. I'm struggling to pick out a noticeable flaw on this jet, which is so faithful to the original it's ridiculous.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Detach the missile launchers, extend the rear to form the boots. Fold up the tailwings and rotate the tailfins forward to form heelspurs. Fold down the feet and stow away the front wheels. Stand him up, swivel the wings up. Fold out the chestplate, rotate the canopy and pivot down to form the centre of his chest, rotate the nose and fold back to reveal his head. Flip out the arms and fold the chestplate back into position. Flip out his fists, give Thundercracker his weapons, either on the upper arms as traditional null rays or as handheld missile launchers.

   I really like this transformation. Without trying to get too fancy, it takes the original seeker layout and improves on it. He gains proper thighs and manages to keep the wings and tailfins permanently attached, integrates the fists and both configurations are true to the original.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 14cm Width: 13cm

   While the vehicle mode was all about the G1 toy, this mode really brings the cartoon Thundercracker into the frame. His torso and air intakes are silver, along with the face. His head is black and his eyes red, the orange canopy is now on his chest. The wings sit behind his arms and the tailfins on the outsides of his ankles. The thighs are blue along with his boots while the feet are black.

   There's not much here that's not G1 Thundercracker. Well, he has thighs and gains articulation - the head turns, the shoulder swing and lift out to the sides while the elbows bend. As with the original, the wings have to swing back accommodate the moving arms - but this isn't as pronounced since these wings are set back slightly. The hips are ball jointed and the knees have both hinges and swivels. The waist is fixed - but I don't mind. The feet are a little too static, the heelspurs are decent but not great, so we don't get too many stable leg poses. On the whole the poseability is good but not fantastic. Thundercracker's mould is better than both Skywarp's and Starscream's, which is nice to see. The tailfins fold away a lot better on this figure than on my Starscream.

   As with most Classics figures, Thundercracker lacks any true gimmicks - instead the toy focuses on being a good Transformer. The added poseability, solid build, hand weapon option and thighs are enough for me. We do of course get firing missiles - and they are an improvement over the neutered ones the original had - but they don't really qualify as a gimmick.

   A solid robot mode without any significant flaws. The poseability is good even if the legs are a little limited. Along with Dirge, the most faithful of the Classics seekers. Thundercracker is a fantastic tribute, and a clear improvement on Starscream and Skywarp - who both have strong robot modes anyway.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. Thundercracker was only released at BotCon 2007, so was most likely produced in a single production run. As mentioned, he is a repaint of Starscream and Skywarp. Universe's Acid Storm is a new character which also uses this mould. There is a later, but inferior, Henkei version of this character, which shares the mould.

OVERALL

   A great modern take on the tried and tested Seeker concept, with great poseability, fewer removable pieces and finally proper thighs. The colours and details are about as G1 accurate as you could hope for - and Thundercracker's colours are great in their own right. The only downside here is that Thundercracker is a very limited toy. If you have the means, I'd recommend picking this toy up - 10/10

"Transformers" and other indica trademarks of Hasbro and/or Takara.