Cliffbee.com: Shattered Glass Thundercracker Toy Review

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Individual Review




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



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

   A crimson mid blue F-15 fighter with purple wings, tailfins and a purple nose, Thundercracker also sports some mid blue, neon green and gold here and there. He's a repaint of Classics Thundercracker done in the spirit of Actionmaster Thundercracker. He has a transparent green canopy and unusually for a Seeker, no allegiance symbols on his wings. The colours are grotesquely awful here - which is the whole point since he's tributing the neon colours of Actionmaster Thundercracker. I can't say they combine well here at all, and the layout of the colours doesn't make much sense either, since the Actionmaster didn't have an alt mode to map colours on (and so SG Thundercracker's colours are arranged for robot mode). The colours are (needless to say) wildly unrealistic.

   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 - although they thankfully don't resemble the magenta gun of Actionmaster Thundercracker.

   The guns underneath his wings are actually missile launchers, the purple 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.

   An exceedingly ugly repaint, but this is by design. I can't really say this vehicle mode looks good, and even within the context of the colours used, the layout isn't great here. Still, it gives more depth to the concept of Actionmaster Thundercracker and it's a good mould with a nice shape & good detailing.

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

   A purple, crimson and neon green robot with mid blue thighs and a gold head with a mid blue face and red eyes. He is again garish and horrible, but to be fair the colour map matches the Actionmaster very well. His feet, shins, forearms and the tops of his cannons are lime green while most of his torso (including the shoulder pylons) is purple along with the missiles. His boots and upper arms are crimson along with various highlights on his torso. Rounding things out is a red Shattered Glass Decepticon logo stamped on his right shoulder. I can't say these colours work on any aesthetic level, but the tribute is spot on, so they do work from a nostalgic point of view.

   While he's based on the Actionmaster, the mould is based on G1 Thundercracker - unlike the Actionmaster he sports missile launchers and proper wings. He gains both thighs and articulation - the head turns, the shoulder swing and lift out to the sides while the elbows bend. The wings have to swing back accommodate the moving arms. 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. Mind you, it beats that of the Actionmaster, which was very poseable by G1 standards.

   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.

   Well it's a very good robot mode (if one that's been visited many times now), and a good tribute which replicates what would have to be the most bewildering colour scheme ever. Given the context, this is a very well done robot mode, with my only real complaint being the red Decepticon logo, which weakens the tribute somewhat.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. Thundercracker was only released at BotCon 2011, so was most likely produced in a single production run. There are numerous (at least 12 by my count) other versions of this mould, including conehead retools.

OVERALL

   Well it remains a greta mould which updates the seeker concept nicely & it's one I don't get sick of. The colours here _are_ somewhat sickening, so if you don't get or don't appreciate the tribute, Thundercracker will seem weird and distasteful (actually, he is both of those anyway). Within the context of the recent BotCon tributes to G1 & "Euro" G1, it's a well executed tribute, which is only really held back by the red Decepticon logo (although that does have a context, too). I'll stop short of recommending a limited toy, and wouldn't recommend him if you don't appreciate the point of this toy. If you have the means & the inclination, this is a clever if oddball repaint - 9/10

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