Cliffbee.com: 6" Titanium Thundercracker Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Thundercracker
Series: 6" Titaniums
Allegiance: Decepticon
Function: Warrior
Alternate Mode: Cybertronian Jet



JET MODE
Height: 6.5cm Length: 15.5cm Width: 14cm

   A mid blue Cybertronian jet with extensive silver painted highlights and amber windows on his cockpit, Thundercracker sports grey thrusters at the rear. Thundercracker's jet mode is taken from the War Within comics, which in turn were inspired by the pyramid-shaped seekers seen in the G1 Cartoon episode More Than Meets The Eye. This jet is more of flying arrowhead shape than a pyramid, with a raised area around the base of his single tailfin. Much of the fuselage is made of die-cast metal, with the small wings, tail, raised tail base and nose being composed of plastic. The nose is actually composed of soft plastic. There's a Decepticon logo just behind the canopy, itself in the centre of the top of the jet. The colours are close to those of the cartoon incarnation of Thundercracker - the blue is notably lighter than the original toy, but the colours used still match the character thanks to the cartoon colour set. I really like the shade of blue used here, which is a touch darker than the cartoon.

   Since Thundercracker is composed primarily (maybe 65%) of die-cast metal, this jet mode is quite heavy for its size. The rear is hollow - so don't look at him from behind or you'll see his hands and head. Thankfully the weight distribution still works - and this isn't really an angle you'd typically look at. Also on his underside are three black plastic wheels - the front one actually folds out on a metal leg. The wheels and retractable leg actually represent all of Thundercracker's play value here.

   The paint job here is well thought out - there's actually some dark grey wash on the sides, which is subtle and easy to miss but shows the level of thought put into this toy. The sculpt is also well done, with small cannons at the base of his wings, various vents on the fuselage and a complex rib pattern on the rounded canopy. There are quite a lot of sculpted seams, none of which are what I'd call typical of planes - but then Thundercracker isn't an Earthen jet anyway.

   There's not much play value here - I've already covered what little movement he does have here. The 6" Titanium line is aimed at collectors as display pieces anyway, so I'm not so worried about play value. On top of that, this jet holds together very well - which is far from given amongst this line which tries to marry die-cast metal and modern articulation, with varied results.

   A good jet mode with great colours, a well thought out paint mask, a good sculpt and a colour scheme which captures the character well. It's stable, which is perhaps the most important aspect here, in the context of the line. While it's not quite the flying pyramid seen in the G1 cartoon, it's close enough, and represents a more realistic airframe.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Fold up the nosewheel if you haven't already. Split the tailfin and fold the tail and its base out to the sides, revealing his head. Unclip the sides, releasing the nose, which folds underneath and reveals his groin. Clip the nose onto his back, pull the sides forward to form his legs, rotate the boots forward and flip up his feet. Swing down his shoulders, swing down the forearms from the back of his upper arms and you're done.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 16cm Width: 14.5cm

   A blue robot with mid grey forearms, feet, thighs and head, Thundercracker has a silver face with red eyes and about half the amber canopy on his torso, just below the line of his shoulders (as on the original G1 toy). There are amber pylons on either side of his head, which are meant to resemble the classic air intakes on the seeker bodyplan. The Decepticon logo is now well placed in the middle of his chest. The grey is darker than I'd like compared to the silver or white we usually see on Thundercracker, but the blue and amber, along with some thoughtful placement of details like his canopy and pylons, anchor this robot as Thundercracker.

   The wings sit on the outside of his upper arms, behind the now opened tailfin (on either side). These compound wings resemble the traditional seeker wings, although the attachment point is quite different. The panels which were the base of the tail - which form the front of his upper arms - don't actually attach to anything, although the transformation hinges are quite tight so they'll stay in place without any trouble.

   Again there's quite a bit of die-cast metal - the front of his torso, backpack, back of his upper arms, boots and feet are all die-cast. Most of the robot mode aspects (thighs, lower arms, head) are plastic, along with the joints. His centre of gravity isn't affected by the die-cast metal, since his boots are metal, ensuring that the metal isn't a liability.

   The poseability is quite good here. His head turns while the shoulders swing, and lift maybe 10 out to the sides. There are two hinges per elbow and his wrists rotate. His hips swing and lift out to the sides, the knees are hinged with rotators just above these hinges. It's worth noting that all four of these leg joints are ratcheting and are quite tight - which is a good thing considering how heavy the upper body is - Thundercracker won't collapse in a heap, doing the splits spontaneously. The feet can swing down, which is really for the transformation rather than robot mode, but it does help in posing. The heelspurs are short but effective. As with all of the 6" Titaniums, Thundercracker comes with a grey plastic stand, featuring his name and faction symbol on the front. He doesn't need this to form stable poses, thankfully. His joints are all quite useful. Thundercracker lacks a weapon, and his hands lack holes anyway.

   A nice robot mode despite a slight divergence in his colour scheme. Again everything holds together well and the articulation is good - and useful. He's stable and visually appealing. The colours and quite a few details really sell this robot as Thundercracker - the layout of elements that resemble the traditional Thundercracker look is actually quite clever, when you consider that most of them are visible in jet mode. The stand is a nice add-on, really - he's stable enough without it.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of. The same mould was later repainted as Starscream, Sunstorm, Skywarp and Thrust.

OVERALL

   The fusion of die-cast metal and modern articulation is dicey on some 6" Titanium figures however Thundercracker manages to make this fusion work, and is great display piece offering both G1 style metal elements and modern posing. While he's not perfect, this is a rewarding figure, and one I'd recommend if you have even a passing interest in the line. The War Within jet mode is really geared towards the more dedicated fans (and I'm not really a comic person), but there's enough classic Thundercracker here that you don't have to be a comic fan to appreciate a really nice tribute figure - 8/10

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