Transformers Generations: Thundercracker by Hasbro

Closing out this week’s Generations trifecta is Thundercracker, a pretty highly controversial figure in the TF community and one that I am so happy to finally have in my collection. Thundercracker was one of the very first Transformers I got as a kid back in ’84 and I don’t mind telling y’all I was plenty pissed when it looked like I wasn’t going to get an updated version based on the Classics mold. For those of you who aren’t more entrenched in the TF community, Hasbro went and released Thundercracker in the US as part of a set of Botcon Exclusives. This made a lot of us mad, because we thought we’d never get to complete our updated Seekers. Of course, now there are a whole slew of fans who bought the Botcon “exclusive” Thundercracker that are pissed because they got roped into spending so much for theirs. Then you’ve got the Henkei Thundercracker owners who… ah, screw it. So what can we make of all this? Here’s an idea: Hasbro… don’t take a main character, one who is integral to completing a set, and even suggest that he’s going to be an expensive exclusive. It’s a stupid idea. And when you inevitably realize that and go ahead and release the figure to the mass market anyway, you’re going to piss people off no matter what you do.

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Ok, enough with the politics and nonsense. Let’s look at the figure. Funny thing is, despite how absolutely delighted I am to finally own this guy, I don’t have a lot to say about him because I’ve looked at this mold on FigureFan quite a few times already, albeit wearing a different paint job and sometimes different wings. He comes in the standard Generations packaging. Not much more to say here. Maybe Hasbro should have put a sticker on the bubble that says “No Longer An Expensive Convention Exclusive!!!” Thundercracker is carded in his jet form with his missiles and launchers mounted beside him. He looks great and has a nice little bio blurb on the back of the card.

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Yep, we’ve seen this mold before, and before that, and before that. If you count the remolds of the coneheads, I now own this mold no less than seven times over [Don’t forget Acid Storm!!! -FF] and that’s just because I haven’t gotten around to picking up the more G1 accurate repaint of Starscream. What else is there I can possibly say about it again? The jet mode still looks outstanding and Thundercracker’s paint job is sharp and beautiful. Well, there is one thing worth mentioning. Thundercracker isn’t saddled with a horrible looking rubsign. I realize that some collectors find nostalgia in those, but I just think they’re eyesores. Instead, Cracker’s got a couple of beautifully printed Decepticon insignia on his wings.

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The transformation remains unchanged, making this a really well designed figure. It’s cool how much of the transformation routine is close to the original toy and yet the robot mode looks delightfully close to his animated counterpart and with solid articulation to match. I think the nosecone hanging off the back of the head has started to bug me a little bit more with each Seeker released, but at least it helps you turn his head. The paintwork is fantastic and I love the tiny little Decepticon logo that’s placed right below his neck. The paintwork on the face is top notch as well. Thundercracker is an awesome looking figure and he looks great standing next to his Seeker brothers. Except… damn, I really need to get that other Starscream.

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Keep in mind that this Thundercracker figure is not the same as the one released in that exclusive Botcon set, nor is it the same as the Henkei version. It’s the same mold, but there are key differences in the paintjob. So all of you who are lucky enough to own that figure can still crow about it. Also keep in mind that with the release of Thundercracker, Skywarp has now become the Seeker that’s expensive and tough to get, since he is now the only one of the bunch that has not been released on a single card, but rather as a Target Exclusive, bundled with a pretty pointless […at least he was at the time, before Fan Project released the Apex Armor and made him worth owning. -FF] repaint of Optimus Prime as Ultra Magnus. Might as well give him to us on a card too, Hasbro.

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