I don’t have a lot of patience for repaints these days, but when it comes to the Seeker Trinity, I will always open my wallet. That’s why it irks me when Hasbro releases a new Seeker mold and takes so long to release all three. We all remember what it was like when Classics/Universe 2.0 Skywarp was only released in a Target Exclusive 2-pack with Ultra Magnus, right? And even then it took forever to get Generations Thundercracker. Well, this time around Fall of Cybertron Thundercracker is following pretty closely on the original Starscream release. And thank Primus for that. He was my first Decepticon figure way back in 1984, so I’m always excited to get a new version of him.
I believe this is the sixth IDW Comic Pack that I’ve featured here so I’ll try to refrain myself from gushing over how much I love the presentation. You get Thundercracker carded in his robot mode in front of a reprint Spotlight comic and a G1-inspired grid-deco on the card. This is wonderful stuff, as always and opening it gives me a head rush from one of the greatest smells ever. Someone really needs to make cologne that blends the odors of new toy and comic book. And speaking of comics… the one included here is pretty good. It’s tied in with Autocracy, a book that I have still not read, so I’m coming at it as a one-shot. Thundercracker tries to hunt down Metroplex, but with his own secret agenda. Ironically, one of the coolest things about this comic for me was that it featured cameos by the old Deluxe Insecticons, like Venom and Chop Shop. Hasbro… Do these guys in IDW Comic Packs… Please!
Kicking things off with Thundercracker’s alt mode, it shares all the same highs and lows of the Starscream jet, but overall I find it to be a pretty cool design. Yeah, it’s a little chunky, but it does harken back a little bit to the old Cybertronian Tetra-Jet design. I think the biggest flaw is the fact that you can see through the top of it where the head folds in. On the other hand, everything locks together quite well, making it a fun and sturdy little toy.
I seem to recall my biggest issues with Starscream was the general lack of sculpted detail, particularly there aren’t too many panel lines, and the coloring was a little drab. Thundercracker doesn’t have any additional sculpting, but his deco goes a long way to help me to overlook that. The blue and grey plastic used here just pops a lot better than the drab grey used on Screamer. Cracker also has some more prominent paint apps, like the striping on his wings and the beautiful little purple apps on his vents. Even his Decepticon wing insignia are outlined in silver to make them stand out better than Starscream’s.
Thundercracker comes with repaints of the exact same chaingun style weapons as Starscream. Part of me thinks they could have tried something new, but then I also think these guys should have uniform weapons, so I’m Ok with it. However, the weapons are the only part of Cracker where the paint doesn’t outshine Starscream. Hasbro didn’t even bother to paint he barrels.
The transformation here is extremely simple, which isn’t always a bad thing. I would have really appreciated this transformation as a kid, because you could go from playing with him as a jet or robot pretty quickly. As a repaint, there are no surprises in the robot mode. I still dig this bot form quite a bit, although it has its issues. The feet are rather awkward and make it difficult for him to stand, especially in wide stances and the torso still has that hollow look to it if you aren’t viewing him from dead on. It’s also worth noting that we didn’t get a head re-sculpt, but considering Starscream didn’t have his trademark douchebag smirk, I kind of assumed Hasbro would be using the stock head for all three. Once again, I’m Ok with it, because it is a very nice head and the light piping is pretty spectacular when you hit it just right. Obviously, the deco on Thundercracker still shines in his robot mode, making him a lot more attractive and interesting to look at than Screamer.
You have a few different options on how Thundercracker can wield his weapons. Each one has two pegs and they can either be pegged into his forearms or he can hold them like guns. They’re large and sometimes awkward, but if I plug them into his forearms just right, I like having them slung under his arms so he can just sweep the room with firepower. Sweet!
In the end Thundercracker is one of those figures that shouldn’t surprise anyone. It’s a straight repaint, but a very good one at that. The paintwork here really brings out the strengths of the mold and makes up for some of the lack of detail in the sculpt. I can liken it to the differences between the original Classics release of Starscream and the original Generations release of Thundercracker. It was an instance of the exact same mold taken to two extremes by different paint jobs. It’s not just an issue of the deco either. Cracker is just an example of better and more detailed coloring and for me that would make this the one to own if you only want to own this mold once. On the other hand, I can’t imagine just having one of the Seekers. Even now, I’m trying to resist paying top dollar for the Takara Skywarp, in hopes that he’ll be coming to the States via Hasbro at some point in time.