Transformers Combiner Wars: Thundercracker (Leader Class) by Hasbro

Hoo boy, folks, am I excited to have this box in my hands. Although, that excitement is tempered a bit by the fact that there’s a shipping box in the corner containing Devastator, but we’ll save that for next week. When I first heard that Hasbro was making the Seekers using a tweaked mold of Generations Jetfire I was both fascinated and horrified. How could that possibly work? Well, all I know is I wanted it to work. I needed some Seekers for my Combiner War Megatron to order around. Aaaand, it doesn’t hurt that Thundercracker has always been one of my favorites because as a kid he was my first Decepticon and one of my very first Transformers.

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There’s the packaging. Thundercracker comes in a sizeable window box and packaged in his robot form. Check out the character art on the front of the box. He is seriously pissed off at someone. I suppose the whole Combiner Wars thing on the package could be a little misleading, since he most certainly does not combine with anything and he is woefully out of scale with most of the other figures in this series. But, hey, that was the case for Leader Class Megatron too. The box is totally collector friendly if you have a little patience and a pair of clippers, but I have neither right now, so I’m about to tear this sum’bitch open. Let’s start with his alt mode!

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If you’re looking to see the magic of Hasbro’s mad remolding skillz in the alt mode, you’ll be disappointed. This is basically a repaint of Jetfire without the booster assembly pieces (although the clips are still there) and with a new pair of wings. Now, that having been said, it totally works for me as Thundercracker and that’s all thanks to the gorgeous coloring. The bulk of the jet is cast in a deep, rich blue plastic with silver and red paint and a yellow tinted canopy that opens to reveal a detailed cockpit inside. Slap a couple crisp Decepticon logos on the wings and yeah, this’ll do just fine as my ‘Cracker. Not only is the coloring beautiful, but it really brings out some of the panel lining nicely. I don’t know where Hasbro got this new silver that they’re using, but it is fantastic. 

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Thundercracker comes with the same two sets of guns that came with Jetfire, only instead of that obnoxious red metallic finish, these are just black. You can still clip them onto the wings and undercarriage to give him a lot of firepower. In lieu of the booster pieces, T’Cracker comes with a pair of null rays, which can mount under his wings. Transforming this guy is the same as Jetfire, making him fairly easy for a Leader Class figure, but I’m not going to argue with the results…

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I think I’m a little bit in love with this guy. Maybe more than a little bit. He’s got a brand newly sculpted chest, complete with the same style of fake-out chest cockpit that Jetfire had and with the real cockpit on his back. He’s got newly sculpted shoulders too. I think the one thing that bothers me about this figure is the unfinished wings showing to the front. They were already changing the wings, if only they could have prettied them up on the side facing out.  I didn’t mind the rough wings so much on Jetfire, but here it bugs me a little, but not enough to ruin the figure. The thrusters peeking out behind his head is certainly a new look for the Seekers, but I’m not hating it, and the detail sculpted into those turbine intakes where his nipples should be is pretty great.

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The headsculpt is fabulous. It’s a crisp sculpt with more of that luscious silver paint and some light piping that’s a bit hard to activate. I’m surprised that I didn’t even realize that those iconic Seeker shoulder scoops were missing until after playing around with him for a bit. I wonder how long it will be before a third-party comes up with those? There are even very obvious spots where they could socket in. If someone were to release three pairs of them in a set at a decent price, I’d probably go for it.

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Naturally, you have some options with all those guns, but they’re all clearly designed to go somewhere specific. The larger ones can be left on the outsides of the legs to fill out that area, which I think works rather nicely. The null rays can socket into his arms, but unfortunately they socket into the forearms so they do interfere with elbow articulation a bit, and don’t really work when angled up like the original G1 figures or the Classics Seekers. The smaller pair of guns can be pegged into his wings or just left off. While I wish the null rays would have socketed into the shoulders, I still think they look really good when in firing position.

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Thundercracker also comes with the missile launching rifle that Jetfire had, only this time cast in black. It’s not a bad gun, but hand guns really aren’t the Seekers’ style so it’ll probably end up going into a drawer, or I might just give it to Jetfire so he can deep six the metallic red one.

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I wasn’t sure what to expect from this figure, but I was more than a little afraid that he was just going to be Jetfire masquerading as Thundercracker and that is not at all the vibe that I get off of him. It works really well as a new take on the Seeker mold, so long as you’re willing to give up stuff like the shoulder intakes and not having Decepticon emblems facing front on the wings. Like Jetfire, he’s loads of fun to play with thanks mostly to the strong ratcheting joints and the interchangeable weapons. He also scales beautifully with CW Megatron as well as MP Soundwave and MP Optimus Prime. I’ve already got the Starscream repaint pre-ordered and I’m looking forward to seeing Skywarp!

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2 comments on “Transformers Combiner Wars: Thundercracker (Leader Class) by Hasbro

  1. sweet. Hasbro has really upped their game with Leader class toys. Unfortunately they also jacked up the price something terrible. They better keep slinging 20% coupons and free shipping or I’m all done. Hrmphhhhhhh.

    • I don’t know why, but I remembered Leader Class toys being $50, but I must be mis-remembering that horribly. This guy was on sale at Dorksidetoys for $35 so I grabbed him. I think my Starscream pre-order is at $46.

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