Issues with the design aside, Thundercracker, like Starscream really is an awesome, awesome figure. From the deep blue Hasbro used, to his awesome tampographed decals on his body, he’s just a great addition to the master piece family. So lets jump in:
That’s not to say that Hasbro didn’t totally drop the ball on a few things of course. The box is the typical plastic trapazoid that Hasbro tends to use for these guys. It sort of stands as a testiment to the idea that they still feel these are marketed towards kids, as I think I’d be willing to pay an extra 40 or 50 bucks for a nice, Takara-esque Masterpiece box. I guess that cuts both ways though. This shows the first “issue” as it’s clear Hasbro’s wires were crossed on this, they intended him to be the old MP mold. The display stand alone is proof of that, but let’s take a peek at the back:
Well that’s just Generations Thundercracker…not a big deal I guess, but I mean, they could have just taken a picture of alt-mode and stuck it on there. And yes, you can totally see me in this picture. Oops.
On the side of the box we see:
Two different heads? Yikes. Coupled with the fact that the instructions are from the old mold as well, I think this is going to confuse anyone who’s not familiar with MP-11 and freak them the heck out.
But okay, so the guy in charge of the box and instructions didn’t bother to talk to the guy in charge of getting the figure produced…oh well. It’s just a box. And YouTube exists for the instructions. Let’s move on the Thundercracker himself. who again, is all kinds of awesomes.
Now aside from some somewhat noticeable mold flash, which, again is just Hasbro trying to reduce the price as much as possible, he’s just stunning. Some folks will argue that SunStorm looks better, I disagree. Thundercracker’s blue and gunmetal grey stands out so much more than SunStorm’s light orange and white. Its odd too, his turbine intakes actually appear more detailed than Takara’s Starscream, but that’s not the only thing he does better. We’ll get to that. Functionally, he’s identical to his MP-11 brothers, and the new mold, in my opinion, is much nicer. He comes with the Missile pods from the old figures, and so I keep them attached in Robot mode like so:
Here you can also see the tampographed G1-style details on the intakes. I don’t mind them but I agree that they are somewhat out of place. I wouldn’t mind reprolables taking a stab at these guys so that should resolve the issue. Unfortunately, as I mentioned, the same issues with Starscream affect Thundercracker, namely two areas: The torso does not really “lock” into place and the wings don’t really tab into his back like the should:
Luckily, the wings allow for “butterfly” movement so it’s not a major problem. Other than these two areas, he’s one good looking ‘Con. His face is nice and bright silver:
His hidden missile pods are actually painted better than Takara’s Starscream:
His shoulders ratchet very well and stay in place perfectly.
And because he’s identical to Starscream – guess what else works?:
Boom. Coronation Thundercracker.
Now, as the box stated, he does come with the old MP display stand as well:
Of course it helps if Hasbro remembers how they have Thundercracker’s name licensed….*sigh*. C’mon Hasbro. But it’s fine. He attaches to the stand in the same manner, but because the molds are just slightly tweaked, the connection can be a bit fickle.
I’ll most likely just use the stand for Starscream anyway. And speaking of which, let’s get some comparison shots in here, because they compliment each other quite well:
I’d say for sure, Thundercracker wins with the Decepticon symbol on the wings. For one – it looks WAY better than Starscreams, and it ends up facing right side up in ‘bot mode:
Starscream looks way better in the coronation gear though…for obvious reasons.
Alt-mode – Thundercracker’s F-15 looks great:
As you can see, the missile pods still attach, and you can just rest the null-rays under them – mine are on such strong ball joints that they stay put where I place them.
He does fit on the display stand as well, but again, its really fickle and you have to kind of fiddle with it for a while –
Let’s take a look at those awesome tampographs on all over the place!
Thundercracker is known for his use of sonic booms so it fits that they put this on the side. What’s more awesome though, is that its a picture of him (or any seeker) using Soundwave as a boom box. AWESOME!
Then there’s Reflector and “Say Cheese” on the sides! I should have taken a picture of TC with Reflector, but I forgot. Dang.
On the left of the cockpit, Joe Kyde got some credit, probably because he designed part, if not all of Thundercraker’s paint scheme –
On the right, J. Dragon “Sass” – I really don’t know who that is…
You’ll notice the nose cone is a bit misaligned. Mine does that now and again. Not sure what the issue is. Its not the hologram pilot trying to hang himself in there…lol. He does come with the “holo-pilot” but its all silver and I felt that looked better with Starscream, so I switched them:
He features all of the other “MP gimmicks” in Jet mode too of course:
So there we have it. Frankly, Thundercracker was worth speeding all over town for. I think I like him better than Starscream, but that’s mainly because he’s blue. I really want Skywarp now. Not old MP Skywarp, he won’t look right. I want a new Skywarp. It will never happen. *Sigh*.
If you like Thundercracker you can bid on my duplicate here:
More to come this week, including more Metroplex Reprolables, FOC Retail Swindle and a special delivery!