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Rookwise's Review: Chronicles Thundercracker

Name: Thundercracker
Function: Warrior
Sub Group: Seekers/Skyraiders
Size Class: Legends/EZ Collection

Thundercracker was one of the first Transformers to be released as part of G1. His original 1980's model was a version of a toy released as part of Takara’s earlier Diaclone series of figures.

Thundercracker was among the Decepticons onboard the Nemesis when the Decepticons followed the Autobots from Cybertron to find another energy source. After a battle onboard the Ark (The Autobots starship), the Autobots and Decepticons crashed on prehistoric earth and went into stasis for four million years.

Thundercracker was reformatted into an F15 Eagle jet plane along with his fellow Seekers Skywarp and Starscream.

Thundercracker was also present at the battle of Autobot City (1986 animated movie) and after the battle he ended up badly damaged and was thrown out of Astrotrain along with Skywarp, Megatron and the Insecticons. They were intercepted floating in space by the Chaos Bringer Unicron. Thundercracker was apparently reformatted by Unicron into Cyclonus.

In the comics Thundercracker had very little time and for the most part he was defeated and put in a stasis prison aboard the Ark. He was rescued and in a short time was deactivated again by Omega Supreme and again placed into stasis aboard the Ark. Much later Thundercracker was brought back online to face an Underbase powered Starscream and guess what happened... He was deactivated/destroyed by Starscream never to be seen again.

Chronicles Thundercracker is a repaint of the Transformers 2010 Legends Reveal The Shield (RTS) Starscream toy. He transforms into an F-15 Eagle with many fuselage details borrowed from his Takara Masterpiece version. This is the first Seeker mold in many years to attempt an entirely new transformation, with the arms now forming the rear of the jet and the legs folding under the wings. Thundercracker is available only in Japan, and like many Japanese "EZ Collection" toys, is blindpacked.

Alternate Mode:

Thundercracker’s alt mode is as close to his original G1 F15 Eagle jet mode as possible at this scale. The main colours are a metallic blue along with red detailing on the wings, black on the rear thrusters and a yellow/gold cockpit. On the wings there are two Decepticon logos in silver. There is a lot of panel detailing on the alt mode. Underneath there is a lot of robot parts on display along with additional colours of silver and more black. There’s also another cockpit on display! I have no idea why the designers decided to do this as the alt modes cockpit actually folds up behind this one.

The rear tail fins are part of the legs. The legs are swept around to the sides and clip onto the underside of the wings with the tail sections just holding themselves in place basically hanging off the rear of the robot mode’s boots/feet. Having the legs this way makes the jet mode look chunky and not streamlined at all. This, for me, spoils what is otherwise a nice looking jet mode.

Robot Mode:

After a very easy transformation we get the robot mode. This is perhaps as close to the familiar Seeker form as possible given the size, although I feel more could have been done. The majority of the figure is still coloured in metallic blue but with slightly more black and the inclusion of silver present on the body and face. Being a straight repaint of RTS Legends Starscream, Thundercracker also shares the same head as Starscream along with Starscream’s half smile/smirk.

Articulation is a bit lacking with just seven points of articulation. These are basically the head, upper arms, upper leg and knee. Although there is movement in the upper leg, it is only a left or right movement. This makes the knee joint rather pointless in my opinion as it doesn’t allow for any poses apart from Thundercracker doing the splits or a squat with the feet pointing outwards.

Thundercracker’s arm cannons are also on the thin side although they do look the part. The weapons are formed from what made the center of the alt mode’s fuselage and are attached to the figure’s arm via a hinge.

The tail section of the alt mode tucks in behind the figure’s foot leaving the smaller wings sticking out from the side of the figure’s leg. This is actually a nice touch as the original G1 figure would have the small wing sections sticking out from the side of the foot.

There is a lot of familiar detail on Thundercracker to make him closely resemble his original G1 look. The chest section is very well detailed even though it’s mostly done in silver.

Thundercracker’s larger alt mode wings are slightly higher up than the character would traditionally have them, which is more similar to how Animated's Starscream, Skywarp etc had their wings positioned. Having the wings in the higher position doesn’t affect movement of the arms though (unlike the larger Classics Deluxe version of the Seeker mold).

Overall though, Thundercracker is a nice display piece and also fun to have the occasional mess around with even though he’s lacking in articulation. Thundercracker looks even better next to RTS Legends Starscream and there is also a Skywarp version of this mold coming in Chronicles Wave 2 due December 2011. Great if you like your Seekers.

Marks out of ten for the following:

Transformation Design: 7 - Easy to transform and takes some cues from the larger 80's G1 model. The finished result is good. Especially the robot mode
Durability: 8 - Not a lot that could break. The plastic seems quite strong. If anything the laser cannons are thin and could break but they'd more likely come off the hinge joint first.
Fun: 6 - Not much to do with the figure but if you’re the type that likes squadrons of Seekers then this is a good one to add to your fleet.
Aesthetics: 8 - Plenty of detail in both modes. Just a lot of blue but that’s how Thundercracker is/was.
Articulation: 4 - Could have been so much better articulated. Even if the designers just added an extra joint on the upper leg/hip it could have scored much higher. Unfortunately as he is, Thundercracker has very limited movement.
Value/Price: 4 - At the moment most places seem to be selling Thundercracker at a very high price tag. Mine was one of the cheapest at 30 including delivery. If however, Thundercracker does eventually get a Western release the price should be acceptable for the size class (approx 3.99 in the UK) and the score would be a nice 8…
Overall: 6 - A nice little figure which is let down by a few things. Still a nice display piece once the EZ/Legends/Cyberverse Legion Seekers are completed. Just the current high price is worth noting and will put a lot of people off.

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