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Firestrider's Review: DOTM Thundercracker

Faction: Decepticon
Alt Mode: F-22 Raptor

G1 Bio: Contemptuous of anything that cannot fly. Not totally convinced of the Decepticons' cause, but they persuaded him to continue battling Autobots. Flies at speeds up to 1500 mph... produces controlled, deafening sonic booms that can be heard for 200 miles. Equipped with powerful drone rockets and incendiary gun. Doubts about cause sometimes impede effectiveness.

Thundercracker is the best definition I can come up with for a "blue collar" (no pun intended) Decepticon. He's strong, doesn't ask too many questions, doubts much of the propeganda fed to him by his superiors and an all around average achiever. This is not to count the guy out, because he's one of my favorite all-time Decepticons. Why? Because action is what he's mostly about. The Decepticons would not have been a formidable force if it weren't for guys like Thundercracker who'd get the job done.
Thundercracker hasn't always been a popular Decepticon because of other figures that were more garish with better characterization than he.To that, my answer is simply that not all can be chiefs, there have to be warriors as well, and Thundercracker was one of the best Decepticon examples.
This off-screen, DOTM version of Thundercracker, built just like Starscream and Skywarp, holds a number of surprises. I will discuss them more thoroughly in the review as I go along.
Transformation: The package said that this figure would be a "2" in difficulty-- It should have been a "3". Once you have mastered Thundercracker's transformation, it's not that hard, but it is on par or even trickier than the Voyager versions of Movies 1 and 2. The deluxe version reminds me a lot of Energon Starscream. The legs fold out very neatly, but very tricky as well. It seems that everything transforms from the middle of the bot. The wings are fairly tricky to maneuver and the central body comprising head and torso are the least threatening part of the whole transformation. The weapons are interesting, but is that Roadbuster's saw-blaster? Overall, for a deluxe, I have not reduced transformation time lower than say 2 minutes yet. The chest/ upper torso is the most noticeable difference in comparison between Deluxe and Voyager versions. I actually prefer the Voyager here to the Deluxe for this, as well as other features. By just flipping around two panels near the arms, you have the "arm pits" of Thundercracker. Overall, transformation is exactly like the other Seekers in this series, and will keep you busy enough. After my experience with this aspect, I am now looking for Skywarp and Starscream deluxe versions as well.

Robot Mode: This is actually my second favorite version of Thundercracker-- ever. The only reason that it isn't is because it isn't G1 . Generations Thundercracker beats him out narrowly in my estimation. I can't justify the price of a Henkei nor a Masterpiece, so this TC is actually the one I will keep, unless I actually do find a Generations version on the shelves. His color scheme works much better than even Starscream's. He truly looks menacing in this version. The arms are a very nice touch, although I would prefer the missiles to that weird blade thing that he uses as a melee weapon. The fact that he also looks like a space vulture lends more believability to the character than a smirking dolt who can't aim strait.
He has a fair amout of articulation. If it weren't for the fact that his legs are oddly articulated in unusual places, it would be one of the best articulated figures ever. The hands are nicely articulated. Arms are fully articulated. No torso rotation.
He's a little squat, but it's only because his legs are bent much like a chicken's . His arms are reminiscent of a sloth's and the hands are actually a great touch (shock!) I like this appearance quite a bit. The paint lends well in this color scheme. He's the perfect troop builder. The only thing I don't particularly like is that ugly bayonette-sword thingy that you put on one of the arms as a melee weapon (more on that later). The saw-blaster really is a great gimmick.

Alt Mode: This is my favorite part of the figure. This looks very authentic with very little robokibble on the top or bottom. Landing gear is a great touch as well. Everything about this mode screams F-22 except (yep-you got it!) that blade thingy. What F22 carries a huge Rambo-daggar in the sky. You can't use it as a sword in the sky. The reverse of that weapon would work as a gun, but still , the aesthetics is thrown off because of that weapon. Landing gear is really nice . The fit and finish of this deluxe version is excellent as well with a very clean paint scheme.
From top-side, you couldn't tell that this were anything but an F-22. It has quite a lot of authentic features. Underneath, the "robogoodies" are visible, but not annoyingly so. It all fits in nice and neat.

Overall: This is so far my favorite of the DOTM Decepticons. It's a great looking jet at a lower price-point than the Voyager. It has plenty of goodies and it has an authentic alt mode. Although I would choose different weaponry than what was given to him, yet the blade is not that big of a detractor to not buy him. The blade is actually great as a sword if swords are what you like to use with TF's. It has a very menacing look and actually does Thundercracker's characterization some justice. All I will say is that DOTM Thundercracker is no G1.

Points out of 10 for the Following:
Transformation: 7- A tricky transformation indeed, but not overly difficult, and nothing ingenious.
Aesthetics: 8- As movie Seekers go, this one really is one of the better ones. The main detractors are the existing mech-tech weapons are not that pleasant to look at in jet mode.
Articulation:8- Excellent articulation throughout. Most points are great-even hands! The legs are a little odd,with no side-step, thus losing points.No torso rotation.
Durability: 8 I really haven't found many weak points on this dude. He's solid for such a spindly character. The wings are my concern because of the relatively thin plastic used to make them. Otherwise, not too shabby.
Price: 6 or 10. I bought mine for a reduced price of $9.97 CAD at WalMart, which is a steal, but the list price is over $16.99, which is highway robbery.
Fun: 8 Yes, you can find loads of fun with this guy. The weapons, though aesthetically unappealing, are actually what make this guy as fun as he is. He has no missiles, so that is a detractor in this department, but overall, there's very little to complain about here. Makes an excellent troop builder.
Overall: 8 Overall, a great deluxe with loads of entertainment qualities. It's nice to see a deluxe of this , or any seeker for the first time in the history of this franchise. Don't let the weapons be a bummer, because you get one great weapon, one not-so -hot sword and all kinds of goodies to go along with it.
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