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Transformers Toy Review Archive (older series, 1984 to date)
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Ganon578's review: Thundercracker

Name: Thundercracker
Function: Seeker
Allegiance: Decepticon
Group: Movie Voyager

Thundercracker lives on fear. Special materials in his vehicle body allow him to emit controlled sonic detonations that can be heard 200 miles away. Cruising along at Mach 6, he wants his enemies to hear him before they see him. He wants them to know heís coming, and cower in fear at their impending doom. Not as devoted to the recovery of the AllSpark as the other Decepticons, he stays with Megatron because the evil leader allows him to indulge his chaotic tendencies.

Iím a sucker for new Transformers that are retro updates of old characters. Thundercracker comes originally from the G1 line, and is actually faithfully updated from the original toy while keeping the same color scheme. Heís got a great look and I couldnít be happier with him.

Alternate Mode: Thundercrackerís alternate mode is an F-22 Raptor and it comes off very sleek looking. This figure is actually a repaint of the Movie Voyager Starscream and also includes a different head mold (which is actually the same as the Target Exclusive G1 Repaint Starscream from the movie line). The jet mode works well, aside from the fact that the legs tuck on the bed of this mode and are a bit bulky for a fighter jet. On the positive side, they also have small wheels there for the landing gear/rolling. Since the legs are under there, the arms/missile launchers fold next to them and unfortunately also come off as a bit too big. For the intimidation factor, large missile launchers are good, so you could look at it as a good thing. One other small gripe is that the head doesnít really tuck away, itís just sort of hidden under his rear wings. Furthermore, there arenít really any jet boosters in the back, but his black feet sort of represent these at the back of the jet.

On a positive note for this mode, the jet does have a very sharp look to it, and I really like the color scheme. Thundercracker is in his traditional blue color, with red and gray/silver accents. The cockpit also stands out; it has a yellow color that also mimics his G1 appearance. There are some small Decepticon symbols on his upper rudders/wings, but theyíre sort of hidden so they can be more prominent in his robot mode. Another cool feature in this mode is the automatic missile launchers. If you snap in all his missiles and roll him across the floor, the missiles shoot out rapidly, which adds a lot of fun when youíre messing around with him.

The pluses here outweight the minuses, and I have to say this is a pretty good alternate mode.

Robot Mode: Iím partial to robot modes over alternate modes, and Thundercracker just supports my opinion. Heís got a great robot mode, and just like the Voyager Starscream, he looks just plain wicked. When transformed, Thundercrackerís wings slide up, thus engaging the automorph gimmick, and extensions slide up from the former top of the jet, giving him a very imposing, broad chest. Underneath his previously blue jet body are silver colored mechanics; itís a great contrast to the blue, and gives the figure some depth. Also, like Starscream, the robot mode comes off looking very bird-like; the legs bend sort of backwards and then come back to the front and are tethered to some very raptor-like feet. I like the missile launchers better in this mode; they make up his ďhandsĒ which are bulky, and it gives him that edge of power. Thundercracker doesnít necessarily have hands per se, but some blue claws stick out of his arms that mimic hands. One cool aspect of these ďhandsĒ is that the missiles can be removed and placed in holsters near his elbows, which free up his "hands" and simulate the G1 look of the missiles on the upper arms.

I also like the head mold for this figure; it harkens back to the G1 look, but still retains the feel of moving, organic-type metal from the movie. The small rudder/wings from the jet mode sit up on his shoulders, which accomplish 2 things; it nicely displays the Decepticon logos, and also gives his shoulders some bulk to match the size of his chest. Iím also fond of the way the jet wings themselves fold back and collapse onto Thundercrackerís back, essentially keeping them out of the way so you can put him into some cool poses. On one last note, the cockpit part slides up and locks into his chest, which, yet again, pays homage to the G1 seeker look.

Overall, I think Thundercracker has a great robot mode (my favorite of the two) and really hits the look of the movie characters while retaining the feel of a Generation 1 Transformer.

Transformation: 8. Very slick. Once you get the hang of it, the transformation is smooth and easy.
Durability: 8. I canít see anything breaking on him, some parts can disconnect during transformation, but they can easily be popped back on.
Fun: 10. He shoots missiles. FAST. And thereís two great modes here, both look fantastic for play and display.
Price: 9. Pretty solid at $20 US Retail. Not much more bang for the buck.
Overall: 8. A decent price, a wicked look, and great fun. If you donít have Starscream or you just like Seekers, I recommend picking him up.

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