I assume Thundercracker is on the short list of Botcon MVPs - at least three wildly different flavors have been made so far and they're pretty nifty. This one is a multi-purpose release that pays tribute to the Action Masters release and exists as a "heroic Decepticon" Shattered Glass version of the character. It's also pretty expensive for what it is, which is ugly, which is why I wanted it.
As a robot, this figure matches the paint job of the 1991 Action Masters non-transforming toy. This means it's gorgeous. A gold helmet on a blue face is hardly the most eye-searing deco choice as there are plenty of pink parts, purple pieces, and blue bits as well as green goodness all over. As a repaint of the 2006 Classics Starscream - arguably the repaint that's as loved as it is repainted - they did a bang-up job making a convincing update to that old robot mode. It's a great choice, we also saw how this "heroic" figure had a companion in Starscream... who was in Jetfire's colors. The clear, white-outlined Decepticon logo is a neat one-size fits all cheat because it's not really the purple Decepticon symbol from 1991, nor is it the heroic red "Shattered Glass" version of the symbol. They really did a great job straddling the fence here.
Transformation is nothing new - you've bought this mold by now and it's pretty good.< Slide the legs in, fold the nosecone up, rotate in some wings, and squeeze in the hands and arms to get a jet. While the robot is ugly, the jet has to service that design - and does so awkwardly./p>
The jet has what can loosely be called retractable landing gear in the form of articulated air intake nipples. You can plug in the rocket launchers on each wing, and that's about all the jet does other than burn your eyes. You can see patches of color that really just don't work, which is sort of the charm. Bits of the gold robot head can be seen under the seating area, there are green and blue panels that shouldn't be there, but I will say the pink and purple bits largely go where they should. The border of the canopy glass is pink, and that does make for a slightly weird fit in an already strangely colored vehicle. There's really nothing bad to say that your own eyes can't tell you - it is what it is.
This is the best worst Thundercracker money can buy. The robot looks like a classic non-transforming toy, while the jet looks like a toy based off of a losing entry in a coloring contest. Low-run high-cost convention exclusives are generally something of an extravagance, but it's hard to deny the appeal of a toy made to reference the ugliest thing ever. If the price is right, get yourself one - it's fun enough to warrant getting if you love late-era Generation One stuff and want those colors applied to newer, arguably better toys.
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