"Generations" War for Cybertron: Siege Thundercracker Toy Review

in 2019, Action Figure Review, Decepticon, Generation One, Generations, Seeker, Voyager, War for Cybertron: Siege

Generations

War for Cybertron: Siege

General Information:
Release Date: August 2019
Price Point: $29.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Amazon, BigBadToyStore, Entertainment Earth etc.)
Accessories: Null Rays x 2

Thundercracker

Official images and text below in italics are from Amazon.com:
The Voyager Class WFC-S39 Thundercracker figure comes with 2 HPI Null-Ray Laser Launcher accessories. Figure features multiple C.O.M.B.A.T. System weapon ports to attach weapons, enabling custom configurations in bot and vehicle modes. Includes Transformers Generations War for Cybertron: Siege WFC-S39 Thundercracker figure, 2 weapon accessories, and instructions.

  • Thundercracker figure comes equipped with 2 weapon accessories. Multiple weapon ports on figure and vehicle enable custom weapon accessories configurations.
  • Fans can build bigger mission loadouts by compiling an arsenal of additional weapon accessories from other Siege figures. (Each sold separately. Subject to availability).
  • Voyager Class WFC-S39 Thundercracker toy features classic conversion from robot to jet mode in 22 steps.
  • Attach Fire Blasts accessories (not included. Included with Battle Masters figures. Each sold separately. Subject to availability) to the ends of weapon accessories to simulate blasterfire coming from weapons.

In 2018 the "Power of the Primes" line finished off the "Prime Wars Trilogy" which had begun with "Combiner Wars". To kick off a whole new G1 inspired series of "Generations" figures, a new line known as "War for Cybertron: Siege" started in late 2018 (with a planned wide release in 2019). The traditional Voyager Class of figures continues in "Siege". "Siege" deals with the war on Cybertron before the Transformers leave their home planet. The first wave of "Siege" sold fairly well and took a couple months before the figures were (relatively) easy to obtain. August 2019 saw the release of several new figures including the Seeker Thundercracker. This seems to have been an early release, as some retailers had pre-orders up for shipping in September or October.

The base sculpt for Thundercracker was the Siege Voyager Class Starscream figure. However, if we want to get technical, Thundercracker is actually a redeco of Red Wing, who featured a different face sculpt than Starscream. This figure uses the same face sculpt as Red Wing. Either way, you may want to check out both those reviews. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.

Packaging:
Hasbro and Takara Tomy really stepped up their game for the "Siege" packaging. This window box is no longer the rectangular shape of previous Voyager Class figures. Instead, it is rectangular on one side and then the left side features an angled section that sweeps backward. The middle features a large window with the figure in robot mode. Set vertically over the figure is a chevron with his name, rank symbol and alpha numeric designation. Under that is the large "War for Cybertron: Siege" symbol which looks gritty and striking. The Transformers logo is set vertically on the right side with the "Generations" and Takara Tomy logos above it. The angled section on the box shows off Thundercracker's package art which interestingly shows him holding one of his weapons (which are normally arm mounted). The other side features what looks like a poster for "Siege" including the Ark blasting off into space.

The back of the box shows the figure in both modes, indicating a twenty two step transformation. It also shows Thundercracker using Battle Masters and their Fire Blast effects.

There is a fun, hidden feature on the side of the box. Shine a Black Light there and you will see Cybertronian glyphs. These glyphs can then be entered into Hasbro's "Teletraan-1" web site. Thundercracker's code is "SEEKERS", however as of August 14, 2019 this does not yet unlock anything on Hasbro's web site.

Accessories:
Thundercracker includes two "HPI Null-Ray Laser Launchers". These are loosely based on the iconic weapons usually seen mounted on his arms in animation and comic books. However, the design of the Null-Rays winds up looking more like a flat rifle, complete with a targeting scope on top. That said, the front and back ends of the Null-Rays do recall the designs from the G1 cartoon (and other media) so the design lineage of the Null-Ray is present even if a bulk of the weapon design is new. The Null-Rays each have an attachment point for Blast Effects on the front and back. Personally I would have liked a bit more recognition of G1 Thundercracker "lore" by calling these weapons "Incendiary blasters" instead of just recycling the term "Null Ray" which most fans associate with Starscream.

These weapons are cast in the same blue plastic as Thundercracker with no paint applications. Each weapon features a 5mm port and an attachment point at the end for attaching Fire Blasts effect pieces included with Battle Master figures. Personally, I would have preferred Null Rays that better reflected the look of the original Seeker weapons from the toy or cartoon, but they are really nicely sculpted with tons of detail.

Robot Mode:
Thundercracker is a redeco of Red Wing (and by extension, a retool/redeco of Starscream). His primary plastic colors are blue, grey and black with some translucent orange thrown in for the torso. Before you ask, this is a different blue than the one used for the "Rainmakers" 3-Pack Ion Storm figure. Ion Storm is lighter in color and lacks some of the paint details that Thundercracker has.

Gunmetal grey and silver paint is used for a bulk of the details on this figure. The gunmetal is found on the chest turbines. The silver is used on the feet and face. It is also used for the damage pattern on the legs, chest and arms. For those curious, this is the same damage pattern used on both Red Wing and Starscream. Some fans may not like this, and sure, I would have preferred the designers come up with a distinct pattern for each Seeker, but given how many times this sculpt has been released in a short period of time I do not think it is too shocking that Hasbro would want to speed up production by putting the same damage pattern on each. Some red paint is used on the back of the wings, which is a traditional detail for Thundercracker since Generation One.

There are twenty six points of articulation on this figure. This includes six on each arm and leg and even waist articulation! Due to the way most Seeker sculpts are constructed, it is not common for Seekers to have waist articulation so I was very surprised by this. The joints on this figure feel a tiny bit more loose than those on Starscream, but his joints are still tight and you can easily pose him out without a problem.

Thundercracker has thirteen 5mm ports in this mode. Each arm has three (including the fists), each wing has one, the thrusters on the back count as three and the others are on the sides of the lower legs. This allows you to attach a lot of accessories to the figure. Even better, each port is nice and tight so weapons don't go flopping around. Thundercracker also features several smaller attachment points for Blast Effects (included with Battle Master figures). You will find these on the left shoulder, the forearms and the lower legs. Attach the Blast Effects and it looks like Starscream is getting hit with weapon blasts. It is a very cool way to display the figure, however at the same time the pegs do not ruin the aesthetic of the figure if you do not have Blast Effects attached. One more bit of functionality is a small port on the bottom of the crotch area. This is for use with display stands (typically made by Bandai) for display.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Detach the accessories and set them aside for now.
  2. Straighten out the arms and legs.
  3. Swing the lower part of each forearm out to the sides.
  4. Rotate the fists in, then swing the forearm panel back in place.
  5. Push the forearms up against the shoulders.
  6. Holding the wings and pylons, gently pull that entire section back. This will reveal tabs on the back of the figure.
  7. Rotate the lower body around.
  8. Swing the pylons down and clip them together to form part of the vehicle's nosecone.
  9. Swing the torso panel up.
  10. Swing the robot head back. The black panel it sits on should go through the slot and the edge should show where the robot chest was located.
  11. Swing the arms forward at the shoulder hinges.
  12. Swing the thrusters from the back of the robot mode up, then back.
  13. Swing the robot legs back, partially covering the thighs with the back of the lower legs.
  14. Swing the robot arms down. Rotate the forearm sections so the slots on them snap into the tabs on the sides of the legs.
  15. Swing the wings down. Tab them under the back of the nosecone section (near where the robot knees are located).
  16. Swing the torso panel up, pushing it into the tabs on the back.
  17. Attach the Null Rays to the 5mm ports on the bottom of the wings.

Note: The rumor mill churned for a while that Hasbro had made a running change to insert a pin into the hinge that connects to the chest piece. However, this has not proven to be true (read: no one has found one of these in the wild and reported it). That said, it does seem Hasbro realized this was an issue as the chest panel holds much tighter to the hinge piece on this figure without the use of a pin.

Vehicle Mode:
Thundercracker's vehicle mode utilizes the same sculpt as the previous two releases, featuring the Generation One "Tetrajet" inspired design....that winds up looking more like a Colonial Viper but hey, it's a cool looking scifi "jet" and that's what matters.

Most of this mode shows off blue plastic, with some black peeking through around the cockpit area and under the wings. The cockpit window is translucent orange. Red lines are painted on either side of the cockpit and on the wings. Silver paint is scattered around the jet from the nosecone to the back (utilizing the same damage pattern as the previous releases). The back section has gunmetal grey on the thrusters, giving that section a nice, industrial look. The deco looks good overall and is easily identifiable as Thundercracker.

There are four 5mm ports on the underside of the jet, but you really cannot use all four at a time because of the position they are in. I prefer to use the ones under the wings instead of the arms. Meanwhile, there are five attachment points in the back for Blast Effects. There are the three thrusters on the top section and the thrusters formed from the robot feet. If you have the Null-Rays attached, you can utilize their attachment points for the Blast Effects, adding even more "thruster power" in the back and making it look like he is firing his weapons at the same time.

Final Thoughts:
Thundercracker is part of the classic trio of Seekers from Generation One, so the release of this figure is a welcome one in the line. Skywarp is also due around the time I am writing this review, so it will be great to have the traditional Seeker trio together again. Recommended!

Pros:

  • Fantastic sculpt.
  • Excellent deco.
  • Lots of play value and articulation.
  • Intuitive transformation.

Cons:

  • Extra "greebles" may bother some fans.
  • The "damage" pattern is not unique (but it still looks good).