"Generations" War for Cybertron: Earthrise Skywarp & Thundercracker Toy Review

01/13/21

General Information
Release Date: July 2020
Price Point: $59.99 (depending on retailer)
Retailer: Target Exclusive
Accessories: Blasters x 2 (Skywarp), Blasters x 2 (Thundercracker)

Official images and text below in italics are from Target.com: Build the Battlefield Beyond -- The siege is over, but the War for Cybertron has just begun. The Autobots and Decepticons have left Cybertron, but their battle rages on as they speed through space in pursuit of the Allspark. Now, fighters must instantly adapt to battle anywhere in the cosmos. With the highly advanced A.I.R. (Adaptable Interconnection Retrofitter) Locks system, the fighters don’t head to the battlefield -- they become it. Bots capable of converting into Modular Battle Stations can A.I.R.-Lock together in custom configurations to fit the needs of battle.

Earthrise collectible figures allows fans to build out epic space battle scenes, featuring figures that can convert into Modular Battle Station modes and connect together to expand the battlefield (each sold separately, subject to availability). Decepticon Seekers, Skywarp and Thundercracker, convert into classic G1 jet modes in 30 steps and come with 4 weapon accessories. Fans can add to their Seeker army collections! Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.

  • Includes: 2 figures, 4 accessories, and instructions.
  • Figure scale: 7 inches
  • Ages 8 and up
  • Warning: Choking Hazard - Small parts. Not for children under 3 years.

After the release of Starscream in the first wave of Earthrise figures, it was expected that Hasbro would also be releasing his fellow G1 Seekers, Skywarp and Thundercracker. Fans would eventually get their wish, but instead of being a mass release this pair was released in Summer 2020 as a Target exclusive two pack. As of the writing of this review, the set has been somewhat difficult to order online as it goes into stock and sells out quickly. Some fans have had luck in stores, but for the most part they are elusive right now. If history is any indication, they will pop up briefly en masse (possibly on clearance) before disappearing for good.

These two figures are redecos of the Earthrise Starscream figure. This review will focus on the new decos for this sculpt. Check out Starscreams' review for a more detailed look at the sculpt.

Packaging:
Earthrise packaging is the same basic shape as Siege boxes. They feature one flat side and one angled side with a window in the middle. Like the Siege boxes the boxes feature a red Transformers logo set vertically to one side with the Generations logo above it. Under the window is the Earthrise logo with the War for Cybertron Trilogy logo beneath it. To the right is a "Cybertronian Villains" logo with part of a Decepticon symbol peeking out. Off to the left are the names "Skywarp & Thundercracker" in a box. The box art on the angled section of the box shows both Seekers in their vehicle modes firing away with the Ark in the background. Most notably the Ark appears to be crashed with the rear of the vehicle sticking out, a nod to an iconic G1 image.

The back of the box shows the Seekers in both of their modes. The transformation is listed as having 30 steps. There are no cosells but these figures came out at the same time as the Decepticon Clones in a two-pack (repackaging and repainting the previously released Legends Class figures).

Accessories:
When the G1 cartoon models were created the artists streamlined and elongated the weapons that came with the action figure to create his now iconic "Null Rays". Oddly, as the years have gone along, some Seeker figures ignored these designs, choosing to create alternate weapons instead. Not so with the Earthrise Seekers! These weapons are pure G1. Like the G1 "arm blasters", the weapons actually extend beyond the arms in length. Each measures 3 inches (about 7.62 centimeters) long. The top section is a rectangular box with small fins coming out on three sides (likely inspired by the button you pressed on the original G1 toy to launch their missiles). The middle to lower section is a series of cylinders with a tip that flares out and then narrows to a point. It is a classic design that is instantly recognizable.

The blasters are cast in the appropriate colors for each Seeker meaning purple for Skywarp and blue for Thundercracker. Each features a 5mm peg towards the top that allows you to attach it to any 5mm port. The tip of each weapon can accommodate Blast Effects that are packaged with some Siege and Earthrise figures. There are no actual Blast Effects packaged with this set.

Skywarp
 

Robot Mode:
In a surprise move, Skywarp actually features a different head sculpt than Starscream. Ironically while Starscream's head sculpt is fairly neutral looking, Skywarp's mouth is sculpted as wide open like he is...well...screaming. Of course, since the heads are all the same size and have the same basic deco I'm sure customizers can swap the heads around with ease.

Skywarp is mostly made up of black and purple plastic. The purple has a nice, metallic shine to it and it blends nicely with the black. Most of the torso and waist plate are painted silver with a bit of gunmetal used on the turbines in his chest (or it could be a different application of the silver, it's darker for sure). Silver is also found on his feet. A bit of purple is used for the thrusters on his lower legs. The wings show purple and white stripes on them, a feature borrowed from his G1 animated counterpart. He looks great from a deco perspective.

For the most part, Skywarp's joints are just as tight as those on my copy of Starscream. His weapons also attach and hold in place without an issue and Blast Effects attach and hold in place.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode: (Instructions apply to both figures)

  1. Detach the Blasters and set them aside for now.
  2. Push the two halves of the feet together.
  3. Rotate the stabilizer fins on the ankles back, tabbing them into the sides of the lower legs.
  4. Swing out the horizontal stabilizer fins.
  5. Swing the top of each forearm forward and swing the fists up.
  6. Swing the lower arm sections over the middle section of each arm.
  7. Swing the top panels from the forearms down.
  8. Swing the upper half of the body back, leaving the front torso plate in place.
  9. Swing the nosecone up over the robot head.
  10. Rotate the nosecone section up, then rotate it around.
  11. Swing up the nosecone section, snapping it into place in between the air vents.
  12. Swing the arms inward.
  13. Swing the section with the wings and nosecone down, clipping it the torso's front panel.
  14. Swing the waist panel up.
  15. Swing the front panels of each lower leg forward.
  16. Swing the lower legs up over the thighs, then swing the front panels of the lower legs back into place.
  17. Push the lower legs together, then tab them into the top half of the body.
  18. Swing the wings back.
  19. Attach the Blasters to the wings.

Note: On both Skywarp and Thundercracker fans may experience issues where the wings pop off during transformation. Some fans have suggested filing parts down to fix it. On both my Skywarp and Thundercracker, a wing can easily come off during transform, but they snap back on easily. My Thundercracker's left wing comes off very easily, but Skywarp is generally okay unless you pull on the wings. Your mileage may vary, just be aware this may be an issue.

Vehicle Mode:
Skywarp's deco in vehicle mode appears to be more based on his G1 cartoon model rather than the G1 action figure. Most of this mode is black plastic with a translucent yellow cockpit cover. His weapons and vertical fins in the back are purple plastic. Silver paint is used on either side of the cockpit and the wings have purple and white lines on them (along with Decepticon symbols). These colors are very similar to the G1 animation model, but that model excluded two of Skywarp's G1 stickers. On the G1 toy he had a sticker on each vertical fin that matched nicely with the stickers on his wings. Here there is no deco on the fins. Personally I wish the designers had included those deco points since it would help add detail to the vehicle mode.

Thundercracker
 

Robot Mode:
Unlike Skywarp, Thundercracker does not feature a retooled head. Instead, he features the same somewhat grim expression found on Starscream. That's fine by me thought it would have been fun to give Thundercracker an evil grin or something.

This figure uses the G1 cartoon as its color referenc.e The blue on the figure is lighter than the blue used on the G1 Thundercracker toy, lining up with the animation model. There is liberal use of silver paint from the pylons that flank the head to the chest and even on the feet. Gunmetal grey is used on the chest turbines and the knees. Black paint is used for the thrusters on his lower legs. The wings feature red and white lines as well as purple Decepticon symbols. The deco is good, but there is nothing particularly outstanding about it.

Vehicle Mode:
Thundercracker's vehicle mode is the same sculpt as Starscream's with no tooling changes. Like Skywarp, the designers appeared to have used the G1 cartoon model as the reference for this deco. Most of the jet mode is blue, with black vertical fins and a translucent orange cockpit cover. The wings have bright red and white stripes on the edges with purple Decepticon symbols. Like Skywarp, there is no deco on the vertical fins, which is a shame. Sure it is animation accurate, but it also looks a bit plain.

There are no mold changes to this mode, but keep in mind what I said above about the wings having potential to come off. Interestingly, Thundercracker (and Skywarp) both avoided having the "waist panel" issue that affected Starscream. Go figure. Finally, his joints are just as tight as my copy of Starscream, so no worries there.

Final Thoughts:
The wing issue is a big one. Starscream did not have that problem (at least it was not widespread). While you can still transform the figure or display the figures despite the wing issues, I really wish these had gone through anther quality control check before going into full production. That said, this set does look great and helps complete the classic Seeker trio. Recommended, but with reservations.

Pros:

  • Excellent sculpt and detailing.
  • Bright, eye catching deco.
  • Excellent articulation.
  • Fun play value.

Cons:

  • Some fans may not be crazy about the Classics Seeker engineering being partly recycled (to me it's no big deal).
  • No landing gear in vehicle mode.
  • The wing issues are the biggest strike against the figures in this set. They're not deal breakers to me, but they are definitely unfortunate.