Review by JoshB
Thundercracker is one of the “Seeker” jets from Transformers. Originally just a repaint of Starscream, Thundercracker appears whenever there is a Starscream toy made.
In this case, Thundercracker is a repaint of the Alternity Starscream, with a different head.
The Alternity series is sort of like a smaller Alternators (Binaltech), with diecast components and complicated transformations. The cars are 1:32 scale licensed representations of real-world cars.
Thundercracker’s alt form is a Mitsuoka Orochi, a Japanese sports car that has a (Japanese Regulated) Top speed of 112 mph. Its merits as a supercar are up to others to decide.
Here, it’s just a cool looking alt-mode for a robot that normally changes into a jet. All of the Alternity alt forms are cars, regardless of what their G1 counterparts were.
The toy is packaged in a clear window box, translucent on all sides. It’s interesting, and very small.
Take the toy out and you get a car with a very solid vehicle mode. Although it is the size of most US Deluxe Transformers, the detail is very much at a higher level.
The car features rubber tires and nicely detailed rims. The headlights and taillights are separately molded clear parts, and all the badges are printed or embossed on the vehicle. There’s even a small rubber antenna.
The hood, doors and trunk all open. Inside you have a detailed interior – well at least a seat and a steering wheel. This being a Japanese car, the wheel is on the right.
As a nod to Thundercracker’s Jet mode, the rear wheels fold in and reveal a set of wings for flight mode. It’s not a radical change, but it’s something.
Transformation is complicated. I couldn’t do it without the instructions. In my opinion, it’s over complicated. Some parts just don’t want to click into place; others are ambiguous as to where they are supposed to go. In addition – it’s not symmetrical. There’s even a bit of auto-morph in there that doesn’t work quite right.
For starters, the “wings” on the back are made of the roof with some tiny fold out panels that make the tips – but these wings aren’t the same size. They are supposed to replicate the look of the jet wings on the G1 version, but it fails hard.
The head, although well sculpted, is too far forward on the body. The chest features a spring action locking mechanism, but the downside is that you can see the springs on the joint, and it doesn’t work very well.
The toy is loaded with kibble on the back, with all the car parts just hanging off. The doors that attach to the hips constantly get in the way and even pop off during transformation. Often I just took them off, just to save the trouble.
The most perplexing aspect of the transformation was the legs. There’s an odd sequence of bends that make you have to get the top section of the leg slid into the lower section JUST RIGHT, or the wheel assembly wont fold in. This frustrated me for hours.
Aside from the transformation process, the toy is mediocre. Articulation is hampered by all the bits hanging off, diecast quantity is low, and there are no accessories. I do like the car mode, and I do like the color scheme, but at around $50 USD, it’s just not worth it.
This was the last release in the Alternity line.
|Posted 9 June, 2011 - 07:10 by JoshB|