Transformers Animated Activators Thundercracker Toy Review

in 2008, Action Figure Review, Decepticon, Generation One, Seeker, Transformers Animated

Transformers Animated

General Information:
Release Date: October 2008
Price Point: $7.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: None


*Images and text from Hasbrotoyshop:
This ego-crazy clone of STARSCREAM is so full of himself; it's tough for him to pay attention to anything else. He sometimes gets distracted by the beautiful shape of his own shadow on the clouds beneath him, or his reflection in the windows of buildings as he flies past. That doesn't make him any less dangerous to the AUTOBOTS he attacks, though!

Spring into action with this quick-conversion, vehicle-to-robot bad guy! With the press of a button, this DECEPTICON characters changes from fighter jet mode to robot mode!

Activators are a sub-line of Transformers aimed at providing simpler transformations with a fully functional and posable Transformers figure. Activator transformations are primarily accomplished through the pressing of a switch or tab and manipulation of a few extra parts. Such transformations are much akin to the early "spring loaded transformations" used in many Beast Wars Transformers figures.

In the "Transformers Animated" cartoon, Starscream created clones of himself, each reflecting an aspect of his personality. One of these was Thundercracker, who represented his extreme ego. Thundercracker was one of the original Seekers in the G1 series, and it was quite appropriate for him to appear alongside Starscream in "Animated". The figure is a redeco of the Activators Starscream figure. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.

Robot Mode:
What strikes me as most interesting about Thundercracker is the choice of base plastic colors used on this figure. Many of the Starscream clones followed a color scheme roughly based on the Seeker they were based on such as Sunstorm. In the case of Thundercracker, his base color is a dark purple with black used for smaller parts such as his feet and forearms. These are colors that I would more more likely associate with the G1 Seeker Skywarp, not Thundercracker and indeed, the character was never called by name in the animated series. The colors are close to the ones used in the animated show, but the animated model had some light blue colored sections whereas this little guy has none of that color, even with paint applications.

Paint applications are done in silver, orange, gold, red and a dark lavender color. The silver is used for detailing such as his face, shoulders and the chest vent details. Orange is used for the cockpit cover on his chest while gold Decepticon symbols can be found on his back. Red is used for the eyes, following the G1 cartoon theme of using red eyes for Decepticons. The dark lavender color is found on the stripes on his wings and the edges of his stabilizers.

Thundercracker's joints are all tight and he's just as posable as Starscream. It is rare when a sculpt only given one redeco has any joint issues so I wouldn't worry about it.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Swing the shoulder armor down.
  2. Rotate the blasters on his arms so they point upwards.
  3. Holding the chest piece, swing it up and lock it into place.
  4. Bring together both halves of each foot.
  5. Connect the tabs on the back of his legs into the curved vent sections on the top of the jet mode.
  6. Swing up the rudder pieces on the back of his legs.
  7. Line up the robot arms so the blasters point forward. They will attach to the tabs on the underside of the wings.

Vehicle Mode:
The vehicle mode details are mainly extensions of his robot mode colors. The newly revealed nosecone is cast in black and the rear vertical stabilizers are cast in dark purple. The same paint colors are used for the decos, with silver taking center stage as the detailing on the raised sections on the vents towards the front of the vehicle. In this form you can see his gold Decepticon symbols clearly and his orange cockpit becomes the visual focal point of the figure. Red appears as well, used on the tab that you press to activate the figures' transformation.

Final Thoughts:
While part of me wonders why this character wasn't just named Skywarp, I do think it's a neat figure. I really liked the Starscream figure, and the new deco looks great on this figure. Also, as of the time I'm writing this review, this is the only released version of Thundercracker in the "Animated" line, though a Voyager Class redeco is being planned (no word on whether it will actually see the light of day however). If you want to own the egomaniacal clone of Starscream, this is a good way to go despite not being 100% show accurate.