So, anybody remember Toys R Us? OK daft question. But does anybody remember what the last Toys R Us exclusive Transformer was? This guy, Studios Series Thundercracker. He arrived just in time to be heavily discounted in the Toys R Us bankruptcy, like literally less than a month later. He became kind of a hot ticket in the US for a bit. Here in the UK? We just looked on at another toy we weren’t gonna get. However, it seems that The Entertainer picked up a load of excess Toys R Us stock as they bunged them in their shops for £17.49. So here we are with a movie Thundercracker who isn’t a repaint of Starscream!
So yeah he’s a repaint of the really good The Last Knight Nitro Zeus, with all the decent if limited articulation intact. The always fun Thew reviewed him a while ago so I’d recommend checking out his review of it for the info on the original here. So what do we get with the Thundercracker version? A new head-sculpt loosely based on movie Starscream’s, some more paint applications, and an arguably better colour scheme. Nitro Zeus was one of only three toys I got from the Last Knight line and he is one of my favourite movie toys.
So why don’t I like Thundercracker as much as the original?
Honestly? I think it does come down to his colour choices in some ways. Nitro Zeus may have a rather dull grey and black pallet, but the shade of grey used is weirdly vibrant. He pops a bit, plus his Shockwave fanboy eye with the yellow monocle helps. Thundercracker is very dark in colour. The flash in my camera makes him look far more vibrant than he actually is. He has some Decepticon badges on his wings which are black, but they blend with the blue way too much. There’s also seems to be degradation in the toy mould, or the type of plastic used for him seems more slippery” than Nitro Zeus’, because all his tabs and tolerances are noticeably looser. For example, his ankles while able to support his weight, were more prone to tipping over if not balanced exactly right. I sorted that out with a quick screw tightening, but there’s also his arm cannon, which likes to slip out a little if you compress it. Not much of an issue as I keep it out for display, but it’s just an example of how he doesn’t feel as solid as Zeus in either mode. His left shoulder pad almost always pops off during transformation and his nosecone un-tabs a lot easier than Nitro’s ever did.
Moving on to the only new piece of the toy, the head-sculpt. It’s supposedly based on an early head for Starscream, less bird and more spider. In fact, to me, it looks like someone took Movie Starscream and Beast Wars Tarantulas and mashed them together. I keep flip flopping on if it works or not.
As with Nitro Zeus (yeah a running theme huh?), his head also detaches as it is Titan Master compatible, a holdover from an earlier script where the movie character and headmaster Cogman would have taken over Nitro Zeus body at some point. It’s not much use, but hey can be fun for fiddling with your spare Titan Masters and possibly for customs.
Transformation to jet mode is still fun but hindered a little by the lesser tolerances, and the jet mode itself is fine, but the problems with the blue are exacerbated. There’s some nice G1-esque red and silver on the wings but this really could have used a lighter shade of blue. It would just pop more.
Honestly, I don’t have much more to say on the guy. He’s a good mould made slightly worse due to tolerance issues and a too dark paint job. I like him, but I’m glad I didn’t pay full price for him.
But hey if they do this in Skywarp colours I am so in!