Click the image above to see the alt mode, or view more photos here
First/Last Comic Appearance (US) - Issue 1, September 1984 / Issue 50, March 1989
First/Last Comic Appearance (UK) - Issue 9, January 12th 1985 / Issue 100, February 14th 1987
First/Last Cartoon Appearance - Episode 1 (Season 1 #1), September 17th 1984 / The Transformers: The Movie, August 8th 1986
First Toy Appearance - 1984
Click here to see Figure Details and review
Manufacturer - Hasbro
Toyline - Generations
- Added Decepticon symbols to the wings, covering the tampographed ones
- Added a Small Decepticon symbol to the nosecone
Of the three original seekers, Thundercracker was most likely to fade into the background. For a start, he wasn't as obnoxious or demanding as Starscream. He didn't have an awesome ability to fall back on like Skywarp, either. His 'power' consisted of flying around loudly which I assume most jets capable of breaking the speed of sound do. He seemed to be less than convinced by the Decepticon cause so probably hid behind other robots not fighting much. As a character, I just did not care about him. As a toy though, I was smitten. I just thought his shimmering paintjob was great, really striking and a class apart from Starscream and Skywarp's more modest colour palettes. In truth, I was more excited about having a Thundercracker homage over any other seeker which is why I became perturbed when every other seeker appeared, even Acid Storm, with no sign of a Thundercracker, other than as an expensive or shoddy exclusive. So imagine my joy when Hasbro finally came good...
Appearance (Robot Mode) 8/10
Thundercracker has been given an absolutely brilliant paint job, and the sparkly blue plastic used is the best quality I have seen in years. He really does look great! The Seeker mould is long in the tooth and is not without its faults - it is smaller when compared with more recent deluxes, and the forearms are hollow. The forearms are a bit too stumpy as well, and there is no light-piping for the eyes. The headsculpt is pretty decent. Also, Hasbro have evoked memories of the original seekers figures very well by ensuring that the cockpit is in place, alongside the shoulder-mounted weaponry and the classic silhouette.
Appearance (Alternate Mode) 9/10
I absolutely love the seeker mould as an alt mode. The plane looks really elegant and there is not too much robot kibble on display either. His paintjob is also flawless with great paint apps sitting against a sparkly and vivid blue plastic. What a nice-looking plane.
The transformation successfully homages the original, and is a lot of fun. The legs are created by pulling the rear section of the plane out and apart, and the fuselage opens up to allow the arms to be moved to the side, and the fists unfolded. The cockpit and nosecone are 'snapped' downwards and rotated, before the whole assembly hinges and slots back into place with a reassuring click. The tailplanes are rotated into position and the wings are folded up. All that remains is to fold in the front landing gear to form the 'robo boobs' and the classic seeker look is complete.
Quite poor, I have to say. The first issue that this mould encounters is very poor articulation. The head dose swivel but the range of movement is extremely limited, owing to the kibble attached to it. The shoulders offer lateral and side-to side movement, and the elbows are jointed but shockingly there is no bicep swivel. There is no useful wrist articulation. There is also no waist swivel. The hips offer a similar range of movement as the shoulders and the knees are jointed, unfortunately there is no thigh swivel but a rather less useful lower-leg swivel is provided. The second issue is that the positioning of the wings prohibit any real movement in the arms when the weapons are attached. Balance is not fantastic either. So you are left with mould which is extremely lacking in versatility and is probably the worst apart from some Energon redecos.
I haven't had issues with any of the Seekers, but all the joints seem like they could snap relatively easily - there are few ball joints here (there are only any in the hip) which means that if breaking points are reached then you will end up with a broken figure, as opposed to the more recent toys which are designed to pop apart and then can be re-attached. The mould seems a little dated, and is consequently more fragile than later ones.
Overall - 36/50
Thundercracker is the best example of the Seeker mould. The quality of the plastic used and the brilliantly realised paintwork lifts what is a fairly poor figure into a pretty decent one. If you were only to have one example of this mould (but why would you want to do that?) then I would heartily recommend Thundercracker over the other seekers.