Thanks to my buddy Josh (Thelonicon on TFW2005) I’ve been lucky enough to get my hands on the Toys ‘R Us exclusive Masterpiece Thundercracker! If you read my review of the Takara MP-11 you’ll know I’m a big fan of the mold, and the 2nd iteration of it is no different. My first initial thoughts on Thundercracker were mainly dealing with the spectacular paint job on this guy, and for once I’m going to say that Hasbro did a killer job on the paint apps. I’d go as far as to say that it’s even better than MP-11′s aesthetics (but we’ll get to more of that later). Read the rest of the review to see how this guy checks out as another member of the Masterpiece family, but I’ll also be comparing him to the now Seeker standard that is MP-11 a bit and see how he checks out.
I’ll start off by showing some pictures of the box, and while the figure might be a Masterpiece, the box sure as hell isn’t. I’m not really complaining about the plastic packaging per se, but more the laziness of Hasbro on the designs. On one side of the box Hasbro didn’t even bother to remove the “2 Different Heads!” that’s from the MP-3 packaging. And on the back they just recycled the same artwork from the packaging of Generations Thundercracker. Really shitty job by Hasbro.
Starting with Thundercracker’s face, it seems to be a bit more of a silver color, compared to MP-11′s which is more of a charcoal. I won’t say that I like either of them better, but Thundercracker’s is definitely a little bit more clear. Other than that they seem to be the same.
The torso looks absolutely stunning to me. All of the colors accent each other very well and like I said before, I’m REALLY glad Thundercracker’s paint is the way it is. The fans around Thundercracker’s chest and shoulder area flip up to reveal his missile pods, and they do a great job of showing off some of the more subtle details of the Seeker mold. Thundercracker sports a bicep swivel just below his shoulder (which is able to be rotated around and moved laterally), and although there is just typical back-and-forth bicep articulation in the forearm area, the bicep swivel really gives Thundercracker that Masterpiece articulation.
Compared to MP-11, I really prefer the black/charcoal forearms and hands of Thundercracker. Like I’ve rambled about throughout the whole review, I’m incredibly impressed with Thundercracker’s paint job, and this part is no different. The same articulation is there as well, with the thumb, index, and middle, ring and pinky section having a point of articulation on the first knuckle, as well as the index and middle, ring, pinky finger having articulation on the second knuckle. Again, really impressive.
The waist and the lower rest of Thundercracker’s body are strong points as well, but there are a couple downfalls that are worth mentioning. Depending on wheter it bothers you or not, there isn’t any true articulation in his feet. I personally don’t mind the way the feet sit on the edge in certain poses, but I know that was a big gripe with some people before the release. I can say with certainty that it’s not a huge deal. Even if you hate the way it looks, there’s too much good elsewhere in Masterpiece Thundercracker to warrant the decision based on that. You get good hip articulation if you want to swing the legs out at all, there is a thigh swivel which really does a lot for the figure. The knees are on ratchet joints, so you can get plenty of accurate and solid poses with the legs. I also like the ”Sonicboom” graphic on Thundercracker’s tailfins. Pretty cool picture of Thundercracker holding a tape-deck Soundwave.
The transformation of both Thundercracker and MP-11 is one that’s always fun to me. Nothing is too complicated (although MP-3 instructions are included instead of MP-11; nice one, Hasbro) and everything snaps together and meshes very well. There are some cool graphics on the sides of Thundercracker towards the front of the jet that are of Reflector with the words “Say Cheese” around him, which is a pretty neat touch. Although I did say I like the overall paint job of Thundercracker, I will say I’m not a big fan of the graphics on top of the fan intakes in alt mode. Just looks a little too G1 to me and looks like it could’ve used some updating.
Thundercracker’s jet mode also sports some good articulation in the movable parts on what would be a real F-15 Eagle. The nose cose of course bends open to reveal the radar (which sports a surprising amount of detail for something that’s going to generally be hidden). The rudders on the wings are capable of bending to give some added realism, and the back pair of wings are also able to be moved upward and downward when displayed in this mode.
The fan intakes on each side of the cockpit are able to be turned downwards to add some realism, and the back thrusters are also capable of being tilted in a slight circular motion to top off the alt mode’s impressive repertoire. Of course the cockpit it able to be opened, and the chrome pilot sits inside fairly snugly, for what it’s worth.
On the underside, Thundercracker does a fairly well job of hiding any traces of a robot mode. You can still see his fists balled up, but other than that, no direct traces of a robot mode are out in the open. The landing gear is done well for the most part, although I found the front fixture to be a little hard to get out.
Now Thundercracker does come with a few more accessories than MP-11 does. While MP-11′s really only true accessory is the clear blue pilot, Thundercracker sports a nice looking chrome pilot, a stand, and an extra set of missiles. The missiles can be pegged into the bottom of the wings in alt mode instead of the guns that normally are, but I find myself just keeping the missiles off in alt mode, and pegging them on the back of the wings in robot mode since the slots are free. The stand is a nice addition, but Hasbro somehow managed screwed things up by putting “THUNDER CRACKER” as two words, instead of one, and thanks to Thelonicon I picture an obese white woman every time I read it. I will say that I could not get the stand to work in alt mode. Maybe I’m just an idiot, but I think Hasbro just cut too many corners on this one. While I was able to basically lay Thundercracker on top of the stand in alt mode to take pictures, I wouldn’t trust it to display. It does still work good in robot mode though.
Overall I’d say Masterpiece Thundercracker definitely warrants a purchase for any serious Transformers fan. I was happy with the 160$ that I payed for MP-11, so of course the 70$ for Thundercracker should be a no brainer. It’s got some great paint apps, a solid transformation and a killer aesthetic in both modes that really shows off why the Seekers have always been some of the fan’s favorite for the Masterpiece line. Comment below and tell me your thoughts on this new addition to the Masterpiece line!