Botcon 2007 was the first time the convention has ever come close to my area, being in Providence, Rhode Island that year. It was my first chance to make my pilgrimage to the convention I’ve waited seven years to finally go to!
Only one problem: I’d already committed to going to AnimeExpo in Long Beach, California that same year, and they both fell on the same weekend. Needless to say, I still went with AnimeExpo. But really, if it were any other year I wouldn’t have been that bummed about missing Botcon: For those who don’t know, Botcon 2007 was “Games of Deception”, the year that brought us the Classics-incarnations of Dirge, Thrust, and of course, Thundercracker.
All three of these figures got released as store exclusives in Japan as a part of the exclusive “Gentei! Gentei!” line, again, much to the aggravation of casual collectors. We were either going to have to bite the bullet and pay $100+ for a repaint of a $10 toy, or just go without the characters.
Thankfully, the Generations line has proven to be our savior, giving us figures of Dirge and Thrust early on that, in my opinion, looked better than both the Botcon and Gentei figures. But Thundercracker’s status was much more dubious—were we going to see him? Or would he just remain a holy grail in the minds of most collectors?
Well, when Generations Thundercracker finally got announced, the controversy started.
While most fans were totally relieved at the chance to have an ACQUIRABLE Thundercracker in their collection, a small minority of fans were up in arms that Hasbro was “betraying” them by releasing an exclusive figure to the mass market, forgetting that the Botcon Thundercracker was put out by Fun Publications, NOT Hasbro, and that the figure would naturally have completely different paint applications from BOTH the exclusives. Also keep in mind that almost NONE of this happened with Thrust and Dirge.
One fan even started up a petition to have Hasbro not release the figure, demanding he be kept exclusive, although whether this guy was legit or a huge troll was up for debate. Either way, his attempts failed as most of the fandom laughed him off, and Thundercracker did see a release!
So what about the figure itself? Well, it’s a Seeker. There’s nothing that hasn’t been said about the mold that I haven’t already covered in my reviews of Dirge and Thrust, so refer back to those for a more “complete” review. Naturally, he uses the “standard” configuration of the mold shared by Starscream, Skywarp, and Acid Storm, so instead of a “conehead”, the nosecone of the jet hangs off the back of his head-probably the only thing about this design that bothers me.
His color scheme is… actually kind of a mixed bag. On one hand, the shade of blue he uses is AWESOME, and definitely the most pleasing out of all three Thundercrackers. He has a lot of red detailing, harkening back to the original animation model… which is kind of where the color scheme falters. He ends up very “top-heavy”, as far as his color scheme goes, as most of the red detailing is concentrated above his waist. From the waist-down he looks very bland, which could have easily been remedied with some black or red detailing on his waist, knees, or feet.
Surprisingly, and it may just be my figure, but Thundercracker has VERY tight joints. One would expect that a mold that’s been repainted and remolded to hell and back would be incredibly loose by now, but surprisingly that’s not the case!
Out of all the “first three” Seekers in Classics form, I’d actually say Thundercracker is my favorite, and that’s coming from a die-hard Skywarp fan. If you can get your hands on him, he’s highly recommended, even if you pay a little more than retail. Just take into account how much more he’s going to go for in a few years. Don’t hesitate to pick him up-remember, later waves of Transformers figures are best found at comic stores… like Forbidden Planet! 😉