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Series: Fans Project
Allegiance: Decepticon
Categories: Deluxe
Year: 2011

A wounded outer space warrior, Thundershred was recovered and converted into his current form by the powerful Skycrow. Learning the ancient art of Ninjutsu and the philosophy of Godai, he has harnessed his power of control over the element "Sky". Using his refined skills and weaponry, Thundershred has vowed to seek revenge on all who have wronged him.

Prelude: To get the legal stuff out of the way: Thundershred is not a Transformer in the strictest sense, as he was not produced by either Hasbro or Takara-Tomy. He’s a third party product by Fansproject and pays homage to the G1 Insecticon Shrapnel. For legal reasons he can’t be called that, of course, so Thundershred it is. Btw, this is actually the fourth name for this character by now. The Robot Hero version was called simply Insecticon, while the Universe re-issue carried the name Sharpshot.

Robot Mode: Let’s start by comparing Thundershred to the Decepticon he’s paying homage to. First off, Thundershred is a lot bigger than G1 Shrapnel, height-wise he’s somewhere between a Scout- and a Deluxe-class figure. Mass-wise he’s firmly in the Deluxe size-class, though, as he’s quite a broad guy. More stocky than Shrapnel ever was, actually. Shrapnel’s main characteristics (look-wise), the two pincers from his beetle mode that sit on his shoulders, can be recreated using Thundershred’s blades (more on that below). The main difference is the face, as Shrapnel had a human face under his visor, while Thundershred’s face is composed solely of a visor and a mouth guard. So resemblance-wise he’s good, but not great.

Resemblances aside, let’s look at the rest of the figure. Thundershred is as posable as you’d expect a modern-day Transformers figure to be. His shoulder joints are somewhat strange, comprised of several “layers” that unfold depending on how you move the arms. That’s needed for the transformation. It’s not really a hindrance, just takes a moment to get used to. The only real limitation is on the legs, which he can’t spread very far at the hips. Otherwise, no complaints.

Thundershred’s weapon is a big four-bladed shuriken that can be disassembled into up to eight individual blades. Thundershred can hold the assembled or partially assembled shuriken in his hands or store it on his back (which is how he can imitate G1 Shrapnel’s huge pincers), while two blades apiece can be plugged into the modules on his forearms. In my opinion he looks best with the medium-sized blades, as it gives him that popular Wolverine look, but make up your own mind here. The modules where the blades are plugged in can be removed from his arms and they can attach to other Transformers with c-bars. I’m somewhat missing a long-range weapon here, but given that Thundershred, according to his profile, apparently has some sort of elemental power at his disposal, he probably doesn’t need it.

All in all Thundershred makes for a very decent robot. The different ways to configure his blade weapons makes for a lot of variations in looks, too. Resemblance to G1 Shrapnel is present, if not exactly stellar. So bottom line: a good robot mode, but not Fansproject’s best work.

Alternate Mode: Just like his G1 predecessor, Thundershred transforms into a mechanized stag beetle. The transformation is a tad more intricate than it was for the original figure (which pretty much just laid down on its back), but not terribly complicated, either. The only thing that takes some fiddling is the arms, which slide into the folding legs. It works, but takes a moment to get everything positioned right.

Once done, the resulting mechanized beetle is huge compared to his G1 incarnation and actually looks a whole lot more like an insect. Oh, you’d never confuse it for a real one, it’s clearly mechanical, but it has six legs, the pincers (formed from the blade weapon) look far more natural and while it doesn’t have a proper head, it has a sort of cockpit that gives a reasonable impression of one.

Thundershred’s pincers are posable and can grab other Transformers without problem. His six legs are on balljoints giving him some limited posability here, too. All in all this mode does what it’s supposed to, portraying a menacing-looking mechanical beetle. So thumbs up.

Remarks: After producing hit after hit it was probably inevitable that Fansproject would eventually strike out and now it has happened and the name is Thundershred. That’s not to say that Thundershred is a bad figure, far from it. But when compared to brilliant Fansproject toys like the Warbot Defender, the City Commander and the Protector Upgrade, Thundershred falls somewhat short. What you have here is good, decent figure that nicely upgrades one of the original Insecticons for present times and I would have had absolutely no qualms buying him for about twenty Euros (about thirty dollars). But at nearly fifty dollars, I have to say he’s a bit overpriced. So basically a good figure, but due to the price tag recommended only to die-hard Insecticon fans and Fansproject enthusiasts.

Rating: B
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