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Series: Renderform
Allegiance: Autobot
Categories: Upgrade Set
Year: 2016

Upgrade Kit: The Thunder Struck upgrade kit from Renderform, a third-party company in no way associated with Hasbro or Takara-Tomy, consists of a new head and weapon for the Combiner Wars Battle Core Optimus Prime figure. They are patterned after the head and weapon of G1 Thunderclash. Together with the sticker set from Toyhax / Reprolabels, they complete the transformation of the redundant Optimus Prime figure into a great homage to the European exclusive Turbomaster figure.

Not really much I can write here that the pictures don’t tell better. The new head looks fabulous and the gun is pretty cool, too. Word to the wise when switching out the head: you have to unscrew both the original head as well as the new one. Trying to just pull it off won’t work. But once you are done, you have a wonderful Thunderclash figure in Voyager-size that is still fully capable of working as a combiner torso and transforming into truck mode. Nicely done.

Remarks: Thunderclash was the leader of the Turbomasters, a European-exclusive group of G1 Transformers at a time when the Transformers toyline had already ended in the United States. Thus no one but hardcore fans even knew he existed before James Roberts brought him out for his More Than Meets the Eye comic series, playing on the original toy’s over-the-top profile describing Thunderclash as an uber-wise, uber-nice, uber-competent superhero. What else do you call a guy who, while dying, manipulates his own vitals so that he can send a warning to his comrades via his life-signs monitor, thereby shortening his remaining life span?

The Renderform Thunder Struck upgrade kit is exactly what an upgrade kit should be: a way to make an existing figure even better. So unless Hasbro wises up one day and gives us an official Thunderclash figure, try and find one of those shelf-warming Battle Core Primes, get the Renderform kit and the Reprolabel stickers, and make your own professor of the Heroic Arts! It’s your duty as an Autobot and a heroic character!

Rating: A
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