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Series: Cybertron
Allegiance: Decepticon
Categories: Legends
Year: 2006


Prelude: The Cybertron series was the dawn of the Legends-Class (unless you count RID’s Spychangers) and most of the major characters from the series were available in this class additionally to their larger counterparts. One of them was Thundercracker, whose Deluxe incarnation, well, let us say there was a lot of room for improvement. Is it possible that this Legends version might actually be the better Cybertron Thundercracker? Let’s say go!

Many thanks to my buddy Scourge, who loaned me Thundercracker here for pictures and review.

Robot Mode: Basic stuff first, of course. Legends-Class Thundercracker is a smaller, somewhat simplified version of Cybertron Deluxe Thundercracker, whom I have previously reviewed. And if you read that review, you know that I was far from satisfied with that figure, mostly due to its design problems. Here is where Legends Thundercracker easily beats his larger counterpart. He has stable shoulders, his torso is not hollow, his feet are actually bigger, and he has two fists instead of just one. Like his larger counterpart he has a big gun on his left, but here it’s just attached to his forearm instead of replacing it, which works out much better. So in terms of design, Legends Thundercracker is by far the superior version.

He does have the common limitations of a Legends-Class figure from that time, of course. No elbows or knees, no turning head, his articulation is restricted to moving his legs at the hip and his arms at the shoulders. Enough for a few shooting poses, but no more than that. Still, even with these limitations, Legends Thundercracker is by far my favorite version of Cybertron Thundercracker, at least in robot mode.

Alternate Mode: Naturally Thundercracker transforms into the same Sukhoi Su-37 fighter jet as his larger counterparts, just a bit simplified and with just two missiles sculpted under the wings instead of four. Otherwise, though, there are few differences between the two jets, the larger one naturally looking a bit more streamlined. Unlike in robot mode, Deluxe Thundercracker did just fine in jet mode and Legends Thundercracker does, too. No landing gear for the little plane, unsurprisingly, but otherwise it works out fine.

Just one oddity: Deluxe Thundercracker’s big gun basically became the center of the jet and could flip out in jet mode, too (no matter how little sense that made aerodynamically). Now Legends Thundercracker has his big gun underneath the jet, which works out a lot better, I think, but he is still capable of flipping open the top of the jet (see eighth picture). No gun underneath it, of course, so this makes even less sense here than it did for the Deluxe version. So bottom line: a good jet, a much better placement of the big gun, but that flip-open panel on top is just weird.

Remarks: Thundercracker appeared throughout the entire Cybertron series run, surviving past the end, but he was seldom more than the trigger-happy goon. He had a few epic dogfights with Jetfire, but otherwise did little of importance. In the series finale he was recruited (somewhat against his will) by Thunderclash and the remaining Decepticons to head out into space, seeking trouble. They didn’t make it past Mars.

The Cybertron Legends-Class figures were Hasbro’s second attempt at producing smaller, kid-friendlier toys of the main characters alongside bigger figures, the first having been Robots in Disguise (2001). After Cybertron, the Legends-Class stuck around for quite a while and was then appropriated by Third Party companies like Iron Factory and Newage when Hasbro seemed to lose interest in it. More recently, though, Hasbro seems to have rediscovered this scale, though it’s now called Core-Class for some reason. Though I must say I would really like to see Cybertron Thundercracker as part of the Legacy Core Class.

As for Thundercracker, he is certainly an improvement over the Deluxe version in several regards, but it still depends on whether you are happy with this scale in general or not. Because putting Legends-Class Thundercracker next to Leader-Class figures like Optimus Prime or Megatron really doesn’t work. So bottom line: definitely one of the better figures from this (second) genesis of Legends-Class figures, but you should really get at least a few more figures in this scale to make it work.

Rating: C+

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