Friday, September 13, 2013

Transformers Arms Micron: Thundercracker (exclusive)

If you haven't figured out by now, every time Hasbro or Takara Tomy release a new Starscream toy it's inevitable that we'll get a repaint out it.  Sometimes it seems they like to make us collectors frustrated as they'll release Skywarp and Thundercracker to different markets.  Being a fan of Thundercracker more than the seekers in general, this can be really frustrating.  Over the last few years I've been lucky as it seems Hasbro has released the various Thundercrackers here State side, while Skywarp was exclusive to the land of the Rising Sun.  Not the case for the Prime First Edition mold used for Starscream.

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Skywarp was released as part of the main Arms Micron series in Japan, but Thundercracker was the limited exclusive this time around.  Only available at a few shops (Yodobashi Camera & Yamada Electronics), Thundercracker underwent some slight mold changes and was given his own Micron, a silver chromed version of Balo.  You may remember that Balo originally came packaged with Skywarp.  The box used for Thundercracker is very similar to the rest of the Arms Micron series for this size toy.  The red stripe down the side of the box however was done in red foil and looks really sharp in person.  I've always been a fan of Takara Tomy's packaging and this one doesn't disappoint.

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As with other Arms Micron releases, the back of the box has an action shot of the figure and his Micron along with a "table of contents".  If you are wondering, yes, Thundercracker comes with stickers you must apply if you want him to resemble his G1 style look.

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I took the liberty of applying most of Thundercracker's stickers before I taking pictures for the post.  Most of the stickers are rather easy to apply and look great...especially the red chrome wing stickers.  The blue plastic used has a slight metallic look and is quite beautiful in hand.

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The toy itself is basically the same as the First Edition Starscream, but does feature some new tooling underneath the wings.  Gone are Screamer's missiles and replaced with some sort of pods...or are they bombs?  Whatever you want to call them, they have Micron ports to hold Balo or any other Micron figure.

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It took me a while to warm up to this mold, but now it's one of my favorite Prime toys.  Overall Thundercracker has a great looking robot mode, however I wish the jet's gold canopy was better hidden.  I'm guessing that is why Starscream's canopy was painted black.

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While I like the look of the bombs in jet mode, I kinda miss having the missiles attached to the forearms like Starscream has.  True, you can attach some Microns to the arms, but it just doesn't have the same effect.

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I don't think of Thundercracker being the same sly and conniving robot that Starscream is, so the smirk on the face just doesn't fit the toy.  It would've been nice to have received a new head, but it's not a huge issue I suppose.

Arms Micron Thundercracker photo 028_zpse8d21981.jpg   Arms Micron Thundercracker photo 029_zps9baa3fc9.jpg

I'm not sure what animal Balo is supposed to be.  Is he a one eyed buffalo or is it a bull?  Whatever the case Balo now sports Lucky Draw-esque silver chrome.  He does feature a few small purple stickers to help break up all the shiny.  As far as his alternate mode, the instructions show him either as a shield or perhaps a type shuriken.  Ironically enough the instructions don't ever show Balo transformed into a drill as Skywarp's instructions show.  Odd.

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This was a no brainer for me.  I will buy just about any Thundercracker toy.  I even bought the Dark of the Moon toy *shudders*.  I don't normally buy non show characters, but I had to make an exception for Thundercracker and I'm glad I did.  Fun mold, beautiful blue color and a shiny Micron make for a great release.  If you missed out, he shouldn't be too hard to find or too expensive.  In fact, my good friends at Captured Prey have in stock as of today, 09/13/13 for only $45.00!

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