June 12, 2011 06:41 pm
Once upon a time there was a guy named Thundercracker. He was just a boring ol' redeco of Starscream. (Or vice versa. S'hard to tell.) Starscream was way popular and managed to be one of the first handful of original Transformers toys that got second and third toys. Starscream got a Classic Pretender toy, an Action Master toy... but Thundercracker was kind of a nobody, so he didn't get that kind of attention.
But when he did get that kind of attention, yikes! As I said, he was kind of a nobody. So unlike Starscream, who was important enough to keep his appearance mostly intact during those years, Thundercracker could apparently look damn near like anything! And so, after Generation 1 ended in North America, and Action Masters continued in Europe, Thundercracker got his second toy. And, oh lord, it is probably the craziest damn color scheme you'll ever see on a Transformer. He was purple. And maroon. And blue. And green. And gold.
It is a color scheme so insane that it crosses the threshold from insane terrible into insane awesome.
Who will dare to homage Action Master Thundercracker? Certainly not Hasbro! What retailer would carry this thing? I mean, look at it. No, this task would fall to Fun Publications, who could probably target just the very handful of people who'd care about the homage. And, y'know, hopefully avoid the folks who look at it, go WHAT THE HELL, and then continue on about their day.
Technically, this BotCon toy is Shattered Glass Thundercracker, Thundercracker's mirrorverse counterpart. You're allowed to be crazy colors in mirrorverses! And so he has a red Decepticon symbol on his shoulder. But, dude, c'mon. Action Master Thundercracker. The Holy Grail of insane Transformers callbacks. The one you thought they'd never do, and by "they" you mean "EVERYONE ON EARTH." BotCon did an admirable job matching the colors on Action Master Thundercracker's nonstransformable figure to this Classics Seeker mold. The Action Master didn't have arm-guns or proper wings, so those kind of end up whatever the plastic sprue breakdowns allowed, but otherwise he's spot-for-spot accurate.
But my favorite thing is his jetmode. Action Master Thundercracker never had a jetmode, because, y'know, he was an Action Master. And so we finally get to see what kind of cracked-out jet mode Action Master Thundercracker would transform into. And the answer is... yeah, pretty cracked out. His wings are purple, his body is maroon, his intakes are randomly green, and then right down the middle of his nose the colors swap from maroon to purple. That's my favorite part. I love that there is absolutely no attempt at vehicle mode cohesion. This toy is all about robot mode accuracy to something that never was really supposed to have a jet mode.
(Oh, hey, stealth homage. His wings are done up like the wings to Action Master Thundercracker's "Solo Mission Jet Plane," his Action Master transformable exo-suit. Neat. That might also be where the green intakes are from, who knows.)
One small flaw in this toy being Shattered Glass Thundercracker and not the original Thundercracker proper is that it negates the awesome and/or tragic story that would involve such a drastic color shift. I mean, consider Thundercracker, the fictional character. For millions of years, he's this dark blue and black and silver guy. Pretty conservative. But then, out of no where, he's this purple and blue and green and every other color monstrosity. What's the story behind that? Did he have a stroke? Is this a personal visual statement? Is he attracting a mate? Did someone paint him up like this as a gag and he's too colorblind to notice? Did he lose a bet?
These are the questions that keep me up at night.