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Friday, April 27, 2012

In honor of Botcon: Action Master Thundercracker

Since Botcon is being held in Dallas this week I thought it would only be appropriate to do a post about a G1 figure that received an update from the Botcon folks last year. Of course I am talking about Action Master Thundercracker. Like so many other things at Botcon, AM Thundercracker has a complicated history that only the most fervent fans tend to appreciate, but I'll do my best to iron it all out.

As many fans will readily attest, Action Masters basically ended the reign of Generation One in the United States. However our brothers across the pond in Europe apparently had stronger stomachs so more Action Masters were released over there that the US never saw. Among these exclusive releases was Action Master Thundercracker, appropriately a figure repaint of Action Master Starscream, except that Thundercracker came with a new transformable vehicle that doubled as a wearable 'battle suit' a la Aliens. I must admit this is a pretty cool gimmick that I wish had been used over here in the states. Now as we all know most toy designers apparently had a mild addiction to LSD in the early 1990's because Thundercracker was released in one of the most garish color schemes I have ever seen (this statement can be backed up by GI Joe releases of the same time period). Regardless of his colors, he can be quite a fun little toy.
This is seriously how he's supposed to 'ride' it.

Fast forward fifteen years or so to 2007 when the Classics figures were beginning to hit shelves. The heads over at Botcon decided to make the convention exclusive set that year with the three missing Seeker jets we hadn't seen yet in stores (Thundercracker, Thrust and Dirge). That opened up an entirely different can of worms, but it also let fans to start speculating about what else could be done with the seeker mold. Eventually the idea of an Action Master Thundercracker deco came up since it was probably the most outrageous color scheme available and TF fans just like to push the envelope sometimes to see how far it will get them.
I wish we could get a seeker colored like Action Master Starscream
So after a couple of years of nagging Botcon finally decides to release the Action Master Thundercracker deco figure as one of the attendee figures at Botcon 2011. However there is a twist; he is actually Shattered Glass Thundercracker and thus comes with a red Decepticon symbol. Now personally, I have nothing against Shattered Glass, but there is no way this figure wasn't going into my Neo-G2 figures (also a Botcon set) as mother-effin Action Master Thundercracker. I covered that symbol right up with a reprolabel, no questions asked. So when I decided to sell my Shattered Glass figures last week this figure was not included since it technically isn't Shattered Glass anymore.
GAH! My eyes!

They did a nice job extrapolating colors where there was no reference though.
And thus, yet again the price of a relatively unknown G1 figure skyrockets due to Botcon's influence. The G1 figure had been on my want list for quite a while but the advent of Botcon 2011 made him a lot more expensive than he should have been and so I had to wait until I found a better price. That finally happened a few weeks ago with a seller in Hungary. So now I can close the books on my Action Master Thundercracker saga, what a weird trip.


  1. LOL, I love the pictures here! Thanks for sharing.

  2. "what a weird trip".... in more ways than one, I think the colourist who gave AM T'cracker life must have been on a trip too. How this sort of colours actually passed Hasbro and got approved would be interesting to know.

    You'd know that I don't appreciate AMs, and among AMs T'cracker is about as near bottom as it can get, but I do appreciate your post and the journey you had with these figures. Great write up and as usual, great photography (and post editing).

    ~ HD

  3. Thanks guys, I'm glad you're enjoying it as much as I am, lol.