Bot Shots Thundercracker Toy Review

in 2012, Action Figure Review, Bot Shots, Decepticon, Generation One, Seeker

Bot Shots

General Information:
Release Date: June 2012
fPrice Point: $3.99 (varies depending on retailer)
Retailer: General (Toys R Us, Target, Wal-Mart etc.)
Accessories: None

Images:

*Images with asterisks and text below in italics are from the Official Transformers web site:
Crash and bash your way to victory in the TRANSFORMERS BOT SHOTS Battle Game! Will your THUNDERCRACKER vehicle convert to robot mode and make you the winner? Find out when you crash your vehicles together! Crash and bash your way to BOT SHOTS victory! Choose your THUNDERCRACKER vehicle’s power, then crash into battle with your opponent. Two ways to win when you crash your vehicles together! If your vehicle converts to robot mode when your opponent’s doesn’t, you’re the winner! If both of your vehicles convert, the vehicle with the highest power wins! Blaster beats Fist, Fist beats Sword and Sword beats Blaster. If neither vehicle converts, crash them all over again!

Includes vehicle. Series 1 B009 THUNDERCRACKER. Ages 5 and up.

ThundercrackerBot Shots are a game based expression of the Transformers brand that focuses on interactive game play between figures. Previous attempts at this such as "Attacktix" had relied on missile firing mechanisms and point systems as the primary elements of the gaming system. Bot Shots are much more action oriented and factor the transformation of the toy into the play pattern (which Attacktix did not).

In general, all Bot Shots figures have a vehicle mode and robot mode. The transformation is triggered by "bashing" the front of the vehicle into another Bash Bot (or a wall, book...any solid surface really) causing a spring loaded feature to activate and transform the figure. This generally means revealing the robot head, arms angled out to the sides and feet along with robot mode details.

The key to the game system is a three sided hinged mechanism built into the chest. On each side is a sticker with one of three icons: a fist, a sword and a blaster - each representing a different type of combat. Presumably without your opponent seeing your selection, you turn the panel on the chest and then crash the two Bot Shots together and when the robot mode is revealed each player will know what "weapon" the other chose. The way the game works:

  • Blaster beats fist
  • Fist beats sword
  • Sword beats blaster

In the case of two Bot Shots getting the same icon each icon has a number on it indicating that character's level of that skill. Whoever has the higher number wins. It's a simple and fun system clearly developed for kids who enjoy a game element to their action figures (such as lines like Bakugan).

Robot Mode:
Thundercracker is a direct redeco of the Bot Shots Starscream sculpt, complete with snarky expression on his face and all. I do recommend checking out that review in addition to this one. This review will focus on the changes made to the figure for this release.

Thundercracker is cast in a light blue color, matching up with his animated appearance rather than his G1 action figure (which was more dark blue). This gives him a brighter, more appealing look I think. His paint applications are metallic grey, red and silver. The grey is a darker shade used on the "helmet" section of the head, his fists and feet. Silver is found on his face and covering the torso portion of his body. His eyes are painted red. I really am appreciative of the liberal use of color in this form since many Bot Shots are somewhat sparse in paint applications below the head.

There is no articulation to really discuss and Bot Shots don't come with any accessories. The main fun in this figure is in the "bashing" play pattern and seeing how many of your friends you can defeat! For those curious, Starscream's scores break down as follows:

  • Blaster: 800
  • Fist: 255
  • Sword: 565

I found the numbers on Thundercracker a bit surprising at first because his "800" rating is much higher than any numbers on Starscream, the "Air Commander" of the Seekers. However, I noticed his "Fist" rating is also well below the average for most Bot Shots in general, so I guess there's a balance there to some degree.

Transformation to Vehicle Mode:

  1. Swing the cockpit forward and the arms will collapse into the sides.
  2. Push the feet up and lock all the parts into place.

Unfortunatley, my particular copy of Thundercracker has issues with the feet keeping locked in vehicle mode, so he tends to spring up or look like he's partially "raised up" in vehicle mode. I haven't read of widespread issues of this being the case with the figure so I'll consider this a one off fluke and I won't hold it against the figure in general, just be warned.

Vehicle Mode:
In vehicle mode a different color gets tossed into the mix: yellow. The yellow is used to paint the cockpit cover while red is used for outlines on his wings. Both of these details are inspired by the G1 animated model, which in turn was inspired by the G1 toy which had a translucent yellow cockpit cover and red stickers on the wings. The bright yellow color definitely pops off the background of blue plastic and matches the bright and somewhat whimsical nature of the Bot Shots toy line.

Final Thoughts:
Thundercracker looks fantastic in both modes and his "Blaster" rating of 800 makes him potentially formidable against other Bot Shots. I am disappointed that my copy is one with a fault transformation mechanism, but I don't hold it against all the Bot Shot Thundercrackers out there, just keep those receipts just in case you need to make an exchange!