Series: Generations Thunderwing is so single-minded and powerful that even Megatron hesitates to get in his way. He is loyal to the Decepticon commander, but once he is given an order, nothing stops him until the mission is complete. All too often, that mission is the annihilation of a world that has defied the will of Megatron - a task at which Thunderwing excels.
This robot is, of course, a homage to the original G1 Thunderwing
, or rather the Pretender part of that classic toy. Most of the body is a near-perfect match for the original toy, though there are some influences from the IDW comics in evidence, too, mostly the head and the spread-out wings on his back. All in all the resemblance is pretty much perfect, giving us the best Thunderwing (look-wise) weíve had yet.
Going into the other aspects of the figure shows some downsides, though. Chief among them the guns on Thunderwingís shoulders. They look cool and are faithful to the G1 original, but the gun barrels on them hinder Thunderwing when he tries to swivel his arms forward at the shoulder. By pushing them down as far as they go and with some minor bending involved he can put his arms straight forward, but I think this will sooner or later cause wear to the barrels of the shoulder cannons. So posability is somewhat limited. The second downside is that Thunderwing is basically a robot with a jet hanging off his back; pretty much his entire alternate mode is one big rucksack. And finally, there is scale. In both the Marvel and IDW comics Thunderwing was a very big guy, easily towering over most other Transformers. This figure here, though, is but of Deluxe-size and on the small side for its class, too. A Voyager-sized figure would have done the character more justice.
Thatís not to say the robot mode is all-bad, far from it. It looks cool, is very posable except for the above-mentioned restriction, and nicely armed with two missile launchers the figure can either hold in its hands (once again no fists-with-holes but rather actual hands) or mount on its wings. Itís not nearly as good as it could have been, though, so we do need to deduct some points here.
Thunderwing never had an Earth mode, neither in his only previous toy incarnation, nor in any of his comic book appearances. He transformed into an alien-looking space-ship, or rather his Pretender shell did, while his actual robot mode became a small shuttle-like craft that could combine with the aforementioned shell. This new Thunderwing transforms into a fighter jet somewhat similar to the one Classics Ramjet
uses, but with one tiny little twist: The nose of the jet is actually a detachable drone craft, basically paying homage to Thunderwingís original status as a combining Pretender. Now the jet doesnít look that good with the drone detached, so I recommend leaving it there, but itís a nice nod to the original toy.
As for the actual jet, it suffers somewhat from the age-old problem of many jet Transformers in that itís basically a jet with a robot hanging underneath. Thunderwing tucks in the legs and hides his head, but thatís the extent of it. There have been lots and lots of better-designed jet Transformers in recent years, so Thunderwing doesnít exactly excel here. The jet has a working landing gear and decent detailing, but it doesnít take away the fact that you can clearly see his robot mode arms underneath the wings. So not a bad jet mode as such, but weíve seen quite a few better ones.
Despite never having appeared in any cartoon series, Thunderwing has a long history in the Transformers comic books. In the old Marvel comics he took over as Decepticon Leader for a while and became the first and only Decepticon in history to successfully wield the Matrix, only to be eventually overtaken by its vast power. In the IDW comics he was a scientist who saw the decline of Cybertron coming and decided to use himself as a guinea pig for his forbidden Pretender experiments. This turned him into a mindless, unstoppable monster that rendered Cybertron uninhabitable for centuries. See a trend here?
The Generations version of Thunderwing is certainly the best Thunderwing toy weíve seen yet, but considering that itís only competition is the original G1 figure, thatís not saying all that much. Overall I like it despite its drawbacks, but Iím a huge fan of the character, which saves the figure from a C-rating. Leaving aside the character appeal, though, this figure isnít all that great. So Iíd recommend it for fans of Thunderwing and G1 enthusiasts like myself, but people whoíre just looking for a cool jet Transformer might be better off elsewhere.