In 1985 three new Seekers – an official-made-unofficial-made-official term for the original six Decepticon jets from 1984 and 1985 — showed up. They shared the same core body type as the original three, Starscream, Skywarp, and Thundercracker but with two distinct differences. Number one: they each had different shaped wings, unlike the original three’s stock f-15 wings and tailfins. Number two: they were coneheads. Though their toy’s instructions did depict the same head transformations as the original’s, their cartoon counterparts left their nosecones straight up, giving them their distinct pointy heads.
As a kid, I scoffed at this. As an adult collector, however? Those nosecones point straight up. Amazing what a little nostalgia will do for your aesthetic sensibilities. Dirge was the only one of the conehead Seekers I had as a kid, so I was very happy that he made the cut for Series VII of the Toys R Us exclusive Commemorative line. Then I was heartbroken to find out that while the newly minted “Classics” line had put out Starscream, Skywarp, and Ramjet, the remainder of the three Seekers would be part of the 2007 Botcon box set. As 2007 was one of the years I did not attend, this put my hopes of a complete set of updated Seekers out of reach. To compound this, the forums were chock-full of pompous Transfans with images of the full set complete with caption: “Here’s what you will never have.” Jump forward to 2009 and the wind had thoroughly been taken out the sails of those proud holders of the Botcon figures. Over in Japan, a Toy Hobby Market exclusive, not only was this Dirge, but unlike the simple repaint of Ramjet, this one had been updated to have G1 accurate wings. Still, far too rare and too far away for me to be able to justify the cost, but I didn’t need to worry. One year later: Hasbro did the one thing we never thought they would. For the Generations line, we received not just the more accurate Dirge at mass release, but we also received the previously-Botcon-exclusive-in-America updated Thrust. The “Here’s what you will never have” images all disappeared. Not so smug now, huh?
With the Classics/Generations, Hasbro also officially made their toys Coneheads. The nosecone/head is one solid piece. Also, because Dirge and Ramjet ditched the conventional wing design used on Classics Starscream, they also lost the limitation the older wings place on arm movement. Thrust still has it, but to a much lesser degree than Starscream.
Updates are also made to their alt-modes adding extra colouring and highlights — well, at least Dirge and Ramjet’s. Thrust remains the same bland two-tone in his Generations mold as he did in the original G1. Even with the changes and the updates to articulation, they still harken back to their original toy form wonderfully.