There is nothing so infuriating as having an incomplete set when all you are lacking is one single toy. For me (and a vast majority of the Transformers collector community) the Generations Seekers fell squarely in this camp for years.
In 2006, they released Starscream. Fans rejoiced because we knew that Hasbro would never pass up the opportunity to repaint him into Thundercracker and Skywarp. We were right in 2006 when the two-pack “Ultra Magnus vs Skywarp: Battle For Autobot City” was released. The next year, instead of the last of the three original Seekers, we received a new mold version of the Ramjet, one of the “Conehead” Seekers. This is when things took a sour turn for the general collecting populace. The remaining original Seeker, Thundercracker, and the other two “Conehead” Seekers, Dirge and Thrust, were released… as Botcon exclusives. Naturally the secondary market prices skyrocketed instantly, putting them out of reach for a lot of us. This was compounded by severe amounts of gloating by a bunch of the fans that had the Botcon versions. I remember someone’s signature picture on TFW2005 going so far as to have an image of the six of them with the caption: “This is what you will never have.”
Then, a new Seeker was released at retail in 2008! Rather than any of the three we so desperately wanted, it was Acid Storm, a repaint of the original Seeker mold meant to be one of a trio of obscure, one episode Seekers known as The Rainmakers.
My tally so far? Two of the three originals, one of the three Coneheads, and one of the three Rainmakers.
This is when things got worse. In 2008, the Japanese version of Generations, the Henkei! Henkei! series, released their own version of Thundercracker. Priced much, much less than the Botcon exclusives but still far too much for my tastes, I did my best to ignore this. This was followed in 2009 when Henkei! Henkei! released an even better version of Dirge — the Botcon one was a straight repaint of Ramjet and didn’t have his distinctive wings — and their own version of Thrust, which also improved on the Botcon version. Botcon fans had a fit and the rest of us that weren’t willing to shell out the insane amounts of money for either just sighed.
In 2010, Hasbro did a grand thing: they released both of the missing Coneheads at retail, based on the improved Henkei! Henkei! versions. Of course, this caused the previously gloating Botcon exclusive owners to go into full meltdown and fall back on the position of “Well, at least you still don’t have Thundercracker!!!”
Then this happened.
Hasbro released Thundercracker as the tail-end of the current Generations line! Of course, as a tail-end toy, he was notoriously difficult to get ahold of. I finally ended up getting the last three deluxes I needed in a three-pack offered by BigBadToyStore.com, including Thundercracker. Finally. My Generations Seekers are complete.
Just like my G1 Starscream, my G1 Thundercracker is the Commemorative Series re-issue with the large kid-friendly missles. The irony of Thundercracker being the last, and hardest, of the Seekers to get is that if he didn’t finish off the set, I wouldn’t care nearly as much. I don’t have a particular like — or dislike for that matter — of him. He has become a much more interesting character as of late, with comic book writers capitalizing on his description of being “not totally convinced of the Decepticons’ cause”. He always was a rather useful Decepticon to have in your army though, thanks to his ability from which he gets his name, “produces controlled, deafening sonic booms”.
Tomorrow, our three original Seekers wrap up with my absolute favourite Decepticon, Skywarp. After that, we bring together the whole Generations Seeker family — Originals and Coneheads alike — with our lone Rainmaker, Acid Storm, on Tuesday of next week.