I'm consistently surprised by how persistently enduring the character of Thunderwing remains. After all, Thunderwing arrived at the tail end of G1, one of the oft-maligned Pretenders, and never appeared in a single cartoon episode. Nearly all the credit for his characterization has been in both the classic and modern comic books, all penned by Simon Furman, the most prolific Transformers writer of all time.
Furman is a big fan of taking neglected and under-utilizied Transformers and instilling new life and characterization into them. In the original comic series, Thunderwing's affinity and obsession for the Autobot Matrix drove him to steal it (and become possessed by it) during the "Matrix Quest" storyline. In recent IDW comics continuity, Thunderwing was recast as the victim of his own "polydermal grafting" process (read: modernized Pretender) and simultaneously became insane but so uncontrollably powerful and invulnerable that he mindlessly turned Cybertron into an irradiated, uninhabitable husk.
Despite all this low-level attention, I was still amazed when Hasbro announced that they would be producing a new Thunderwing toy for the "Classics" line. As his original toy was from 1989, Thunderwing is tied with Bludgeon (another non-cartoon character brought to prominence by Furman) as the most latter-day Generation One toy to be given a modern upgrade.
It's thus fitting that Thunderwing's box art has received an upgrade as well courtesy of Jeremy Barlow of Soundwave's Oblivion. Note that as a "Mega Pretender" both Thunderwing's inner robot and external shell could transform into a jet-like thing, hence the multiple robots and modes in the box art. Thanks, Jeremy!
Kids! To learn more about Thunderwing, visit your local library! Reading is fun when it's about Transformers!
I agree. Thunderwing became one of my faves, as well as bludgeon when going back around G2 time and reading the old G1 marvel comics
I assume that by "modern upgrade" you're not counting characters that have had new toys, but without new molds created for them. Otherwise, we'd be talking about Banzai-Tron.
Indeed, as a rule I don't count "Classics" toys that are "updates in name and color only."
Banzi-Tron suffers the dual indignities of being an Action Master [ptooie!] and having perhaps the worst name outside of the Go-Bots. And what was his alt-mode supposed to be? He had no trace of any vehicle in his robot form.
I'm very pleased with Generations Thunderwing. Together with Bludgeon, it seems the Pretenders are making a comeback. He could have been a liiiiiitle bigger, I suppose, but I much prefer a smaller 'pure' figure than a larger one ruined with gimmicks. As Hasbro say, "We can't sell a larger toy unless it DOES something! Quick, give him a giant arm that turns into a speedboat. And make his eyes light up!"
It would have been awesome if he came with a tiny widdle Matrix, though. Maybe just sculpted in! ^_^
Love the write up Botch. Personally, I've quite disappointed with Generations Thunderwing, the design was just too simplistic (compared for example with the complexity of figures like Straxus, Drift/ Blurr, etc) and it was too small and short. They could have done a good one, but just let the chance slip.
BTW, anything you might need (in terms of box art I mean)?...
@heroic_decepticon: Sometimes a simple Transformer is a simple pleasure! I consider having any new version of Thunderwing at all to be a coup. And, ahhhh, I see you have the Japanese Laserdisc box set. Nope, I don't need anything from there because those are the infamous Laserdisc box sets from which I pulled so many scans over the last several years. But thanks! (Aren't they awesome?)
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