As Hasbro scrambled to fill out the ranks of the 1985 Decepticons, many of the molds available to them seemed to fit better with the Autobots. Thus, they turned to an old standby, the Decepticon Jet design. Refitted with new wings, Thrust was a new addition to the team. He transforms into a McDonnel Douglas F-15C fighter with fictional VTOL fans mounted in wing nacelles.
>Thrust’s mold started its life in Diaclone, as the Jet Robo Acrobat Type and Ultra High-Speed Fighter Type. These jets were realistic F-15Cs and included small plastic and die-cast drivers that could ride in the cockpit. A promotional image with prototypes for the new seekers shows Thundercracker using Thrust’s wings, molded in white and bright red. Thrust was designed by Takayoshi Doi. The US Patent, titled Reconfigurable toy jet-plane (aka Transformers G1 Thrust) was filed on December 27, 1984 (U.S. Patent No. USD293803 S).
Thrust’s alternate mode uses the same F-15C body as all the other Decepticon Jets, with the modifications made to the mold after 1984’s first production run. He features a gray translucent canopy, wings with huge VTOL fans mounted in nacelles, and a distinctive twin tail design replacing the traditional F-15 rudders and elevators. Thrust is primarily cast in dark maroon, with metallic black and gloss black accents. He uses the same missiles and launchers as the 1984 jets, although the launchers are monochrome black as opposed to the previous two-tone. His simple transformation is the same as his predecessors, though longer wing tabs and a simpler tail make it easier to transform him without removing the wings. His instructions show the nosecone being tilted backward like the 1984 Jets, but since his in-fiction appearances leave it pointed up like a cone head, many fans prefer to replicate this with the toy. This has the added benefit of better balancing the rotating cockpit section if it suffers from looseness (see Collector Notes, below).
Like all the “Seeker Jets”, Thrust is prone to a couple common problems. The first is a tendency for the cockpit’s main hinge to become loose with wear, causing the head to slump back in robot mode. The mold had even been modified to form a tighter fit, but it still possible for this looseness to occur with wear. Fortunately, this can be somewhat remedied by storing his landing gear wheels-up inside his cockpit, the heavy diecast wheel counterbalancing the nosecone. Alternatively, he can be transformed with the nosecone on top of his head, like his in-fiction appearances. He shares another common problem with the 1984 Jets: his missiles have very thin catch-tabs, which are often found broken on vintage samples. Furthermore, the tabs that clip his fists on may break, leaving a large hole in the cuff of the fist.
Thrust has a few minor variations over his production run. Some versions were molded in a slightly darker shade of maroon. Thrust’s launcher tab was also changed in later releases to feature a prominent button, as opposed to the long, smooth toggle-like design.
Redecos & Retools
As one of the Seekers’ body-type, Thrust has been recolored and retooled innumerable times:
- Diaclone Jet Robo F-15 Ultra High-Speed Fighter Type, 1983, Japan and parts of Europe
- Diaclone Jet Robo F-15 Acrobat Type, 1983, Japan and parts of Europe
- Starscream, 1984, using the High-Speed Fighter Type deco, reissued in Japan in 2001 and 2007
- Thundercracker, 1984, using the Acrobat Type deco, reissued in Japan in 2001 and 2008.
- Skywarp, 1984, with a new black deco.
- Ramjet, 1985, with new wing, rudder, and missile molds, reissued in Japan in 2001
- Dirge, 1985, with new wing and missile molds, reissued as an event exclusive in Japan in 2001 and in the U.S. in 2004
- Generation 2 Starscream, 1993, with a new deco, new launchers and missiles, and a sound-box that attaches to pegs on the back of the jet
- Generation 2 Ramjet, a redeco of Ramjet with the launcher and soundbox changes from Starscream
- e-HOBBY Starscream Ghost Version, 2001, Japan, a version using translucent plastics, an orange canopy, and minimal decoration
- e-HOBBY Starscream Black Version, 2001, Japan, using black and gunmetal gray plastics and gold highlights
- Starscream Secret Version, 2001, Japan, a lucky draw figure limited to 5 pieces and using colorless translucent plastic for all plastic parts excepting the black pieces
- e-HOBBY Sunstorm, Japan, 2003, in a new yellow and white deco