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Skyquake87's Review: Robots in Disguise Thunderhoof

Name : Thunderhoof
Allegiance: Decepticon
Sub Group: Robots In Disguise
Size Class: Warrior (Deluxe)

Bio: I miss tech specs

Robots In Disguise continues its merry march to baffle consumers and retailers with a pointless array of Legends scale, Quick Change, 3-Step Change and huge Legends-a-like Leader Class lumps. All of which leaves the 'proper' Warrior Class (Deluxe) toys lost in the middle of this kaleidoscope of crap. Thunderhoof has been available as one of those baby-toy 1-Step/Quick Change/'I don't know what but it looks rubbish' toys for about a year, but it's the Deluxe version I've been holding out for, as y'know, I like being able to transform the thing myself. It gives me a sense of achievement and validates my life. Plus, those quick change things look awful in robot mode, with fused limbs and jutting kibble all over the place. And there's no way I'm paying the best part of 10 for a farty Legends toy. I've had enough of that with the Combiners Wars line, thank you very much.

Thunderhoof had an immediately striking design, all outta space reindeer looking ready to mess you up. His character is basically Goodfellas in space. It works well and makes for an interesting character, and one of the more memorable bad guys out there. Don't know how gangster turning into a tractor with a plough is, unless he's running some kind of counterfeit potato operation. Maybe he's just taking advantage of the EU subsidies available for farming, like a lot of the 'slipper farmers' we have over here.

Robot Mode: Thunderhoof is quite lithe in robot mode and is nicely proportioned. He looks pretty powerful too, just the way he stands naturally. That illusion is destroyed a little from some angles though, as like Prime Knock Out, his torso is just a tabbard on some axles. The sculpting is nice though, the plastics are solid and the chunky shapes that cover him make him good to handle - if that doesn't sound too weird. The things that make him stand out are the animal based touches his whopping great antlers and those awesome hooves (which Hasbro have thankfully painted up). His face is also great, carrying over the Prime 'mean and noseless' look. Paint apps are the usual thin on the ground which does make him look a bit plain. There's just the odd spots of some azure and red daubed on. Its fine, and the mix of black and blue plastic keeps things interesting, but he really misses the silver trim of both his animation model and his Legends toy. I like the design of his gun too, which looks like a jagged shotgun. It is a bit flat though, and rendered all in black, it looks like he's waving an aggressive comb about. It's difficult to have this look particularly good pointing it at anyone. One thing I do like though, is that in Beast Wars fashion, he can store this on his back the storage port for his vehicle mode still being accessible in robot mode.

Alternate Mode: The tractor mode is nice, all compact and boxy, and I like how the antlers are used to form a plough on the front. It looks good, but as with all the RID toys, just looks very plain. The paint apps which are fairly noticeable in robot mode are just lost against the sea of blue here. It's a good chunky little toy thing though, and despite looking a bit Playskool, its nice to see some less obvious alt modes creeping into Transformers.

Marks Out Of Ten For The Following:

Transformation Design: To get a decent sized robot out of such a compact alt mode, there's some clever stuff on show here. The legs form the front of the tractor and unclip and swivel about on a neatly tucked away waist to fold out into two big long legs. The arms are formed from the back of the tractor cab and unclip and fold up onto the middle section and then you have a flap of bonnet that swings down and locks into position. Its a really great bit of engineering. Most impressively, the plough angles in slightly so movement at the shoulders isn't impeded. That's thoughtful and I like it! 9/10

Durability: Thunderhoof is a hardy little figure. Everything's taut and rugged and nothing feels in danger of being snapped or broken off. 9/10

Articulation: Above average for a Deluxe figure, thanks to the waist swivel. He only really lacks wrists, but you don't miss them with all the other poses you can put this guy in. 9/10

Fun: Thunderhoof is tremendous fun. He looks ridiculous and has some real presence thanks to his unique design. I love the tractor mode too and with his well thought out transformation he's just an impressive dude. 9/10

Price/Value: 14.97 from Asda. Bit much for a Deluxe, it has to be said. Definitely one of those characters that you have to weigh up how much you want him and the chances of seeing him on the shelves again. In common with the other fleeting Decepticon figures in this size class, he's a difficult find. Online prices and availability aren't much better and its up to you whether you feel paying another 10 for the Japanese version is worth it for some extra paint. 5/10

Overall: Thunderhoof is a great toy and packs in a lot of character. The RID line has done some really interesting things with its villain cast and that's summed up well here. Unlike Steeljaw, he isn't compromised by his design and engineering, making for a much more fun toy. He does perhaps feel a bit smaller than he should be, which is one of the problems I find with the Deluxe scale where larger vehicle-mode robots are crammed into this size class. Some of them come off well, and some just end up looking a fraction too small. Only a lack of paint robs him of being the class act he should be, and if you're willing to forego elbow joints and a weapon then his Legends figure does make a better choice for the casually interested. 8/10
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