"Robots in Disguise" (2015" Warrior Class Thunderhoof Toy Review
Release Date: April 2016
Price Point: $14.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, Walmart, Target etc.)
*Images and text below from HasbroToyShop:
The Decepticon villain Thunderhoof ran a huge criminal empire back on Cybertron. Now that he's escaped his stasis pod and is loose on Earth, he ain't gonna stop till he gets his empire back. The giant, antlered bot loves stomping his enemies. When Thunderhoof pounds his hoof into the ground -- badaboom -- he can wallop everything nearby with a seismic wave. You mess with the boss, you get the hoof.
Thunderhoof was one of the Decepticons introduced early in the "Robots in Disguise" series. He stands out as a very unusual design, transforming from a robot to a tractor. Farm equipment is not generally the preferred alt mode of a Decepticon, but this is a fun exception. There are a couple other versions of Thunderhoof on the market now including a "Tiny Titan" PvC figure, a Legion Class and One Step Changer. Around the time this Warrior Class figure came out there was also a Three Step Changer released, making Thunderhoof one of the best represented Decepticons from this line in toy form.
Thunderhoof is packaged on a blister card. The backing card uses the standard promo art for the character showing him walking towards the viewer with his arms out to the sides. If you are facing the card you will see the red "Transformers" logo set vertically on the right with the "Robots in Disguise" logo above it. The figure is packaged in robot mode inside the bubble. The insert has a photo of the vehicle mode and the art for the character on the side. Interestingly, the official photos of the figure in packaging show the insert with a different design. On that design, there is a green border has Thunderhoof's name on the bottom, but above it is a gear design with a robot outline and the term "Mini-Con Weaponizers" with curved arrows going from the robot to the words. This is referencing the ability for 2016 "Weaponizer" Mini-Cons to connect to larger Transformers using 5mm pegs. The back of the packaging has photos of the figure in both modes indicating 8 steps to transform the figure. It also has the instructions to the side.
The Warrior Class is arguably as complex as "Robots in Disguise" figures get, so this version of Thunderhoof has advantages over the other versions in terms of complexity and aesthetics. From a sculpting perspective, all of Thunderhoof's key details are represented here. This includes his unique head design with the front of the vehicle mode forming what look like antlers on his head. His shoulders have two huge wheels on it, with the other two winding up on his lower legs. The top of the body is bulky with the legs looking more streamlined. Running with the "animal" theme from his "antlers", the feet are designed to have hoof shaped feet, coming to two points in the front. There are small details as well including several rectangular and angled shapes set into the torso and legs. Overall the sculpt looks fantastic.
There are a couple of differences in design from the TV show model. First, the "antlers" on his head are all straight instead of slightly angled like those in the animation model. Also, his forearms have the exhaust pipes from the vehicle mode mounted onto the forearms. This in particular I like because they wind up looking like machine guns built into his arms. These differences are all minor at best, and the arms actually improve the design in my opinion.
Thunderhoof is cast in metallic blue and black plastic. Several sections on the torso, arms and the feet are painted a nice matte black color which contrasts nicely with the metallic blue plastic. Silver is used on the face. Smaller details are painted in red, most notably the knee armor and eyes. A bit of light blue is found on the chest and lower legs. The deco is rounded out by a scannable Decepticon symbol in the center of the chest. You can scan this to unlock the character in the "Robots in Disguise" mobile app.
If you put this figure side by side with its animated counterpart you'll find there are some details missing. Most of these are small, red details such as those on the waist. The figure would look a lot better with more detail, but given the deco level of most "Robots in Disguise" Warrior Class figures this guy is right at that level and looks good.
There are eighteen points of articulation on this figure. This includes four on each arm leg along with waist articulation. I am counting the ability of the lower half of the lower leg to swing in (a function of the transformation) since it does help with some poses. Thunderhoof includes a blaster weapon that has a really cool design. It looks like a shotgun with several spikes running along the top of the weapon. I speculate that this weapon was partly designed to resemble a Trencher Attachment for a real life tractor which adds a fun, meta level to the design. There is a 5mm peg on the weapon allowing Thunderhoof to hold it in either hand. You can also store Thunderhoof's weapon using the 5mm port on his back.
Transformation to Vehicle Mode:
- Detach the weapon and set it aside for now.
- Straighten out the arms and swing the fists into the forearms.
- Straighten out the legs and swing the lower half of the lower legs back.
- Swing the chest panel along with the head up.
- Swing the "antlers" forward to form the front of the vehicle.
- Rotate the waist around.
- Swing the robot leg/waist section forward to form the front wheel wells of the vehicle form.
- Swing the robot arms back and connect the forearms together to form the middle/back section of the vehicle.
- Push the halves of the rake in the front so they form a slight angle.
- The weapon can be stowed on the underside of the vehicle.
Kudos to the designers on this one. I generally don't call out transformations but this is one of the more innovative ones I've seen in a while, and it is was very cool to see it in the "Warrior" Class scale, which is supposed to be right under the "Deluxe" scale in complexity and challenge. I actually had to fiddle with this a bit my first time around and that was super fun.
Thunderhoof's vehicle mode is a tractor complete with design elements including big wheels in the back with smaller ones in the front. The front end has a rake mounted on (really Thunderhoof's head). There are smokestacks on the back of the elevated driver's section. There are nice smaller details including raised grooves on the wheels (for rough terrain) and small details that look like holes on the smokestacks. Even the hinges on the sides for the arms have windows sculpted into them (though sadly they are not painted).
Speaking of deco, the metallic blue and black plastic colors continue to feature heavily in this form. Black is found on the top of the vehicle, the windows on the side, the smokestacks and the hood piece. Red is used for the lights mounted on the front wheel wells. There are definitely some places that need more paint including the side windows (though the paint would have likely flaked off during transformation) and the sides of the wheels (which have red rings in the animation). While I do miss these details a bit I'm not as hung up on them as I thought I would be. The vehicle looks good even without them.
While there are quite a few versions of Thunderhoof, I consider this one the definitive version in toy form. The designers did a great job on both the sculpt and giving the figure a fun transformation. The only thing keeping it from being perfect is the deco. Recommended!