"Robots in Disguise" (2015) One Step Changer Thunderhoof Toy Review
Release Date: May 2015
Price Point: $9.99 (Varies by retailer)
Retailer: General Release (Toys R Us, K-Mart, Target etc.)
Official images and text in italics below from Amazon.com:
The 1-Step Changers are 2-in-1 speed-changers, and your Thunderhoof figure is one of them! He’s the same Autobot warrior as always, but he converts in just 1 step from robot mode to power tractor mode and back. Can his Decepticon enemies stand against his might? Not with you in charge! Transformers and all related characters are trademarks of Hasbro.*
*This is clearly boiler plate text that was not properly edited. Thunderhoof is definitely a Decepticon as shown in the series and he has a Decepticon symbol on him.
The One Step Changers were introduced in the "Age of Extinction" toy line as a simplified alternative to larger, more complex Transformers figures. The name is a bit of a misnomer in some cases but for the most part, a majority of the transformation is accomplished in one movement. Underbite is one of the first entries into this sub-line of figures for "Robots in Disguise". He's also one of the few Decepticons in this initial launch of the line.
Like the "Age of Extinction" One Step Changers, these are packaged in bubbles on small cards. Artwork is on the left side and the Transformers logo is on the right. The back does not feature any tech specs information, instead using the space for the instructions and multi-language legal information. It's a shame but Hasbro seems to be refocusing any efforts at more traditional packaging into the "Generations" segment, which I get since I'm guessing they're assuming most of the kids getting these will wind up just throwing out the packaging.
Thunderhoof has one of the most unique vehicle modes of all the "Robots in Disguise" toys: a tractor with a rake attachment in front. At first it may be a bit hard to tell what he is, but if you look at the top he has a raised cabin section in the back, two vertical exhaust pipes at the rear and the middle to front of the vehicle slopes down slightly, leading to his "rake" attachment. He also has large wheels that you'd normally associate with a tractor. There are some nice smaller details here including windows sculpted into the cabin section. Sadly they're not all painted, but that's hardly unique to this figure.
While the sculpt is cool in its uniqueness and detail, it is pretty obvious what becomes what in this form. The robot fists are visible in the middle and the robot feet stick up in the front. Being a One Step Changer such design compromises are hardly unexpected, but it is only fair to point them out.
Thunderhoof is cast in three main plastic colors: blue, purple and black. Each of these colors have metallic flake, giving them an extra attractive appearance than flat versions of the same colors. The blue plastic makes up most of the figure with purple used for the rake in front and black used for the wheels. The top of the cabin section has a scannable Decepticon symbol on it that you can scan into the official "Robots in Disguise" app. There is some silver in the middle section. The front end has some green coloring with red on top in triangular patterns. Some black is used for the windshield of the cabin section and on the sides flanking the Decepticon symbol. Overall it's a pretty good color scheme for a One Step Changer. Had there been one or two more colors (like the rims of the wheels being painted) it would've been awesome.
The vehicle mode rolls on all four wheels. The rake can be swung up and down.
Transformation to Robot Mode:
Hold on to the rake in the front of the vehicle and push it down then back up, revealing the robot head. Once you push the head into place, the robot legs extend out and the arms reveal themselves. Push the rake back.
In general it would be easy to dismiss Thunderhoof's robot mode as a generic one. He has curved sections for his upper arms with wheels hanging off of them, thick forearms, chest panels, a waist section, a hip area and even wheels on his legs - all standard design elements of a Transformer. However, his head simply elevates him into the realm of unique Transformers designs. His head has a helmet and face section sure, but connected to the helmet section are antlers. These are of course meant to be the rake from the vehicle mode, but they're a bit less even and smaller. On top of that his feet are actually sculpted with hoof like "toes" (even though the middle is filled in, making them triangular in shape). Combined with small details like angled designs on the sides of his forearms and the layered armor on his lower legs and this is one cool looking Transformer. A lot of these details can also be found on his animation model, making him fairly show accurate, especially for a One Step Changer.
Most of the parts seen in this mode could be seen in vehicle mode, so there are few color surprises. The head is cast in the metallic purple color with the face painted silver and the eyes painted red. All the other details including the Decepticon symbol on his chest carry over from the vehicle mode. I'm particularly fond of the silver on his thighs and the red details on his waist and legs, which match up with details from the animated model. He definitely could have used some more paint, including some black on the chest panels. He doesn't look bare or boring, but there's definitely room for improvement.
Thunderhoof has two points of articulation in this mode: the arms. Each can move up and down, and they're sculpted in a slightly bent position as if he is getting ready to punch someone. Each fist has a 5mm peg hole, allowing you to attach weapons from other "Robots in Disguise" figures or even those from "Generations" to the hands. Since the arm is sculpted in a "bent" position you need to find weapons that don't have much extending out the back.
I really like Thunderhoof's character design. It's strange, fun and his name matches it perfectly. I do wish this toy had a bit more paint on it in robot mode, but other than that I have no issues with it. Recommended!