Well, the Dark of the Moon toys are finally here, and in full force. Last week I covered the new sublines we’ll be seeing in this Transformers series, and the other day I picked up my first of the new Human Alliance figures. There were quite a bit to choose from, but there was one in particular that had a gimmick that caught my eye, and that was Thunderhead. But was he as cool as I figured he’d be?
Thunderhead’s vehicle mode is an adorable little tank thing with four tread… legs. It’s kind of similar to the Animated Cybertronian Ratchet and Ironhide toys, crossed with Armada Demolisher. As much as I like the look of it, it’s really kind of a cop-out of an alt-mode, if you think about it. He’s basically just… standing on all fours.
However, he sure packs a punch when it comes to weapons. He just has a gun and two 3mm clip weapons, but he has ports for 5 of the clip weapons, and a fifth clip on his actual rifle! For such a small guy, he’s got room for a lot of guns.
Getting this guy into robot mode is rather easy, as all of his treads turn into his limbs. I do like how his head has the joysticks for vehicle mode, but I wish it stored in a bit better. The pegs on the joint for the seat are a pain to work with.
Once in robot mode, my problems with the figure start to come out. First off, he’s kind of stumpy, but that’s to be expected from a gimmick-driven figure at this size. Second, he has a problem that a lot of the other Human Alliance Basics have: backseat kibble. The seat where the human partner sits just hangs off his butt in robot mode and doesn’t really go anywhere.
I also don’t much like his head. It’s really kind of ugly and lacks character. Typically I like the movieverse heads, but this one just… doesn’t do it for me.
But most disappointing of all is his articulation. His legs are fine, for the most part, but the arms are just godawful. He has his wrists at the wrong angle, a la Animated Starscream, and as such can’t hold his gun properly. I can’t think of a logical reason why they did this. Maybe they were trying to avoid “block fists”? If so, why? They would’ve looked fine here, and would have given the figure the articulation he needed to be playable.
Major Tungsten is a bit disappointing, too. He’s just a retool of the Lennox figure that came with Jazz, with a head that looks disturbingly like Shia Leboeuf… His colors are fairly bland, too. Maybe I’ll customize a G.I. Joe into him, and make him a bit more exciting.
However, there is one saving grace to this figure: Instead of having a gun mode, he turns into a mech suit for the human figures! It’s pretty cool, even if it suffers from some of the shortcomings that the robot mode has. Still, it looks cool enough, and I’ll probably keep him displayed like this.
If you’re on the fence about the Human Alliance Basics, I wouldn’t suggest this as your first. The mech mode is probably the only saving grace for him, and he lacks the weapon mode the others have. If the mech mode is your thing, definitely pick him up the next time you’re at FPNYC.