Monday, 23 January 2012

Review: ThunderCats ThunderRacers

A while ago I reviewed the new ThunderCats Thundertank. To save the lazy amongst you 5 minutes of reading, I'll tell you now that it didn't fare particularly well. Nevertheless, I decided - after a little pressure from small children seeing the picture on the Thundertank box - to buy the racers which attach to it. You never knew, maybe this would improve it.

There are two racers available - one that comes with Lion-O and one with Tygra. Both are essentially identical, bar the differing figure that comes with it and a small weapon that plugs into the side.  The Racers look fine. They're not super-attractive, but getting them out of their boxes I was perfectly happy with what I'd bought.

I don't want to say it went downhill from there, but things certainly didn't go uphill...

Lion-O's racer comes with a shooting 'drill' missile and Tygra's with a small light. The light is rubbish, which you probably gathered by the fact I referred to it as 'a small light' instead of 'a cool laser', which I assume is what it's supposed to be.  It's pointless.  Maybe if there was a sound or something to go along with it, but as it is... The missile is far, far better and Bandai would have been better including this with both racers.

The Racer figures on the left, with the main releases on the right.

ThunderLynx comes into play once more and once again it's completely useless. The racers are 'designed' so that the weapons will only fire when a figure is sat in them. I say 'designed' because this doesn't work quite as well as Bandai would have liked. It works okay on one of the racers, but for the other it makes absolutely no difference whether the figure is sat in it or not.

To attach the racers to the Thundertank, first you have to remove the tiny ones that originally came with it. The racers then slide on in exactly the same way the others did. I commented on how easily the tank arms come off before, but with the heavy racers attached the situation is even worse - and amplified if there's a figure in the racer. Someone really didn't think through the design here.

Attached, the racers give much-needed extra seating for the ThunderCats. The overall look isn't fantastic and the racers stick out a mile stuck on the sides of the tank. You can't lower the tank claws either, which is a little annoying as they get in the way when you're trying to put figures in the racers.

When the tank mini-racers shoot off, they really shoot off. When the ThunderRacers shoot off they...well, they're a lot heavier than the mini versions so the effect isn't anywhere near as impressive. True, I was trying it on carpet and I'm sure on a hard surface it'd be a lot better, but I was a little disappointed when they rolled barely a couple of centimetres and then stopped dead.

Despite my complaints, I do like the racers - if only to give a couple of extra people somewhere to sit. I do wish, however, that they were integrated more into the tank aesthetic. Make the tank arms & claws larger so they envelop they racers more when they're attached. And certainly the strength of the arm to tank attachment needs to be looked at - possibly with a tube of glue.

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