So, I was never particularly keen on the Thunderwing toy. The dated engineering was a big knock against the figure, but what really put me off was the silly "Jack-o'-lantern"-esque mouth he had, and his ridiculous robo-monobrow! Those odd design choices, along with the small size of the figure, totally defused the imposing/menacing vibe that a Thunderwing toy should have, in my opinion. It's amazing what a new head, a minor remold and a new lick of paint can do. On an aesthetic level, Black Shadow corrects pretty much all the faults I had with the Thunderwing toy. The dated engineering is still there, obviously, but I was surprised by how quickly the gorgeous colours and sculpt made me forget about it. While the Thunderwing toy unsuccessfully tried to capture his portrayal as a godlike force of nature in the IDW comics, the darker colours and more conventional headsculpt of the Black Shadow figure gives off a more sophisticated and elegant sense of menace, which I find very pleasing. Aesthetically, this toy manages to hit pretty much all of the design cues I like to see in Transformers, and ranks as one of the nicest looking TFs in my collection to date. I'm not entirely sure what it is about Black Shadow, but the look of this toy sums up a lot of the things I love about the Classics lines, and also Decepticons in general. The pronged head crest gives him an almost regal look, which seems to be a recurring motif with Decepticons. This, coupled with the way the wings reset themselves in robot mode as a sort of cape or cloak, makes for a figure that manages to be surprisingly imposing, despite its small size. His awesome light-piping is a big factor too. Ok, I'm going to stop rambling now. Go and buy this figure. Do it!