DC Universe vs. Masters of the Universe final breakdown

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INITIAL REACTIONS

Way Way Way back in the day I was soooo excited about DC vs MOTU.

Eventually I came to think about this story as second rate to the other Masters stories we are getting.  DC seems to be pandering to the fans of MOTU, but want to put forth the New 52 heroes in the minds of those fans as well.  As far as I know, the only official way to get these books was to go to a bricks and mortar store…(you couldn’t subscribe to them from DC.)

THOUGHTS ON THE ART

I hear a lot of fans talking about the art being inconsistent.  I noticed a few things myself.  Teela’s armor is different.  Sometimes it looks like her “battleground Teela” skimpy clothes.  Sometimes it looks more like Man-At-Arms armor, femaled up.  Roboto is another one that is inconsistent.

The covers list a barrage of artists.  This is one reason for the inconsistency.

I like how there are a few splash pages in every issue.  Some are very powerful, like the one where He-Man kills Superman.  (I am especially fond of the red-eyed image of Skeletor in the clouds, looking on the action with pleasure.)

Whatever criticism can be leveled at the art, it has been far more consistent than the other Masters of the Universe comics put out recently.  (The mini-series, annuals, and ongoing)

SURPRISES  (LOTS OF SURPRISES HERE)

The jawless, hulking version of Skeletor.

Queen Marlena is back on Earth!

The fusion of Orko and Horde Prime

The sword of power won’t serve the unworthy…sounds like Mjolnir!  (Superman is worthy.  Action figure time!)

He-Man can activate the power of Grayskull in the sword as a remote weapon!  (He uses it this way to destroy the Skull of Power.)  As far as I know, this is the first time that has ever been done!  (I think I will ask James Eatock about this.  If anyone knows, it’s him!)***

The age old question, answered.  “If He-Man and Superman were to get into a fight, who would win?”  Apparently He-Man.

OUTSTANDING QUESTIONS

How come The Death of Superman wasn’t more pronounced in the larger DC Universe?  Why no books spent on a funeral or mourning the loss of Earth’s greatest hero?  Why no replacement clones or cyborgs?  If DC were serious about He-Man having killed Superman…even if it only seemed to be so, wouldn’t they have created more hype?

Batman lets just about anyone into the Batcave, doesn’t he?

And the House of Mysteries?  That’s pretty easy to find too, apparently.

Does this story ignore Forever Evil?  In fact, the last line of Issue 1 says “Crisis on Whatever Earth This Turns Out to Be.”  So is it Prime-Earth?

Cyborg looks like his old self?

Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) quit the Justice League, didn’t he?  Back in Justice League #12?  (The famous issue where Superman and Wonder Woman hook up.)

The Joker appears in the last panel of issue 5.  Yes mesmerized.  But still.  His face is stapled on his head…???

Skeletor uses mind control magic on the Justice League in issue 2.  Then in issues 5 and 6, Dark Orko uses mind control on them.  They seem to have a susceptibility here…shouldn’t they do something about that?  Counldn’t Constantine shield them permanently or something?

As early as issue 4 Skeletor seems ready to do a 180-degree turn on Dark Orko…at the prodding of Black Alice.  Why was he so attracted to Black Alice anyway?  Aren’t there more powerful mages on Earth?

When Dark Orko calls all of those meta-humans, Orion is one of those, as well as Wonder Woman.  We have seen what happens when these two get together.  Shouldn’t the level of catastrophe been higher?

Dark Orko deconstructs Skeletor again, before they are transported away “FOREVER.”  (We know they’ll be back.)  So what happens to Skeletor now?  He seemed to think he could grab Horde Prime’s power somehow from Dark Orko.  Was he successful?

Apparently Constantine, or at least one of the Justice League Dark can leave earth and go to Eternia at any time.

SpartanNerd’s rating   3/5.  Not an outstanding Justice League or Masters of the Universe story.  (An outstanding Justice League story…try Forever Evil..  An outstanding Masters story, try “The Origin of Hordak.)  It has inconsistent, but generally good art.  Loose connections to the larger DC New 52 continuity.  I’m sure it was a challenge to represent all three factions of the Justice League AND the Masters of the Universe.  But the characters should be truer to themselves.  Wonder Woman should have been ready to kill everyone, for instance, after Superman was “murdered”.

On the other hand, we find the beloved character of Marlena alive and well.  Eternia is a part of the New 52 universe, and we are introduced to Dark Orko, who isn’t as bad as people made him out to be considering.  I mean, at least he can probably be brought back to his regular form.  The character is salvageable now.  And that is a good thing.

***James Eatock answered my question!  Here is his answer, cut and pasted from FaceBook Messenger!  Many thanks to James, and I am sooooo honored!

In the episode “Orko’s Missing Magic” he calls upon the power of Grayskull whilst another being is holding the sword – Whilst not a remote detonation, the power explodes from the sword, causing the villain to drop it – I hope that makes sense!”

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NATURE OF THE BEAST Magic the Gathering Commander unboxing and review

 

Ever the cheapskate, the SpartanNerd was shopping at the Goodwill, and…what…was…in…the…case??????? (The glass case at the front for “specialty items?”)

 

That’s right!  the final Commander set that I did not own.  For $30?  Nope.  $10?  Nope.  $8?  YES!  They also had Power Hungry and Evasive Manuevers.  But I already had those!  (I thought about getting them anyways.  What a deal!)

 

So I present my unboxing and review!

 

(Disclaimer.  I used a different camera this time, with some blurry results.  Sorry!)

Here is the box.  Notice the Ceremonial sticker at the top.  $8.00!

Now for the back.

Anyone notice that this commander is a MOOSE?

Lets crack it open.

NATURE OF THE BEAST comes in a similar deckbox as the others in this set.  This time it is green, to highlight that this deck is aimed at green magic players.  (Not Martians.  People who play green magic, silly!)  When you remove the top of the box you get to see the main commander moose, Marath, Will of the Wild.  He is pretty good, having counters determined by the amount of mana spent to pay for him, and able to give those to someone else.

Now for a look at all three commander cards.  Yep.  Just like the other sets, this one has three also.

 

Of the three, I have only ever seen Mayael the Anima actually played before.  Competitive players like card draw, and green doesn’t get that much.  So that’s my theory why.

The other two, Marath Will of the Wild and Geiji Honored One both add to the Beast flavor of this deck…both can pump creatures.

So what else came with this deck?

Here’s a pic.  I don’t need to be reminded that I am a Planeswalker anymore, so I trashed that right away!

The pick also shows another paper, which is the “instruction manual” for the deck.  The most important thing here is the deck list, which I will reveal below.

First of all, there is a strong tribal vibe to this deck.  There are more Beast creatures than anything else.  Here is a picture of a select few.

Not only are they Beasts.  THEY ARE BEAST!!  And nearly every one has an ability that either has something to do with land or pumping someone else.

They’re not ALL beasts though.  Here are the other creatures.

These guys compliment the beasts pretty good.  They are all ust as expensive and all.  The least inspired of them seems to be the Archangel, who it is nice to see the classic art of.  However, it’s still just a plain old 5/5 flyer with vigilance.  Not really sure why she’s here, except that it caters to a certain style of fan.

There are some good artifacts in this deck.  I am a fan of the colored artifact hammer thing here.  Of course we get the Sol ring, which I learned the hard way was banned in Modern…Hey.  It’s a great card.  Too great I guess.  Then there is the Swiftfoot boots.  An underpowered filler.  This is the kind of thing I groan about when I get it in a booster pack.  Yet every Commander deck in this set came with a copy of this card.  Why?

There are a lot of different kinds of land in this deck, but I thought I would share my favorite standouts here.

Mosswort Bridge is a “Hideaway Land.”  I had none of these before!  It’s cool!  Basically you get to exile some cards, and then you can play them much cheaper.  A great advantage for this deck especially, with its really high mana curve.  The Contested Cliffs card is aimed at that tribal beast flavor, forcing a fight between a one of your beasts and someone else’s probably weaker creature.

Blah Blah Blah.  Yes there are instants, sorceries, and enchantments.  But lets get down and see how the first match went.

I played the first match against three family members, each of which were playing one of the other decks unmodified, except for the Nekuzar the Mind Razer deck.  (The person playing this deck really wasn’t into it today anyway.)

I used Marath, but never casted him.  I did get to cast Mayael the Anima, twiche actually…(she was sent back to my hand.)  On about turn twelve, the Power Hungry deck was finishing everyone off…I mean, it’s hard to beat that big flyer, no matter how much “trample” you can get from your beasts.

Which confirms why my Magic color of choice is BLACK and not GREEN.  I disagree with that philosophy, to sort of quote Gideon.

Regardless, I got a great value for this deck.  I’m sure I will have many more wins to it.  But for now, I am putting it with the other decks, I HAVE A COMPLETE COLLECTION!

 

I am going to rate this deck 3/5, removing a point because there aren’t many flyers, or at least people with reach.  And removing a point because the commander is a MOOSE.  (the main reason I haven’t bought this deck is simply because of that.  I think I am going to nickname THE NATURE OF THE BEAST, “The Getalong Gang!”

What do you rate it?  Let me know by sending a comment, oh Hub City Geeks!

Born of the Gods…Event Deck Unboxing and Review (updated 3/30/14)

***Note the update at the bottom!

I have strong opinions about the event deck this time around…

If you have been reading my blog for awhile, then you know that when “Born of the Gods” came out, one of the cards I was most looking forward to was “Bile Blight.”  I attended the pre-release and day of release events.  I pre-ordered a box as well.  Out of all forty to fifty booster packs of BNG that I opened, I only saw ONE BILE BLIGHT!

I instantly began a conspiracy theory.  It was an uncommon…shouldn’t I have been able to pull at least two?  My theory was that they were all locked up somewhere else.  I guess I was right.  They shipped with this EVENT DECK.

OK.  So I seriously thought about NOT buying this event deck when I saw the decklist.  (I have already been playing mono-black and have a lot of the cards in this deck.)  But it came with two bile blight.  And no one I know was wanting to trade theirs…So a partial reason for me getting this was to get the two uncommon cards.

On the upside, I also got an additional Desecration Demon and another Heroes Downfall.

Here are some pictures and my review.  I should have a pretty expert opinion about this deck, because I am playing a much more powerful version.

This is how I bought the deck at "The Tangled Web."  Note the price.

This is how I bought the deck at “The Tangled Web.” Note the price.  $24.99.

A closer look at the box.  What you see is a sleeve over the box.

A closer look at the box. What you see is a sleeve over the box.

The back of the box.

The back of the box.

This message isn't very inspiring.

This message isn’t very inspiring.

The title of the deck is "Underworld Herald."  There is only one card in this deck that fits that title.

The title of the deck is “Underworld Herald.” There is only one card in this deck that fits that title.

Remove the sleeve from the bottom, not the top.

Remove the sleeve from the bottom, not the top.

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These fifteen cards are the sideboard. I have never tried to play Cremate. Mayve I should give it a shot. Then there are two more kill spells, “Dark Betrayal” to take out you mirror match I suppose. Durress is like a weak Thoughtsieze. You get two more gifts of Orzhava, and also two junk artifacts, “Staff of the Death Magus.” Lots of filler here, folks.

OK.  So here are the cards.  I removed the "Bible Blights" and "Hero's Downfall" to play in the tournament last night.  That's why they remain sleeved....(in My Little Pony" sleeves.  Shhh..don't tell anyone!

OK. So here are the cards. I removed the “Bile Blights” and “Hero’s Downfall” to play in the tournament last night. That’s why they remain sleeved….(in My Little Pony” sleeves. Shhh..don’t tell anyone!

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More cards from the set. Notice the Desecration Demon, Crypt Ghast, and Erebos’ Emmisary. There are five kill spells that have specific types of targets…MAIN DECKED. I thought this was supposed to be a competitive deck?

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Here is what else came with the deck. I don’t need to be told that I am a Planeswalker anymore. So I’ll just trash that now. The other things are the divider, the instructions, and the counter dice.

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The instructions are just that. They give you general advice on playing the deck. But they also explain a few mechanics to a noob. Note the art. Fated Returned. I guess it looks dramatic….

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Here is a close-up of the deck list.  Does this add up to $24.99?  I think so, considering the Desecraton Demon and Crypt Ghast are included.  As well as the Hero’s downfall.  That seems to be right at $20-something dollars.

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Why isn’t the spin-down counter Black and Red?

Thoughts on playing the deck

Let’s just get this out of the way now.  There are some really stupid things about this event deck.  I mean, who doesn’t have “Rakdos Cackler” and “Rakdos Shred-freak” in abundance?  Maybe a beginner.  But thats about it.  Also, no SHOCK LAND.  or at least SCRY LAND?  What else is dumb?  This deck wants to push “Mogis Marauders” as a key card.  (When he enters the battlefield, X number of creatures gain “intimidate” until the end of the turn, where X is your devotion to black.)  The problem is the words “until the end of turn.”  Another big dumb thing really is a big dumb thing.  “Fated Return.”  Why in the world is this card in a “competitive” deck.  You will be bloodrushed, burned, over-run, Maze-Ended, or even Sphynx Revved to death before you get a chance to play this card.  Maybe it was meant for Commander (EDH)?  And one more gripe.  Why is there only one Pack Rat?  That card only works in multiples!

What I like about the deck is what I removed.  Bile Blight and Hero’s Downfall.  I will play with adding the other Desecration Demon to my deck, but things are working pretty well without him.  My other two copies are doing the job, in other words.  I also like “Herald of Torment,” which is one of my favorite BNG cards, though it doesn’t really work well.  Maybe it’s me…I don’t know.  But it seems a three-drop flying demon should be pretty good, even if he burns you for one every turn.  (This makes him about the cheapest demon in Magic, I believe.)

I never had Tormented Hero before, and also could use another Crypt Ghast.  Another decent card here is Xathrid Necromancer.

See what’s going on here.  Pack Rat…Tormented Hero…Crypt Ghast….Xathrid Necromancer…kill spells…old common unleash guys

Yep.  This deck lacks direction.

My rating of the Born of the Gods Event Deck “Herald of Torment” is 2/5. *** I took off one point because of the inclusion of a bunch of old cards.  I took another because some of the cards are meant to work with other cards that unfortunately are not included here, causing a lack of focus.  And the final point came off because that spin-down counter isn’t anything close to red and black.  In fact, it is an ugly shade of turquoise.

 

***Update 3/30/14.   I played five rounds with the deck, vanilla with no modifications tonight.  And totally dominated all five rounds.  I am revising my rating.  3/5.  Where I saw a bunch of cards with no direction, I didn’t count on the strength of Tormented Hero and something bestowed onto him.  He’s a 2/3 for one mana.  That’s beast right there!  My opponents were playing black, so I had to side-out doom blade and Magis Maurauders.  But the sideboard had dark betrayal and cremate, both of which worked very well!

SpartanNerd has moved to the new SPARTANNERD.COM

This is big news, oh Hub City Geeks!  The Blogger (Blogspot) page was sort of stunted…It gave me statistics about traffic (I had over 5000 hits there!), but several other things weren’t working correctly, including adsense.  And Google pretty much demands you sign over your identity to them, (which I am not willing to do.  Neither should you.  “Don’t Be Evil.”  What a joke.)

I will now try using WordPress.  Which I think I already like better.

Keep the page views coming!  I will keep the old blog up for awhile, let’s see how this takes off.  Thanks for all of the support, readers!

New content coming soon…

Review of the Born of the Gods Event Deck.

Review of new MOTUC!

More Transformers.  (I am only going to review the good stuff!)

A review of some recent Marvel movies…Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World

AND MORE OF THE “NERDTAINMENT” THAT WE ALL LOVE!

Don’t let me lose you….Keep coming to SpartanNerd.com and see what it is all about!

SpartanNerd Unboxing and Review…"Battle the Horde" Magic the Gathering Challenge Deck

Battle the Horde Challenge Deck

While Magic Game Day was officially this past Saturday our local store, “The Tangled Web” decided to hold off on the celebration until next week.  Luckily, on Monday this week when I made it there they had one deck on sale left for me to purchase.  How good is the Horde?  Continue reading for my review!
Battle the Horde is the second “Challenge Deck” that Wizards of the Coast has produced for us to play solitaire or group MTG with.  The first deck, “Face the Hydra,” was pretty tough, though it had certain weaknesses, some of which “Battle the Horde” also shares.
Horde Magic isn’t new.  I made a Zombie Horde deck before when I first learned about it.  But this challenge deck doesn’t have the exact same rules.  This time, yes, you do take three turns first, but the Challenge deck reveals two cards at a time from the top.  In this game, the Horde’s deck IS its life total.  So if you hit it for three with Lightning Strike, then it mills three cards.  The only way to win is to mill all of the deck and kill all of the creatures.

So let’s talk turkey.  What are these cards and how tough are they?
This deck really uses “theme and variation.”  There are five different types of minotaur in this 60-card deck, most of them some version of the “Hurloon Minotaur.”  In other words, they are 2/3 or 3/2.  There are the Youngblood Minotaurs, which are 2/2, (But see what they did?  they built an excuse in it’s name!)  Then there are the big monsters…Reckless Minotaur and Mogis’s Chosen.
And all of these except for Mogis Chosen has HASTE!  (Mogis chosen is the biggest creature in the deck, at 5/4.  He enters the battlefield tapped, thankfully.
So the deck’s creature breakdown is…
15 Minotaur Youngblood (2/2)
10 Phoberos Reaver  (2/3)
10  Minotaur Goreseeker (3/2)
4 Reckless Minotaur (4/1)  (he is destroyed during the end step of the turn he came out)
4 Mogis’s Chosen (5/4)
This is a horde of 43 creatures!
The other seventeen cards in this deck are either sorcery or artifact cards.  10 Sorcery and 7 Artifacts.

The Minotaurs

The Sorcery Cards

Turns out that some of the sorcery cards can help you in certain situations.  For instance, Intervention of Keranos “deals 3 damage to each creature” at the beginning of combat this turn.  So it is more or less a board sweeper for all the “chump” minotaurs.  (said in the most joking way possible!)  This could help you, though, if you have bigger creatures out.  On the other hand, Mogis’s Chosen will live through this.  Consuming Rage is another sweeper type sorcery that might help you in certain situations.  This card pumps all attacking minotaurs this turn for +2/+0, but then they are destroyed at the end of combat.  If you play “Fog”  They just burned themselves out!
There are three more Sorcery cards, each is more of a problem.  “Touch of the Horned God” gives each attacking minotaur Deathtouch.  “Unquenchable Fury” causes all Minotaurs to have “can’t be blocked except by two or more creatures.”  Some of that “Madcap Skills” type magic for the whole lot of minotaurs.  And finally ‘Descend on the Prey” gives all attacking minotaurs First strike and “must be blocked this turn if able.”

The Sorcery Cards

The Artifact cards add some real “Rakdos” type flavor to this deck.  Each one, when on the battlefield, has the same effect.  The Horde gets to cast an extra card during the main phase.  So if multiple artifacts are out, you are going to be seeing multiple minotaurs, and your problems are going to grow and grow.
But each artifact also has a “Hero’s Reward.”  This is a throwback to the “Face the Hydra” deck, where killing certain heads would reward you in a special way.  The cool thing is, each artifact says “When CARDNAME is put into the graveyard from anywhere…”This means attacking the deck might just reward you!  (Remember, attacking the deck causes it to mill.)
The artifacts in this deck are:
“Massacre Totem,” which lets you put the top seven cards of the Horde deck into the graveyard.
“Refreshing Elixir” (Two copies)  does what you would think.  Sending it to the graveyard will give you five life!
“Altar of Mogis” causes the Horde to sacrifice two creatures.
“Vitality Salve” lets each player return a creature from the graveyard to the battlefield.
“Plundered Statue” (Two copies)  lets each player draw a card.

The Artifacts

Playing the deck
First experience…3 on 1.  Me and the SpartanSmurfs ganged up on the Horde, ever anxious to play new cards!  We played the horde on it’s most difficult setting, (Allowing us to take two turns before it takes the first turn.)  And we stomped it, of course.  SpartanSmurf #1 played Minotaur Tribal, SpartanSmurf #2 played Dimur Graveyard, and I played Turbo Fog Mazes End.
SpartanSmurf #2 played a solo match against it.  That was, his Tribal Minotaur deck against the Minotaru Horde.  It defeated him badly….
I was rubbing it in, so he suggested I try.  I used the Turbo Fog deck and beat it twice!  I think I know why.  I fogged every time a creature would swing at me.  Sometimes Consuming Rage would be activated, and I would fog, thus taking no damage, but then the entire horde was killed.  This happened twice, and then the Keranos Intervention card also killed the miniotaurs.
But I beat the deck twice….
I decided to switch decks, and try out mono black devotion.  After two wins with Turbo Fog, maybe a different kind of control strategy was called for.
Nope.  Every time, it seemed the Minotaur Horde would grow too strong for me to control…No matter what really.  And it doesn’t help that there is basically no artifact removal or mill in the black deck.
The Challenge Deck beat Mono Black twice!…
Hero Cards
This deck is meant to be taken on with Hero cards as well.  I have some of these…They go with the Face the Hydra Deck or this deck.  But I haven’t played them so far, thinking my decks were good enough.  One big difference in this deck and the Hydra deck is that the Hero cards that go with it (From Born of the Gods Pre-Release and other events) all instruct you to somehow exile it after it is used.
Weaknesses of the Horde Deck.
Detention Sphere.   Imagine having out all 15 Youngblood minotaurs.  D-Sphere.  You win.  Also the new Bile Blight, which gives everything with the same name -3/-3.

Supreme Verdict.  Of course.
Fog.  Minotaurs are only effective attackers if they hit you!  You fog them, and Consuming rage can kill them, and they get no benefit out of it.
Jace, Memory Adept (and any other card that mills.)  The horde can’t remove planeswalkers, (unless it attacks them directly.)
What is my rating of the Beat the Horde Challenge Deck?  I like it pretty good.  It is a fine solitaire game.  It is a neat challenge for a group.  What more could we ask for, really?  I do wish some of the cards will be printed/ updated for “Journey Into Nyx.”
So I give this deck a 5/5.  Remember, the Hydra was 4/5…I took off a point for the art.  But the art on Beat the Horde is really good, and like I said, I hope they use some of the art in the next set.
Now, I wonder what would happen if I pit the Horde against the Hydra???

The Playmat/ Instructions

SpartanNerd Unboxing and Review….Transformers Generations Grimlock- from The Fall of Cybertron

I have some history with Transformers.  I have certainly never been a hardcore collector.  CHEAPSKATE, REMEMBER!  But I had a couple as a kid, and even have the remnants of those few as an adult.

My children, on the other hand, have had quite a few Transformers.  And I have had the priceless privilege of helping transform them.  😦

Here is my strong opinion.  They just don’t make them like they used to.  It seems like nowadays they are all plastic, while in the 1980’s at least some of the main body parts were die-cast metal, or something similar to that.  Back then there were tight screws holding the joints together, but today, they make them so the joins can snap off and on easily.  In general they are ball joints, so this makes it even less less like the originals.  Then there is the Michael Bay influence.  Transformers nowadays take cues from the “Bayformers.”  And I ain’t necessarily a fan.

(For the record, I liked the first movie, and thought the second was tolerable.  But I hope I never see Transformers 3 again.  And do you think I am going to see the fourth movie?  NO WAY!)

Back to the subject at hand.  I went to the Wal-Mart this morning, and browsed the toys aisle.  It seems the girls are taking over.  There was only one aisle for the boys.  And three for the girls/babies.  So walking up the boys toys aisle, I thought I would maybe buy a new Chima lego set to review.  Or maybe finally get that lego Ninjago dragon I have been eyeing to review.  Instead, I saw Grimlock.  But I REALLY SAW GRIMLOCK.  He looked like the vintage toy I never had.  He looked like the G1 cartoon even.  He was marked $20, which I thought was reasonable.  (He was actually $23.95, but I wanted him more than I wanted to argue.)  There were a few others with him in similar boxes.  Most of them I thought were dumb or at least just not as cool as Grimlock.  Notably, there was a Sharkticon Megatron.  (Megatron is NOT A SHARKTACON.)

So I got him, and here’s my review.  In fact, it is my first ever Transformers review, so, let me know what you think.  How many Hub City Geeks out there are interested in honest reviews of Transformers?

Grimlock came in this box.  This is the image that caught my eye at the store.

Doesn’t he look just like Grimlock!  Unaware of what “Fall of Cybertron” meant, I thought it was just an updated version.  Instead, one of the SpartanSmurfs informed me that this is a video game version.  Who knew?  The word TransFormers has a little extra type…it says “Generations.”  Not sure what that means.  But I hope to see more toys like this.  You’ll see why!  But first, more packaging.

See that line graph.  OH YEAH!  Actually, they were better when I was a kid.  You had to look at the graph through a translucent red piece of plastic to decode the stats!

And more awesome packaging.  The sides and bottom of this box are also pretty neat.

So.  Now that I waited all day to open this up, throw away the box, and play with it some, here is a review of the ACTUAL TOY.

Grimlock is pretty durable.  I mean, he’s not G1 Transformer durable.  But still, he’s not falling apart like some of those Bayformers.  His knee joins were so tight I was afraid I was going to break him somehow.  Of course he’s articulated.  Maybe even “Super Articulated,” to use the retiring Poe Ghostal’s words.  He has feet that rock up and down (but not side to side.  Knees that bend.  Thigh-cut joints, swivel arms.  Hinged elbows.  And his head turns from side to side.  All this articulation doesn’t count the other stuff you can move.  You can move the backpack some, for instance, and the claws on his “cuff-links”

Also, notice those awesome weapons!  Grimlock came with a sword that might remind you of a cross between a lightsaber and a skill saw.  And that shield seems to be a copy of what one of the baddies on Quake 4 use.  Worth noting, there are additional holds in his arms and shoulders, where you can peg the accessories to and stylize him as you like…I’m willing to bet you could arm him up pretty heavily with similar modeled Transformers.

He has a light effect too.  One is generated from the button on the back of his T-Rex mode…(More on that later,)  But this transformer has the translucent plastic on the back of his head that allows light to shine through his eyes.  You know.  Similar to MetalHead from the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles line.

OK.  Here’s a back view.

Not much to see here.  He has a backpack, which is actually the inverted T-Rex torso and head.

Grimlock’s instructions say that he is a Level 2 “Intermediate” Transformer.  So, being an adult, I shouldn’t have had much trouble this time….

I really didn’t.  It took me about 5 minutes.  I only referenced the instructions for accuracy….

Speaking of instructions I remember saving these as a kid and just staring at them for weeks.  I would read all of the text.  I would be really sad when I had to throw them away also.  The instructions here don’t seem to have the same “soul” as the G1 Transformers.  But maybe it’s just me.

To transform him, basically, you have to flip his backpack over his head.  His chest becomes his back.  His arms become the T-Rex legs,H  And his legs and feet become the T-Rex tail

As a T-Rex, he isn’t THAT impressive.  I don’t dislike him.  But he seems a little….little.  If you know what I mean.  To me part of this reason is because he doesn’t have much of a chest/belly.  In fact, he has none at all!  Just hollow nothing that you can unfortunately see.

(The instructions show that you are supposed to put the weapons on it’s hips.  I din’t just make that up. See…Accuracy, people.)

I also find his tail to be most unsightly.  You can clearly see Grimlock’s mech feet on the tail  Which is dumb.  They should have been able to disguise them better.

Luckily, his charm isn’t all in the form.  Nosiree.  This guy has a surprise trick!

That’s right.  You saw it here first, Hub City Geeks.

This Grimlock can Actually Breathe Actual Fire!  (Not actual, actual, literal fire.)

Don’t Doubt me, underlings!  “Me Grimlock Angry!”

If you are a true nerd, and you must be if you enjoy reading this blog, then you probably remember that Grimlock and the other DinoBots could breathe fire, giving children everywhere the misconception that actual real ancient dinosaurs could breathe fire, and also blurring the line between the fictional dragon and the factual dinosaur.

How this works…There is a button, really more of a pressure switch, on the back of the dinosaurs neck.  You press this, and his whole head lights up, as well as he opens his mouth in a menacing way.

(You can activate this in robot mode, but it lights up his chest and body rather unsuccessfully.)

So now for a comparison time…What?  Oh yeah.  This is my first ever Grimlock….I’ll have to compare to something else.

Grimlock’s underwhelming T-Rex mode might actually only be in my mind.  After all, I own the most awesome robotic T-Rex ever made…Gojulas Zoid!  (Actually, not the same one from when I was a kid, which was actually titled Terrox, and was blue and gray.)  Any Transformer up to maybe PowerMaster Optimus Prime, Revenge of the Fallen Devastator, or maybe MetroPlex looks kind of wimpy when compared to the Zoid.

How about comparing him to a similar modern Transformer.

Grimlock is a little bulkier than this Bayformer SpartanSmurf #1 lent me.  I appreciate that difference..I like my Transformers to have a little weight.  You can see that the SideSwipe figure here has skinny feet, and other dubious features.  None of that for Grimlock!

What about those weapons? Well, at first I thought “This sword will look good in Megator’s hands.”  Nope.  It looks dumb.

Then I thought, why not try He-Man.  Master of all swords.

Now we’re talking!  This could easily be some variant He-Man.  Maybe some New Adventures space theme.  I’m sure that’s what Hasbro was thinking when they made this sword. ( Because Mattel makes the MOTUC! )

My overall rating of Grimlock.

Well, he IS the first Transformer I have reviewed.  I think I’ll go easy on him, and judge each mode separately.

As an Autobot, he is just awesome!  4/5.  Losing a point mostly because the backpack is obviously a T-Rex torso stuffed into his back.  And the battery doesn’t light his eyes.

As a T-Rex, He gets a 3/5.  Because he feels kind of scant.  More like a Raptor.  With a really fat tail.

His accessories are great! 5/5  I think I will start to cross accessories for these reviews.  An accessory should be able to be used in other hands, especially in a similar scale.  (I consider Grimlock to be in scale with MOTUC figures, though technically he probably has a much different ratio number because in “real life” the Transformers are bigger than a house!

So Overall, My rating of Grimlock is 4/5.  Do you agree?  Or disagree?  Let me know!