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!