Transformers Power of the Primes: Dinobots

So after a little work-related break from posts, I’ve found myself completely behind on reviews and in order to sort of catch-up a  bit and because I have some strong opinions on these dudes, I’m going to cover the rest of the Dinobots in one post.  Swoop’s review is right here.

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So when the Dinobots were announced, basically everyone was thrilled.  Let’s face it, everyone loves the Dinobots – it’s hard not to.  They’re dinosaurs..and not like the new, historically accurate with feathers dinosaurs but the clunky 80’s dinosaurs that were shown in books just meandering around in swamps.  But they’re also robots!  ROBOT DINOSAURS!  They’re everything a kid from the 80’s imagination could handle.   The G1 Toys are still some of the coolest from the line and seems tracking down a legit set is nigh impossible thanks to Chinese KO garbage, having a new set with updated articulation is sort of a dream come true.  Sort of.  They also combine.  We’ll get into that at the end.

SLAG (SLUG)

Slag is slug now because Slag is a bad word in the UK, which is funny because Slag would actually prefer that.

His dino-mode is heavily based on his old G1 toy and features his signature red horns that are adjustable.  It’s worth pointing out you need to unlatch his dino-head from the torso so he looks normal, otherwise he’s very potatoe-y looking.  Robot mode has his head encased in his dino-head hood, which looks excellent and his chest piece has a peg hole for his Prime armor thing which I’m just gonna skip over on these because meh.

SNARL 

Snarl is usually my favorite non-Grimlock dinobot.  I’m not sure why the Stegosaurus mode gets me so well, but it totally does.

Snarl comes with his energon sword, but no gun.  Where as Slag came with a gun but no sword.  Basically two come with guns, two come with swords.  I’m sure Takara will do full weapons for all.  Anywho, Snarl features a more unique transformation than the other two quadruped Dinobots.  His arms/hind legs are on a swivel latch which is very secure, and while his feet aren’t the flattest most stable standing, he can hold a variety of poses without tipping over so over all he’s a gem.  As a neat little feature, his two biggest spine plates in dino mode fold down for little Titan Master/Prime Master platforms.

SLUDGE

Sludge competes for first place with Snarl for me.  His Brontosaurus mode is just adorably awesome and has a working jaw so you can stuff a fire effect accessory in there if you want.  His robot mode transforms similarly to Slag but different enough to make him fun and not repetitive.  He’s got his signature “wings” on back that sit a little lower than I’d like but it’s a minor complaint.  His headsculpt in robot mode pops really well with the silver and black, again much like Snarl’s.

SLASH

Slash was added to the Dinobot roster back during Age of Exctinction.  And while the AOE toy is mostly to entirely garbage-y, This little Slash is amazing.  I guess they’re making her a girl, even though that seems a little forced and gender in Transformers is meaningless, but it does allow for TONS of “Clever Girl…” jokes.  Both her raptor mode AND robot mode are absolutely excellent and naturally because she’s a Legends class, she has a little seat where a TM/PM can sit and ride her ala DINORIDERS! YAY!

GRIMLOCK

*SIGH*  Then there’s Grimlock.  While the other Dinobots are combiners in a secondary sense, and if you didn’t know they were, you’d never be able to tell, Grimlock is first and foremost a combiner Grimlock which is obvious in just so many ways.

Let’s start with the good.  I really dig his robot mode.  It’s a bit barrel chested, but it hits all the G1 goodness from his Red Visor eyes, G1 identical head and gold layering chest to his big circular shoulders that are one of my favorite aspects to Grimlock’s look.  He’s sturdy and has ratcheted hip joints so he’s a fun robot to play around with.  Unfortunately his only “weapons” are his Prime armor/Combiner feet that plug onto his forearms and look essentially like Wolverine claws except they don’t and it’s goofy so I leave them off.

Then there’s dinosaur mode.  From the torso up, Grimlock is a near perfect example of a Voyager class MP Grimlock.  He’s excellent.  From the torso down, he’s a dumptruck on fire speeding into a garbage plant that’s also on fire.  Why? Because he’s a DAMNED COMBINER.

What should have easily been my favorite (non-MP) Grimlock is bludgeoned to mediocrity because “people wanted a Dinobot combiner so we gave it to them”.  Look, I know I’m a cheerleader for Hasbro.  But this decision makes me so frustrated and  this Grimlock will forever be a reminder that he could have been amazing except for a dumb concept being shoe-horned in.  There are things you can do to try and help the look.  Bend the legs up at an angle, tilt up the combiner waist piece to make a sort of hip ridge, but it’s all just putting band-aids on a hemorrhaging leak.  This all leads me to…

COMBINER MODE/VOLCANICUS 

 

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I hate this.  I’m sorry, but I hate this SO MUCH.  While Grimlock forms a somewhat okay torso, there’s too much here that I can’t stand to look at.  Torso mode is exceptionally skinny.  You can plug the combiner fists onto it to sort of beef it up a bit, but that still leaves the shoulders too wide.  The waist is very “Menasor” ish where the panel just sits on there, which is not a design choice I really like, though I get why it’s a thing.  The limbs all form somewhat solid limbs, though I don’t like that Slag just looks like he’s humping the shin of the combiner robot like a Dog.   Also it’s name is Volcanicus, which is just an awkward name.  ALSO THIS SHOULDN’T BE A THING!  Look I get that some people think this would be a cool idea, but it’s based on off-shoot comic that happened one time and it’s result was only slightly less ugly:

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The Beast (which would have been a cooler name *cough*) was an abomination and SPOILER ALERT: All the Dinobots die after forming it.

The Dinobots didn’t NEED to combine, that was the whole point.  They were the foil to Devastator because they were so strong individually, combining wasn’t something they needed to do.  I know this is a rant and I can’t help it.  We have four (Five with Slash) awesome Dinobots and one goofy looking Grimlock because of this dumb combiner idea and the reason that bothers me so much is that while we’ll likely see more Grimlock’s down the road, it’s rare to get the other guys.

BOTTOM LINE

There’s so much I love here.  You should absolutely buy the four limb Dinobots.  They are excellent and fun and all four are rare to come by in a single toy line.  Slash is also a great addition and should definitely be picked up.  Grimlock is a toss up.  Again his robot mode is excellent and is a great G1 update.  His Dino-mode is sort of salvageable to a degree though again robot mode works better.  His combiner mode is junk and should be avoided.

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2 comments

  1. Buying Slash thanks to your review. I’d love the others but I have plenty of other Dinobots already….the combiner mode is bad, to say the least, so I am good with what I’ve got. Slash will make a great edition.

  2. I’m sure the combiner mode can be made to look much better with 3rd party parts, but I don’t want to spend another $100+ to make it look like a decent collectible.

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