Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by jbarmadillo, Mar 30, 2009.
too close to call
Took him out with me on a picnic with the gf!
Man, that didn't take long!
Grimlock, for me, is one of the most iconic Transformers ever. When I really think hard about what I consider the iconic Transformers to be it's usually the guys on these adverts below.
Jazz, Datsuns, Seekers, plus Optimus and Soundwave, and of course the Dinobots. I used to pour over these adverts when they were on the back of kids magazines. Hazy as my memory is I think they might be my first exposure to Transformers. Sure there were so many important Transformers that came after this but they didn't have that sort of distant, near mythical status as these.
I remember Grimlock as having amazing articulation, great proportions and a head that wasn't actually behind his shoulders. Yet even with more critical, adult guys, I still think he's incredible in robot mode. He's got some of the best accessories as well. I love his gun and sword. His T-Rex mode is perfection. It's the details. The little gold toes. The silver arms that actually turn. His chompy jaw and teeth. I consider it to be one of the most elegant G1 transformations from mode to mode, even though it's got a T-Rex head hanging off his back. The legs to tail and arms to legs are inspired and so well executed. I love this so much that there's a little voice in the back of my head just telling me that I'm utterly incapable of being objective. But this is one of the toys that really does take me back to being seven years old. I just want to clutch it to my chest like a linus blanket.
And of course he was the best thing about that early, pre Target:2006 era of TF:UK. I remember being so excited when 'In the National Interest' showed up in the 'next issue' box. All the best stories had the Dinobots, Decepticon Dam Basters, Wrath of Grimlock, Icarus Theory, Dinobot Hunt, the aforementioned 'In the National Interest'. They were the toughest, angriest, funniest, most sarcastic and tightly knit group of Autobots, and Grimlock was the most Dinobot of all the Dinobots. I miss the days when his T-Rex mode was drawn closer to the toy. There's something about that face.
Power of the Primes Grimlock is...difficult. Diffuclt and disappointing. I wanted to totally love this guy, I turned a blind eye to all the obvious problems that I saw in the convention photos. He'd win me over with his surly charm when I got him in hand right? I mean, it's frigging Grimlock!
Often when reviewing a toy I wind up having two typical areas of complaint, one more defensible than the other; it doesn;t look just like the character I loved as a kid/it's an objective mess. PotP manages to tick both these boxes. In both modes his proportions are all over the place. In bot mode the head, arms, chest, and legs all appear to belong to different sized bots. It's almost like he's wandered into a fairground and found himself in front of a warped mirror. Ok, he's a bruiser, maybe having oversized arms is in keeping? My eyes say no. He looks wonky. No matter how I try I can't get into him in bot mode.
I know everyone says kibble is sin and whenever I say that a figure looks wrong because it's missing some bit of kibble I get laughed out the proverbial room for being off my head and impossible to please (Hi TR Kup). The thing is that there's certain kibble that really helps define a character's silhoutte. Case in point, Grimlock's 'wings' are too small on his back. Sludge, Slag, and Grimlock all had some variation on those 'wings' and it helped make them look like a team. Maybe if his arms and chest weren't so massive?
The dino mode also looks like two different sized toys fused together. The top half, I must admit, is really good. The head sculpt is straight from the 80's character model and looks mean and surly, and crucially you can open and close his chompy jaw. A Grimlock without a snapping jaw option is a pure fail. a real nil points. The wee T-Rex arms are pleasntly articulated. And then you get down to the waist and it all just bloats up and looks so weird and ugly! I'm not even sure how much of this you can blame on the combiner gimmick (which I've completly ignored).
What's really striking about having yer G1 and PotP Grimlock's in hand is how much more...elegant the G1 toy is. From the transformation to the proportions to the dino mode. It all just looks better. Sure it lacks the articulation, but I think that's it? MP Grimlock was one of the only MP toys I've kept since deciding to sell my MP collection, and I think a big part of that was that seems to acknowledge all the things the original got right. I guess you can't beat a classic.
@barry I'll get in on some of that
I don’t mind PotP Grimlock’s legs, they remind me of his slightly chunkster proportions from Earth Wars.
In other news, Christ isn’t that Rodimus transformation scary with all the snapping noises! And I certainly can see stressing around some bits. Sigh. I WILL NOT obsess about them though, no siree, I am just going to enjoy it and take care transforming. The lack of arm articulation in Rodimus Prime mode is a bummer though.
Billy has also requested that I post his ten favourite Transformers at the moment, including his overall favourite Cliffjumper!
Soild choices Billy!
G1 Jetfire today.
Titans Return Trypticon for today. You never really get an idea of just how big this monster is until you get him in hand.
Diggin Beachcomber today!
Loving Fanstoys FT-15 Willis
Favorite today is POTP Slash.
What a fun little Dino!
My resident badass
Book style Megs today. Everything about it is classy and makes you say "Is that it?" when you see rare gift sets. Except when you try to shoot one of the pellets and realize you should have left it on the sprue.
Also, finally got decent snow cover while the lights where up.
I'd say the one on the left has a ghost of a chance....
Totally agree with Barry on the G1 Dinobots and the old comic book advertisements. Oh if the Bayformers were closer to that artwork...
I picked up Grimlock at the last Auto Assembly in 2015 for a fiver. Only after I bought him, did I realise he'd been customised to allow his robot head to turn.
I've since discovered Sludge could be modified similarly and easily. Strangely I had a blue ko of Sludge years ago who could turn his head.
Lately I've been meaning to get G1 Swoop. Despite the fact I grew up with G1, got back into collecting 15 years ago and Swoop was my favourite Dinobot growing up, I've never had a Swoop toy.
Hoping to pick up him and Slash soon. Along with my old Tyrannitron, it'll be nice to have the full team.
But I digress. Today's favourites are this set of multi era Protectobots...
Just be so super careful with that dino neck joint. I got a KO Swoop a few years back and was really careful and he still snapped straight away. Got another just before xmas and was even more careful. He's doing ok and he's staying in bot mode!
Slag was never my favourite Dinobot when I was a kid, depsite him appearing on one of my favourite Transformers covers ever.
In fact he was probabaly at the back of the queue with Sludge. But he was still a Dinobot so back of the dino queue was still miles ahead of everyone else.
I never actually owned any of the Dinobots but my friend's had Grimlock, Sludge, and Slag and whenever I'd go round their house I'd almost always go straight for those three and play with them. Jetfire? Who cares? Give me those sweet, near perfect G1 dino toys. They really did seem so much better than all the other figures. Not only did they have the best alt modes, their bot modes seemed to avoid many of the compromises that other Diaclone era bot modes suffered. I vividly remember playing with Slag, transforming him over and over, posing him, just drinking in all the detail.
And he stands the test of time. Slag is an excellent looking figure in both modes. Massive, massive feet aside his proportions are great. And to be honest, I always liked his massive feet. Same with all the Dinobots. They all looked like they were wearing fuck off Doc Martens or something. Quite fitting for the Autobot bully boys.
There's loads of little details I Love about Slag's bot mode, from the way his triceratops jaw folds down into his chest and reveals his face, to the way his hind legs collapse in. If this guy had better hands and an elbow joint he'd be a contender for best G1 bot mode.
The Triceratops mode is no slouch itself. Those red horns and the neck crest always made him stand out a little from his team mates. He's satisfyingly compact and mean looking. He looks like a wrecking ball. A fire breating wrecking ball. I think I used to be mildly disturbed by the fact his eyes were transparent. It is an odd detail. I could never quite get my head round why the Dinobots had clear plastic round their heads (or neck's in Grimlock's case). Just looked cool to the designer, I guess?
I actually quite like the fact they kept the transluscent plastic round the heads of the PotP updates, and I'm quietly grateful they've put a dash of red paint on his eyes. PotP Slag seems to get right what I found so wrong with Grimlock and just admits that the original was a fantastic design and apes it with modern engineering and more articulation. Apart from the tail, which now folds elegantly folds into -and fills out- the bot mode calves, and the 'wings' (hell have you got against those Dinobot 'wings' Hasbro?) this really doesn't change the transformation sequence too much at all. The lower jaw now hides the combiner port, which I'm grateful for. I get why they had to be a combiner group, but I'm glad that it's easy to ignore it.
My only, tiny complaint about Slag is that his hips are bit narrow and feeble. Suddnely he seems a little...daintier than a Dinobot should be. Like I say, it's a tiny complaint. I'm eagerly awaiting wave two so I can get Sludge and Snarl too. All five Dinobots (plus new addition Slash) in updated Generations form. Man, that's going to feel good.
Even nerds can be bad@$$.
Combiner Wars Computron for today.
Transformers Legends Leo Prime. So so pretty in white.
All the best
I am glad they made Rodimus more built up and menacing for Power Of The Primes. I think he has always suffered both in the fandom and under the pen of writers as being a failure simply for not being Optimus. Whereas okay, he might not be as great as Optimus, but he’s a Prime, he ought to be badass. Even Magnus got the occasional smack down on Galvatron in the comics. So here’s for beefcake Rodimus.
Separate names with a comma.