Retro-Review: G1 Dinobot Sludge

Discussion in 'Transformers Feedback & Reviews' started by Philister, Jul 26, 2010.

  1. Philister

    Philister Teutonicons Rising!

    Jul 12, 2005
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    For more pics, click on the image above

    Robot Mode: Sludge shares the normal Dinobot color scheme, being mostly grey, red, and black. His design is also similar to his comrades, as he has the characteristic ‘wings’ on his back, part of his dinosaur alternate mode. Unlike most of his comrades, Sludge is almost a contortionist by G1 standards. He can move his legs and hips (back and forth and sideways, too) and knees. His arms swivel at the shoulders and he has elbow joints of sorts, though he can only fold his forearms in towards his body (part of his transformation requirement). Still, it makes Sludge the bendiest of the Dinobots.

    In terms of weapons Sludge is no slouch, either. He carries a black blaster and a red sword in robot mode. He also carries a black missile launcher. Sludge hasn’t got an actual storage space for these weapons, but if you want you can store away the sword on his back by putting it between his back and the dinosaur neck hanging there. Looks pretty cool.

    So the bottom line is: Sludge is one of the best 1985 robot modes I’ve yet seen, very posable and just cool-looking.

    Alternate Mode:
    Unsurprisingly this Dinobot transforms into a dinosaur, though his choice of species is a bit of an anachronism. He becomes a Brontosaurus, a species that has since been discovered to be identical with the Apatosaurus. By international rules the older name, Apatosaurus, is the official one, so scientifically-speaking there is no Brontosaurus, despite it being one of the most well-known dinosaur species thanks to “Jurassic Park”, “The Lost World”, and “A Land Before Time”. One can expect the name to stick in popular culture for some time to come, though.

    Sludge does a very nice depiction of a robotic Brontosaurus (or Apatosaurus, if you will), but he’s pretty much a statue in this mode. He can swivel his rear legs and open his jaw, that’s it. Side note: Sludge is the only Dinobot whose original Diaclone-era cockpit is not accessible in dinosaur mode, only in robot mode. So the bottom line here: A very cool-looking dinosaur, but the play value is somewhat restricted by his lack of movement.

    Remarks: In the cartoon Sludge was one of the original three Dinobots created by Wheeljack and Ratchet and the one who figured out how to tell their allies from their enemies (“ones with face like this”, pointing to his Autobot symbol). He was the stupidest of the Dinobots (and that’s saying something), usually going along with whatever his leader Grimlock said without discussion. In the comics his smarts were slightly better, but he was still not among the great thinkers of his time.

    As a toy, though, Sludge is possibly the best of the Dinobots, at least in terms of posability. I also like his looks a lot and while he should be significantly larger given his alternate mode, he’s still a pretty big figure by early G1 standards. So what I’m saying is: Every Transformers fan needs Dinobots. And Sludge is a pretty cool Dinobot.

    Rating: A-
  2. Gingerchris

    Gingerchris Telly-headed Tyrant

    Feb 17, 2005
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    I've always found Sludge to be my least-favourite Dinobot. In dino mode he has less going for him than the others. Even Swoop edges him out for being the one with wings and being a nice change from the earthbound mode of the others. Grimlock has that awesome T-Rex mode, and even Slag and Snarl top Sludge for me because their dino modes are more interesting with the horns and the spine plates. Maybe I'm a little more biased against Sludge because the neck on mine always fell down in dino mode. And he was a little plain compared to the alt mode mass-stickerings of the others. And the stickers he did have on his forearms would get scuffed in dino mode because they contacted the ground.
    Actually, I think even on the robot modes Sludge comes bottom, although Grimlock does come close. Slag has that cool hood thing going on and Snarl still has his plates working it. The articulation of the robot mode does do Sludge some small justice though.
    But he's still a nice figure and no Dinobot team is complete without him. And being bottom of the Dinobots isn't too terrible. That's like being the fifth best person out of the whole population of the planet.
  3. artiepants

    artiepants Transformers '84!!!

    Jul 2, 2002
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    the Dinobots really had some of the best sculpts in G1.