Today, we have a very, very unexpected surprise as I managed to get my hands on Kingdom Dinobot from one of my local toy stores. Dinobot is one of my absolute favorite characters from all of Transformers history and to be able to do a review of him this early is beyond an honor. Starting with beast mode, right off the bat, comparing him with the original Dinobot figure, you can see just how big he scales in comparison. I think that you can also see just how much effort went into the sculpt and proportions of this guy. Once again, just like the rest of the figures in the line, Dinobot has a far more detailed and realistic beast mode. Personally, while I'm all for show accuracy, I understand that this is not the Dinobot from the original 1990s cartoon. In fact, the realistic beast mode is precisely what differentiates him from the Masterpiece figure and makes him unique. They even managed to get his dino legs really close up into the body unlike either the original figure or the MP. While he's still a bit chunky, he'll have a much easier time fitting into, say, a Jurassic Park figure collection than the other Dinobots. However, it's precisely because it's a more realistic beast mode that the imperfections stand out all the more. Addressing some of the complaints that I've read online, yes, he is missing his front teeth, his tail looks slightly... er, phallic(?) thanks to the purple sword tip, and most egregiously, he has golden boobs (a.k.a. the robot mode hip joints) poking out from the front of his chest. Unlike with BlackArachnia, there is no way these can be construed for a pair of mandibles or anything. Now, the issues with the boobs and tail could have been very, very easily avoided with a simple dash of paint or a change of the plastic colors. The reason I am so certain of this is because the prototype figure on the back of the packaging has silver hip joints and a silver sword with a brown tip. I have absolutely no idea why they changed the colors at the last minute because the beast mode ends up really compromised because of it. On the topic of color, there's actually quite a bit of paint in dino mode, but I really don't understand what the point of it is as the stripes are extremely faint and only appear in very bright light. Not to mention, the budget for all this paint could have gone into the bot mode, which as we will see later, is sorely lacking. A couple of other bits of kibble include the bot mode chest panels on the back of the legs, with the eye looking disconcertingly like a sore of some kind, the underside of the figure and the bot mode feet. While most of it is unavoidable, I wish they gave his bot mode feet swivel joints to allow them to match the contour of the tail by rotating 180 degrees. One of the final complains when it comes to the beast mode are the hands. Yes, they do look quite ridiculous. They're too big and flat and are molded at a right angle. I understand why they needed to be flat, as they stow away into the bot mode's side, still feel they're too big. In fact, even the robot mode could have benefited from them being slightly smaller as they currently stick out from the sides. Moving on to articulation, it's just like the MP figure, but worse. The head can't even move side to side and the legs, while rather articulated as they turn into the bot mode arms, can't make use of any of the joints as they're locked in place by the thigh pieces. Thankfully, the openable jaw does provide some much-needed variety and expression. Despite the numerous flaws, overall, I think they did a rather decent job, especially when you take into consideration what he turns into. The transformation is fun, simple and ingenious. It really does turn inside-out and pays great homage to the Masterpiece's transformation. One cool little Easter Egg that I found is that they made this swingbar resemble his spine, even though you can't see it in robot mode. There's even additional rib detailing in the back. In robot mode, he's undeniably Dinobot, which is far more than I can say for most of the figures of him released in the past. Before I get into some of the negatives, I'd just like to remind you guys of how much of an achievement this figure is. We finally have a mainline Dinobot that actually looks like him! A design that was once the sole claim to fame of the Masterpiece figure is now far more affordable and readily available. But ironically enough, that's also to the figure's detriment because of the expectations it creates. While we do have all the trappings of a classic Dinobot design including his amazingly sculpted head, broad dinosaur head chest that is rather ingeniously formed from the actual dinosaur head and some extra panels, the gold shoulders and well, pretty much the entire lower half of the figure, it's just not as well-proportioned or as seamless as I think it could have been. Most egregiously, the shoulders are too small, the arms are way too long and skinny and the hands are way too big. There is also quite a noticeable gap and disconnect between the dino head and chest panels, with the grooves and lines not matching up and he does have a rather unsightly backpack (which you can at least still store the weapon on). And as mentioned, his dino arms are clearly sticking out from his sides. Perhaps a rather controversial opinion, but being a completely original reinterpretation of the character, here is where I think they could have compromised a little bit more on the show-accuracy to have given us a more cohesive-looking figure. In my opinion, as-is, it's neither here nor there. Aside from the proportions, a lack of paint would be the number one gripe that most people will have with this figure. Because they decided to emulate the original CG model that was simply slathered in a myriad of colors, he ends up looking extremely plain with his unpainted arms and legs. Looking at the back of the box once again, they even axed the paint that was supposed to go onto the sides of his chest. Articulation is where the figure truly shines as he is simply riddled with joints. But all that articulation would be wasted if he didn't have some cool accessories. Of course, he does have his sword and shield, or rotating blade, whatever you want to call it. Putting aside the questionable color choice for the sword and the lack of a free spinning gimmick for the shield, they do complement the figure very nicely. Now, as a bonus piece of information, the Unicron.com third party die-cast Golden Disks actually scale perfectly with him and with his articulation, he's more than capable of grabbing onto them while waxing poetic about the meaning of life. Last but not least, here's how he scales with Kingdom Primal. While not accurate to the scale of the original cartoon, it's nice that they at least made Dinobot bigger than Primal. In conclusion, I personally really love Kindgom Dinobot, but more for what it represents - an honest to goodness transforming mainline Dinobot figure that manages to capture the essence of the rather disparate two modes with a fun and ingenious transformation. Honestly, while the figure is neither her nor there, looking at it glass half full, it's accurate enough for it to suffice as a stand-in for the original Dinobot and is different enough so that fans who already own the Masterpiece figure, like myself, could still pick this figure up and enjoy it on its own merits. - Beast Mode Design:★★★☆☆ Kibble:★★☆☆☆ Paint:★★★☆☆ Poseability:★★☆☆☆ - Robot Mode Design:★★★★☆ Kibble:★★★★☆ Paint:★★☆☆☆ Poseability:★★★★★ - Shared Build Quality:★★★★★ Transformation:★★★★★ Accessories:★★★★☆ A kick-ass figure, to be sure!