Cliffbee.com: Activator Grimlock Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Grimlock
Series: Animated
Allegiance: Autobot
Alternate Mode: T-rex



T-REX MODE
Height: 9cm Length: 14.5cm Width: 6.5cm

   A grey Tyrannosaurus rex with gold elements such as the neck, tail, forelimbs and feet, Grimlock has some dark red stripes on his body, black eyes with light blue pupils, a silver Autobot logo on his left side and a gap on his back revealing a gold section underneath with a stamped Autobot logo. The colours are unmistakably inspired by G1 Grimlock's, even if the shades here vary. The darker grey and relatively muted shades of gold (two shades - the gold plastic and gold paint) work well together while the other colours work well as details.

   In keeping with the general theme of the Animated line, this is a very stylised Dinobot. The lower jaw is huge and Grimlock has a angular, protruding chin. His forelimbs are much smaller than on most bipedal dinosaur Transformers and his pupils are polygonal. While I wouldn't say any of these aspects are negatives, he looks even less realistic than the tail-dragging G1 version. The unusual features work well enough together, and while the giant chins of this line generally bother me, there's something droll about a giant chin in beast mode.

   As with a few Activators, there's a fair bit of robot kibble underneath. The legs form a fairly visible block underneath, and while they're clearly a different shape to the beast's body, they sit flush with it so it's close enough to keep me happy. The poseability is about as good as you could expect here - his hips swing while the knees and ankles are ball jointed, his forelimbs swing and the lower jaw opens a little. The tail can even lift up, although it does so using one joint only, so it looks awfully unnatural.

   A good little Dinosaur mode, Grimlock's colours are good and fit the name very well while the play value is great. The auto-transform can trigger a little easily but he stands up without any trouble. The kibble underneath is a negative, but one that can be forgiven at this scale.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Unclip the robot legs slightly, pull back on a gold switch at the base of his tail and much of the transformation springs to life. The robot legs slide backwards as the chest unfolds, exposing the robot head. the beast neck folds onto his back while the beast head stows inside the neck. You'll have to swing the arms (hind legs) down, swing up the tail and rotate the dinosaur feet to form hands and flip up the feet, but on the whole this is a well executed auto transform with several pieces moving with one button.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 10.5cm Width: 6cm

   A grey robot with gold on his chest, feet, hands and thighs, Grimlock has dark red on his waist and collar while his head is black with a light blue eyestrip. Again the colours are clearly based on his G1 counterpart and again they work well. That stamped Autobot logo is now on his chest while the silver one is on his backpack. There are actually two shades of gold paint on his chest, with the central area being a little brighter.

   The proportions are good in most respects here, although he has notably long arms. The hands line up with his shins, which looks very odd. There's a considerable backpack here but the heelspurs are big enough to ensure finding a stable pose isn't a major problem. There's a protruding lower jaw moulded below a face which is otherwise a copy of the G1 cartoon Grimlock's face.

   Poseability here is good. His head and waist are fixed while his shoulders swing. For some reason there are hinges half way down the upper arms which allow the arms to lift out to the sides, but it looks like his arms are badly broken, so I can't quite work out why these joints are included. His elbows, wrists, hips and knees are ball jointed. While the backpack does get in the way of some poses you can swing down the tail as a third leg, which makes most poses stable.

   A solid robot mode aside from awkwardly long arms. The colours work well and the poseability is again about as good as you could hope for from an Activator. The lower jaw bugs me, but that's more of a personal thing.

VARIATIONS

   None that I'm aware of, although Fireblast Grimlock is a repaint of this toy.

OVERALL

   A good Activator with a very good Dinosaur mode and a solid robot mode. There's some kibble in the dinosaur mode, but it's dealt with quite well. The robot mode arms aren't ideal, but the poseability, colours and transformation are all well done, so on balance Grimlock is a good toy. Recommended if you're a fan of the Activator concept - 7.5/10

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