Cliffbee.com: Beast Wars Grimlock Toy Review

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Individual Review




Name: Grimlock
Series: Beast Wars
Allegiance: Maximal
Function: Attack Specialist
Alternate Mode: Velociraptor



VELOCIRAPTOR MODE
Height: 12cm Length: 18cm Width: 7cm

   A white raptor with blue spots along his back and on top of his head. On closer inspection you'll notice that Grimlock is not actually white but a very very light grey. The dark blue spots are almost black, incidentally. So he's almost white with almost black spots - the Dalmatian dinosaur! He's got green eyes and white painted teeth (which are clearly lighter than the light grey) and his hindleg clawtips are painted blue. He's got a gold belly, which is actually the robot shins, and you can clearly see the robot feet on his throat.

   While Beast Wars had quite a few name reuses, this is strictly speaking not a name reuse - the tech specs make it clear that this is in fact the original Grimlock from G1, sans Dinobots. He's no longer a T-Rex but a raptor, which means he's more mobile, but it also means he's a much lighter grey. I do like the gold belly, which is consistent with the original. I suspect this is deliberate colouring, which makes it even cooler.

   Aside from the kibble on his underside, this isn't a bad raptor, although the feet do get in the way of his lower jaw. He's also got a random post sticking out of his back for no good reason. It looks like it might be there so he can stow his weapon on his back in robot mode, since there's a similar sized hole on his weapon, but it's not actually the same size. I don't think Kenner ever actually gave an explanation for this mystery post. It's a minor thing, but it's worth mentioning since it has absolutely no reason for being there.

   As with most of the original Beast Wars moulds, Grimlock has a pretty good sculpt. He has wrinkled skin and his forelimbs are webbed. The inside toes of his legs are hooked as velociraptors' were - this was for ripping through flesh. The unpainted white parts that really hurt Dinobot's beast mode aren't as bad here since his back isn't a solid blue but white with blue spots.

   Poseability is reasonably good. His forelimbs are on ball joints, and while they're restricted to some extent, they move in pretty much any direction you'd expect a bipedal predator's to anyway. His lower jaw opens and shuts, it's painted red inside which is a nice touch. Lastly, the hip are swivels with hinges that swing outwards, the knees bend and the front and rear toes on the feet are hinged.

   Grimlock's got some really good points, an interesting colour scheme that's reminiscent of the original as well as decent poseability. Having said that, this beast mode is hurt by the robot kibble. As it is, this is a nice beast mode, but not as good as it could have been with a little more work. It works a little better than Dinobot's beast mode, partly since it's not afflicted with the orange belly of Dinobot and partly because of the patterning on the back.

TRANSFORMATION TO ROBOT MODE

   Detach the tail and set aside. Fold the tail's base over onto his back, fold the robot legs out from his belly, rotate them and fold down the feet. Flip out the heelspurs, rotate the side panels 180. Flip the beast head down over his robot head and onto his chest. Fold the front claws up onto his back, rotate the arms down to his side and fold down the claws on his hands. Open the two halves of his tail, detach the sword inside if you like, arm him. Lastly, you have the option of leaving his mutant head closed or opening it to reveal the robot head. I suggest taking the two halves off, placing them in storage and never retrieving them.

ROBOT MODE
Height: 12.5cm Width: 7cm

   Mainly light grey, Grimlock has gold shins and a blue head (light grey mouth, green eyes). He has blue spots on his chest (since it's the top of the raptor head) and the blue clawtips previously mentioned. The combination of light grey, blue and gold works really well, although the spotty chest is a little strange. The mutant head is gold, it's not worth leaving on - mine came without the mutant head and I've no intention of finding one. The heelspurs are also gold, incidentally.

   Grimlock has some problems in this mode, perhaps more than most Beast Wars toys. His shoulders are higher than they should be - on either side of his head. The head itself is kind of surrounded by torso - there's a ridge behind it and the side panels on either side with the shoulders attached. His forearms are formed from the raptor legs, but rotated. They went for the cheap option of putting holes on one side of these limbs, and so his forearms have big holes on the sides, which looks pretty bad, and was easily avoidable. He doesn't have actual hands, rather he has opposable claws, which can wrap around his weapons, so they end up working reasonably well. All of these are weaknesses Dinobot had, none have been fixed - the only mould change is a rubsign indent underneath the chest (which has a rubsign in it).

   Grimlock's got a fair bit of poseability in robot mode. His shoulders are swivels, but have hinges so he can lift his arms to the sides. His elbows are also dual joints, and his opposable claws open and shut. His head is on a ball joint, but it's got a lot of plastic around it so it's effectively a swivel. The hips and knees are also ball joints, and these are far less restricted. Add the hinges on both his feet and heelspurs and you've got a very poseable robot mode.

   The sword sticks into a hole between his claws and follows the line of his arm - he holds it as a stabbing weapon, not a slashing weapon. The other weapon is a spinning blade affair, and the two halves of the tail fold out to form a large blade with a red top surface. What's really cool about this is that pushing the button on the base of this weapon in causes the blade to spin quite rapidly for about 3 seconds. It's certainly an effective close quarter weapon, that would beat up any opponent in reach. Plus it's fun to play with (c8

   A good colour scheme, in fact it's better than Dinobot's, and it's worthy of being Grimlock even if it's somewhat different to the G1 toy's. Combine this with great play value mean that while this mode has proportion problems, it's a fun robot mode. Ignoring the mutant head, Grimlock has a nice robot mode.

VARIATIONS

   A repaint of Dinobot, whose shadow he exists in, but no variations as such. The mould has been revisited many times - TFU Grimlock shares the mould while Hardhead from Beast Wars Neo is a retooling, and Dinotron is a repaint of Hardhead. Thrustol from Beast Wars Second is a major retooling of this mould.

OVERALL

   A better colour scheme than Dinobot, but Grimlock's not in the show so I'm not going to recommend him over Dinobot. Both modes have some great elements, but both have problems that drag them down. Ignoring the show, this is the nicer of the two, so if you like the mould I'd recommend Grimlock as well as Dinobot. The biggest flaw is that none of the avoidable weaknesses in the mould were addressed this time around - 6.5/10

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